Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary by population. The city is the economic, cultural and scientific centre of eastern Hungary. The city, which is almost 660 years old and often referred to as ‘Calvinist Rome’, is considered the centre of the Reformation, the symbols of which can be found in its Great Church and the Reformed College.

Education is at the centre of Debrecen. The city boasts the oldest and largest university in the country and it offers the most diverse training scheme. It is currently home to 31,458 students – of which 6,506 are international – in 14 faculties and 25 doctoral schools.

Thanks to the Investment Promotional Programme and the city’s systematic economic development efforts, big multinational companies – such as BMW, Krones, Deufol and ThyssenKrup – decided to invest in Debrecen. The city has seen an impressive economic growth in recent years leading to the establishment of four large industrial parks, covering nearly 1,200 hectares.

Apart from its economic exploits, Debrecen is a viable and vibrant city offering a wide range of recreational and cultural activities for locals and visitors alike. People can enjoy the Great Forest, the first protected nature area in Hungary, and take long walks. The forest also hosts the Aquaticum Spa, the open-air bath, the zoo and the amusement park.

One of the most visited cultural events in Hungary is the Flower Carnival, organised as part of the many events happening during the Carnival week in August. Debrecen is also a good spot for sport lovers with more than 40 world competitions organised in nearly 20 sports in the last 20 years. The city is renowned for its gastronomical and music festivals, and entertainment is available all year around with indoor and outdoor theatres, cinemas, restaurants and bars.

The city has a dedicated Urban and Economic Development Centre (EDC Debrecen), which provides consultancy and support for the municipality and helped the city win several awards in the past years such as the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/ 2019 ‘Best fDi Strategy’ (Financial Times) or the CEE Shared Services and Outsourcing Awards, ‘Emerging City of the Year’ in CEE 2017.

Dr László Papp Mayor
official website
Great Church
Carnival Night
Open air bath
Frog lake
Fog theatre


Other cities in Hungary