The famous wine region, one of Hungary’s largest fortresses, thermal baths, the Valley of Beautiful Women, and the tallest minaret—it’s all about the cool city of Eger, just 130 km away from Budapest. A comprehensive overview of this awesome tourist city: discovering its attractions, restaurants, and how to get there.

Eger: Interesting Facts, General Information

Key Points:

  • Eger is situated 135 km from Budapest in the Alpine foothills.
  • The population of Eger is around 50,000 people.
  • The city has ancient roots, settlements dating back to the 1st century AD. Eger was officially founded in the early 11th century.

Interesting Tidbits:

Apart from the amazing attractions in Eger itself, the highest peak in Hungary, Kékes Mountain, lies 50 km from the city. It’s reachable by car—an overview of Hungary’s mountains and a tourist guide to Kékes Mountain.
Eger valley of beautiful women
A statue welcomes all tourists to the Valley of Beautiful Women. It’s the heart of winemaking in Eger.

Getting from Budapest to Eger

Transportation between Budapest and Eger is excellent. Tourists can easily reach here by car or public transport. I won’t delve into driving details—the expressway from Budapest runs at 130 km/h. Simply drive and arrive. Briefly about public transport:

  • There are over 30 buses daily from Budapest to Eger, departing every 30-40 minutes. Operated by Volanbusz, the journey takes just under 2 hours. A ticket costs around 6 euros. Check schedules and purchase tickets easily on their official website:
Getting to Eger by bus
I’ve taken a screenshot to show the frequency of buses from Budapest to Eger. Price: 2394 forints ≈ roughly 6 euros.
  • Trains offer a similar service to buses. Approximately 20 trains run daily, with hourly services and more frequent during peak hours. The journey takes 2 hours, and tickets range from 6 to 7 euros. You can view schedules and buy tickets on the official Hungarian Railways website:

Top Restaurants in Eger

Like any region in Hungary, Eger ensures you won’t go hungry. Hundreds of restaurants, cafes, bistros—the Hungarian cuisine is delicious and filling. Below are a few top restaurants in Eger worth recommending. Let’s start with the most expensive one in this list:

Eger hungary best restaurants
The average price per dish on the Macok menu is 10-20 euros. For a Michelin-starred restaurant, it’s a steal 🙂

Author’s Rating:

Cons: The menu lacks or has very few classic Hungarian dishes like goulash or pörkölt, and the portions are small. But there are numerous pros: incredibly tasty, exquisite presentation, and prices, for a Michelin-starred restaurant, are relatively low—only about 20-30% higher than average eateries in the city.
  • Egri Halsütöde – a great restaurant for those who couldn’t get into the one above. They’re situated across the street from each other. If Macok is full, head here. The best dish on the menu is halászlé—a thick Hungarian fish soup with tomatoes. Portions are generous, and though the menu is small, everything is delicious and homemade.
  • And the third place where you’ll definitely eat well and, most importantly, drink local wine from the Eger region—Bikavér (Bull’s Blood)—it’s not just one place but a whole quarter on the outskirts of Eger with private cellars and wineries—the Valley of Beautiful Women. But this place will have a separate chapter in the article below.
Eger Hungary
The Valley of Beautiful Women is on the outskirts of Eger. We usually walk from the center; it’s only 2.5 km away.

What to See in Eger: Top 10 Attractions

A map displaying all the main attractions mentioned further in the article. It’ll help you plan your route among all the interesting spots in the city.

An Important Note:

I’ll even talk about the sights not worth spending much time on, despite internet claims that they’re the city’s most iconic places. Often, bloggers just copy information without checking or even visiting the city.

One of the key and unusual attractions in Eger is the Eger Minaret. It’s Europe’s northernmost existing and preserved minaret. Traditionally, it should have had a mosque alongside, but it didn’t survive to our times. The minaret itself was so sturdy that the people of Eger couldn’t even demolish it when they wanted to.

  • Coordinates: 47.90465659667884, 20.37641376349644
  • For the website, opening hours, and current prices, check here. The ticket costs nearly 2 euros.
  • The minaret’s height is 40 meters. There’s an observation deck at 26 meters high, accessible via a spiral staircase with 98 steps.
  • Allocate about 20 minutes for this attraction. Not recommended for claustrophobics or acrophobics.
eger minaret
The top photo shows the view from the minaret’s top. The left photo depicts the minaret itself. The right photo: as we squeeze through the observation deck’s circle at the top of the minaret, there’s hardly enough space even for our feet.

