10 Things To Do In Pecs, Hungary: A One-Day Itinerary

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by Michael Rozenblit

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Though it doesn’t make it onto many itineraries through Hungary or Central Europe, there are many things to do in Pecs that make it a city worth visiting. Located in the south of Hungary, this compact and historic city is an absolute joy to visit.

Combining traditional Central European charms with a lot of history and interesting sites, Pecs is one of the best places to get a bit off the beaten path while visiting Hungary. Located within easy reach via train from the Hungarian capital, Pecs is a great little town to visit if you want to see more of the country beyond Budapest.

So if you’re asking yourself is Pecs worth visiting or want to know what to do in the city, this guide will help you plan out your time in this lovely Hungarian town.

How Many Days in Pecs?

So how many days should you spend in Pecs? The city itself is quite small and there aren’t a ton of sites to take in, so you really need one full day in the city. Pecs is a bit too far from Budapest to make it a good destination for a day trip, however, it can be a great place to break up a journey.

For instance, it’s a good stopping-off point if you want to visit some places in inland Croatia, such as Osijek, and you can even stop for a night or two while en route to Zagreb. You could also use it as a base if travelling onward to Serbia or elsewhere in the Balkans.

Szechenyi Square
Szechenyi Square in Pecs

Getting To & Around Pecs

As a major city in Hungary, you can easily reach Pecs via train. There are countless connections from Budapest to the city throughout the day and the journey will take about 3 hours. You can view schedules here.

If you get an early enough start, you can arrive in Pecs in the late morning, spend the day sightseeing, spend the night in the city and then continue to another destination the following morning.

Keep in mind that if you’re planning on visiting a city like Zagreb in Croatia or Novi Sad or Belgrade in Serbia after Pecs, then there are not any direct bus or train connections. To the former, you will need to transfer at the border and to the latter cities, you will need to transfer in the city of Szeged.

If you’re on a road trip, Pecs makes for an excellent city to break up a long drive and you won’t need to be concerned about bus or train connections.

Once in Pecs, you can easily get around on foot. The old town and city centre is very compact and easy to walk around. The sites in the itinerary below are all accessible on foot, however, if you need it, there are buses that you can catch in the city, as well.

There is no need to have a car in Pecs itself and if you’re visiting with one, it’s best to leave it parked during your exploration.

Pecs Town Hall
Pecs Town Hall

10 Things To Do In Pecs

There are lots of great things to do in and around Pecs and it’s a lovely place to visit and wander around for a day. For those looking to get a holistic view of Hungary and who want to head to a city that doesn’t get a lot of international visitors, then make sure to head to this little city.

Calvary Hill

Begin your time here with an excellent view over Pecs at Calvary Hill. Here, you can get your bearings and see all of the top landmarks fanned out below you. Located just above the old town, you can get to the top of the hill in about 10 minutes from the main square.

There is a small church at the top of the hill, however, it isn’t open to the public. This is no bother, though, as you’re up here to get a great view of the city and it’s the perfect place to start off your day and one of the best things to do in the city!

Pecs Cathedral

Meander your way down the hill and walk about 10 minutes to the Pecs Cathedral, one of the main landmarks in the city.

Officially known as the Sts Peter and Paul’s Cathedral Basilica, this beautiful Roman Catholic church is built in the neo-Romanesque and has stood here in this form since the late 19th Century, however, there is evidence that there has been a cathedral or religious building on this site on this site from as early as the 4th Century CE.

You can enter the cathedral for a fee and, if you’re up for it, you can also opt to climb one of the four bell towers surrounding the church. This will treat you to beautiful views over the city. There is also a fascinating basement in the church to explore that is great to take in, as well.

Though the cathedral in its current form is relatively new, there is a lot of history to take in here and the site itself holds a lot of power.

Pecs Cathedral
Pecs Cathedral

Cella Septichora Visitor Centre

The next stop on your Pecs itinerary should be at the city’s fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site – an archaeological museum that houses the site of an early Christian burial in the early Christian town of Sopianae (which became Pecs).

These are late Roman-era catacombs that their way under the city and they are super interesting to visit while in Pecs. This is one of the most fascinating things to see in the city.

It is worth visiting this museum if you’re interested in the early history of Pecs and want to appreciate just how old this beautiful little city is. Nearby, it’s also worth taking in the Early Christian Mausoleum, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Heading a little bit further from the Cathedral and the ancient burial site you will find the Pecs Barbican, a remaining gate from the old city walls and an unmissible attraction in the city.

Though the old town of Pecs isn’t completely walled today, you can still see the remnants of the former walls and appreciate the fortress that this city once was.

There is a little park surrounding the Barbican and you can also climb to the top of the tower – another great place for a panoramic view over the city. Take the time to stroll around here, it’s really beautiful and allows you to see the layers of antiquity that the city boasts.

The Barbican
The Barbican


As you make your way around the old town, you will likely encounter the Laktafal. While you’re sure to be aware of “love locks” that couples place on bridges (and then affect the structural integrity of said bridge), Pecs has a different answer.

