Esztergom is a historic city set on the banks of the Danube River and best-known for its magnificent basilica. Marvel at the centuries-old architecture and visit excellent local history museums. Esztergom is an easy day trip from Budapest, though it’s worth staying a few nights to enjoy everything the city has to offer.
Things to do in Esztergom
Arriving in Esztergom, the first thing you’ll notice is the enormous basilica towering over the city. The Neoclassical monument is perched on a hilltop and is the spiritual heart of the country’s Roman Catholic heritage. Up close, the 72-metre high dome is even more impressive. Inside, you can visit the shadowy crypt and Bakócz Chapel built from gleaming red-and-white marble. Don’t miss the treasury filled with gold, silver and sparkling jewels.
The picturesque Víziváros district stretches along the right bank of the Danube River and is home to some of the city’s most beautiful historic architecture. You’ll stroll past Baroque villas, Neoclassical mansions and a stunning Ottoman mosque. The Christian Museum occupies the old Bishop’s Palace and showcases one of the finest collections of medieval religious art in Europe.
Széchényi Square is a hive of activity and flanked by beautiful Rococo, Baroque and Neoclassical buildings. The square is lined with sidewalk cafes where you can sip coffee and soak in the atmosphere.
Esztergom is a rewarding destination for foodies, with everything from elegant bistros to charming taverns serving traditional Hungarian cuisine. Try local dishes like hearty “goulash”, “halaszle” fish soup and “toltott kaposzta” cabbage leaves stuffed with minced pork, smoked sausage and other fillings.
Getting around Esztergom
Esztergom is compact and easy to get around on foot. The city is about an hour’s drive from Budapest or 1.5 hours by train. Esztergom Station is a 30-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride from the historic centre and Budapest Airport is a 1.5-hour drive away.