Visiting Miskolc, Hungary during the winter holidays

ACTIVITIES, STAFF, EUROPE, WALKING/HIKING — By on January 13, 2017 at 23:55

Text & photos © Estrella Azul

I FIRST VISITED Miskolc in 2005, and it just so happened that I re-visited this city in Hungary (approx. population 160,000) every five years after that.

I don’t recall as much from my first visit as I do from the following two. I guess seeing the city with the eyes of a teenager I simply took in the beauty and carried on talking with my friend about all sorts of then-relevant-to-us topics.

Mindszent Square with the Roman Catholic Church in the background

Mindszent Square with the Roman Catholic Church in the background

During my second visit in 2010, I focused a bit more on the architecture. While walking around the city, I made sure to take many photos with my digital camera. It was a step up from the old-fashioned camera I traveled with the first time.

Gorgeous, mostly 19th century buildings

Gorgeous, mostly 19th century buildings

One of my favorite parts of that trip was going to the Avas viewpoint in Miskolc to see the city at night.

Miskolc City at night

Miskolc City at night

On my latest trip to Miskolc, I traveled there with my boyfriend in December 2015 to ring in the New Year. I took him to all the pretty places I knew about and tried to document them all in winter photos.

The sights of the city, the restaurants, museums, baths and shops downtown fit so well together that tourists are bound to have a really good time in Miskolc.

Talizmán Restaurant and Guest House

Talizmán Restaurant and Guest House

The trip overall was awesome, despite the bitter cold. Miskolctapolca (annexed to Miskolc in the 1950s) holds Hungary’s record for lowest temperature: −35° C on 16 February, 1940. Even though it wasn’t anywhere near that cold, I actually had to buy myself not one but two new hats. The hat I took with me just wasn’t cutting it in the −15° C weather we were walking through in downtown Miskolc.

Art on the walls of downtown Miskolc

Art on the walls of downtown Miskolc

We found this little Albanese bakery downtown, Toti Príma Albán Pékség, where the best giant pizza and the most delicious vanilla and cherry muffins are made. We went back twice—and even stopped by before heading back home to get yummy treats for the road.

Deliciousness in Toti Prima Bakery

Deliciousness in Toti Príma Bakery

Miskolc, like most cities around the world during wintertime, dresses up for the holidays. I loved spotting the Christmas tram! Aside from its pretty painted exterior, it’s decorated with garlands, wreaths and Christmas lights, has Christmas music playing, and even has an electric fireplace inside.

The Christmas tram

The Christmas tram

Then there are all the pretty lights and decoration-adorned shop windows which add an extra touch of charm to the streets at night.

City bauble-lights

Festive bauble-lights

The downtown area is also a place to admire the corner street clock, a stone calendar on the sidewalk where you can function as a living clock hand (works like sun clocks do), carved stones to sit on and people-watch, and street lamps which are beautiful in daylight as well as after dark.

Street lamps, the corner clock and a sidewalk calendar

Street lamps, the corner clock and a sidewalk calendar

According to both locals and Wikipedia, Miskolc is the fourth largest city in Hungary and the county capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, as well as the regional centre of Northern Hungary.

A peek at the Reformed Church

A peek at the Reformed Church

Personally I’ve only been to this part of Hungary during summer before, so it was a new perspective for me, and I got to see a few things that I haven’t visited before.

Avas Cemetery is one of those places. Located next to Miskolc’s oldest church, it’s a museum in its own right, dating back to the 14th century. Sadly, dated tombstones have only been preserved from the second half of the 17th century, and the oldest tombstones line the cemetery paths.

Avas Cemetery, which dates back to the 14th century

Avas Cemetery

We stayed in Miskolctapolca, a forest-y, resort-type suburb that is one of the most popular tourist towns in Hungary. We got into downtown Miskolc from Miskolctapolca. We also took day trips to Lillafüred, Eger and to Budapest.

In the little mountain resort of Lillafüred, the waterfall is frozen during winter. In my 2012 travel article, Some Medieval and Natural Gems of Lillafüred, Hungary, I recall writing this: “In winter, the frozen waterfall unfolds a unique and spectacular landscape. I’ll definitely have to see that for myself one day. And then share it with all of you.”

The frozen waterfall, a must-see!

The frozen waterfall, a must-see!


Maze in Lillafüred, Hungary

Tiny, pretty maze on one of the terraces of Lillafüred near the waterfall

Before leaving, we went to Miskolctapolca’s Cave Bath for a day of thermal baths and relaxation. We ended up only taking a walk in its park, since we didn’t know the Cave Bath can be visited all year long with the exception of January. However, it was well worth the walk. The park is large and filled with wildlife due to its location. We saw squirrels, many types of birds, ducks and even a swan on the lake.

Eerie benches in a frozen scene

Eerie benches in a frozen scene


The lake in the Cave Bath's park with an air of mystery

The lake in the Cave Bath’s park with an air of mystery

The walk in this beautiful frozen scene was the perfect end to our stay in Miskolc.

———

Estrella in the Greek Amphitheatre ruins, Taormina, Sicily

Estrella Azul is a young emerging writer, passionate about reading, floral art and photography, with an artistic personality and a soulful outlook on life. She is a Hungarian girl living and writing from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the capital of historical region Transylvania. Estrella is our European correspondent, she currently serves as the photo editor here at Milliver’s Travels, and she dreams of embarking on a round-the-world trip. To read more of her creative writing, her thoughts and daily happenings, visit Life’s a stage – WebBlog©. Read more of her stories on Milliver’s Travels by visiting Estrella’s story index.

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