The Daily Travel Pass (1,040 HUF / £2.90) is great for visiting d.i.y shops, tourist spots and other places of interest.
It is valid on trolley buses, local buses and trams in and around Szeged city centre. A single ticket costs 320 HUF (89p).
The Correct Change Bureau De Change, located at Tisza Lajos Körút 57 (Szeged city centre), has excellent exchange rates. They have branches in Budapest too.
It's worth taking a tram/bus into the city centre because you will still receive more money than outside the city centre.
Reök Palota Wiki PageReök Palace, designed by 30 year old architect Ede Magyar Wiki PageEde Magyar (31.01.1877 - 05.05.1912) and built in November 1907, was originally an Art Nouveau styled residential house built for wealthy business man and water engineer manager Iván Reök. It comprised of two storeys which had private flats (apartments) and various outlets within them. Unfortunately the promising architect, Ede magyar, took his own life at just 35 years old; apparently related to his love life.
Over the decades the palace has seen many changes and restorations. The ground floor for example has been used as a restaurant and pub, it had an emergency shelter during World War II, and its huge flats (apartments) were split into smaller ones after World War II. It has also been through two unfortunate restorations. In 1960 its intricate wrought iron decorations were mutilated and in 1974 its original apartment furbishing and decorations were destroyed. Fortunately its 1987-1992 frontal renovation was more successful.
Renovated over the years and still one of Szeged's treasured buildings
In 2006-2007 an overall reconstruction took place whereby the courtyard for example was covered over by a glass roof and in August 2007 the Regional All Arts Centre was opened. A restaurant and café were then established on the ground floor between 2008 and 2009. These days though the ground floor is used by a bank.
Design-wise, with owner Iván Reök being a water manager, architect Ede Magyar designed the palace with a water motif in mind. The upper wall sections for example were decorated with frescos portraying mermaids, until its lady occupants decades lady had them removed, and the snow white facade of the palace was represented by a row of lilac and sea green water lilies, water plants spiralling its balcony rails and a variety of wall surfaces to resemble waves. The interior winding staircase was decorated with flowers that appear in bloom.
Inside Reök Palace it is the winding staircase that tour guides often mention.....
.....as being one of the main highlights of the interior, and I agree.
The whole staircase is very impressive - The plaster work is equally impressive
If, like I did, you visit Reök Palace with a tour guide from Szeged Tourism you might be lucky enough to go outside on the balcony; which is classed as a rare treat. The view from the balcony is great and allows you to appreciate the facade even more; close up.
The balcony view gives detailed perspectives of the palace's facade
Tour guides will tell you more about the architectural side of the building and how Ede Magyar on the one hand wanted to please the owner and associate certain parts of the building to the owner's job while on the other hand tell you how genius Ede Magyar was in his design of the building; such as how he thought about letting sunlight and natural light pass through the courtyard and into the apartments using the walls. However, as said above, it is not all about the building. Now it is more about 'The Arts'.
Reök Palace itself is now run by the government and the open-air festival organisation, which has meant that over the last few years visitors have been able to view works by Picasso, Rembrandt, Goya and Chagall among others at the temporary exhibitions. Visitors have also been able to listen to music events, see small theatre performances and attend other cultural, artistic, events held within Reök Palace and elesewhere.
Reök Palace is more than a tourist attraction. Now it is more about 'The Arts'.
To get the best out of Reök Palace as a tourist I recommend you book a tour guide from the Szeged tourist office, and if you are staying in Szeged for longer whereby you are interested in 'The Arts' (Paintings, Music, Dance, Plays, Open-Air Festivals, etc) I would highly recommend a visit to the Reök Palace website and Facebook page (listed above). You should find events prices, times, etc on their website.
Most events will be in Hungarian, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy the music, theatre experience, dance and so on. The e-mail address to book a tour guide from the Szeged Tourism office is: Szeged Tourism E-mail Addressszegeditourisma@gmail.com.
For 1,000 HUF (under £3) you cannot go wrong by taking a one hour guided tour of the palace - I booked an English language tour with a Hungarian tour guide from Szeged called Ildiko Csikos Facebook PageIldiko Csikos, and was accompanied by a group of young, students, from various parts of the world; so do not think only old people are interested in history and sightseeing. The younger generation are interested too. Remember, Szeged is a mixture of young university students and the older generation.
Reök Palace is located on Tisza Lajos Körút, a 'stone's throw' away from Dugonics Tér. Tram #4, from my apartment for example, stops right outside the palace. The tram stop is called Tisza Lajos and it is sandwiched between the tram stops called Anna-Kút and Dugonics Tér. Trolley Buses #8 and #10 also stop outside the palace.
Cycling to the palace from my apartment, for example, takes 15 Minutes whereas walking to the palace takes 29 Minutes. As the palace is in the city centre though your hotel/accommodation should not be too far away from the palace (i.e. it should only take 5-10 Minutes, 15 Minutes maximum, to walk from your hotel/accommodation to the palace).