Zalaegerszeg, Hungary

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Zalaegerszeg, Hungary

Region: Zala

Geographic Coordinates: 46.839200, 16.851100
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary?
Population: 55470
Language: Hungarian

Zalaegerszeg, Often referred to as the city of grapes and wine, Is a charming and vibrant town located in western Hungary. Nestled in the Zala Valley, Surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery, This picturesque destination offers a unique blend of natural beauty, Rich history, And warm hospitality. One of the highlights of Zalaegerszeg is its stunning architecture. The city center boasts an array of beautifully preserved historic buildings that showcase various architectural styles from different eras. The Main Square is particularly captivating with its elegant Baroque-style Town Hall and the impressive Egerszeg Castle towering over it.

Visitors can stroll along the quaint streets lined with colorful facades, Browse through local shops selling traditional crafts or enjoy a coffee at one of the cozy cafes. For nature enthusiasts, Zalaegerszeg provides ample opportunities to explore its surrounding countryside. Just a short distance from the city lies Göcsej Landscape Protection Area – a haven for hikers and nature lovers alike. This pristine region is home to dense forests teeming with wildlife, Tranquil lakes perfect for fishing or boating excursions and picturesque trails that offer breathtaking views of the landscape.

Culture aficionados will find plenty to indulge in within Zalaegerszeg as well. The Göcseji Village Museum showcases traditional rural life through its collection of authentic farmhouses dating back centuries. Visitors can step back in time as they wander through these meticulously reconstructed dwellings filled with artifacts depicting daily life during different periods. Food enthusiasts will delight in exploring Zalaegerszeg’s culinary scene which showcases both traditional Hungarian dishes alongside international flavors.

Local restaurants serve up mouthwatering specialties such as goulash soup made from locally sourced ingredients or indulgent chimney cakes dusted with cinnamon sugar – a true delight for those seeking an authentic taste experience. Zala County Museum is another must-visit attraction where visitors can delve into regional history and learn about the area’s cultural heritage. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, Including archaeological finds, Traditional costumes and artwork that offer a glimpse into Zalaegerszeg’s past. Throughout the year, Zalaegerszeg hosts various festivals and events that bring the city to life with music, Dance and celebration.

The Grape Harvest Festival is a highlight for wine enthusiasts as it showcases local winemakers’ finest products in a lively atmosphere filled with music and dancing. Zalaegerszeg offers visitors a captivating blend of history, Natural beauty, Culinary delights and warm hospitality. Whether exploring its charming streets adorned with stunning architecture or immersing oneself in the surrounding countryside’s tranquility and scenic landscapes – this Hungarian gem promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Important Landmarks

  1. Göcseji Village Museum: A popular open-air museum showcasing the traditional rural life of the Göcsej region.
  2. Saint Stephen’s Cathedral: The main Catholic church in Zalaegerszeg, known for its beautiful architecture and intricate interior design.
  3. Göcsej Museum: A local history museum featuring exhibitions on the cultural heritage of Zala County.
  4. Kossuth Square: The central square of Zalaegerszeg, surrounded by historical buildings and a popular meeting point for locals.
  5. Aquacity Water Park: A large water park offering various pools, slides, and wellness facilities for visitors to enjoy.
  6. Lake Gébárti: A picturesque lake located just outside the city center that provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and hiking around its scenic trails.
  7. Csónakázó-tó (Boating Lake): A charming lake with pedal boats available for rent during summer months, surrounded by green areas ideal for picnics or leisurely walks.
  8. Gránit Thermal Spa: An indoor-outdoor thermal bath complex with various pools filled with medicinal waters known to have healing properties.
  9. Arboretum Ság Hill: An enchanting botanical garden situated on Ság Hill featuring a wide variety of plant species from around the world.
  10. Egerszeg Stadium: Home to local football matches and occasionally hosting larger events such as concerts or festivals.

Primary Industries

  1. Automotive Industry: Zalaegerszeg is home to a significant automotive industry presence. Several large companies, including Audi Hungaria Motor Kft., have manufacturing facilities in the region.
  2. Information Technology and Software Development: The city has a growing IT sector, with numerous software development companies operating in Zalaegerszeg.
  3. Agriculture and Food Processing: The surrounding region of Zala County is known for its agricultural production, including crops like corn, wheat, potatoes, and sunflowers. There are also food processing plants that handle these agricultural products.
  4. Machinery Manufacturing: Zalaegerszeg has a strong machinery manufacturing sector that produces various types of equipment such as industrial machinery, agricultural machinery, and construction equipment.
  5. Renewable Energy: The city has been investing in renewable energy sources such as solar power generation and biomass utilization.
  6. Retail and Services: As a regional center with a population of over 60,000 people, Zalaegerszeg has a vibrant retail sector offering various goods and services to residents and visitors alike.
  7. Tourism: Although not an industry per se but an important economic driver for the city is tourism due to its natural beauty (including Lake Balaton), historical sites like the Göcseji Village Museum or thermal baths like Gránit Thermal & Medical Spa Hotel.

