Pécs In Your Pocket

With a population of around 150,000, you might not expect Pécs to give Budapest a run for its money in the excitement stakes. You’d be wrong, obviously, hence the use of that set-up as an opening gambit, and this smashing city’s 20,000+ students ensure that there is never a dull moment in the town the Romans called Sopiane. Pécs (well, Sopiane) was influential as all-heck from the get-go, flourishing as an early Christian centre and cultural hotspot before Louis I The Great decided to establish Hungary’s first university here in 1367. You can say a lot of things about Mr The Great, but his university location decision making was impeccable.

Pécs was a city of learning and ambition back when the rest of Europe was drinking beer for breakfast. Much in the same way it does today with its huge proportion of international students, people came here from all over the world to exchange ideas and desires, making for a cultural melting pot that is genuinely deserving of that somewhat tired qualifier.

While the academic side of things dominates the mood in Pécs (well, that and the extra-curricular activities that come with such things), there is plenty here for those looking to escape the rigour of learning and, you know, improving yourself. Each and every week seems to come with a different event of some kind, music, theatre and artistic endeavours that fit perfectly with the bars and venues of Hungary’s fifth-largest city.

Pécs is home to a conveyer belt of sights and attractions that cover each and every period of its long and storied history, from 4th-century tombs to 21st-century architecture via 12th-century cathedrals, 14th-century palaces and more. History, culture, sightseeing and nighttime excitement all over the joint, in short.

Full city guide coming soon!

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