Experience guide from Hollókő

Hollókő experience-guide

  „I have been to many places, but still I like Nógrád the most: with its mountains, valleys, trees growing straight; I see the grass greener here, the flowers smell better than anywhere else in the world. As if even the clouds dress in pink when they swim over us” – wrote Kálmán Mikszáth about his birthplace.  

Hollókő sights:

  • The protected world heritage houses of the Old Town
  • Hollókő Castle
  • Tours Saint Martin church
  • Andesite attle (geological exhibit)
  • St Martin Chapel


Castle museum: Already from far away, already from the Old Town, you can see the recently renovated Hollókő Castle. In the castle you can visit a wax museum, showing the one time master of the castle, András Kacsics and his family during a party. Apart from this, a fully furnished gun-room and a castle chapel are also open for visitors. The castle is open from 1 April to the 31 October, every day between 10 o’clock and 17:30.

Village museum: The family house, showing the traditional Palóc style architecture, was rebuilt after the fire of 1909 and has been a museum since 1964. In the peasant’s house a constant exhibition displays the home of a 20th century family with average economical status. The Village museum is open from 1 March till 15 December, every day between 10:00 and 18:00.

Palóc Doll museum: The museum has been open since 2001 with its nearly 200 porcelain dolls dressed in Palóc traditional costumes. It is open from 1 April till 30 November, every day between 10:00 and 17:00.

Post museum: The museum opened in 1990 and displays the exhibition titled “Palóc County’s Post.” The visitors can view the periods of the development of the post network and the different postal memoralia (post-cards, stamps, uniforms etc). The Post museum is open from 2 April to the 31 October, every day except for Monday, between 10:00 and 18:00.

The House of The Countryside: The House of The Countryside was formed in 1977 with the task to preserve the architectural, agricultural and cultural traditions of Hollókő and its surroundings. The House Of The Countryside is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00.

Handcraft Print-shop: The exhibition and the interactive display shows the printshops of the 1900’s to the visitors. You can not only admire the printing tools and equipment but you can also try them. For example, for a fee of 400,- Ft, anyone can print memories from Hollókő on the 200 year old metal Gutenberg press. Apart from printing, one can try even the whole process of book-binding. The workshop is open every day between 10:00 and 18:00. Every visitor gets a small present and the entry ticket can also be exchanged for a product made in the workshop.

Weaver workshop – Barn garden: The visitors of the Weaver worshop can get to know everything about the development of the handcraft weaving, its tools, equipment and different types. A woman dressed in the traditional folk costume tells the story of the world of the old spinneries and she also shows how a loom works. In the shop in the room beside, you can also buy the textile products made this way. If you want to, you can even learn how to weave. They are open between 1 April and 31 October, every day except for Tuesday, between 10:00 and 16:00.


Folk art houses:

  • Traditional toys made of wood, wooden spoons
  • Potter’s House
  • Pottery workshop
  • Raven folk art
  • Basket workshop
  • Barn Garden
  • Craft house (Mívesház) – Grocery shop
  • Handcraft cheese producer
  • Braided bread-shop

Other places of interest: 

  • Dance-house
  • Threshold Information Point
  • András Román Visitors’ House
  • Barn Garden open air stage
  • Church Bell Chime

Fun places for Children:

  • Hollókő Castle
  • Palóc Play house
  • Holló Jankó Playground / Adventure castle
  • Forest Playground

Children’s Program

  • Wooden spoon souvenir shop

Traditional toys

6 – 12 year olds: painting wooden spoons, making wooden toys,

from 12 year old mechanical toys, logic cube, developmental wooden toys

  • Castle tournaments for children, siege of the castle, unconvensional history lesson,
  • Programs at the Handcraft House (working with leather, corn leaves, bulrush and making candle),
  • Programs at the Craft House (Mívesház) (dressing in traditional folk costume, singing, popping corn, spinning demonstration, walk in the village..),
  • Programs at the Potter’s House (working with clay, pottery, decorating ginger bread cookies, making filt, embroidery, pearling …),
  • Program at the Barn Garden:

From 3-4 years old: Puppets of crop, decorating ginger bread cookies

From 5-6 years old: Cord knitting

From 11-12 year old: String weaving, Belt weaving, Weaving on a standing weaving frame

Puppets of crop can be combined with a hike learning about nature on the Biology study path. During this tour you can learn about the geological and geographical characteristics of the Hollókő Nature Reserve, and its characteristic flora and fauna. At the same time, you collect “material” for making your puppets.
Everyone can take home the products they have made!


Souvenir shops:

Wooden spoon shop: toys and kitchen tools made of wood, handpainted souvenirs (Kossuth Road 65.)

Potter’s House: pottery, ceramics and folk music CD’s created locally (Petőfi Road 4.)

Potter’s Workshop: hand-made pottery and ceramics (Kossuth Road 65.)

Raven folk art: Hungarian potters’ unique ceramics

Basket workshops: high quality handcrafted products made of willow-branches, for example different size baskets, flower stands, rocking chairs, etc. (Kossuth Road 86.)

Barn Garden: traditional handicraft products, tourist maps, information material (Kossuth Road 46.)

