If you’re looking for an unexplored gem filled with history, culture, and charm, look no further than Gyula. Nestled in the heartland of Hungary, Gyula is a town waiting to allure you with its ancient castle, serene spa, and delightful delicacies. In this article, we’re going to embark on a discovery and share the top “things to do in Gyula” – all that can be covered in one exhilarating day. From the break of dawn to the starlit dusk, we’ll guide you through an itinerary to explore the best of Gyula in one day.
A few interesting facts about Gyula
As travellers, we know that understanding the soul of a city lies not only in its stunning landscapes and architectural marvels but also in the stories that have shaped it. In this spirit, we present a few fascinating facts about Gyula. These titbits of knowledge will not only pique your curiosity but also deepen your appreciation for the city as you wander its charming streets. So let’s dive into the captivating tales that make Gyula even more remarkable.
- Gyula, the city of waters: Gyula is home to some of Hungary’s oldest thermal baths, the Gyula Castle Bath, which dates back to the 19th century. It’s a haven for those seeking relaxation, with its healing thermal waters that gush from deep within the earth.
- Home to a unique castle: Gyula is renowned for its beautiful brick castle, the only one of its kind in Central Europe still perfectly preserved. Standing since the 14th century, this historic structure whisks you back in time, offering a glimpse into the city’s illustrious past.
- A land of delectable delicacies: The city is also the birthplace of the famous Gyulai sausage, a culinary delight revered by food connoisseurs worldwide. Savour the spicy, smoky flavours of this traditional Hungarian sausage and you’ll know why it’s a celebrated symbol of Gyula’s gastronomic culture.
- A sweet tradition: Gyula is recognized for its age-old tradition of honey production. The Honey Festival held every year in Gyula is a testimony to its sweet legacy; you’ll find the most diverse and delicious types of honey you’ve ever tasted.
- Gyula, the city of festivals: This vibrant city is a festival lover’s paradise. From the traditional Easter Fair to the exciting Beer Festival and the mesmerizing Shakespeare Festival, there’s always a reason to celebrate in Gyula!
Morning in Guyla
As the sun rises, casting a warm, golden hue over the city, we know there’s one place you’re itching to visit: the stunning castle of Gyula. This architectural marvel is the jewel in Gyula’s crown, and trust us, it’s best experienced in the cool tranquility of the morning. So, hold onto your excitement as we guide you to the highlight of your Gyula adventure. Here we go!
Visit the historic Castle of Gyula
Begin your day by stepping into the enchanting world of the historic Castle of Gyula. A rare gem in Central Europe, this beautifully preserved brick castle dates back to the 14th century and tells stories of Gyula’s illustrious past. As you wander through the medieval corridors, you can almost hear the echo of armored knights and courtly intrigue. Gyula Castle is one of the most popular castles in Hungary.
Fun fact: Did you know, the castle houses the Castle Theatre, which is the third oldest theater in Hungary?
- Address: Kastély u. 6, Gyula, 5700, Hungary
- Getting There: The castle is easily accessible from the city center. You can take a leisurely walk, or hop on a local bus number 2 and get off at the ‘Városháza’ stop. From there, it’s just a short stroll to the castle.
- Ticket Price: Check actual prices and opening hours at the official website
Why 2 castles? Discover Almasy Castle's Untold Stories
Just a stone’s throw away from the Castle of Gyula, you’ll find the charming Almasy Castle. Once the stately home of the Almasy family, it’s a symbol of elegance and aristocratic life in the 19th century. This neo-renaissance castle, with its beautifully landscaped garden, serves as the perfect backdrop for a moment of tranquility in your adventure. Here, you’ll uncover stories of grand balls, hidden love affairs, and a lifestyle that echoes Downton Abbey.
Fun fact: The Almasy family were avid hunters, and the castle showcases an impressive collection of trophies that’ll leave you awe-struck!
- Address: Várkert u. 2, Gyula, 5700, Hungary
- Getting There: The Almasy Castle is located adjacent to the Castle of Gyula. Just follow the signs from the Castle Theatre or take a brief walk across the park.
- Ticket Price: Check actual prices and opening hours at the official website
The Gyula Castle Museum
Embark on a journey back in time at the Gyula Castle Museum, a must-visit gem in Gyula, Hungary. This fortress of knowledge houses a diverse collection of artifacts, each narrating a unique chapter of Hungary’s vibrant history. From ancient relics to medieval armors and weapons, the museum’s exhibits promise a captivating dive into the past. Fun fact: Did you know that the Gyula Castle Museum is home to a rare 16th-century Ottoman Canon, a silent witness to the region’s tumultuous past?
