Hortobagy National Park
Hortobagy National Park
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles223 reviews
Excellent
140
Very good
62
Average
13
Poor
5
Terrible
3

Pékh Bulcsú
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Friends
Visiting the plateau of Hortobágy is recommended during the spring blossom of the various unique flowers that can be found here or especially in autumn during the migration of the cranes. From mid October till the end of November the cranes come in hundreds of thousands to rest in the remote marshes of the national reserve. The workers of the park organise guided tours to the area although I do not recommend these unless you are equipped with a good telephoto lens. There are some great viewpoints that civilians are free to approach any time and I think that these can give you a better look on the birds.
Written 4 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina70,599 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Friends
Very enjoyable to watch the very skilled horsemen perform with their well trained horses. Somewhat similar to a performance I saw in Argentina by gauchos. The show was enjoyed by young and old.
Written 6 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bubble101
Singapore241 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Friends
We visited the Stud of Mata and thoroughly enjoyed. The views were not jaw-dropping but the experience was rich and fulfilling. It remains one of the highlights of our trip. But the process of getting there and back was not all that smooth. Here are some tips to help anyone interested. Hopefully it makes things easier.

Various programs available besides horse carriage ride:
There are many programs at Hortobagy, but information seems to be all over the place. Try gotodebrecen website under puszta tab - seems more complete. Or email the visitor centre. We chose to visit the Stud of Mata which was the one with horse show, horse carriage and seeing animals on the puszta. 1.5 hours program starting at 1000h, 1200h, 1400h. Costs 2600ft/adult.

How to get to Mata Stud:
The stud is NOT at the visitor centre. We arrived at Hortobagy rail station (google map coordinates 47.5861022, 21.1544403) and walked south along Kossuth utca to the visitor centre, but the stud was actually north of the station. The staff at the visitor centre gave us directions and it was a 2.4km walk with part of the walk next to the railway track. Route attached in photos. There was a shortcut available but the path was not maintained and we were not confident of its safety.

Budapest to Hortobagy by train (not Hortobagy Halasto which is the village):
We got tickets from Budapest Keleti to Hortobagy which involved one transfer at Fuzesabony. Changed to platform 1 there (there were no signs anywhere, fortunately we got hold of someone who spoke English).

Getting back to Budapest:
We bought one way tickets to Hortobagy as we did not know what time we would leave. Unfortunately, it was not possible to buy train tickets from Hortobagy Rail station (it is more like a guard post). You could either plan out your day and timing and buy return tickets in the first place or do the following like we did. (E-tickets from your mobile phone don't work very well since you have to print them at some machine anyway.)
(1) There are two parts to the journey: Hortobagy - Fuzesabony, Fuzesabony - Budapest Keleti.
(2) Although you can buy the train ticket from the conductor on the train, seat reservations are required for the second segment. You cannot get seat reservations from the conductor.
(3) Pay for the train tickets (both segments) when you get on the train. When you transfer at Fuzesabony, run to the counter (ok, it wasn't THAT rushed) and pay for the seat reservations for Fuzesabony-Budapest segment. If it looks like there isn't enough time, I believe you can choose the next connecting train and get the seat reservations or train supplements for that train instead.

Stud programme itself:
The tour of the puszta was very enjoyable. We saw the horses, sheep, cattle, buffaloes but not the pigs (still indoors) on the puszta itself rather than in farms. It didn't feel very touristy (unlike what the village was described to be), but more like an educational tour. There was an opportunity for a short ride on the horses on the puszta, though only some people did so. A little intimidating for us since we're short and have no experience with horses.

Some other tips:
We went in April on a cloudy day. While it was not cold, it can get quite windy on the moving horse carriage. No wonder the guide brought her jacket along. Before or after the tour, try to eat at the cafe there or bring some food along. We were lucky to have brought some snacks - there were not many food options (more like the cafe was the only option) around there. And go to the toilet before leaving - the one at the train station/post was not in use and the train frequency is low (one hour interval).
Written 3 May 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jemtravels2017
Pittsburgh, PA58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2019 • Friends
We started with a jeep ride for a close up view of the grey cattle and Przewalski's horses. Our guide explained the animals' histories to the area, the breeding programs, how their grazing patterns help the prairie, and other interesting details. The also have an area to house injured birds that cannot be released. We returned to our car and drove to the carriage ride start point. A team of 4 horses pulled us out into the prairie for the cowboy show. The cowboys rode their horses around us cracking whips. The horses laid down and the cowboys stood on them with the whips still cracking. Then the horses sat on their butts like dogs. Amazing. They don't use a traditional saddles, just a piece of padding that is barely cinched on. We were allowed to jump on and be lead around a bit and them a jump off. The wagons to us to see water buffalo, racka sheep, and another type of cattle. We viewed traditional buildings, water wells and walked through the stables. We stopped at a local potter who specializes in beautiful black pottery. Lunch was incredible. The portions were huge, ingredients fresh, and very tasty. The museum was small and very informative about traditional life on the plain. I would love to go back and do some bird watching.
Written 4 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2Ad2Ch
Perth, Australia96 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
This place is very interesting despite its flatness. But it's the constant need of payment in the town that annoyed me. First you have to pay to park (we drove slightly further away and didn't pay) then you have to pay to visit the Shepherd's Museum (this is an interesting place and worth a visit), then nearby there's a bird sanctuary with an interesting looking playground my kids were busting to go on. There were no other kids there which was odd. But then we found out why - you have to pay to use it! And of course you have to pay to visit the birdies. Needless to say the kids didn't end up playing there and we only saw the birds at the front of the place. We bought a few trinkets from the markets here, the vendors are very keen to sell you their stuff. We also ate lunch in the only hotel in Hortobagy (the town) I had a delicious soup but the rest of the family were less than impressed with their microwaved stuffed pancakes which were supposed to be filled with paprika chicken but actually had what looked and tasted like sawdust. We visited the nearby zoo which, although it was a very hot day, was an interesting place to see. All the animals are just domestic ones but they're all Hungarian, including those famous Grey Cattle with their ginormous horns. Please hold your breath as you pass the Mangalica Pigs - they smell worse than anything you could imagine! Definitely worth a visit but bring money - even if you need to pee!
Written 18 August 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Simon
Eastbourne, UK126 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
Hortobagy is a marvellous place, the 9 hole bridge and the extra ordinary plain is inspiring. Visit during the spring or autumn bird migration and the drive in is like a bird safari.

