Leisure activities

One of the great benefits of living in a city is that residents and visitors can find recreational activities to their liking, may that be a classical music concert delighting the ears, a hike exploring the beauty of the Great Hungarian Plain, a dance class where you can learn all dance styles ranging from ballroom dances to Latin American and standard competition dances, or a cooking school session where you can get an insight into the exciting world of gastronomy, both Hungarian as well as international cuisine. In addition, there are always a lot of permanent and temporary events and programmes going on in Debrecen.

Méliusz Juhász Péter Library

The Meliusz Juhasz Peter Library, inaugurated in 2013, has a dual task: on the one hand, it serves the entire territory of the county, and on the other hand, it supplies the city. The library also hosts various cultural events and local groups, such as the American Corner. In addition to the central library, the residents of Debrecen can also use the library’s services through twelve branch institutions and six library points.

University and National Library of the University of Debrecen

The University and National Library of the University of Debrecen (DEENK) is the second largest library in the country and one of the largest service units of the university. With more than 6 million holdings in eight library units, the university’s six campuses await users with spacious reading spaces and a unified service environment.

Grand Library of the Debrecen Reformed College

The main collection to be found in the library is close to 600.000, the material of its manuscript library consists of 35.000 library units, while the number of books stored here reaches one million. The collection preserves nearly a hundred codices and rare manuscripts, as well as about 1.600 old Hungarian prints (published before 1711), including many rarities. For more information, visit the website here.

Botanical Garden

Behind the central building block of the University of Debrecen is the Botanical Garden, that was founded in 1928 and contains 1.300 of the 3.000 cactus species known in the world, as well as 1.000 other succulent species. The greenhouse rarity of the tropical collection is the nearly 100-year-old sago. Next to it are orchids, banana trees and vanilla in the wonderful garden environment. The landmark of the garden is a memorial tree sprouted from walnuts from the birth village of Sándor Kőrösi Csoma, a Hungarian philologist and Orientalist.

Great Forest Park

The most famous park in Debrecen is located in the Great Forest (Nagyerdő), which was declared the first nature reserve in the country. The park offers peace and quiet in the shade of hundred-year-old trees as well as countless entertainment options to choose from. In the neighbourhood of the park one can find a spa, a zoo, an amusement park and a literary sculpture park on Medgyessy Promenade. For more information, visit the website here

Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park

The cultural park opened in 1958 as the country’s first zoo outside the capital. Open all year round, the zoo is home to some 900 specimens of 170 species from 5 continents on 17 hectares. Besides permanent exhibits, the zoo also offers several daily and seasonal events and activities, including close visitor encounters with animals and summertime Evening Walks. In addition, the zoo organises guided tours and summer Zoo Camps, also available in English. The largest of its kind in the region and the only one in Hungary, the amusement park currently features 21 rides and attractions, including masterpieces of the applied arts such as the Horse Carousel from the late 19th century and the Dodgems, which are some of the oldest classics of their kind in Europe. For more information, visit the website here

Aquaticum Debrecen SPA

Aquaticum Debrecen, located in the heart of the Great Forest, offers diverse services for all generations. The newly opened open-air Aquaticum Water Park is one of the most spectacular water parks not only in Hungary, but also in Central Europe. The park consists of 15 pools with different functions (adventure pool, wave pool, medicinal pool, diving pool, etc.), a climbing wall, various water slides, a 12-m high spacious terrace with sunloungers and a green area suitable for open-air sports. Besides the spa complex’s fun attractions, those seeking regeneration, healing and relaxation can also use the services of an entire unit of medical facilities and a wide range of specialist consultations.

Kerekestelepi Thermal and Outdoor Pool

One of the two public baths in Debrecen is located in Kerekestelep. Visitors will find here two thermal ponds as well as a gradually deepening pool with cold water. The thermal water is beneficial to patients suffering from hyperacidicity, rheumatism and various diseases. The area of the spa also gives home to a campsite (Lyra Camping) with a capacity to host 250 guests. For more information, visit the website here


Zsuzsi Narrow-Gauge Railway

More than 130 years old, Zsuzsi is Hungary’s oldest narrow-gauge railway. Leaving the big city, the small railway offers an insight into the world of Erdőspuszta. It travels between acacias, pine forests and oaks planted on sandy soils, sometimes on larger mounds, interrupted by arable lands and homesteads. Its final stop at Hármashegyalja, fringed with beautiful woodland, is complete with hiking trails, a fishpond, observation decks, playgrounds and picnic areas. More attractions are provided by the House of Nature & Observatory and the Forest School that await visitors with classes in wildlife conservation. For more information, visit the website here

The Devil’s Trench

Literally named “the devil’s trench” (Ordogarok) is the reconstructed ruins of an ancient entrenchment system located near the Zsuzsi Narrow-Gauge Railway line (Csereerdő stop). It is one of the last remnants of an ancient defence system lying on the Northern and Eastern parts of Hungary. The strengthened defence system was constructed by Sarmatic tribes settled in the Great Plain (https://www.debrecen.hu/en/tourist/places/ordogarok-the-devils-trench. For more information, visit the website here.

Lake Vekeri

Lake Vekeri is a popular recreational area where resting and picnic areas, a playground, a buffet, as well as rowing and fishing opportunities and a campground await visitors. Visitors may also enjoy the view of Erdőspuszta from a nearby observation tower. It is a perfect destination for a day trip for students, families or groups of friends.


Almost every person who has visited Hungary before has certainly heard of Hortobágy National Park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The park is Hungary’s largest protected area and the largest semi-natural grassland in Europe. The national park provides various recreational activities and sites to visit, including the Hortobágy National Park Visitor Centre, the Hortobágy Herdmen’s Museum, the Hortobágy Wildlife Park (Puszta Safari), the Hortobágy Bird Park, the Puszta Zoo and the Hortobágy Big Inn. Nonetheless, the most iconic landmark in Hortobágy is the “Nine-Hole” Bridge. For more information, visit the website here


Hajdúszoboszló is the most well-known spa resort of the Hungarian Great Plain, only 19 kilometres away from Debrecen. Its conditions and services make it a perfect destination for visitors longing for both active and passive recreation. The city’s main attraction is the bathing complex consisting of several units, including the thermal baths, the open-air baths, the Aquapark and the Aqua-Palace. The complex is open all year round.