- Address: Várkör u. 1, Gyula, 5700, Hungary
- Getting There: The museum is nestled within Gyula Castle itself. You can easily reach it by following signs from Almasy Castle, or take a short walk through the picturesque Castle Gardens.
- Ticket Price: Check actual prices and opening hours at the official website
A stroll through the castle garden
Experience tranquility in the heart of Gyula as you meander through the enchanting Castle Garden. This verdant oasis, brimming with beautifully manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and towering trees, is a delightful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Fun fact: Did you know these gardens were once the intimate rendezvous spot for aristocratic lovers seeking refuge from prying eyes? As you stroll, feel the whispers of secret romances still lingering in the air.
- Address: Várkert u. 1, Gyula, 5700, Hungary
- Getting There: The Castle Garden is conveniently located between the Almasy Castle and the Gyula Castle Museum. Simply follow the footpaths adorning the Castle grounds.
- Ticket Price: Entry to the Castle Garden is free. Enjoy the serene beauty at your leisure.
Continue your walk through the Snail Garden
Venture beyond the Castle Garden into an unexpected wonder – the Snail Garden. This whimsical, maze-like garden, named after its spiral shape resembling a snail shell, draws adventurers and contemplative souls alike. Lose yourself amongst the well-kept shrub-bordered pathways, arching trees, and the enchanting central pond.
Fun fact: Did you know the Snail Garden is a favourite spot for local philosophers and writers seeking a touch of inspiration or solitude?
- Address: Várkör u. 1, Gyula, 5700, Hungary
- Getting There: From the Castle Garden, follow the signs towards the western part of the Castle grounds. The Snail Garden entrance is just a stone’s throw away.
- Ticket Price: Entry to the Snail Garden is free. Immerse yourself in its tranquility without a time limit.
Check out the majestic interior of the Saint Nicholas Cathedral
Step into the Saint Nicholas Cathedral and be immersed in an atmosphere of spiritual tranquility and awe-inspiring grandeur. The cathedral’s interior boasts ornate carvings, breathtaking stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, and a high, domed ceiling that reverberates with the harmonious notes of the grand organ. Fun fact: Did you know that the cathedral’s organ, with its intricate detailing and powerful sound, is one of Hungary’s finest?
- Address: Széchenyi u. 19, Gyula, 5700, Hungary
- Getting There: The cathedral is a short, pleasant walk from the Snail Garden. Head north on Várkör u. and then turn right onto Széchenyi u.
- Ticket Price: Entry to the Saint Nicholas Cathedral is free, although donations for the upkeep of this magnificent edifice are always appreciated.
As the morning silently into afternoon, your stomach might be gently reminding you that it’s time to refuel. You’re in luck, Gyula, Hungary is a gastronomic delight with an array of delectable options to satisfy your lunchtime hunger.
There are quite a few restaurants and eateries in the direct vicinity of the castle.
Don’t miss the chance to taste the city’s renowned sausages or perhaps a hearty goulash at a charming street-side stall. If you have a sweet tooth, Gyula’s local pastries are a must-try. Whatever your palate desires, you’re sure to find a meal that not just satiates your hunger, but also offers a delicious insight into the city’s rich culinary culture.
Afternoon in Gyula
You have already seen the attraction everybody wants and needs to see in Gyula, but there’s more to this city than you might think. This afternoon we’ll give you a few museum ideas for Gyula. After that, let’s wind down in the thermal baths!
We will explore the historic city later this evening, when the evening lights illuminate the streets and squares of Gyula.
Museums in Gyula
Gyula is a city rich in history and culture, boasting several remarkable museums that promise an engaging and enlightening experience. Whether it’s the breathtaking art collections or the intriguing historical exhibits, the museums in Gyula are highly acclaimed for their excellent curation and the intriguing narratives they present.
You can expect the museums in Gyula to take you back in time. They are often a little bit weird and alway eye-opening.
- Erkel Ferenc Memorial Museum: Pay a visit to the birthplace of Ferenc Erkel, the composer of the Hungarian National Anthem and the first director of the Hungarian Opera. This quaint museum offers an insightful look into his life and career, with a collection of personal items and musical instruments.
- 100-Year-Old Confectionery: Yes, you read it right! Gyula has a museum dedicated to confectionery. This museum, set in a functioning bakery and shop, provides an entertaining exploration of the confectionery art. Don’t forget to try their famous local delicacy, the ‘Gyula meringue’.
- Sausage museum: For all the meat lovers out there, the Sausage Museum is a must-visit. This unique museum showcases the history and process of sausage-making in Gyula with interactive exhibits and delicious samples to try.