Bird Hospital

Sadly many birds get hurt in the Migration But help is on hand. Whilst in Hortobagy please visit the animal park. Contrary to other reviews it IS NOT A ZOO, rather a wild bird hospital and rehabilitation Center. You can see into the operating theater, see the birds with legs and wings in splints in the indoor ward (the small will stay be hardest to forget), then see the rehabilitation cages that allow the birds to regain their strength and also a healthy fear of humans BEFORE they are released. There are all kinds from Storks to Eagles and Owls. Pay them a visit and be part of the solution!

Market

Excellent local market, with lots of local produce and useful and charming objects d’art including a magnificent selection of Bull whips!

Csarda

The Csarda (big eatery by the bridge) is lovely, great food and drinks and popular with the locals. Try the Hortobagy Pancakes with local beef as a filler. Nice and filling and supportive of the farming collective that maintains the Puszta.
Written 11 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kunter T
Tartu, Estonia22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015 • Couples
Firstly, we visited the Hortobagyi bird hospital. This place is doing very good work to help all kinds of birds, even the ones not endangered! Inside, you can see many different species of injured birds gathered from all over the country. They are behind a reflective glass so they can't see people watching them. There is even a window to the operating room! There are also quite many stuffed birds to become acquainted with Hungarian fauna. Outside, there are many cages with birds that are in a better shape, mostly storks, eagles and buzzards and Corvidae. The young man in charge spoke excellent English (rare in Hungary) and was very helpful.

Then we bought some cheap daily tickets to visit the hiking trail between Hortobagy fish ponds. It's a long straight forward walk (together about 11-12km but there is also a possibility to ride a small train like 3-4 times a day). Fortunately, there are also quite many birding towers along the way. Also, you will see lots of egrets and some Bee-eaters flying over you. We also happened to visit a bird ringing station along the way. I think it's not meant for tourists, but a nice young woman there was happy to do a little ringing demonstration for us (though I still feel bad because a bird pooped on her and ruined her fleece). When you finally reach the main tower in the end of the road, you will be happy that you took the effort! The view from there is spectacular and there's even a very powerful binocular type thing mounted on the top floor to get a better look if you don't have your own spotting scope. Saw a flock of spoonbills for the first time from that tower. I still suggest you bring your own binoculars as well.
Written 16 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Walter Gerritsen van der Hoop
Den Bosch, The Netherlands208 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2012 • Couples
In Hortobagy, find the horse show in Mata (leave the main road just West of the village, go North, continue ,across the railroad, at the end turn right untill the road ends). In season you can embark at 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00 for 1 1/2 hour on horsecarts, see the puszta and enjoy wonderful riding demonstrations.
This is a MUST, if you visit Budapest and miss this, you have not been in Hungary!.Price: less than $ 10,-
Written 23 August 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

twofromOZ
Budapest, Hungary104 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2019 • Couples
Could hardly wait to show my Australian husband the beautiful Hortobagy. We went by train and was dropped off at some godforsaken place no signs as where to go. So we walked and walked, finally got to the highway and saw the entrance. Bought the tickets.
Lots of food and etc. outlets, and finally a horse race--was good and spectacular---
Went to the office to buy tickets and was told the "Puszta" trip will not start until next Monday. We were sooooo disappointed!!!! So, bad luck. Next year we will arrange a tourist guide, we have to see this wonderful part of Hungary!!!!!!

Maybe the authorities should let the tourist know about the closure of the "Puszta" at times??? And put up signs at the station?????? Tourism Minister please take a ride and see to improve, better for tourism!!!!!-not everybody drives a car here when visiting----
Written 17 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

peterktan
Singapore, Singapore46 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Solo
We went with a group to the National Park, and it took us out of the city life of Debrecen immediately. We saw the man controlling give horses. We went onto horse carriages and were taken around to see the water buffaloes, the curly haired pigs (mangalica), the sheep with corkscrew horns and the horses. We also went into the museum with depictions of the herdsmen's lifestyle. I was glad to be given some insight into the traditional life in the Central Plains of Hungary.
Written 6 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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