Have you ever heard of the Hungarian city Pécs? It didn’t come on my radar until last year, when I was thinking of which city to visit in Christmas time. I have this tradition to visit at least one foreign city in December. I just love exploring Christmas markets, trying local holidays delicacies and mulled wine, while at the same time discovering new city. And Pécs, the fifth largest city in Hungary, turned out to be a perfect Christmas destination. Especially since we visited on a picturesque snowy day and there were only a few tourists beside locals in the city.
Which Christmas markets to visit in Pécs?
The Christmas market in Pécs is situated in the main Széchenyi Square. This is the place with the big Christmas tree, many Christmas lights and a beautiful background composed of the City Hall and the Gazi Kasim Mosque. There are also a lot of market stalls where you can buy traditional Hungarian food, like goulash and sausages or sweet kurtos for dessert. There is a nice selection of mulled wine, punch and tea.
Irgalmasok street leading to the main square is also full of wooden huts where you can buy handmade souvenirs and perfect Christmas gifts, like ornaments and gingerbread cookies. I bought some cute sledge ornaments for my Christmas tree. You can also find some stalls with local products, like honey and dried fruits, in the Kossuth Square in front of the Pécs Synagogue.
There are a lot of Christmas lights also in the colourful streets surrounding the main street, so don’t forget to take a stroll. The downtown of the city has many beautiful historical buildings. Visit also the Hotel Palatinus and enter the lobby to admire their picture perfect Christmas decorations.
What else is there to see in Pécs?
In the Széchenyi Square don’t miss out also the City Hall, the statue of Hungarian hero Janos Hunyadi and Gazi Kasim Mosque. Take a walk to the majestic Cathedral of Pécs, admire the National Theatre and visit the Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs – Roman thombs from the 4th century, which are today an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A great stop is also the Zsolnay factory of porcelain, tiles and stoneware. The factory was established in 1853 and they are famous for introducing porcelain pieces made of eosin. They also developed ornamental ceramics pyrogranite, which are very durable and frost-resistant, so you can find them on many roofs, as indoor or outdoor decorative elements and on fireplaces. On the site of the factory you can today visit Zsolnay museum with their ornamental porcelain and some cute little shops.