Spend this morning exploring Miskolc, the largest city in northern Hungary. You may want to wander the pedestrian streets of the historic heart, lined with beautifully restored 18th and 19th-century buildings. Or head to the suburb of Diósgyőr, where the main attraction is the enormous castle
. The earliest fort on the site was probably built around the 12th century, though much of what visitors see today is a recent reconstruction completed in 2014. If you’d rather explore a quieter village in the area, Lillafüred is 30 minutes from Miskolc and surrounded by the forests of the Bükk Mountains.
Have lunch in Miskolc at Dűlő
, an inviting restaurant that serves typical Hungarian dishes (duck liver, rabbit stew) in its own garden (on warm days) and in a cozy dining room (on cooler ones). Another popular option in town is Pizza, Kávé, Világbéke
. That translates as “pizza, coffee, and world peace,” and at least the first two served here are excellent. After lunch, visit the single most famous attraction near Miskolc, the Thermal Cave Baths
in Miskolctapolca. A maze of canals is illuminated by lights in various colors, while pools at different temperatures invite long soaks. It’s one of several notable baths and springs in the region. Others are Eger’s Turkish baths
, which date from the Ottoman era and include six pools and a hammam, and Egerszalók
, with its so-called “salt hill” formed from the accumulation of minerals in the waters that feed the spa below it.
You can either return to Budapest at the end of the day or spend the night at the Lillafüred Palace Hotel
, a grand dame with a Renaissance-style design. Completed in 1929, the lavish hotel was thoroughly modernized in 1993. Or opt for something about as far from an old European style palace as you can imagine: the Treehouses
in Noszvaj, where minimalist cabins sit in a magical forest setting—and each comes with its own Jacuzzi.