Author’s Rating:

10 out of 10. A great place—go for it. The spiral staircase is very narrow, no room for passing anyone. We ascended with a full-sized man, and he barely fit on the staircase. At the entrance, the guide allows no more than 4 people. Until they all return downstairs, no other visitors are allowed up because there’s no space to pass on the staircase. You’re given 15 minutes for ascent, observation, and descent, which is enough. The top offers a 360-degree view of the entire Eger (see photo). It’s so narrow up there that you walk on tiptoes in a circle, and it’s better not to look down. I highly recommend this attraction in Eger; you’ll experience a lot of emotions 🙂

Across the road from the minaret is the Marzipan Museum. The name says it all—every exhibit here is made of marzipan. The museum is small, and its pride is a whole marzipan room (shown in the photo below).

Marzipan Museum Eger prices
Marzipan Room—every element here is made of marzipan. It’s the center and main exhibit of the Marzipan Museum in Eger.

Author’s Rating:

5 out of 10. Locals unanimously claim this to be the world’s best museum and talk about it with awe. In reality, it’s not that impressive. The marzipan room is indeed beautiful, with three more small rooms. If you’ve visited such museums before, made entirely of chocolate or other foods, you won’t see anything new overall. If you’ve never been, it might be interesting. Personally, we preferred the Shell Museum in Keszthely, where a precise replica of the Hungarian Parliament building was made from 5 million shells. That was a WOW effect. It includes an overview of Keszthely, Lake Balaton, beaches, what to see, and how to get there. There are photos of the parliament building made of shells.

The main attraction of the city and its symbol—the Eger Fortress. Built in the 13th century, it was captured several times by the Turks. It’s known in Hungarian history for one of the greatest feats of the Hungarian people.

In 1552, the Ottomans besieged the fortress with their 40,000-strong army. Inside, 2,000 people sought refuge, including women and children. The defense was led by István Dobó, today a national hero of the city. After five weeks of siege, the Turks, having lost almost their entire army, retreated without taking the fortress.

After 44 years, in 1596, they returned, and the fortress fell, making Eger part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 100 years. It was during this period that mosques and the minaret mentioned earlier appeared in the city.

Interesting to Know:

In Hungary, there’s the Sümeg Fortress, which no one has ever captured throughout its history. The Turks attempted dozens of times, but the fortress held strong. Among the Hungarians, there was even a saying: “As long as Sümeg stands, it’s too early to pray for Mecca.” For those interested in forts and palaces, I recommend an article: the best palaces and castles in Hungary.
  • Coordinates of Eger Fortress: 47.90453855311495, 20.37989984360991
  • Official website:
  • Opening hours: 9 AM to 6 PM, in summer until 7 PM.
  • The fortress area is vast. Entry into the inner courtyard is free. There are numerous observation decks, interesting exhibits, cannons, and more—all for free.
  • Additionally, there are about 5 museums and several thematic exhibitions here. Entry to the museums is chargeable. A full-day ticket for all museums and fortress exhibitions costs around 10 euros. For this price, you get access to:
    • Weapon Museum
    • Hall of Heroes
    • Historical Exhibition
    • Hungarian Folklore Museum
    • Prison beneath the museum walls
    • Access to the fortress’s underground corridors
    • Eger Fortress History Museum
    • And a few more smaller exhibits
Eger Fortress price
The fortress is huge, and I don’t have a photo showing it entirely. This is one of the fortress walls and walking paths on the hill.

Author’s Rating:

10 out of 10. Eger’s main attraction, very well-preserved and a large fortress. There’s plenty of walking space and areas to relax. It’s interesting for both children and adults, offering beautiful views of the city. Whether to buy tickets to the museums or not, decide for yourself, but everyone should visit the free part.

Statue of the Heroes of Eger. A very dynamic composition depicting a Hungarian warrior on horseback fighting two Turks. The statue is dedicated not to a specific hero but is a collective image of all Hungarians defending their land.

Eger attractions map
I took the photo from a distance so that you can see not only the statue of the Heroes of Eger but also the Eger Fortress on the hill and children climbing the stairs.

Author’s Rating:

8 out of 10. It’s the country’s history, something to remember. Easily visit it on your way between the center of Eger and the Eger Fortress.

There are numerous temples, churches, and cathedrals in Eger. Listing them all is unnecessary; most are easily spotted while wandering through the city center. I want to highlight the coolest church in town, a must-visit: the Eger Basilica. Constructed in the 19th century, its dome reaches a height of 40 meters.

