VOLT festival is coming up next, everybody is talking about Sopron. This time we would like to give some advice for those who would also like to discover the Sopron-region a little bit besides the concerts as the surroundings of Fertő-Lake (Neusiedler See) and this charming city offers a great variety of programs and local attractions during the whole week for all styles and ages. Fix your tent and discover this vibrant part of the country! 10 from us for you abou the Sopron-theme.
1. Old-town stroll
Before leaving the city you should check out Sopron’s charming baroque center. Inside Várkerület pedestrians are the lords, you can check out the little streets and squares in about an hour, which are getting nicer every years. Don’t miss the Ursuliner platz, the Liszt Ferenc Conference and Cultural Center, the beautiful baroque interior of St. George church, the magical Új St and Kolostor St, and of course the Main Square with the Fire Tower, the City hall and the Kecske Church.
2. Dömötöri Confectionary
Hesitating to do so, but we state that Dömötöri, at Széchenyi Sq is the best ice cream place in the country. After entering you might get a little confused by the 3 long counters filled with all different types of ice cream. Caramel-figs, strawberry-chocolate and raspberry-red currant quark-cream just to mention some of the “lineup”. Fill your cup well and sit out to the park at Széchenyi Sq in the sunshine or enjoy the singing fountain in front of Petofi Theatre.
3. Papa Joe’s Steak House
Before going to the Dömötöry in-cream sanctuary we’d better fill up our bellies at one of the best restaurants of the boulevard: Papa Joe’s Steak House. As the name suggests, the steaks is a must-try here (their other dishes are quite forgettable though). From raw to well done, from beef to lamb the varieties are quite wide. Drink a pint of cold beer by the side, you can be sure not to be hungry till the evening, but prepare for higher prices!
If you’re longing for real Hungarian dishes and the atmosphere of a cellar-pub doesn’t repulse you, going to Gyógygödör is a must! Cell phones don’t work, slot machines and heavy drinkers, and cellar-odor in the first room, but if you find a table in this charmingly dilapidated environment you may have an experience of a lifetime. Fish soup arrives in a giant cooking-pot, the tripe and lung tastes just like pastors used to cook them 200 years ago, and the red wine beef-stew plate never gets empty, it’s soo big. Prices are very low, a very good festival-eatery!
5. Cave Theatre
If the festive lineup doesn’t fit our taste one day we can head to Ferőrákos in the evening! The old mine host theatrical performances from the 1960s, it is a real rarity for lovers of the theatrical arts. The mysterious atmosphere of the cave, its exceptional acoustics and huge capacity make it an ideal venue for organizing opera-nights and theatrical plays. Its popularity in stable among the local audience, but lots of tourists visit also its musical, operetta and dance performances.
6. Bike tour to Fertőd and around the lake When the festival ends don’t try to get home with the biggest crowds, if you have some time spend a couple of days at the beautiful landscapes of the Fertő-Hanság National Park. Bike roads are well build all around the lake both on the Hungarian and the Austrian side. The south-beach you can find charming villages such as Hegykő or Fertőrákos, and the magnificently rebuilt city of Fertőd with the biggest Hungarian castle. On the Austrian side you can also find tons of activities at the cities of Mörbisch, Rust and others.
7. Bungalows at Fertőrákos If you want to plunge into Fertő Lake (german: Neusiedler See), visit the water-bungalows at the beach! At this westernmost corner of the country you can find an adorable beach-feeling in these little, country-style houses. A motel, a restaurant and big terraces make you comfortable if you venture info the reed. The setting is perfect, and a sunset with a bottle of wine is a really unique experience here.
8. Ráspi Let’s stay a little longer at Fertőrákos! The most famous vinery of the Sopron region, Ráspi awaits you with a warm welcome. A transformed peasant-house hosts the best restaurant in Western-Hungary, where the seasonal menu contains authentic dishes, prepared by organic, local ingredients. We can taste these them until we’re full (or till our credit card bears it). In the cellar we can try the best Kékfrankos wines (the local specialty) and some limited etidion bottles as well. Don’t plan to drive afterwards though because otherwise we miss half the experience.
9. Wine tasting On our website you can find all contact information about the best wine yards and wineries in the Soporn region. Besides Ráspi, the adventurous wine taster should definitely try Weninger, Pfneiszl and Luka cellars as well, we recommend all of them warmheartedly! If you schedule an appointment in advance you can be sure that they will be excited to welcome you.
10. Thermal water at Balf The starting point of the bike roads around the lake is Balf, which has always been famous for its thermal water. The “stinky water” has been attracting visitors for hundreds of years and the spa complex was modernized in 2004. In 2009 the city build a drinking well in the center where everybody can sooth their thirst with the healing water for free. If your legs became sour while sleeping in the tent or just the heavy partying exhausted you, plunge yourself in the hot water, relax and revitalize your parts before going home!