To escape the humid Budapest summers, many people head north of the city to the Danube Bend, a grand stretch of the river heading out towards Estergom, cradle of Hungarian Christianity. Szentendre on the west bank of the Danube Bend is a popular day-trip from Budapest, a picturesque if rather touristy “town of artists” with narrow cobbled streets and quaint houses.
Szentendre was originally populated by Serbs seeking refuge from the Ottomans in the late seventeenth century and the Serbian cultural imprint remains, particularly in the atmospheric, incense-filled Blagovestenska Church, on the north side of the main square, Fotér. Just around the corner at Vastagh György utca 1 is the Margit Kovács Museum , displaying the lifetime work of Hungary’s greatest ceramicist and sculptor, born in 1902. There’s a charming view over Szentendre’s steeply banked rooftops and gardens from the hilltop Templom tér, above Fő tér, where the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral is visible inside its walled garden; tourists are generally not admitted, but you can see the cathedral iconostasis and treasury in the adjacent museum. Beyond that, the town’s chief attractions consist of wandering along the riverside or poring over the offerings at the many tourist-oriented stalls.