- The Ladics House: This museum is dedicated to the works of renowned sculptor, István Ladics. Set in the artist’s former residence, it showcases a fascinating collection of his sculptures, reliefs, medals, and drawings.
- Radio Museum (Rádiótörténeti múzeum): For those interested in the history of communication, the Radio Museum is a must-visit. This small but impressive museum houses a vast collection of antique radios, telephones, and other communication devices from different eras.
Relax at the Thermal baths at the Castle (Gyulai Várfürdő)
For a rejuvenating end to your exploration of Gyula, retreat to the Thermal baths located within the Castle complex. These thermal baths, renowned for their healing properties, are nestled in a picturesque setting of greenery and historic architecture. While the warm thermal water soothes your body, the serene surroundings will calm your mind. And here’s a fun fact: these baths are home to Europe’s first adventure bath, adding an extra splash of fun to your wellness journey!
- Address: Várkert u. 2, Gyula, 5700
- How to get there: The Thermal baths are situated within the Castle of Gyula, which is easily accessible by local public transport such as buses. Alternatively, you can also reach there by taking a short walk from the city center.
- Ticket Price: Check the actual ticket price at the official website.
After a day full of discovery and relaxation, you’re probably ready to satiate your appetite. In this case, Gyula’s city center, Belváros, is your ideal destination.
Belváros is a remarkable blend of history and gastronomy, where charming cobbled streets are dotted with a variety of eateries. Here, you can find everything from traditional Hungarian dishes to international cuisine. Whether you prefer cozy bistros, elegant restaurants, or vibrant street food spots, Belváros has it all.
The area comes alive in the evening, making it the perfect spot to round off your day with a delectable dinner, in a setting imbued with the vibrant energy of Gyula’s heartland.
A relaxed evening in Gyula
As the sun dips below the horizon, the magic of Gyula truly comes alive. It’s time to wrap up your dinner and prepare for a tranquil evening stroll around the city’s historic center. The cityscape is beautifully illuminated by the soft glow of evening lights, casting enchanting shadows on the cobblestone streets and bathing the ancient architectural marvels in a mesmerizing hue. So, come join us as we take a step back in time, wandering through the enchanting lanes, soaking in the ethereal beauty of Gyula under the starlit sky.
Stroll the area around the Városháza Utca
End your day with a leisurely stroll through the heart of Gyula, the Városháza Utca. This bustling street, centered around the magnificent Town Hall, is a beautiful blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. Marvel at the stunning architecture, grab a bite at the local cafes, or simply sit and watch as the city wakes up. Did you know that the Városháza Utca isn’t just a hub of city life, but also hosts a myriad of events round the year?
These are a few things you can admire around Városháza Utca and the Október 23. Square:
- The Town Hall: Built in the 18th century, this stunning building is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Don’t forget to take a picture with its iconic clock tower!
- The Reformed Church: Located right next to the Town Hall, the church’s unique twin towers make it an unmissable sight. Explore its beautiful interior and take a moment to appreciate the tranquility of this sacred space.
- The Four Seasons Fountain: This vibrant fountain in Október 23. Square is a popular meeting spot for locals and tourists alike. Admire its intricate design, or cool off from the summer heat with a refreshing splash.
- Világóra: This unusual clock on the side of the Town Hall building is a popular attraction. Its unique design, featuring elements from different eras, makes it an intriguing sight to behold.
- Apor Vilmos szobra: This beautiful sculpture of Saint Vilmos Apor, located near the Town Hall, is a testament to Gyula’s rich history and religious heritage.
- Street Art: As you wander through Városháza Utca, keep an eye out for some stunning street art. From colorful murals to hidden gems tucked away in alleyways, these artworks add a touch
- Boldogasszony Temple: This beautiful church, located a short walk from Városháza Utca, is known for its stunning stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes. Take some time to admire the intricate details and peaceful atmosphere of this sacred space.
How to get around in Gyula
As you navigate through the historic town of Gyula, you’ll find that every turn leads to a new discovery. From architectural wonders to vibrant street art, each path holds a story waiting to be unveiled. Whether you’re exploring on foot, biking, or opting for public transport, each mode of travel offers its own unique flavor.
There’s no better way to soak up the old-world charm of Gyula than by exploring on foot. The compact nature of the city makes it perfect for leisurely strolls. You’ll stumble upon hidden gems as you wander the cobbled streets, each turn revealing yet another piece of history or art.
While Gyula doesn’t have a metro system, it does have a robust network of buses that operate around the city. These buses offer a convenient and cost-effective way to navigate the city, with regular routes covering all the major attractions.
