Sárospatak, the religious and power centre of the region was known as “Athens on the Bodrog”. As well as the Rákóczi Castle and Basilica Minor, it boasts a teacher training college, Reformed Grammar School (one of the earliest in Europe) and theological college. This peaceful and attractive town set between the river Bodrog and the vineyard slopes has a range of restaurants, hotels and campsite by the thermal baths so is a good base for exploring the region.
Things to see and do
Wander through the castle district and other atmospheric streets to see heritage buildings, some with carved doors, some by father of Hungarian organic architecture Imre Makovecz.
Visit the Castle (featured on the 500 HUF note), the Great Library in the school, lose yourself in the pictures and screen prints in the galleries.
Swim in the river (or take a boat) or at the outdoor thermal baths (fűrdő) in Végardó.
Walk up to Tengerszem (Sea-eye lake), a former millstone quarry on Megyer hill which is consistently voted among the natural highlights of Hungary.
Enjoy an ice cream – Sárospatak has possibly the largest number of ice cream parlours in the area!
Whit weekend – re-enactment of the Botkő battle as the Castle gardens are taken by storm!
Zemplén Festival – classical concerts and almost nightly jazz concerts throughout the festival
Sárospatak Wine Terrace – by the Cultural House designed by renowned organic architect, Imre Makovecz. Fans can discover his early work throughout the town.
Eating and drinking
A must for the sweet-toothed who prefer cake to Aszú! A couple of locally famous cake shops/cafés and at least seven places with real ice cream! Best cakes at Heitzmann cukrázda, Paleo selection at Köver.
Stylish wine bar run by two winemakers – A Boros
Great venues with reasonably priced food:
– Collegno pizzeria in the ivy-clad courtyard or vaulted cellar
– Grill Gödör and ruin pub overlooks the castle, its terraces on the edge of the old moat
– Vár Vendéglő with views over the river up to the castle