The Nyíregyháza Zoo, also referred to as the zoo of superlatives, is located in the 34-hectare oak forest of Sóstógyógyfürdő, features 5000 animals of 500 species in habitats closely imitating their natural environments. Wherever possible, visitors are separated from the animals not by cages, but only trenches or ditches.
Visitors can make exciting walks and see the Green Pyramid, the Oceanarium, Tarzan’s path, Australia, the Antarctica, the Andes and the Victoria House. Popular zoo programmes include seal and parrot shows, camel-back riding, macaque forest, spectacular animal feedings, while tired children will enjoy riding around in baby taxies and zoo trucks.
In 2015 and 2018, the zoo won the title of “Europe’s Best Zoo” in the category of less than 500,000 visitors, while in 2017, it was chosen as the Tourist Attraction of the Year, based on votes on the website szallas.hu. The “Green Pyramid and Oceanarium” building won a special price in the world’s most prestigious real estate development competition.
Hungary’s second largest open-air museum of ethnography (or “skanzen”) presents the folk architecture of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County’s five microregions – Nyírség, Bereg, Rétköz, Szatmár and Mezőség – here in Nyíregyháza.
In addition to the five microregions, in the central part of the skanzen, a spool-structure village centre was built with a main square featuring a church with a bell tower and surrounded by the buildings of the school, the grocery store, the priest’s home, the fire brigade’s storehouse, the dry mill, and a variety of workshops. In one of the classrooms in the school building, there is an interesting exhibition on the history of schools. In the village, we can find the home of a minor nobleman, the very simple abode of a poor peasant, a classic “Tirpák” house, as well as a cemetery with unique wooden markers.
A “Pálinka House” was also recently opened, with an exhibition on the local fruit brandies of protected origin, but the building also serves as a venue for various events.
The programmes and events held at the skanzen are very popular, as they present traditions in an interactive way, making them into enjoyable experiences.
Traditionally, a large number of visitors are attracted each year by the Easter celebrations, May Day on the first of the month, when a May tree is erected and festivities are held, the election of the Whitsun King, the celebration of new bread on St. Stephen’s day, as well as the feast of St. Martin. Other popular programmes include the presentations of various tasks and chores associated with the autumn (fruit drying, jam-making, making red pepper strings, souring cabbage, stringing and smoothing tobacco leaves, thrashing beans, making must, etc.). The folk gastronomy shows held on Wednesdays, where the regional dishes prepared can also be tasted, are also very popular.
Adventure Park of Nyíregyháza
We recommend to those seeking thrills a visit to the Adventure Park of Nyíregyháza, where they can test their courage on a ropes course system consisting of more than 130 stations. The system includes a variety of obstacle courses for children and adults ranging in difficulty from easy to extreme. The park uses a self-securing method, which means that all climbers are required to use the carabiners to secure themselves on the rope courses. Protective gear is provided! Animators are continuously present on the courses. It is recommended that visitors wear closed shoes and comfortable clothing, such as sportswear.
András Jósa Museum
Winning the title of “Museum of the Year” in 2019, the András Jósa Museum has an archaeological collection of European reputation, but its collections of local history, fine and applied arts, as well as numismatics are also very rich.
The vault room
The vault room of the museum is of outstanding importance. This is where the golden treasures found during the construction of a house in Újfehértó are kept. The golden forint coins, mainly from the 16th and 17th centuries, probably belonged to a merchant forced to run and hide his money in a hurry.
Special guided tours
Upon request, families, groups of children or students can become familiar with the collections of the museum in the framework of a playful guided tour; in addition, it is also possible to sign up for special museum pedagogical sessions related to the exhibitions.
In the spirit of the equality of opportunities, the museum staff is striving to satisfy the needs of those with special needs, and also to guide visitors with disabilities in the museum. Special guided tours are offered to visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Szabolcs-Szatmár county has a unique cultural heritage, which was also noticed by those interested in cultural tourism, and it was not by accident that the region was selected as one of Europe’s most promising travel destinations in the EDEN project. The churches of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County originating from the age of the Árpád-dynasty represent exceptional treasures for tourists. Visitors to the area should not miss these wonderful churches with wooden-panelled ceilings, which can, in many cases, be discovered in the framework of an interactive experience. The medieval churches of Tákos, Csaroda, Vámosatya, as well as the Europa Nostra Award winner Sonkád, Szamosújlak, and Gyügye are all worthy of our admiration.
