- 26 Sep 2023 5:48 AM
- Hungary Today
The presence of a Michelin-starred restaurant, 42 Restaurant, and the Michelin Guide-recommended Piac 42 Bistro, are hallmarks of the a new chapter in Esztergom’s hospitality and tourism industry.
The data speaks for itself: the number of local guest nights increased by a total of 15 percent in the first seven months of last year, noted Zoltán Szekér, managing director of Esztergom Tourism Nonprofit Kft.
The renewed city marketing organization, Visit Esztergom, recently gave tourism journalists a complex taste of the old and new attractions of the municipality. There is more to see than the Basilica and the Castle Museum, although these attractions are must-see stops.
The municipality is committed to boosting tourism, which has been helped by the construction of a farmers’ market. Following European trends, it is being promoted as a tourist attraction where local producers can be found every day.
The new market in Esztergom opened in May 2023, with a HUF 1.5 billion (EUR 3.8 million) investment.
The market has already received huge, extremely valuable publicity, and is now on the map with a special local value, after Michelin-starred chef Ádám Barna opened his bistro there, and was able to nail the Michelin Guide’s red signboard to the wall of the bistro.
“The people of Esztergom are proud of the local restaurants recommended in the Michelin Guide and of the fact that something has been created that attracts people from the other side of the world to come here,” pointed out chef Barna.
In the meantime, the city is also putting a strong emphasis on shipping and boosting boat tourism.
The Danube is also an important venue for locals, with the lantern boat parade attracting more than 10,000 visitors and almost 40 participants this year.
Another pillar of the renewed tourism in Esztergom is the large events: the political festival, MCC Fest, attracted 120 stage events and 47,000 visitors this year, with local accommodation 100 percent full. The next date for the festival, August 1-3 , 2024, has already been set, so it is worth booking accommodation in January or February to be sure.
The Then and Now Vehicle Expo was similarly popular, as was St. Stephen’s Days, giving a sense of the city’s central role in both history and the present.
The number of events attracting visitors is growing, and the range on offer is extremely varied. For example, there will be the Hungarian ratatouille Festival (Lecsófesztivál) over the weekend, the Bridge Festival and Bridge Run starting with breakfast on the bridge, and soon an antiques fair, followed in December by an Advent fair in one of the country’s most beautiful locations.