How to get to Gyula
Let’s explore the various modes of transport that can get you there from Budapest or from anywhere in the world.
The nearest international airport is in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
Once you land in Budapest, a train journey will get you to the train station of Gyula in just over 3 hours. Alternatively, you can also opt for a bus or car ride which typically takes around 2.5 hours.
There’s also an airport in Debrecen, which is closer by. But it doesn’t serve flights from all over the world, so you would have to check that first. From Debrecen, it takes around 1.5 hours by car or bus to reach Gyula.
If you love the romance of rail travel, you’re in luck. Hungary’s rail network is well-connected and efficient. Trains from Budapest to Gyula are frequent, and the journey takes you through some of Hungary’s most picturesque landscapes.
By Own Vehicle
If you’re up for a road trip, driving to Gyula is an excellent option. The town is well connected by a network of highways and national roads.
How much time do you need for Gyula?
To explore the highlights of Gyula, which is for most people the area around the castle, you only need one day in Gyula. If you want to explore all things to do in Gyula, you might want to reserve a few extra days.
Many travellers enjoy being around the area in order to enjoy the thermal baths in Gyula and the area, so that would also require extra days. And of course, there are quite a few other places around that are worth visiting on a day trip.
If you want to stay a little longer than one day, then make sure to keep scrolling until the chapter ‘where to stay in Gyula’.
Things to do in the area
Gyula is a fantastic base for exploring other fascinating spots in and around Hungary. Here are three day trip recommendations that promise an exciting adventure, all within a three-hour drive from Gyula.
Visit Budapest for a few days from Gyula
Venture out from the scenic town of Gyula and embark on a journey to the heart of Hungary: Budapest. The capital city is bulking with beautiful sights and a rich cultural heritage. Nobody will deny it: your Hungary itinerary isn’t complete if you haven’t visited Budapest!
- Location: Budapest, Hungary
- How to get there: Travel directly by train or make it into a road trip with your own transportation
- Driving time: Approximately 2.5 to 3 hours by car; slightly longer by train
Day trip to Szeged
Plan a day trip to Szeged, the city of sunshine. A city that beautifully melds history and modernity, Szeged offers a charming old town, a vibrant cultural scene, and lip-smacking local cuisine. Whether you’re exploring the majestic Votive Church, strolling along the Tisza River, or feasting on traditional fish soup, Szeged promises a great experience.
- Location: Szeged, Hungary
- How to get there: Hop on a direct train from Gyula or take a scenic road trip if you have your own transport.
- Driving time: Approximately 2 hours by car; a little longer if you opt for the train.
Explore Pécs from Gyula
Head towards Pécs, a city that wears its rich history proudly, teeming with Roman ruins, Turkish mosques, and a vibrant arts scene. This southern city, often referred to as the ‘city of Zsolnay ceramics’ and ‘the city of culture’, is sure to impress. Marvel at the UNESCO-listed Early Christian Mausoleum, enjoy the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, or simply unwind at one of the city’s many fantastic eateries. From Pécs, it is an easy trip to Szeged, bringing you closer to another set of memorable experiences.
- Location: Pécs, Hungary
- How to get there: A direct train from Gyula will take you to Pécs, or opt for a more exploratory journey by car.
- Driving time: Approximately 3.5 hours by car; slightly longer if you choose to take the train.
Each of these destinations offer a unique and intriguing perspective into Hungary’s diverse history and culture. And if you long to explore more of the country, make sure to check out the best cities to visit in Hungary and select a few extra stops for your travel itinerary.
Where to stay in Gyula
When it comes to lodging in Gyula, you’re spoilt for choice. The town is home to a variety of accommodations that cater to different tastes and budgets. For those who appreciate a unique and intimate setting, boutique hotels in Gyula offer a blend of luxury, personalized service, and local flavor. These hotels not only provide a cozy retreat but also immerse you in the town’s history and culture. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Gyula’s boutique hotels promise an unforgettable stay.
But of course, Gyula is known as the City of Waters. So, why wouldn’t you book a few nights in one of the very best wellness hotels in Gyula and combine exploration with relaxation.
Wrapping up: filling a day with fun things to do in Gyula
In conclusion, Gyula, with its interesting blend of history, culture, and modernity, offers an experience you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Whether you’re drawn to the magic of the castle, the lure of the thermal baths, or the irresistible pull of its gastronomy, Gyula ensures each moment is filled with wonder and delight. As a stepping stone to other Hungarian gems like Békéscsaba and Pécs, Gyula serves as a perfect starting point for your Hungarian escapade.