  • The Basilica is the third-largest church in Hungary. It’s impressive from the outside, and even more so within.
  • Coordinates: 47.89949219779788, 20.37301351262002
  • Official website:
  • Access to the main hall of the Basilica is free. To enter the crypt and some additional areas, there’s no fixed fee; a donation is suggested, around 1-2 euros.
  • As of November 2023, restoration work is ongoing in the main hall of the Basilica. Despite that, it remains open for visitors to appreciate its scale and grandeur.
Basilica in Eger
The Eger Basilica maintains its beauty even during restoration. The altar is covered with construction film, but the ceiling, walls, and frescoes remain exposed.

Author’s Rating:

8 out of 10. If you appreciate religious themes, it’s a must-visit. Also, take note of the small city of Esztergom, north of Budapest, where you’ll find Hungary’s largest church. Explore Esztergom and more here

István Dobó Square is named after the very same István who led the defense of Eger Fortress in 1552. The square features a beautiful cathedral and the town hall, serving as the starting point for all pedestrian streets in Eger’s historic center.

  • Coordinates: 47.902435863326765, 20.376863559520665
  • Accessible 24/7 and, of course, free.
  • There are many cafes, restaurants, a fountain, and the István Dobó monument here. It’s a classic, beautiful city center with a history spanning over 1000 years.
Dobo Stephen Square in Eger
István Dobó Square and the monument. In the background, the Eger Fortress; behind the photographer, the cathedral and the town hall.

Author’s Rating:

7 out of 10. I’ve seen squares in European capitals much grander and majestic. But this is the city center; you won’t miss it. Plan around 15 minutes to leisurely stroll or enjoy a coffee with a view of the fortress.

These weren’t all the attractions in Eger, but certainly the most popular, famous, and recommended by locals. While wandering the streets of the old center, you’ll discover many more interesting buildings and spots. Below, I’ll share two more incredibly cool locations that draw thousands of tourists here. But before that, a brief mention of the “wonder of the world” everyone talks about: Sódomb or the salt mines.

  • They’re located outside the city, about 6-7 km from Eger
  • Sódomb: 47.853122910474234, 20.334613299491995
  • These are multi-level salt mines, as well as thermal springs with high calcium content. They aren’t suitable for bathing, so no baths are there.
  • Around 5 years ago, this place could have become a prominent attraction known throughout the country. But, as always, things turned out differently.
eger salt mines
Top photo: as it was 5 years ago; bottom photo: 2 years ago. And now, everything is overgrown, a fence was installed in 2023, and it’s unclear what will happen here in a couple of years.

Author’s Rating:

1 out of 10. In the last 3 years, this place has overgrown and become dirty. In 2023, a fence was installed, and it’s impossible to get close for a good view. Nothing much can be seen from the ground. Visitors to the Saliris Resort – Spa Conference Hotel thermal complex might get a decent view of this attraction, as well as from a quadcopter. Only if you’re passing by and have a lot of free time should you consider a visit. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.

Eger Thermal Baths

Eger, like many Hungarian cities, has its thermal springs, around which thermal baths and entire medical facilities have been built. And since the Turks ruled here for over 100 years, they managed to build Turkish baths too.

Visiting Eger’s baths is a must. To avoid confusion, below are some general points to help you understand.

eger thermal baths price
The main entrance to the baths. For the Turkish baths, the entrance is from the other side of the complex, about 300 meters away. Don’t get confused.

You’ve seen where the spas are located on the map mentioned earlier. Here’s what you need to know about it. The whole complex consists of two separate parts:

  • Thermal Baths or Termalfurdo: 47.896656220472266, 20.38236178361556 (entrance here)
    • Website:
    • Full-day pass: 10 euros.
    • Operating hours: from 9 AM to 7 PM.
    • They include 13 regular pools, 4 of which are outdoors and seasonal. There are also 4 fantastic thermal pools: 2 indoors with therapeutic water (sulfuric, smells like rotten eggs) and 2 outdoors, open all year round. One of the 2 outdoor pools maintains a water temperature of around +40 degrees, even in winter.
    • The complex caters to both children and adults. There are fewer entertainments for children, but there are some.
    • In summer, there’s a large Open Air zone with sun loungers, pools, and family entertainment.
thermal baths eger
Top photo: two large indoor thermal pools, open all year round. Water temperature: +37 degrees. Middle photo: an outdoor large thermal pool, open all year round. Water temperature: 30-32 degrees. Bottom photo: the hottest thermal pool, water temperature: +40 degrees. Open all year round. All photos are personal, taken in October and November. Notice the number of people.

