Kecskemet © Emmanuel Dyan
An easy 53-mile (86km) drive from Budapest, Kecskemét (pronounced ketch-keh-mate) isn't well-known to outsiders but makes a wonderful day or weekend trip from the city. However, travellers may be seduced into staying longer once they have arrived. While Kecskemét is quite large, with more than 100,000 residents, the place has a uniquely small-town charm with a picturesque town centre. With an abundance of wide streets and open squares, walking around the sunny and scenic city centre, peppered with colourful Art Nouveau buildings, is a pleasant pastime, and there is lots to be discovered.
There are a number of attractions in Kecskemét that visitors will enjoy, including the Schnapps distillery tours at the Pálinka Museum, the Hungarian Photography Museum, the Museum of Hungarian Folk Art and Handicrafts, and the beautiful architecture and art collections at the City Hall. Kecskemét also has some very good restaurants, and visitors can sample the local varieties of apricot brandy made there. Possibly the best way to explore the city is just to let yourself get lost in the lovely centre and see what you can find. The city has existed in some form since at least the 1300s so it is no surprise that it holds many hidden gems for visitors.