Possible as a day-trip from Budapest, Kecskemét is a small town chiefly remarkable for a few striking pieces of architecture from Hungary’s “Romantic Nationalist” period at the turn of the twentieth-century. Its name comes from the Hungarian for goat, kecske, as its thirteenth-century bishop apparently used to give the cloven-footed creatures to each new Christian convert. It is also the gateway to Kiskunság National Park.
Kecskemét’s main attraction is the ornate Cifra Palace – a large building on a street corner that you might overlook were it not for the daring Art Nouveau design. Designed by Géza Markus in 1902, it now houses the Kecskemét Art Gallery (Tues–Sun 10am–5pm; 700Ft; T76 480 776). Szabadság tér runs into the other main square, Kossuth tér, where the Town Hall stands tall, a masterpiece of Romantic Nationalist architecture. You can visit its Ceremonial Hall (Mon–Fri 10–11.30am; 300Ft), but must reserve first at the Tourinform office. Finally, the Hungarian Photography Museum at Katona József tér 12 (Tues–Sun noon–5pm; 500Ft; T76 483 221) has excellent exhibitions of photography from the nineteenth century to the present day.