A Szentendre Bike Trip
If you are spending more than a weekend in the Hungarian capital and love riding a bike, then it might be of interest for you to take a day trip outside the city. And even if you haven’t ridden a bike since childhood, this journey takes us along a flat and easy route. (The bikes have wide saddles which are soooo much more comfortable on the butt!). So don’t worry, you’ll have the hang of it in no time. Of course, the flattest route to follow must be besides a large river. Which really means that the ultimate destination to cycle to is the pretty little town of Szentendre.
In the Beginning…
Szentendre sits around 25 kilometers upstream from Budapest. The town’s name comes from medieval Latin meaning “St Andrew”. The area around the present town saw the first settlements in the 9th century by the arriving Magyars, though there is some mention of Roman remains. During the Ottoman era the town suffered a huge depopulation, with just one family remaining. But once the Ottomans were driven out, several waves of immigration took place. In 1690 there was a huge influx of Serbs to the town to escape the Great Turkish War. A little later there was another influx, this time of Dalmatians. Hence you’ll find a Dalmát Street, which is a reminder to their memory. In point of fact, up until the 1980’s, this street was solely inhabited by their original descendants.
Towards the Present
Over the following years the town gradually grew and it’s former village like structure began to evolve into that of a town. In 1872, the town of Szentenre was to gain city status. In the early 1900’s the town started attracting artist due to it’s quiet location though at the same time being within easy reach of the capital. Since then it has been the home of many generations of Hungarian artists. Today it’s famous for its museums, galleries, churches, its art and its romantic, narrow cobbled streets.
Its location makes it the perfect destination for a day trip. There’s a comfortable level bike lane which follows the River Danube right from the city center.
Yellow Zebra Szentendre Bike & Boat Tour
Our Szentendre bike tour begins at the heart of the city. From here you’ll get a glimpse of the pretty Opera House, Saint Stephen’s Basilica, Liberty Square and the gorgeous Parliament. Then you’ll ride to the lush green Margaret Island before heading north passing through Óbuda (Old Buda). Your cycle route passes through fields, through forests and along beaches. On the way we’ll take a short break at one of several bars and cafes at Római part. After this it doesn’t take long to arrive to the cozy riverside town of Szentendre.
You’ll definitely need to taste the well known “lángos”. This traditional Hungarian Summer snack is a pancake shaped deep-fried-dough,. Generally you’ll eat it with a generous topping of garlic, sour cream and cheese. It’s like a fried pizza but without the sauce. For the real experience, try to find one that’s actually cooking in front of you. Otherwise, they tend to be made in batches and put in a stack for hours, where they become saturated with fat. And then bought back like some form of the greasy living dead in a microwave. Full of nope! Seriously, just stick to the freshly fried ones. After that you can begin to walk off all those calories. Go use them up by exploring the narrow alleys of artistic shops, galleries and churches of the quaint town center at a leisurely pace.
A River Cruise on The Danube
Towards the conclusion of the Szentendre bike tour, we’ll make our way to the Szentendre Pier to board the river boat back to Budapest. Here you can sit back and enjoy a relaxing cruise down the Danube with it’s spectacular views. Travelling along the river, with the sounds of parting waters, along with the distant thump of the boat’s engines, and all whilst surrounded by the imposing Danube, will certainly give you a different perspective of this part of the world.