The cemetery of Szatmárcseke
The cemetery, famous of its boat-shaped grave-markers, is a historic monument. Featuring nearly 600 dark, stylized wooden markers symbolizing heads, as well as humans lying in boats, the cemetery is a unique sight. This is where the memorial of Hungarian poet, Ferenc Kölcsey, is also located. There is no entrance fee.
The watermill of Túristvándi
This still functioning ancient mill is a one-of-its-kind artefact of industrial history. Built in the late 18th century with a folk-style structure and three wheels driver by the water from below, the watermill is the pride of the Upper-Tisza area and is a rarity in the whole Central European region.
The dry mill of Tarpa
The dry mill, built in the early 19th century, is a protected monument, as the single surviving mill of its type in the North Trans-Tisza region. Renovated in the early 1980s, the so-called Tokaji-type mill is covered with wooden shingles, and is divided into a mill house and the treading area. There is no entrance fee.
Zsigmond Móricz Memorial House in Tiszacsécse
Tiszacsécse is an important memorial site of literature in the Szatmár region. The peasant house functioning as the Zsigmond Móricz Memorial site was the home of the Móricz family. Zsigmond Móricz, later to become a major Hungarian writer, lived here until the age of six.
Castle of Vaja
Perhaps the most beautiful, Renaissance-style fortified castle of the Upper-Tisza area can be found in Vaja, the ancient settlement of one the oldest noble families, the Vay dynasty. In the castle itself, situated in a wonderful natural environment, the exhibition of the Ádám Vay Museum recreates the milieu of the Rákóczi war of independence and its age.
The Báthori castle and the Panopticon (wax museum)
The permanent exhibition created in the building of the Báthori fortified castle, renovated in 2006, introduces the age and legends of the Báthori family, closely linked with the town of Nyírbátor, based on authentic historical facts and legends. The 45 life-sized figures of the Panopticon present the most important events of the era, while bringing to life several famous or infamous historical personages. The combination of the figures elaborated in miniscule detail and the environment fully adhering to historical accuracy create a unique Renaissance ambiance.
Máriapócs National Place of Pilgrimage
Máriapócs is a place of pilgrimage of national and international reputation. The settlement became famous after the painting of the Holy Virgin, located in the Saint Michael church, was seen to shed tears on several occasions. The Roman Catholic church, built with white walls in Gothic style and located nearby, is also an important architectural treasure.
The grave of the miracle rabbi in Nagykálló
The grave of Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Taub, miracle rabbi, which is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for Hassidic Jews, is located in the town of Nagykálló. In 1781, he was chosen as the chief rabbi of the town and at the same time also Szabolcs county. The miracle rabbi, who died in 1821, selected his place of burial while still alive, which was to be near the main entrance to the “old Jewish cemetery”. He asked that only the following words should be inscribed on his tombstone: “He was an honest Jew.” This inscription can be read at the entrance of the cemetery. After his death, a new rabbi was not chosen for nearly 20 years.
The hillfort of Szabolcs
The hillfort of Szabolcs is of outstanding significance among Hungarian historical monuments. It is among the hillforts in Europe preserved in its most intact condition, which is also of outstanding significance as it was still built in the 10th century, not long after the first Hungarians arrived in the Carpathian basin.
The castle of Sárospatak
The castle of Sárospatak, also known as the Rákóczi castle, is one of the most precious works of late Renaissance architecture in Hungary, and the most important historical monument in Sárospatak. It is part of the Hungarian national heritage.
Tokaj is located at a distance of only 34 km from Nyíregyháza, in the famous Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region, at the confluence of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers. The key to the development of this world heritage site town was not only its role in the production and sale of wines, but also its central location as a crossroads of travel routes.
The synagogue of Mád
The synagogue of Mád, which was almost entirely destroyed, was salvaged at the turn of the millennium: the renovation efforts were recognized with a Europa Nostra Award, and an American publishing house featured it in a book presenting the world’s 100 most beautiful synagogues.