These industries contribute significantly to the local economy by providing employment opportunities while attracting investment from both domestic and international companies.

Noteable History

  1. Founding: Zalaegerszeg was founded in the 13th century by King Béla IV of Hungary.
  2. Turkish Occupation: During the Ottoman Empire’s occupation of Hungary (16th-17th centuries), Zalaegerszeg was destroyed and depopulated.
  3. Rebuilding: After the departure of the Ottomans, Zalaegerszeg was rebuilt, starting in the late 17th century.
  4. The Great Fire of 1790: A devastating fire destroyed a significant part of Zalaegerszeg, resulting in major reconstruction efforts.
  5. Birthplace of Ferenc Deák: Ferenc Deák (1803-1876) is one of Hungary’s most important historical figures associated with Zalaegerszeg. He was a politician known as The Wise Man who played a crucial role in shaping modern Hungarian politics and negotiating for Hungarian autonomy within Austria-Hungary during the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867.
  6. Industrialization: In the late 19th century, industrialization began to transform Zalaegerszeg into an important economic center within western Hungary.
  7. World War II: During World War II, like many other towns in Europe, Zalaegerszeg suffered from bombings and military actions by both Axis powers and Allied forces.
  8. István Bibó: István Bibó (1911-1979) was born in Budapest but spent his later years living in Zala county near Zalaegerszeg due to political persecution under communist rule after World War II. He was an influential political thinker, lawyer, philosopher, historian, and politician who opposed both fascism and communism.
  9. Modern Developments: In recent years, Zalaegerszeg has become known for its automotive industry and the establishment of the ZalaZone automotive test track, attracting significant investment and technological advancements.

These are just a few examples of historical events and notable people associated with Zalaegerszeg. The city has a rich history that encompasses various periods and influences.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Göcseji Village Museum: This open-air museum showcases traditional rural life in the Göcsej region, featuring original farmhouses, workshops, and exhibits on local crafts and traditions.
  2. Zalaegerszeg Arboretum: A beautiful botanical garden with over 500 species of plants and trees. It offers a peaceful environment for leisurely walks and picnics.
  3. Galeria Aqua: An art center that hosts various exhibitions by local and international artists. It also organizes workshops, lectures, and cultural events.
  4. Saint Elizabeth Cathedral: A stunning neo-Gothic cathedral with intricate stained glass windows, impressive architecture, and a tranquil atmosphere for reflection.
  5. Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere): This central square is dedicated to the memory of Hungarian national heroes with statues of important historical figures such as Lajos Kossuth and Ferenc Deák.
  6. Göcsej Museum: Located in a former county hall building, this museum exhibits the history of Zalaegerszeg through archaeological artifacts, historical documents, artworks, and interactive displays.
  7. Csónakázó-tó (Boating Lake): A picturesque lake surrounded by greenery where visitors can rent paddle boats or simply relax by the water’s edge.
  8. Erzsébet Park: A lovely park offering walking paths, playgrounds for children, benches for relaxation, or picnics under shady trees.
  9. Városi Sportcsarnok (City Sports Hall): If you’re interested in sports events or concerts during your visit to Zalaegerszeg, check out this venue known for hosting various activities throughout the year.
  10. Szent István Park: Another charming park perfect for strolling or sitting down to enjoy nature while admiring its beautiful flowerbeds.

Sports Teams

  1. Zalaegerszegi TE (ZTE): ZTE is the most prominent football (soccer) team from the city. Founded in 1920, they have had several successful periods throughout their history. They reached the top division of Hungarian football for the first time in 1967 and have since become an established team in the Nemzeti Bajnokság I (Hungarian top league). ZTE won their first and only league title in 2002, which was a remarkable achievement for a smaller club. They have also participated in European competitions like the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup.
  2. KK Zalaegerszeg: This basketball team was founded in 1951 and has had varying success over the years. They competed primarily in lower divisions but managed to reach Hungary’s top basketball league, the Nemzeti Bajnokság I/A multiple times.
  3. Kőbánya SC: Although not based solely in Zalaegerszeg, Kőbánya SC is worth mentioning due to its historical significance as one of Hungary’s oldest sports clubs founded back in 1904 as Budapesti Kinizsi SE before moving to Kőbánya district within Budapest later on. The club had various sections including football, athletics, cycling, wrestling, etc., and achieved considerable success during its early years.

