In my previous article I introduced to you Slovakia’s capital and I encouraged you to have a short trip there while in Budapest. In this article I will talk about a small town in Hungary, pretty near Budapest, called Vác.
Why Should You Visit Vác?
Why bothering to visit such a small town that I have never heard of before and not included in any travel magazines?
Well, I am of the opinion that just to visit the capital of country, does not make you really cannot grasp the culture and the life people lead there.
The capitals are worlds on their own. There inhabitants are used to getting in touch with tourists, they speak English, they are somehow fed up with the tourism and more internationalized. I mean they know what tourists expect them to do so they behave accordingly.
On the other hand, small towns like Vác escaped from the grip of mass tourism and are more real. People do not speak English, they are more curious towards tourists, eager to show their hospitality and culture and tourists can have a perfect insight into their daily lives.
How To Reach
Vác is much closer than Bratislava and easier to reach. You just need to head towards Budapest Nyugati Railway Station.
There you can buy a train ticket for Vác from a tickect machine on the platforms and you are ready to board. You do not need to validate.
The trip will just last 45 minutes and you will get to experience travelling on a real soviet train even though it has been renewed and provided with wifi ahah
Some Information About Vác
Vác was a very influential and prosperous city within the Kingdom of Hungary but in the 13th century the whole population was slaughtered by the Ottomans and the city used as camp by the latter.
Later on the city was rebuilt by Germans but in the 16th it was again conquered by Turks. Vác was also one of the places where the Austrians won against the Ottoman Empire that came to conquer Hungary.
Vác is famous for its baroque town centre and is often used a summer resort for those who live in Budapest. It is comprehensible as the city is near Budapest but at the same time very peaceful and rural.
What To See
Vác is a small town and not a tourist destination so do not expect plenty of things to visit, nevertheless there are many nice historical buildings and picturesque corners.
The train station is not too near nor too far away from the town centre, it will be something like 15 minutes walking.
When we reached the real heart of the town, we surprisingly realized that it was very lively there. Many children, families, young people were going around chatting, discussing and looking at the shops.
It is a small town yeah but very lively and this made me in a good mood. We walked until we reached the main core of the town, that is to say the big square with a very cute church.
We sat down there for a while contemplating the nice square and relaxing under a very warm april sun. Vác is a perfect place where someone can evade from city life and get fresh air. I totally understand why citizens of Budapest come here in summer!
Strolling In The Park Along The Danube
For a town like this the park is, freaking huge; it borders the mighty river, the Danube, and it is a spring paradise.
When we visited, we were pleasantly surprised by the great amount of blossoming trees. There were flowers of any colours, it really reminds me of those Japanese cities that are coloured in pink once the spring comes.
We took a lot of photos of the moving trees’ flowers and we strolled for long time along the Danube. We could finally see this great river from near and without all those cruise ships.
The Cathedral And A Small Church
Vác’s cathedral is pretty big and imposing for such a small town. It is said it was modelled after St. Peter Basilica in Rome and I must say it really looks like a small copy of it. Make sure not to miss it if you happen to be around here.
During our wandering through the city, at the end of the Danube stroll, we came across a small church. Nobody was around there, everything was so peaceful.
We could only hear some music coming from the small church. I think some kinds of concert practice was taking place there so we did not dare to enter but just enjoyed the music from the outside.
Wandering Around Its Streets
The best thing to do when you are in such cute towns, as I have already said in many of my other articles, is getting lost in their streets.
Vác is small so it is easy to navigate and even if you get lost, you always find the way back very easily.
I really like the atmosphere of its sleepy streets and the happy mood of people. Hungarian towns are different from north european towns, they are a mix of architectures: baroque, neo-classical and you can also find some very german features like the half-timbered houses.
Have you ever been to such small towns? What is your opinion about visiting small places? Let me know in the comments below