Author’s Rating:

10 out of 10. An incredibly fantastic place, the baths operate year-round, and you can sit in an open-air hot pool in January. There are hundreds of times fewer people than in the baths in Budapest. This is evident in the photos. One thing to note: the lockers in the changing rooms use a regular key. To get the key, you’ll have to leave a deposit of 1000 forints (2.5 euros) at the cloakroom, and you’ll get it back when you leave. There’s a cafe/bar on the spa grounds where you can buy a hamburger and have a beer. Prices are moderate. In the summer, you should spend the entire day here. In winter, 3-4 hours are sufficient.

The second part of the complex consists of the Turkish baths. Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • Entrance Coordinates: 47.89843117041321, 20.382276482412173 (entrance from the other side of the thermal baths).
  • Operating hours: On weekends, they’re open from 9 AM to 7 PM. On weekdays, they start at 4:30 PM. It’s better to check the operating hours on the website as they often change depending on the month.
  • Before 4:30 PM on weekdays, the Turkish baths are only open to local residents with medical referrals from a doctor.
  • Official Website:
  • Price: 3500 forints (9 euros) for a 2.5-hour visit. There are no full-day, unlimited-time tickets available.
  • The Turkish baths include: 6 pools, 1 sauna, 1 infrared cabin, 1 aroma room.
  • All pools contain thermal water enriched with radon. Depth: 90 cm. Water temperatures vary in each pool but range from 30 degrees. 3 out of the 6 pools have water temperatures of 37-40 degrees.
Turkish baths Eger
Turkish Baths: The top photo shows the hottest and most Instagrammable pool, a reason to visit. All the others are smaller, with cooler water.

Author’s Rating:

8 out of 10. Very cool and atmospheric. Great architecture, but the Turkish baths complex is quite small; there’s not much to do here for 2.5 hours.

Generally, all tourists head to the thermal baths, while locals prefer the Turkish baths. I prefer the thermal baths because there’s plenty of space, many pools, including outdoor ones, and a huge area. Yes, it doesn’t have the beautiful architecture like the Turkish baths, but that’s the only downside.

You can confidently plan to spend half a day at the thermal baths, relax, and improve your health. And in the evening, head off to explore the Valley of Beautiful Women

The Valley of Beautiful Women

Let me briefly tell you the background:

  • In Hungary, it’s not just about Tokaji wine. There are 31 wine regions, and each produces amazing wines.
  • The most famous Hungarian red wine is Bikaver, translating to “Bull’s Blood.” And the most renowned region for producing Bikaver is Eger. The wine is called Egri Bikaver.
  • Eger is one of Hungary’s largest wine regions. There are many private wineries, cellars, and vineyards. To attract tourism, they created the “Valley of Beautiful Women” on the outskirts of Eger.
  • Today, it’s a whole quarter made up solely of wine restaurants and cellars. You can stroll from one place to another, tasting the local wine.
hungary best wine eger
The most famous red wine in Hungary, Egri Bikaver, is made from the grapes around Eger. A bottle in local stores costs from 2 euros.

The Valley of Beautiful Women is located 2.5 kilometers from the center of Eger. We usually walk leisurely for about 30 minutes. Taxis are also available. In the summer season, a tourist train shuttles from the city center. Here’s all you need to know about taxis in Hungary as a tourist.

For a comprehensive review of this valley, its cellars, and how it all looks, check out the article on alcoholic beverages and wines in Hungary. There’s no point in repeating this information here.

On the map of Eger’s attractions mentioned earlier, I marked the boundaries of this valley. Today, it has expanded and now covers an area larger than officially indicated on maps. At every step, you’ll find either a winery or a cozy restaurant.

In Conclusion: Eger is one of the best cities in Hungary for tourists. It has numerous advantages: close to Budapest, excellent transportation, beautiful architecture with 1000 years of history, one of the country’s largest fortresses, and amazing thermal baths. As a bonus, you get a wine region and the unique “Valley of Beautiful Women,” home to dozens of wineries and cellars. Feel free to visit for 2-3 days; you won’t regret it.

Remember, Hungary is not just Budapest. There are many other fantastic locations, and Eger is one of them!

IMPORTANT: Below are useful links that will help organize your trip to Hungary and Budapest:

  • Flight: Aviasales – compares prices for flights among 30+ airlines flying to Budapest.
  • Tours and excursions:
    • Viator and GetYourGuide – the best services for finding tours in Budapest and Hungary with the largest database of activities in Hungary. They offer river cruises on the Danube, tickets to baths, and 1000+ tours (available in different languages).
  • Accommodation, apartments, hotels, hostels:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Hungary
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – the leading and largest car rental service in Hungary.
  • Travel Insurance: EKTA.
  • eSIMAiralo virtual SIM card in Hungary.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel