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 (April–Oct Tues–Sun 10am–5pm; 400Ft; T26 312 399), on the north side of the main square, Fő tér. Just around the corner at Vastagh György utca 1 is the Margit Kovács Museum (daily 10am–6pm; 1200Ft; T26 310 244), 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 (May–Sept Tues–Sun 10am–6pm; Oct–April Tues–Sun 10am–4pm; 700Ft; T26 312 399).
Try and spend some time in Szentendre, as there are at least half a dozen more art collections, exhibitions and galleries worth a look – indeed, you won’t want to miss the Marzipan Museum with its sculpted pastries at Dumtsa Jenő utca 12 (daily: April–Oct 9am–7pm; Nov–March 9am–6pm; 500Ft; T26 311 931). There are spring-welcoming folk dances on March and April weekends, music festivals over the summer and a rich programme leading to New Year’s Eve. Ask Tourinform for details.