Eger, besides the wine, is a nice and old beautiful town. It is located only 140 kilometers far from Budapest and it is the capital one of Hungary’s most famous historical wine regions. The old city center is overlooked by a huge castle. And many popular wines know this territory as its homeland and the popular Egri Bikavér, known as well as bull’s blood, got its cradle in it.
We can very much recommend the town for a visit on a city break from Budapest or for a complete weekend in case of wine lover visitors. To stroll around the old center, to climb up to the castle and enjoy the beautiful views and to end up the day tasting wines. Eger is definetely worth!
The wines of Eger
Eger produces both excellent reds and whites. In the past, it was better known for its white wines but now the reads are increasingly dominating.
The territory conditions are excellent and particular. Eger is close to the foothills of the Bükk mountains. Therefore, some of its wines come from 500 meters high territory. This is the highest wine region in Hungary.
Historically, Eger has had a bond with winemaking since more than one thousand years ago. Even King Stephen aided the development of winemaking and the construction of a real underground maze of cellars.
A bit of wine history of Eger
After the Mongol invasion, the region was repopulated by new settlers, such as the French and the Walloons. The region then benefitted from French viticultural traditions and Walloon cooperage skills. The use of wooden barrels for wine storage became popular replacing the use of water skins.
White varieties dominated until the 17th century until the Serbs arrived with their red wine culture. Then, black varieties began to replace the local white varieties.
The production was steady until the late 19th century, when the region was adversely affected by severe soil erosion and many vineyards were abandoned. Likewise in many other wine areas in Europe, Phylloxera arrived and destroyed almost all the vines so they had to be replaced with new more resistant varieties.
Then, Bikavér became one of Hungary’s most respected and best-known wines. Nevertheless, later on, the mass-produced, industrial wines of the Communist period succeeded in destroying the region’s reputation for quality wine.
Fortunately, since the 1990s, with the change of regime the vineyards began to come back into the hands of small and mid-sized wineries. Nowadays, the cooperation of the producers and the efforts and the feelings of this town and this region is coming over this heritage, working in quality and rebuilding the good image they have had never lost. Don’t miss this work in progress.
What to visit in Eger town besides the wine
Eger, besides the wine, has many things to offer: a nice old center, a beautiful castle, a wine valley and a local charming character.
The Castle of Eger
One of the main tourist attractions of Eger is the Castle, which is located in the center of the city. Its construction dates back to the s. XIII, rising as a defensive building at the time of Stephen I, the first King of Hungary.
Currently you can visit the Castle of Eger, as well as the exhibitions that are held there. The Turkish minaret from the 16th century is still preserved. Unfortunately, the rest of the palace was destroyed in the s. XVIII.
If you expect inner rooms in perfect conditions you should choose any of the very well-preserved Hungarian castles and palaces.
Dobó István tér
In it stands a minor baroque church dating from 1758-1767, as well as the Paloc Museum, whose collection revolves around the utensils of the regional community. There is also the Cathedral which dates back to 1831-1837 and which follows the classicist lines of the architect József Hild.
Szépasszony-völgy, the Valley of the Beautiful Married Women, is the perfect location for wine tastings. This a couple of streets and a square surrounded by cellars and restaurants.
Visitors are welcome in the wine cellars by groups or just alone or in couples. It is possible to taste wines and to eat some of the local specialities as well as to buy some bottles of wine. The quality of the wineries and bars is diverse, choose what is fancy for your taste and don’t hesitate to stay longer, rather than check one more, if you really like the place.
In case of pleasant weather, there is also a possibility for barbecue and grilling outdoors. Visitors can also stroll along the local antique market, where they have the chance to get hold of all kinds of souvenirs. In Szépasszony-völgy, it is possible to catch up with some activities and open-air concerts.
How to get to Eger
You can get to Eger from Budapest by taking the train, by car or by bus.
Trains on the Budapest-Eger route depart daily every hour from Keleti tér station. The trip can take from two hours to two and a half hours, depending on the train you choose.
You can check schedules and ticket fares on Trainline.
The drive from Budapest to Eger is one hour and a half. Take M3 highway -east- to Kerecsend, then take route 25 -north-, until you reach Eger.
To rent a car we recommend a broker such Rentalcars to compare all the prices and choose the best for you after that.
From Budapest to Eger frequent buses leave at Stadionok. The trip takes about two hours.
Where to stay in Eger
Probably the best opcion is to stay close to the center of the old town or very close to Szépasszony-völgy if you are forseeing a long wine tasting.
You can check here your opcions on booking.com
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