Mayor’s Welcome

Mayor’s Welcome

On the behalf of the public servants of Debrecen and as the mayor of the city I do welcome You to the official home page of the city. This beautiful jewel in the heart of the Carpathian Basin is a cultural, economic and scientific centre which enchants all Visitors, either seeking refreshing peace and relaxing comfort or social vitality and cultural dynamism. As the centre of the region Debrecen is both a cosy and modern metropolis sensitive to its environment and a traditional city conscious of its outstanding cultural and historic heritage. Thus, Debrecen is a distinctive mixture of old and new, traditional and unique, comfortable and exciting.

This website is constructed and designed in a way that it wishes to provide You with the services and information You need to enjoy all that Debrecen has to offer, and was also improved in order to make access to a detailed set of information about Debrecen easier. Let it be general information, cultural programs or even investment information, the website offers You regularly updated information in a variety of topics and issues, while it also gives a taste of Debrecen’s essence and flavour.

We wish to serve and fulfill all Your needs and requests through our website and also hope that this digital surface would later turn out to be the first step towards an actual visit to our beautiful city. Please explore our website and do not hesitate to contact us!


László Papp, Dr.

Mayor of Debrecen

Mayor’s Office The City of Debrecen

Old City Hall

New City Hall

Postal Addresses:

20 Piac Street

Debrecen 4024

Phone Number: +36-52-511-400

Fax Number: +36-52-511-401

Postal Addresses:

11 Kálvin Square

Debrecen 4026

Phone Number: +36-52-517-700

Web Site:  www.debrecen.hu

E-mail Address:mayor@ph.debrecen.hu

Laszlo Papp, Dr.

László Papp

Mayor of Debrecen

Dr.Barcsa Lajos

Lajos Barcsa

Vice-Mayor for Economic Affairs

Diána Széles, Dr.

Diána Széles


Szabolcs Komolay

Szabolcs Komolay


Antal Szekeres

Antal Szekeres

Head Notary of Debrecen

Zoltán Fauszt

Zoltán Fauszt


Local Government

Just as in all habitations in Hungary, the public services and offices of the city of Debrecen are estabished on a strong, self-sustaining and self-supporting local government which also emphasizes its own communal functions and roles. These important social and political roles are based on the modifications of the Constitution launched in 1990. At the same time, these modifications served as the basis for the three essential rights of local governmets: the right for self-government accompanied by political and economic autonomy, democratic wield of local power and the judicial protection of local govermental rights.

The institutions of the local government:

- the Mayor and his office

- the City Council and its Committees

- Office of the Body of Representatives

The local government is a rather complex and well-established system of different administrative and decision-making institutions. These are further supported by a number of committees, boards and councellors. The summit organ of the local government is the City Council with its 35 members, and headed by the Mayor himself in cooperation with the Head Notary. Thus the office of the Mayor is the office of the City Council as well, and this way these seemingly separate units form an organic system.

Nevertheless, this coherently functioning governmental body is separated into various bureaus, which support faster and more effective administration, such as Bureau of Local Adimistration, Bureau of Local Innovation, Bureau of General Control, Bureau of Local Economic Affairs, etc. Moreover, technical innovations and a highly effective on-line service system initiated in the Mayor’s Office serve the citizens in their everyday administrative affairs from taxation to health issues.  


The history of this marvelous city shows its importance and magnificence although the centuries, and also serves as the basis for the distinctive and exceptionally rich cultural and historical life of Debrecen. The city and its region was already inhabited in the ancient times, as up to the arrival of the wandering Hungarians in the 9th century A.D. a number of various nations and ethnic groups lived here. As a result of this, the margins of the contemporary city often functioned as border territories among major empires and nations. Nagyerdő (Great Forest) and Ördög-árok (Devil’s Ditch) in the territory called Erdőspuszták also show evidences of ancient habitation as it reveals the remnants of an enormous frontier defence system. The city grew out of the union of a number of villages and was founded in the meeting of important trading routes, but the history of the city is still hardly known around and even after the time of the conquest. Debrecen emerged from the surrounding villages after the Mongol Invasion. The name of the city occurred first in 1235 in an ecclesiastic document, and in 1271 it occurred as Dubrychyn, and in the last years of the 13th century as Debruchun.

An important stage of the development of Debrecen was the charter given by King Louis the Great in 1361, which elevated Debrecen into the group of privileged market-towns. Thanks to the records kept about the active and flourishing trade from the 16th century, an image of a well-established and effective city with flourishing external relations is drawn. 

By the end of the 17th century, after the Turkish withdrawal, the country was drawn under Habsburg rule, and the charter presented by Leopold I. in 11 April, 1693 Debrecen was elevated to the rank of a royal free town. 

The Hungarian Revolution in 1848 March affected Debrecen radically as well: the further unfolding freedom fights shed new light on Debrecen. During the first half of 1849 the government of Hungary moved here, thus Debrecen became the temporary capital – Debrecen later acquired the name “the sentinel of liberty” for this – of the country. The temporary Parliament held its sessions in the Oratory of the Reformed College, where Lajos Kossuth, the world-famous leader of the Revolution declared the dethronement of the Habsburg rule and the independence of Hungary. After the chaotic decades of the mid-19th century the circumstances of the city clarified and strengthened: in 1857 the railway reached Debrecen, and the city soon became a railway junction, thus enhancing further the already flourishing industrial investments.

