A charming smallish city in the south of Hungary, Pecs has a long and exciting history. With a Mediterranean climate and a reputation for producing good wines in surrounding regions, Pecs is an interesting place in which to spend a bit of time.
First settled by Celts about 2,000 years ago, it soon became a Roman bastion, and one of its historical sites, the Necropolis of Sopianae, is the largest early Christian burial chamber to be found outside of Italy.
Not that many people travel all the way to Pecs just for the sheer joy of visiting an ancient necropolis, of course.
Located near the border with Croatia, Pecs is part of the Mecsek Mountains and is quite a hilly city in some areas. It is not unusual for many of the households to grow grapes from which they make their own homemade wine, although the nearby Villany region also has a great reputation for the quality of its wines.
The city is also well known for its sparkling wines and at the Pannonia wine making facility, which is the best known label, visitors are invited to inspect the five underground levels of cellars and caves.
As well, there is a brewery there called Pecsi Sorfozde which produces a beer that can only be bought at a single outlet.
The town has a somewhat chequered history, but essentially it is a university city, and has been so since 1367. It still has a large student population, and places where students congregate usually means that accommodation prices are reasonable, and there is an active nightlife.
Lined by fashionable shops, restaurants and outdoor cafés, Király Street in the city’s centre is always popular. This is the city’s most beautiful pedestrian precinct. Many baroque-style buildings, including a church, a former monastery and Pécs’s National Theater are all located here. The Hungarian Art Nouveau-style Palatinus Hotel, built in 1914, stands out from the many Baroque buildings.
To get there, Pecs is well serviced by rail services with direct trains to Budapest and Vienna and also to Coratia and Bosnia.