Art Nouveau style Grof Palace, Szeged, Hungary

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It’s hard to name the single thing that makes Szeged such an appealing city. Is it the shady, garden-like main square with all the park benches, or the abundant streetside cafe seating in a pedestrian area that seems to stretch on forever? Maybe it’s the interesting architecture of the palaces in the Old Town. Then again, it could be the year-round cultural performances and lively university-town vibe (students marched here in 1956 before their classmates in Budapest did). Szeged – a corruption of the Hungarian word sziget (island) – sits astride the Tisza River, with a thermal-bath complex and park opposite the Old Town. Another thing that makes the city unique is the unusual Szeged accent in Hungarian (eg 'e' is pronounced as 'ö'), which sounds strange in a country with so few dialectical differences.


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