Last Updated on
Immerse yourself in the history and exciting sights of Gyula. And if you want to relax, you can do it in the spa there.
Located in the southeastern part of the Great Plain, Gyula is one of the most popular holiday and festival towns in the country.
Whether it’s the castle bathing or the locally made sausage of Gyula, which occupies a prominent position in Hungarian gastronomy, quality is not an issue.
But we don’t have to worry, there are even deeper things to discover in this city.
History of Gyula
The area has been inhabited since the New Stone Age times: the White-Körös line has proved to be the perfect place to build ancient villages. There are many traces of the period known as the Körös culture, which later continued in the Tisza culture.
Copper-bronze and Iron Age artifacts also prove that life in this area was continuous. The first really significant people who lived here were the Scythians, but later on, the Celts turned around as well in the area.
Gyula was first mentioned in written records in 1332. We can thank the prosperity of the settlement to Róbert Károly when he established the Gyula estate, which played an important economic role. The settlement became a city in the time of the Anjouk.
The city had its golden age in the 16th century, before the Turkish era. The turning point is connected to the siege of Gyula Castle in 1566. During the fight against the Ottoman troops, three castles emerged, one of them was the Gyula castle, which was held by heroic defenders for 63 days.
Discover the sights of Gyula
We can take a bath in the medicinal water, visit the town and the Gyula castle, or we can wander in nature if we feel like it. Gyula has a lot of potential opportunities, we just have to take advantage of it.
Top 100 countryside attractions in Hungary – in other words: what is worth watching besides and outside Budapest.
Gyula Castle Bath
If you want to relax and charge up a bit, then Gyula Castle Bath is definitely recommended. On 5000 m2, there are 16 pools to choose from.
The hydrogen carbonate healing water which is rising here is mainly good for abdominal musculoskeletal disorders, but it is also suitable for rehabilitation after accidents and surgeries.
There are many other options available at this complex: massage, mud pack or rehabilitation. The spa of Gyula is located in the territory of the former Almásy Castle, in its park which is designated as a nature reserve, so the environment itself is just as spectacular.
The little ones wouldn’t be bored either, as the wave bath in the aqua park is a really exciting experience for them.
And of course, the Gyula Castle is also an unavoidable sight of the city. The castle is the only remaining plain brick castle in Central Europe which was built in the 15th century.
Visitors can follow the life and history of the castle, in 24 exhibition rooms which have been performing various functions of the castle over the centuries.
There is a beautiful panoramic view from the castle lookout tower, and the so-called Corvin Bastion round cannon tower is also an interesting sight.
However, the castle was under Turkish rule for 129 years after the siege of 1566. Later, the castle worked as a brewery and a distillery but even functioned as a prison.
The Gothic brick castle has been open for visitors since 2005: in addition to the castle museum, a knight’s room and a wine bar with medieval flair can be tried too.
The monument is truly multifunctional as it even functions as a stone theater. Here we can see great musical or even prose performances, but it also serves as a venue for various festivals.
Almásy Castle Visitor Center
The Almásy Castle Visitor Center in Gyula is a real experience for all ages. In a unique way, it uses interactive tools to present the former aristocratic life and all its segments.
We can look into not only the everyday life of the nobles but also the servants, moreover, we can even try the kind of chores they had if housework wouldn’t be enough.
Projectors, installations and the so-called holoprojectors also enhance the experience. This allows us to catch a glimpse of the life of the former inhabitants through the mock-up window of the castle.
If you’re tired of visiting the castle and looking around at museums, and you have sweet teeth, head to the Centenary Confectionery (Száz éves cukrászda).
The place, which has been operating since 1840, is the second oldest confectionery in Hungary.
The Empire-style building offers a beautiful interior for the visitors, with original Biedermeier furniture and, of course, with delicious cakes. Those who want to feel the vibe of a reform-era café are in the best place.
In the place of the former confectionery workshop, a confectionery museum has been established, so we can catch a glimpse of contemporary tools and methods of making cakes.
Erkel Ferenc Memorial House
Naturally, the Erkel Ferenc Memorial House is named after its former resident, the famous composer Ferenc Erkel. The building used to function as a teaching house, and in 1830, the cantor and schoolhouse got its neoclassical style.
The Erkel family came to Gyula from Bratislava in 1806, and the head of the family lived and taught there until 1841, where eventually the founder of the Hungarian National Opera and the composer of the National Anthem were born.
In the memorial house, we can get to know more about European anthems and music and its history. We can also discover Erkel’s personal belongings and relics and they enchante the former family home for us.
We can also visit the rooms and the traditional kitchen.
Gyula Sausage Museum
As I have already mentioned, many people remember Gyula because of the mouth-watering sausage, and those who want to take a deeper look at the history and the making of the sausages should visit the Gyula Sausage Museum.
The exhibition, which has been opened since 1985, consists of its own collection and offerings from the surrounding butcher’s families.
After a few bad years, the fate of the museum was reconsidered to restore the Gyula sausage’s reputation.
Living Water Canal
The Living Water Canal, which revolutionizes the cityscape, crosses Gyula for 5 kilometers.
Its shores are lined with lime trees and willows, where not only visitors but also locals enjoy walking or running. We can go boating or pedalo all along almost the entire city, so we can see the city on an extraordinary tour.
If the weather allows us and we want to be in nature, then I recommend the Snail Garden in Gyula. On the banks of the Live Water Canal, there is the city’s largest green area, with 3.7 hectares of its own, which is, of course, a nature reserve.
It was named after the former snail-shaped promenade running down the artificial hillside. It is the perfect place to take a break, sit down on the benches and admire the 300-year-old pedunculate oaks, yews or the rare Christ trees. This beautiful environment often serves as a venue for weddings.
The Mályvádi Forest also offers great hiking opportunities. The Mályvád Ancient Oak is not only a nature reserve but also the second-largest forest in the Great Plain. It is a popular destination for hikers as it has rich wildlife and vegetation.
Cityforest, the popular resort of the town, is located about 5 km from Gyula. The sandy beach is popular with anglers or those who wish to bathe.
We can go kayaking, canoeing on the water, or it could be a good choice to take a hike in the surrounding woods.
Szanazug lies at the confluence of the White and the Black-Körös. It is also a popular resort in this area, its clean and shallow water providing a great experience for the beach visitors.
There is also a ferry ride between the two shores, while canoeing, boating and riding a pedalo are also possible.
Why choose Gyula
Enjoy the opportunities offered by the city and its surroundings in Gyula. You can immerse yourself in the history of the place, explore the many trails in the area, or relax in the spa, but the surrounding beautiful scenery also offers many excursions.