Tuesday 30 May 2017

Pécs - need to know

Willie Dillon

Getting there

The Hungarian national airline, Malev (0818 555577; malev.ie) has a daily flight from Dublin to Budapest for ¤149 return.

Passengers wishing to travel on to Pécs, or to the cities of Debrecen, Miskolc and Szeged, can avail of the Malev shuttle coach service. Pick-up is directly outside arrivals in Budapest.

The journey takes three hours on the new motorway. The return fare is ¤60 and free for premium air passengers.

The terminus and pick-up point for your return journey is Pécs train station. There are frequent rail services to Budapest from there.

Staying There

The three-star Hotel Palatinus (0036 7288 9400; danubiushotels.com) is a prime location Art Deco building in Király Street, literally a two-minute walk from Széchenyi Square.

It's been elegantly renovated in a fin de siècle hotel style with an ornately decorated lobby, a stylish restaurant and a period ballroom in which the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók once performed.

A standard double room with a generous self-service breakfast comes to ¤87.50 per night for two people.

Elsewhere, a double room in the budget Centrum Apartments (0036 7225 1184; cityapartman.hu) costs just ¤47.

EATING OUT

Getting past the ubiquitous 'international' menu can be a problem. After some earnest fussing, the waiter at the popular Replay restaurant in Király Street could identify just two possible Hungarian dishes on the list.

My choice of spare ribs came with a large helping of Big Mac-style chips.

At the Elephant House in Jókai Square, one of the speciality dishes commands instant attention. But my gastronomic sense of adventure was blunted by a shapeless nagging from the depths of my male DNA, so I decide against ordering the rooster testicle stew.

Dining out is relatively inexpensive in Pécs, and there's plenty of choice. A filling goulash lunch can cost as little as ¤8. The popular Addo Café & Restaurant offers a typical menu with main course prices ranging from ¤8.50 for a burger and fries to ¤17 for a tenderloin steak.

And going upmarket won't break the bank. A three-course lunch at the Gere Crocus Hotel in Villáiny costs around ¤22 per person.

For more, see pecs2010.hu.

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