What this place translates to is “wall of padlocks” which is exactly what this is – local (and visiting) couples will “lock” their love by placing a padlock on this little wall. It’s a cute and romantic place to stop when you’re visiting Pecs.

Széchenyi Square

You’ve already done some of the top things to do in the city, however, you haven’t even made it to the main square! And there is no trip to this lovely Hungarian city that is complete without spending some time enjoying the ambience and atmosphere of Scéchenyi Square.

This square is lined with cafes and historic buildings with gorgeous Art Nouveau architecture, such as the beautiful Town Hall and views of the Mosque of Pasha Qasim. Like countless squares of this type, Scéchenyi Square used to be the main market during medieval times.

Today, however, it is notable as the central gathering place in the city and it is truly a lovely place to kick back, people-watch and simply enjoy the vibes that come here.

Mosque of Pasha Qasim
Mosque of Pasha Qasim

Mosque of Pasha Qasim

While in the main square, you cannot miss the imposing Mosque of Pasha Qasim. Though this building is no longer a mosque and is now officially known as the Downtown Candlemas Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is a Roman Catholic church – historically, it was built as a mosque during the Ottoman occupation of this area.

While this building has been a church since the early 18th Century when the Habsburgs regained control, it still retains its original Islamic architecture and styling.

In fact, though its minaret was destroyed in the latter half of the 18th Century, it is still one of the best-preserved Ottoman relics in Hungary.

Take the time to tour this now-church and be impressed by the beautiful and unique styling inside.

Pecs Synagogue

From the main square, walk a few hundred metres south, past the beautiful Zsolnay Fountain, to another beautiful religious site in the old town of Pecs — the Pecs Synagogue.

Built in the 19th Century, this Neolog (which is somewhat similar to Reform Judaism) Synagogue is a lovely building that is still functioning today.

Though Hungary once had quite a large Jewish population with hundreds of active synagogues and places of worship throughout the country, today that is no longer the case. However, the Pecs Synagogue is one that is still operating prayers and services.

If you want to learn more about Jews in Hungary or want to gain an understanding of Hungarian Neolog Judaism, then touring this building is a great idea. Keep in mind that it will be closed to visitors on Saturdays and Friday evenings.

Pecs Synagogue
Pecs Synagogue

Wander the Old Town

After taking in all of these great historic sites,l end your day by simply wandering around the old town and enjoying the laid-back and youthful atmosphere of Pecs.

Wind your way down Kiraly Street – a pedestrianised street in the centre of the old town. Here you will find many bars and restaurants if you’re looking for somewhere to relax.

You could also take this time to visit some other landmarks within the old town. For instance, you could see the ornate National Theatre or visit some museums.

Depending on what you’re after, some options include the Victor Vasarely Museum for modern art, the Csontváry Museum which houses art from major Hungarian artists and the Zsolnay Porcelain Museum for beautiful, historic ceramics.

Hike to the Pecs TV Tower

If you’re looking for something a bit more active or have more than a day in Pecs and want to experience a little bit of nature, then consider hiking up to the Pecs TV tower.

Located on Mecsek Mountain overlooking the city, there are several hiking trails where you can wind your way to the top – it will take about an hour to reach the tower if you go on foot.

For those who aren’t interested in hiking but are still interested in visiting this communist-era TV tower, you can drive up there (or take a taxi). It’s worth it to pay the small entry fee to the tower and head up to the observation deck in order to get absolutely spectacular panoramic views over the city.

Walking to the TV Tower in Pecs
Hiking to the TV Tower in Pecs

Where to Stay in Pecs

Szinbád Hotel – This 3-star hotel is a comfortable place to stay in Pecs. They have a number of cosy rooms, a central location, an on-site restaurant, free parking and a superb breakfast offered daily.

Palatinus Boutique Hotel – Those looking for an upmarket stay will love this hip hotel in the centre of Pecs. They have a number of beautiful rooms, breakfast, a bar, room service and on-site parking.

Nap Hostel Pecs – Backpackers will love this cosy hostel in central Pecs. They have several different room types to choose from, good common areas and clean facilities available to guests.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Pecs hotels!

Pecs is a beautiful city in Hungary that really doesn’t see the tourist numbers it deserves. With a lot to offer visit, plenty of history and a youthful energy, spending a day exploring Pecs is a great idea on any trip to Central Europe.

Are you planning to visit Pecs? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael


  1. Thanks for this post. After spending a month in Budapest (January- too damn cold!) several year ago, I fell for the city hard and think it’s one of the very best in world; I’m going back for a few days this summer and can’t wait. But the problem is I’m letting my love for Budapest overshadow the rest of Hungary. I really need to tear myself away from the capital to explore a few other places.

    Pécs seems like such a beautiful city and one that I would now like to hit up. That first picture of the tulips was gorgeous.

    • The same thing happened to me…I absolutely love Budapest but was really glad I finally made it another part of Hungary on my last trip! Pecs is lovely and definitely worth a visit! 🙂

  2. You have very awesome destinations! We love places like these—destinations that are relatively untouched by mass tourism.

    • Thanks! We try to get off the main tourist track and get to know the culture and people a bit more. Pécs is a lovely city that definitely isn’t as touristy as Budapest!


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