It’s important to note that while these teams represent or have represented Zalaegerszeg at some point, they might not be exclusively based there or may have undergone changes throughout their history.

Cultural Events

Events and Festivals in Zalaegerszeg

  • Zalai Fair: This is a traditional fair held in August, showcasing local arts, crafts, food, and entertainment.
  • Grape Harvest Festival: Celebrated in September, this festival marks the beginning of the grape harvest season with wine tastings, music performances, and various cultural activities.
  • Zala County Days: Held annually in June or July, this event highlights the traditions and customs of Zala County through folk dances, live music performances, craft exhibitions, and culinary delights.
  • Theatre Festival: Organized by the Hevesi Sándor Theatre in Zalaegerszeg during spring or autumn each year; it brings together national and international theatre companies to showcase their productions.
  • Christmas Market: Taking place during December in downtown Zalaegerszeg’s main square (Kossuth tér), this market offers traditional Hungarian handicrafts, festive food specialties like chimney cake (kürtőskalács), mulled wine (forralt bor), concerts by local choirs or bands as well as a visit from Santa Claus.
  • International Guitar Festival: This annual festival attracts guitar enthusiasts from around the world who participate in workshops led by renowned musicians while enjoying concerts featuring various genres of guitar music.
  • Dance Festivals: Throughout the year, dance groups from different regions perform at various venues across Zalaegerszeg to celebrate Hungarian folk dances and preserve cultural heritage.

Please note that due to varying circumstances such as COVID-19 restrictions or changes in event schedules may occur; it is advisable to check for updated information before attending any specific event or festival.


  1. Halászlé (Fisherman’s soup): A spicy fish soup made with freshwater fish, paprika, and other seasonings. It is a traditional Hungarian dish that can be found in many restaurants in Zalaegerszeg.
  2. Hortobágyi palacsinta: A savory pancake filled with minced meat (usually chicken or veal) and topped with a rich paprika sauce. This dish is often served as an appetizer or main course.
  3. Csárda-style cuisine: Csárda is a traditional Hungarian restaurant known for its hearty meals and rustic ambiance. These establishments serve dishes like goulash, roast pork knuckle, stuffed cabbage rolls (töltött káposzta), and various grilled meats.
  4. Két Korona Étterem: Located in the center of Zalaegerszeg, this restaurant offers both Hungarian and international cuisine with a focus on using fresh local ingredients.
  5. Rózsakert Étterem: Known for its elegant atmosphere, Rózsakert Étterem serves traditional Hungarian dishes alongside international options. The restaurant also features live music on certain evenings.
  6. Betyárkonyha Vendéglő és Pizzéria: Offering a mix of Hungarian and Italian cuisine, this restaurant is popular for its pizzas as well as traditional Hungarian dishes like stuffed peppers (töltött paprika) and pork stew (sült sertéshús).
  7. Fehér Szarvas Restaurant & Café: Situated in the city center near the Göcseji Village Museum, this establishment combines modern gastronomy with regional flavors to create unique culinary experiences.

These are just some examples of the popular local cuisine and restaurants in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary. Visitors to the city can explore further and discover many more delightful dining options.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Göcseji Village Museum: A unique open-air museum showcasing traditional village life and architecture of the region.
  2. Kápolnapuszta Buffalo Reserve: A nature reserve where visitors can observe herds of European bison (buffalo) in their natural habitat.
  3. Arboretum of Zalaegerszeg: A beautiful botanical garden with various plant species, walking paths, and picnic areas.
  4. AquaCity Water Park: An indoor water park featuring slides, pools, saunas, and wellness facilities for all ages.
  5. Gránit Thermal and Medical Bath: A thermal bath complex offering various indoor and outdoor pools with healing mineral-rich waters.
  6. Lake Gébárti: A scenic lake located just outside the city center where visitors can go fishing or enjoy a leisurely walk around its shores.
  7. Új Major Adventure Park: An adventure park with activities like high ropes courses, climbing walls, zip lines, and paintball for adrenaline seekers.
  8. Zobori Botanical Garden: A peaceful garden with a wide variety of plants including roses, orchids, cacti, and exotic flowers.
  9. Csónakázó-tó (Boating Lake): A small lake where visitors can rent rowboats or pedal boats for a relaxing ride on the water.
  10. Forest Parks (Kerka Valley Forest Park & Nagyerdő): These forested areas offer hiking trails amidst nature ideal for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy walking or cycling.


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