Probably you have never heard about Kőszeg. Big mistake. In this article we will show you why you should visit and what to do in Kőszeg. An actual Hungarian pearl in the western extreme of the country.
Kőszeg is a very beautiful town in Hungary close to the Austrian border. The old town is fully pedestrianized so it is a pleasure to walk and get lost in its streets. The town is clean and organized. It has some cosy cafés, lovely colorful ancient buildings and picturesque squares.
It is perfect for a stopover in a journey from Vienna to Lake Balaton. Since Kőszeg is close to the Austrian border it is a quite popular destination for Austrians, since the Hungarian towns are funnier and cheaper. Even though Kőszeg is not a very touristy town, you will be able to park your car easily and find a table for dinner. No booking ahead is needed.
You can visit the most iconic places in Kőszeg in two or three hours. Nevertheless, taking half a day would be a better idea and enough to understand how the town works.
What to do in Kőszeg
Jurisics Castle of Kőszeg
The castle is the main symbol of the city and the real must-see in Kőszeg during your visit. The oldest part dates from the 13th century, although the building, as it is seen today, is from the year 1777, when it was rebuilt after suffering significant damage during a fire. After the reconstruction its use changed from defensive to residential. In the first courtyard of the castle there is a statue by Sándor Mikus (1963) in honor of Miklos Jurisics, a Croatian general who fought against the Turkish in Hungary.
The castle is historically significant to Hungarians, but even if the visitor doesn’t know history enough, it provides a very interesting visit.
The Castle District of Kőszeg
The castle district also has beautiful medieval houses, churches and good restaurants. Shopping in town is good too and for the visitor probably this district would be the best to satisfy their needs.
The Jurisics Tér is the heart of the city and one of the most beautiful squares in all Hungary. It is a very interesting and colorful architectural complex that houses two churches and the Town Hall. In the surroundings there are shops where you can buy souvenirs from your visit to Kőszeg and restaurants where you can eat or just sit and enjoy the square while having a drink. You will get from there the Heroes’ Gate.
The Heroes’ Gate
The Gate of Heroes is possibly the most charming corner of Kőszeg. The current gate from 1932, built in homage to the 400 years of the Turkish siege of the city, was built in the same place where the main gate of the city from the 14th century was located and which was demolished in 1880.
You can climb the 27 meters high of the tower for € 3 and enjoy a beautiful view of the old city with the mountains in the background.
Probably the most picturesque square in town. You only need to reach one of its angles and open the angle of your camera. The combination of the colors and shapes of the buildings is really awesome.
The Sacred Heart Church of Kőszeg
Situated in Kőszeg’s Fő tér square, you can’t miss this pretty church which serves as the town’s main religious building. Definitely worth getting in and taking a little stroll later on, out in the square.
How to get to Kőszeg
Although you can get to Kőszeg by public transport, the easiest way is by car.
From Vienna it is possible to arrive in Kőszeg by bus in 2hrs but there is only one bus per week.
From Budapest, it is almost 6 hours because you need to take a Balaton bus first and to stop many times. This would be your last choice.
The best way by train would be from Keleti , changing at Szombathely for Kőszeg. Depending on which train you get, it takes between 3hrs 20 and 4 hrs.
Check all train options with Trainline.
From Budapest it takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes (238km) on the M1 and M86 to get to Kőszeg.
From Vienna the way to Kőszeg is shorter and should not be more than 1 hour 30 minutes.
Where to stay in Kőszeg
Check down here your best options to stay in Kőszeg.
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