Szolnok is a small Hungarian town on the banks of the Tisza River, which, despite its size, is well known to thousands of Russians. And some of them were even born there. At one time, several large Soviet military units were stationed in the city, including an air defense anti-aircraft missile regiment. So, having once arrived in this provincial town located 100 km from Budapest, you should not be surprised to hear Russian spoken on its streets – former colleagues often make appointments here. But Szolnok will also be of interest to travelers who collect cozy neat European cities. Due to its proximity to the capital, you can easily come here for at least half a day.
How to get to Szolnok
According to wholevehicles, Szolnok is connected to Budapest by a railway line, which the train overcomes in 1.5 hours. The trains depart from the Nyugati and Keleti stations, located next to the metro stations of the same name. You can check the schedule at website (in English) of the Hungarian Railways.
From the airport. Franz Liszt you can get to the railway station by taxi, shuttle or public transport: first, take bus number 200E to the station. m “Kebanya-Kishpest”, and then – to the station. m. “Keleti payaudvar” (red and green lines) or “Nyugati payaudvar” (blue line).
The Szolnok city public transport system began its history in 1921. 65 buses run daily on 29 lines connecting all parts of the city. But the town is quite small, so there is no need to use public transport. The historic center of the city is a paid parking zone. There are no centralized bike rental stations, but some hotels and bike shops provide bikes. It is better to call a taxi by phone, it is cheaper than if you catch a car on the street. Taxis must have roof lights and yellow numbers.
Hotels in Szolnok – for every taste. Moreover, the cost of living in them pleasantly surprises. The cheapest option is to spend the night in a small guest house: HUF 9,000-12,000 for a double room with breakfast. A little more expensive – in two- and three-star hotels: 15,000-17,000 HUF per day. 4 * hotels with thermal pools offer standard double rooms with breakfast for 21,000-27,000 HUF per night. There are no hostels.
Cafes and restaurants
Salnok catering establishments are not anything special. It is dominated by small neat cafes serving dishes of Hungarian and German cuisines, but without tourist chips like soup in bread. Prices are standard – goulash costs 1000 HUF, fish from Balaton with a side dish of vegetables – 2000 HUF per person. Dinner at the restaurant, including duck liver salad with Tokay wine sauce, farm turkey breast roll with vegetables and creme brulee dessert, will cost 5000 HUF per person.
Fast food is also without revelations – the townspeople prefer coffee to go and sandwiches, since there is no shortage of coffee shops. There are several McDonald’s.
Attractions in Szolnok
Although Szolnok is not particularly rich in tourist attractions, you can find several interesting places here, especially on the right bank in the historical part of the city, where buildings of various architectural styles are located. For example, the Evangelical Church and the city hall building are designed in the style of eclecticism, the Tisa Hotel is among the representatives of the neo-baroque. The Franciscan monastery and the Trinity Church (18-19 centuries) with saints in Hungarian national costumes on icons are responsible for the Baroque style.
The footbridge across the Tisza is the longest in Central Europe.
The Art Colony Museum (Gutenberg ter, 12) was founded in 1902 and became the place of work for well-known artists in Hungary: Sandor Bihari, Adolf Fenyes, Vilmos Aba-Novak, etc. Today, exhibitions and a biennale are held in an old modern building. On the territory of the colony there are art objects in the form of stones, from which the castle that stood here was once built.
In the building of the former railway station, one of the oldest in Hungary (1847), the Aviation Museum (Indohaz ut, 4-6) was opened. At first, it specialized exclusively in military equipment, but recently the exposition has been supplemented by a section dedicated to civil aviation. The collection is divided into 2 parts. The first is in the open air with airplanes, helicopters, aircraft engines, the second is in the building – weapons, uniforms, photographs. The entrance is free.
The museum contains fragments of aircraft shot down over Hungary during World War II: Messerschmitt Bf.109, Il-2, LaGG-5. The collection also includes the famous Li-2, the only airworthy specimen.
In the building of the former synagogue, built in 1898-99. in an eclectic style, today the Szolnok Art Gallery (Templom utca, 2) is located. Temporary exhibitions, creative evenings and concerts are held here.
Another attraction is the footbridge across the Tisza, the longest in Central Europe. It connects the city center with Tishaliget Park, the largest recreational area. The bridge, resembling a flying insect, looks even more impressive at night when the backlight turns on.
Szolnok has a temperate continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. But both heat and frost soften a little due to the abundance of rivers and lakes in the vicinity.