Top 10+ AWESOME Things to do in Debrecen (Hungary)


Clueless of what to do in Debrecen? With so many activities to choose from, we can't blame you. Here, we've narrowed down the list of things to do in Debrecen.

The city of Debrecen has a little of everything. It is one of the best city breaks out there, discarding the fact that it is only second in landmass compared to other Hungarian cities. Its beauty lies in the variety of activities that, despite modern influences, has not lost its local roots. Surely, your list of things to do in Debrecen will have a bit of nature, a handful of history, and a whole lot of culture.

Top 10 AWESOME Things to do in Debrecen (Hungary)

Reformed Great Church of Debrecen Featured
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via Wikimedia Commons|PePM at Hungarian Wikipedia

Reformed Great Church of Debrecen

Located right in the metropolis along Kossuth and Kalvin Squares, the Great Church of Debrecen is a prominent symbol of Protestantism in Hungary. Aside from its massive floor area of 1,500 square meters, the church is also known to house the largest bell in the country – the Rákóczi-bell. About 3,000 devotees can fit in this place of worship.

As you enter the Great Church, you will find one of the most beautiful organs you will probably see in your lifetime. If the timing’s right, you get to hear the instrument being played at rehearsals. Other notable relics that can be found inside are the Vizsoly Bible and the chair from where Lajos Kossuth issued Hungary’s Declaration of Independence in 1849.

→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Debrecen

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Ferenc Medgyessy Memorial Museum

This memorial museum is dedicated to local sculptor Ferenc Medgyessy, critically-acclaimed at the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris for his realistic bronze statues. These actual winning pieces can be seen outside the Déri Museum. Medgyessy is regarded as one of the most influential Hungarian artists when it comes to Plastic Arts.

The museum is inside the Town Master’s House located along Péterfia Street. About 200 works of different mediums are displayed in this reconstructed space. Some of Medgyessy’s most important works, which can be found here include intricate statues of dancing maidens and plastic art rendition of the public places in Debrecen.

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Déri Museum Egyptian room
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via Wikimedia Commons| Alensha

Déri Museum

Visiting the Déri Museum is one of the most significant things to do in Debrecen. Its mission to collect, preserve and present local history to visitors and residents alike is something laudable.

Much of what is inside the museum has been donated by Frigyes Déri. Déri, hailing from Baja, was a prominent person in the field of manufacturing, trading, and the arts. He became an artifact collector after acquiring a significant amount of masterpieces, which he displayed in his home. Years later, he donated all his collections to Debrecen. Six years after he passed away, the Déri Museum was opened to the public.

There are a number of permanent exhibits in the museum, one of which is the Samurai Courthouse, where you can find many Japanese objects from the Edo era.

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The White Rose of the Revolution

The White Rose of the Revolution Monument is located in front of the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary. It serves as a reminder of the attempted revolution, which happened in 1956.

This revolution pushed for the freedom of the Hungarians, but the Soviet army was able to stop it from succeeding. The white rose is artistically presented to commemorate the lives that were shed during the time.

The marble monument is made by one of the talented members of the Hungarian Academy of the Arts named Miklós Melocco.

→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Debrecen

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Hortobágyi National Park
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via Wikimedia Commons | Lily15

Hortobágyi National Park

Curious visitors come to the Hortobágyi National Park to know why it is considered as a World Heritage Site. This first and largest national park in all of Hungary must be part of your list of things to do in Debrecen.

Located in eastern Hungary, the Hortobágyi National Park spans 800 square kilometers. Its vast land formation is ideal for raising animals, which include the Hungarian grey cattle and the Taurus cattle.

The Puszta Zoological Gardens is one of the numerous demonstration sites which can be found inside the park. Here, you get to take a closer look at the science behind animal husbandry.

You will also see firsthand how the management is exerting efforts to conserve endangered species such as the Przewalski’s Horse, the last remaining subspecies of wild horses.

→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Debrecen

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Botanical Garden of the University of Debrecen
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via Wikimedia Commons|Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

University Botanical Gardens

The eight-hectare botanical gardens inside the University of Debrecen is truly a sight to behold. They house a diverse population of different plants that are native to Hungary and beyond. About 6,000 species are on display, 2,300 of which are of the cactus and succulent varieties.

Established in 1928 to replace the Reformed College’s original garden, the botanical gardens encompass a part of the Nagyerdő Oak Forest. Some of the first parts to get established in the area are the Herb and Rock Gardens. Greenhouses followed over the years and have since served as the habitats of various cacti plants.

Visit a crowd favorite, the Palm House, and see tropical plants such as vanilla and pineapple thrive in the largest greenhouse complex of the property.

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Flower Carnival in Debrecen
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via Wikimedia Commons| Björn Láczay

Flower Carnival

Adding vibrancy to the city since 1966, the Flower Carnival is a popular event not only with tourists but also with locals. If you are able to schedule your visit to Debrecen in the month of August, do it for the Flower Carnival.

All corners of the city are decorated with colorful flowers and ornaments. Music and art performances make the place even livelier, and different programs are added to the lineup each year. It all happens in the Nagyerdei Stadium, where hundreds of Hungarian celebrities and notable performers lead the artist lineup.

Marching flower and art carriages feature special themes each year. Designers, sculptors, and contractors go hand in hand in creating masterpieces that are guaranteed to wow the crowd.

→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Debrecen

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Hajdu Folk Ensemble

Watching a performance of the Hajdu Folk Ensemble is one of the fun things to do in Debrecen if you want to learn more about the Hungarian culture. Performing for the audience since 1953, the seven groups that comprise the Ensemble give about 60 performances each year.

The Hajdu Folk Ensemble has won many folklore awards and festival honors both in Hungary and in all of Europe. More than 850 performers are part of the Ensemble, many of which are also given awards individually. The youngest member of the group is only six years of age!

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St. Anna's Cathedral
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via Wikimedia Commons|Thaler Tamas

St. Anna’s Cathedral

St. Anna’s Cathedral is a Catholic church in Debrecen, widely known as the seat of a certified replica of the Turin shroud. Pope John Paul II declared the church’s cathedral status back in 1993.

The architecture of the cathedral speaks of Baroque and Louis Seize style. The immaculate white walls inside give the golden altar the attention it merits.

Also called the Debrecen Cathedral, the church was built in 1721 by Milanese architect Giovanni Battista Carlone. The building has been constantly renovated since then because of unfortunate incidents. A mass is held daily, as signified by the ringing of church bells.

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Lake Fancsika

If sportfishing is included in your list of things to do in Debrecen, Lake Fancsika is yours to explore. The main inhabitants of the lake are your local carp, yet several other fish species can be found in the waters.

A visit to Lake Fancsika is for the whole family. As you reel in your catch of the day, children can enjoy playing at the log castle nearby. Once you’re done, head to shore and enjoy a solemn picnic with the family amidst the green scenery.

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