Welcome to the final installment of ‘Important Places for Kecskemet Kodaly Institute Students’!
Kodaly Memorial, Calvinist Church, Town Hall & Big Church
Exit institute, turn left. Walk towards the square. On your right is the beautiful Kodaly memorial and Calvinist church. Head towards the ‘street’ between the big yellow church and the town hall (the beautiful building with the most amazing set of carillon bells that play well-known melodies… if you pay attention in Hungarian Music History class, you might actually identify quite a few of those) 🙂
Tourist Information Centre
If this is your first time to Kecskemet, this place might be of some help. The Tourist Information Centre of Kecskemet can be found nestled in the corner between the town hall & big church. For other things, keep walking straight.
I usually get my haircut in this building. The men’s on the ground floor. You can’t miss it when you walk straight.
Walk straight towards Malom and you should see this building on your left. This is the community centre where you can sometimes catch performances or jazz bands in here. Folk dancing happens here as well regularly.
Malom, the Shopping Mall
Walk past the community centre and there is ‘Malom’, Kecskemet’s main shopping mall. On the top floor, you can get McDonald’s, Chinese food (expensive compared with Himalaya), pizza and various other fast foods on the top floor. Cinema is on the top floor while other shopping things include brands such as H&M, Promod, Springfield. Supermarket CBA is in the basement along with DM, a pharmacy chain that sells all your monthly necessities. If you needed to set up a Hungarian Bank account, OTP bank is also here. Money changer is on the first floor. Malom is small but it should suffice.
Kecskeméti Csárda, Best Hungarian Resturant Food
From here, we go on to one of Kecskemet’s finest restaurants Csárda. Before I forget, here are the details for reservations:
Kecskeméti Csárda Borház
+36 76 488-686
Kecskemét Kölcsey utca 7.
From the entrance of Malom, turn left, walk straight, cross the road (BEWARE OF VEHICLES EXITING MALOM ON YOUR RIGHT!).
After crossing the road at the pedestrian crossing, turn left, walk along the house till the end, turn right into Kölcsey Ferenc Utca, walk till the end of the street and voila… Csarda!
I highly recommend the “Platter for Two”… which serves up a huge variety of different fatty meats, foie gras etc. But I think it can feed FIVE people (Typical Male Asian appetite which ain’t small)… so go with friends. I also highly recommend the Csarda in-house palinka. Sweeeeeet. 🙂
Let’s backtrack a little since there are a couple of interesting things In this area, there are also other things of note. Please refer to “Haircut” place, and walk straight from there. Go past Fornetti (another bakery!)
Turn left and enter the mall. You should see on your left, Pingyin. You can buy lip balms and other medicine here:
Photocopying, if you dare
If you walk straight, a few more paces, on your right is a place where you can also do photocopying and colour printing. They can also do scanning for a fee. I don’t think it is particularly cheap, service is not necessarily fantastic after experiencing it (a friend of mine sent books to be scanned, cost a bomb, bad alignments, missing pages!!). But it is nonetheless an option if desperate. FYI.
Backtrack your way out of Alföld Áruház. Exit the building and turn left. In the first picture, there is a money changer right at the corner. They give a card for ‘regulars’ that offers ‘discounts’. I don’t use it very often since I just use the ATM for withdrawals. Anyways, walk straight past the circus (roundabout) and cross the road.
El Bandi, Tortilla Extraordinaire
On the left, there is an excellent tortilla shop. I highly recommend the ham and cheese (ask for the English menu if your Hungarian still needs work)
Backtrack to ‘Red-Bricked’ Building, walk straight instead of turning left to El Bandi, and you’ll see this. Univer Supermarket is smaller than Spar but still dependable nonetheless. Walk on and on your left, there is my favourite lunch place, Dixie Chicken.
Here, they sell one of the most humungous burgers, as well as ala carte items that are very tasty. I highly recommend it!
If you need Citibank, backtrack to Red-Brick Building and turn right to cross the road. You will see Palinka House.
One Euro Market
Turn left. Walk straight past Volksbank & One Euro Market. Do note, the One Euro Market is cheap but not necessarily good quailty. But you can certainly consider it if wanting to save money. 🙂
One of the most interesting things I find about ATMs in Hungary is how you may need to swipe your credit card/ATM card at the door before you enter the ATM room. The ATM rooms are usually locked after office hours and the only way to get to the ATM is by activating this small lock opener. Swipe card and you’re in! I do believe this is an excellent security measure so the extra effort is probably worth it as it can get very quiet and deserted at night.
This concludes the trilogy posting of Important Places for Kecskemet Kodaly Students. The town is very conducive for studying (small, quiet) but there are many other nooks and corners waiting to be explored. The many fairs (like pasir malam in SG) in the town square also add excitement to this quiet town (like there’s a fantastic wine/palinka fair right now with FABULOUS bottles from excellent local vineyards).
This 3-part series is just an introduction to help first-time visitors to feel more welcomed & settled in. Hungarian is not a particularly common language in the world after all and mostly only youngsters speak (a smattering of) English. There are some young adults who learn Spanish while some of the older generation tend to speak German. Hope this blog has been useful for you! 😀