With a Mediterranean climate and some 2,000 years of history, Pécs is an inviting place to dive into Hungary’s long history as a cultural crossroads. Start the day visiting, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an early Christian mausoleum
discovered in 1975, and continue on to see some of the town’s Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque highlights. The period of Ottoman occupation, which lasted for 143 years, is reflected in the minaret and mosque
that still stand here, though the mosque was converted to a Catholic church after the Muslims occupiers were expelled.
Cultural life in Pécs isn’t limited to history books. Two of the city’s more recent artists of note, Victor Vasarely
, the father of Op-Art, and the giant of Hungarian painting Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka
, are celebrated in museums named after them and housing many of their most important works. One of the gems of Pécs, the beautiful Zsolnay Quarter is home to historic porcelain factory buildings that have been meticulously restored and many now house artisans’ shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Climb the hill just to the north of the historic heart of Pécs, for dinner at Tettye Restaurant
, a family-run favorite serving traditional Swabian favorites from casseroles to dumplings.