The city, which gradually became more and more beautiful, opened its first stone-built theatre in 1865 and it was named after one of the greatest poets of Debrecen, Mihály Csokonai Vitéz. At the end of the World War II the war caused serious damages in the city, but in 1944 the rehabilitation following the centuries’ old traditions of the city and the region began. As a result of this, Debrecen became the capital of the country again for the second time: at the end of the war the Temporary National Assembly was in session in Debrecen. During the Socialist regime Debrecen followed the path of development also imposed on other large cities in Hungary. The first free local elections were held in 1990, and thus the city could gain self-control. The 21th century welcomed Debrecen with another extremely successful period: not only the image of the city has changed, but the citizens can be proud again to their city and citizenship. Marvellous sights, elegant restaurants, vibrant cultural life and exciting events make Debrecen one of the most splendid and dynamic city of Hungary.

Culture and Entertainment 

Debrecen is one of the cultural and social centres of Hungary for almost half a century, and has been dedicated to establish and maintain a remarkable and outstanding cultural credo. Since 1538 the most marvellous minds of Hungarian culture and science learned in the famous Reformed College. The Museum of the College has an outstanding collection of 17 000 pieces and its library owns distinctive book rarities, while its collection of embroidery and goldsmith’s crafts also offers a unique experience. The Kölcsey Conference Center, one of the largest ones in the country, was opened in 2006 and hosted a number of national and international stars, at the same time its hall and gallery regularly houses distinctive and unique exhibitions.

The famous Déri Museum is also a part of the rich and vivid cultural and intellectual life of the city. Although the main attractions are the monumental paintings of Mihály Munkácsy about Jesus Christ, there are other extremely interesting and rare pieces in the permanent collection as well, ranging from Egyptian mummies to South-Asian weapon rarities. At the same time the Déri Museum houses an incredible collection of local history that positions Debrecen in the cultural and thematic history of the region and the country too.

But not only the Déri Museum invites those who seek culture in Debrecen: the recently opened art gallery for contemporary fine arts, the MODEM hosted the world famous The Real da Vinci exhibition in 2007. The exhibition which arrived to Debrecen after touring in Florence and Tokyo attracted more than 160 000 visitors. Besides these major museums, other, smaller, though similarly outstanding museums await the visitors interested in the treasures of local cultural history, just as the Literary Museum, the Sculpture Museum, the Medggyessy Memorial Museum or the Tanners’ House of traditional handcrafts, and an enormous number of art galleries. 

The theatre life of the city is also very vibrant, as the two stone-built theatres of the city, the Csokonai Theatre and the Vojtina Puppet Theatre offer a cornucopia of programmes for the theatre-going audience. Nevertheless, a number of experimental, amateur and alternative theatre groups also shape the interesting cultural life of Debrecen, which usually offer plays and stage productions in several foreign languages.

Moreover, this rather flourishing cultural life is essentially supported by the organic life of the larger and smaller community centres, where besides the various colourful programmes, almost a hundred different clubs, amateur groups and circles await those who want to spend their times in useful ways.

As Debrecen is the city of festivals and concerts, thousands and thousands of people visit the city for the Flower Carnival, the International Festival of Military Bands, the Debrecen Jazz Festival, the Poetry Festival, Summer and Autumn Festivals, or the Debrecen Turkey Festival and the Béla Bartók International Choir Festival. The numberless concerts, music groups, and choirs – let it be classical or light music – are obvious evidences of the flourishing musical life of the city, which offer day after day their various programmes for the citizens and the tourists as well.

But one should not forget the immense possibilities lying in the elegant and all-inclusive restaurants, pubs, clubs and plazas, and spas which satisfy all needs and desires.


Debrecen is extremely proud of its centuries’s old traditions and heritage in education, that is why the city pays considerable attention to this public sector from lower to higher levels as well. As a result of this Debrecen is not only a regional and national, but an international centre of education, especially on higher levels. Several thousands of foreign students choose Debrecen as their educational destination year after year which hallmarks the traditionally high level of the various trainings and the well-established technical and scientific background supporting the institutional network. This network consists of almost 50 kindergartens, 40 elementary schools and 30 secondary schools, many of which are financed by the local government, though some are under ecclesiastical rule.  At the same time the city also pays attention to children with special needs and those who require special treatments: two special institutions and three special student residences offering distinctive and differentiated educational programmes deal with these needs.

Being a traditional regional and cultural centre, Debrecen is devoted both to promote education in different languages and to support talents as well. Therefore there are a number of bilingual schools and schools with special curriculum enhancing student performance. 

