Which is the easiest way to get to Eger from Budapest? Through highway M3, that’s the easiest and fastest way. It takes about one and a half hour. At Füzesabony you have to continue north on route 25.
What can you do once you are there? You have plenty of opportunities, because Eger is a beautiful town full of historical building, and it is most famous for the Castle of Eger, the cathedral, the red wine called Bull’s blood the Baroque palaces and of course the Turkish remains. As you know Hungary was occupied by the Ottoman Empire from 1541 till 1586. Eger is one of the cities where you can clearly see the remains of this occupation. You can see the northernmost minaret in Europe here also. And if you are the fan of Amazing Race, you may have a hint about Eger, because from season 6 it was one of the stops.
Eger was built by St. Stephen, the first Hungarian king, around a former cathedral, founded in the 10th century. The city’s flourishing days were during the Middle Ages when winemaking became the main source of income. In the 16th century, Under Turkish occupation in the 16th century, Eger is altered radically. Most of the churches were converted into mosques; public baths and minarets were built.
Once you are there you must see the Castle of Eger. The castle’s most important role was in the 1500’s during the Turkish occupation, although its history goes back to the 11th century. The Ottoman army attacked Eger two times before the occupation. You can feel the spirit of the Hungarian freedom fighters in the castle. The battles were hopeless, but the small Hungarian army of 2000 ordinary men, women and children defeated the mighty Islamic army of 80000 soldiers. The famous defeat of 1552 is called the ‘Siege of Eger’. This historic event was also the inspiration of an epic historical novel called Egri Csillagok (‘Stars of Eger’) written by our 19th century author Géza Gárdonyi. Till this day his novel is part of the national curriculum. About 45 years later Turks eventually captured Eger and ruled the city for almost a century. The castle is a Museum today which is highly recommended to visit once you’re in Eger.
The archbishop returned the city not long after the Turkish occupation and regained the ecclesiastical status. A lot of beautiful buildings were built in Baroque and Neo-Classicist styles during the 18th and 19th centuries. This mixture of historic buildings makes Eger an architectural diamond. This includes the Archbishop’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of Eger, the Baroque Minorite Church, the Lyceum and many more.
After you parked our rental car in a safe location we suggest you to take a tour on foot, or take a shuttle from the main square – Dobó tér – to the wine valley of Eger called “Szépasszony Völgy”, where you can not only drink fantastic red wine like Bull’s Blood of Eger – Egri Bikavér – or whites like the local Egri Leányka, Olaszrizling, or Debrői Hárslevelű, but you can also eat authentic Hungarian food. The hospitality is very good at the region. You can also see yourself the typical “tufa” cellars famous for this region.