Debrecen is also one of the regional centres for higher education with its more than 30 000 students in 15 different faculties. Besides the internationally renowned research centres and programmes of the medical and the scientific faculties other faculties also ensure a distinctively high level of training. At the end of 1914 the University of Debrecen was established on the separated faculties of Law, Theology, and Humanities earlier operating as organic parts of the Reformed College. The new campus, headed by the breath-taking main building from 1932, was later structurally and administratively divided during the middle of the 20th century and was united only in the year 2000. Since that moment, the University of Debrecen, one of the largest ones in the country, offers a variety of trainings from humanities to natural sciences, from musical education to economic training, from medical to agricultural training. This outstanding system of higher education is further enhanced by the internationally respected medical training for foreign students from all around the world.  

The Debrecen Summer University, which had its 80th anniversary in 2007, is characteristic for its traditions, its excellent language teachers, and its friendly atmosphere. Thus, the summer university offers splendid programmes for those who wish to learn more about Hungarian culture and language, and as a result of this, the summer university hosts more than 600 students from more than 30 countries year after year.

For further information, please visit www.unideb.hu, www.deoec.hu, www.nyariegyetem.hu


By car

On roads No. 4, 33, 35, 42, and 47, or M3 highway leading to Görbeháza, and from Görbeháza M35 highway directly leading to Debrecen. The duration of such a journey from the capital is approximately 2-2,5 hours.

At the same time other regional centres can be reached Debrecen: you can reach Miskolc and Nyíregyháza – and through them Slovakia and Ukraine – on highways M35 and M3, or M30. Nevertheless, Debrecen is also a gate to Romania, which you can reach directly on road No. 47 towards the border town of Ártánd.

From Budapest: Highways M3 and M35,  Roads No. 33, 4

From Nyíregyháza: Road No. 4, 

From Miskolc: Road No. 35

Route finder :  Find a parking garage in the City center.  

by car via the M35 (E79) motorway that is connecting to the M3 (E71) motorway providing a direct link to the capital, Budapest  (see http://maps.google.com)

by car via the 4 (E573), 33, 35 (E71), 47 and 471 main roads  (see http://maps.google.com)

by train via the following lines: Nos. 100, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109 and 110;  (see Rail Map )

Of them No. 100 is a direkt link to the capital, Budapest.

By train

Debrecen lies on the No. 100 line of Budapest-Szolnok-Debrecen-Nyíregyháza-Záhony direction, not incidental therefore that this is one of the most developed railway junctions of the country. This provides the systematic and effective national and international railway transportation, as not only the major cities and towns are connected, put practically all inhabitations are integrated in the railway network. At the same time, Debrecen also enables international transportation by train to Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia as well. The MÁV (Magyar Államvasutak, Hungarian State Railway Company) supports the major lines with InterCity trains (fewer stops, shorter duration of travel, higher speed, and greater comfort), but fast and regular trains reach all parts of the region.

From Debrecen to Budapest and back at least 1 Inter City train per hour is available in each hour in the 6 h – 20 h period every day.

(for time tables see Elvira.hu)

  Hungarian State Railway Company (MÁV)

MÁVDIREKT– telephone customer service (lo-call bluenumber)

Number to be called from abroad

+ 36 (40)  49 49 49

Central Station of Debrecen


Phone Number:

12 Petőfi Square, Debrecen 4025

At the MÁV Central Station

+36 52 346 777,

+36 52 346 316,

Central Ticket Office and General Information Office:

Postal Address:

Phone Number:

4 Rózsa Street, Debrecen

+36 40 494 949

Useful links:

English version of MAV main website.
Updated timetable.

The railwaysmap of Hungary (2005). 
Small nostalgia trains.

Air transport

Since 2004 Debrecen has its own international airport with its own permanent border and customs, which is unique in Hungary outside Budapest. As a result of this, the airpot is capable to serve and handle all types of aeroplanes. Moreover, the airport is in the direct neighbourhood of the city, thus it is quite easy and fast to each it. The cosy and spatious terminal is absolutely digitalised for the faster and more comfortable service of the passengers, and thanks to the grandiose innovations the airport conforms to the highest aviation standards of the European Union.

Directly: via Debrecen International Airport (DEB)

Debreceni Nemzetközi Repülőtér (International Airport of Debrecen)

Airport Debrecen Kft.

Postal Adress: Mikepércsi street, Debrecen 

H-4002 Debrecen Pf. 187. 

Phone Number: +36-52-518-800

E-mail address: office@airportdebrecen. hu

Airport s website.


Indirectly: via Budapest-Ferihegy (BUD) International Airport

It serves a great number of international airlines

about 2.5 hours driving from the airport to Debrecen on M3 – M35 motorways  or via Oradea International Airport (OMR).

International airports within 200 km from Debrecen (The thick red lines in the map indicate motorways.)

Tram and trolly

Debrecen also makes extensive use of electric vehicles in public transportation: the tram and the trolley are organic parts of Debrecen s everyday life. These are maintained by DKV Zrt. which intends to initiate further developments for the higher comfort of the passengers.

For further information, please contact:

DKV Debreceni Közlekedési Zrt.

Postal Address: 

3 Salétrom Street, 4025 Debrecen 

Phone Number: +36-52-502-640

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