Craft house (Mívesház) – Grocery shop traditional folk souvenirs, delicacies, sweets and snacks (Petőfi Road 4.)

Tasnádi souvenirshop: high quality wine, Pálinka (Kossuth Road 66.)


Restaurants and cafés:

Muskátli Restaurant: traditional Palóc dishes, folklore program (Kossuth Road 61.)

Castle Restaurant: home-style cooking, possibility for weekly order, live music during the weekends (Kossuth Road 67.)

Raven stone Café (Hollóköves Kávézó): several different coffee, local cookies and cakes, strudel, free Wi-Fi, information and brochures about Hollókő

Craft-House (Mívesház): delicacies baked in an outdoor clay-oven, wine tavern in cellar



Sights in the area

On foot or by bicycle

Kertek-alja (Among the Gardens) Study Path (3 km)

Váralja (At the Feet of the Castle) Study Path (4,5 km)

Castle spring Path (6 km)

Hollókő Nature Reserve

Holló (Raven) Study Path

The National Blue Trail Route leads through Hollókő and leads through the Hollókő Nature Reserve on a 15 km path

The stops of the National Blue Trail Route that are easily reachable from Hollókő

Becske (37 km) – Szanda – (30 km) -Terény (28 km) – Cserhátsurány (24 km) – Nógrádsipek (14 km) – Hollókő – Felsőtold (4,5 km)– Alsótold (6,5 km) – Garáb (7 km) – Nagybárkány(11 km)  – Sámsonháza (13 km) – Mátraverebély (20 km)– Mátraszentistván (37 km) – Kékes (55 km)…


Cserhát Nature Park / Green Way

Cserhát Nature Park / Green Way stations in alphabetical order

 Becske – (37 km) The National Blue Trail Route leads through it, here on Csigahegy (Snail Mountain) is where you can find Hungary’s seventh (2008) Buddhist Stupa. According to the elderly from Becske, here, at the valley of the Galga-creek is where Alföld finishes, and this is where Mikszáth’s Crooked Country (Görbeország) starts.

Bér – (37 km) – Nagy-hegy (Big Mountain) (andesite poles), wine cellars, watermill,

Buják (36 km) – Castle ruins, Calvary, Oszkár Glatz collection, Buják traditional folk costumes, Sasbérc Watch tower, Calvary, 400 year old pedunculated oak forest in Keselyrét, ecological study path, the largest settlement of the Cserhát area with 2187 inhabitants

Cserháthaláp – (28 km) life-size Betlehem at Christmas, with special lights in the evening, Rézpart Water reserve fishing lake

Cserhátsurány (23 km) – octagonal church on top of the hill, Blue Rail Route,

Ecseg – (16 km) Ilona Castle-ruins, Shrine of Mary by the Szuha-creek, Boros Road wineries, local history and ethnology collection, Chapel-spring with healing quality water, Triad–spring, Water reserve,

Herencsény (20 km) – Spinnery – Village Museum, Palóc Folk’s Protective Cross, Black water-creek, (Arethusa-spring), Csernek-creek waterfall,

Kozárd (12 km) – Kozárd Apple Valley, Belfry, Pogányvár Stone-mine, Chapel Watch tower

Kutasó – (10 km) Horse-back riding, Forest School, home-made jam, home-made fruit drinks, rich wild life, Palóc style clay oven,

Mohora (32 km) – Zichy-Vay Castle, Tolnay – chateau, Klári Tolnay Memorial Room, Mauks (Mikszáth) Memorial House

Nagylóc – (14 km) Őrhegy, according to the legend, in an andesite stone one can see Jesus Christ’s footprint, prints of his donkey and his walking stick, Zsunypuszta – bird watching, Sand mine – nesting place of the bee-eater, 1000 ha wild life rich area, fish-farm lake, Roman Catholic church, National Blue Trail Route

Nógrádsipek (26 km) – Palóc style houses, Balás chateaus, andesite surfacing, Dobos-well (spotted salamander), man-made and natural small lakes, Rimóc-Sipek creek, Blue Trail Route,

Rimóc (16 km) – Village museum, Doll museum, Palóc bonnet exhibition, Palóc style houses, Roman Catholic Church, Sztrahora castle (Pusztacastle ruins – Máté Csák castle ruins) between Rimóc and Nógrádsipek

Szanda – (30 km) Szanda-mountain, second highest point in Cserhát, Castle ruins (with fantastic panorama to the Cserhát), House of The Countryside, Mária-spring, Káponka, winery, Stone-fortress, National Blue Trail Route,

Terény (33 km) – Vine-plantation, Belfry, House of The Countryside, The Open-reel Tape Recorder collection, Hunnia Lace Museum, Terényi-lake, Mushroom Museum, National Blue Trail Route,

Varsány (21 km) – Hungarian Assumption (Nagyasszony) Chapel, Village Museum, Palóc houses, Tábi-lake white willow, Palóc Way,


Other settlements:

Alsópetény – (56 km) Prónay Castle /Laser Eye Clinic, Event location (Rendezvényház)

Apc – (25 km) Maar

Romhány – (43 km) Rákóczi tree (250 cm trunk-diameter Turkish Hazel (Corylus colurna) methuselah from Rákóczi’s time)

Csővár – (63 km) Castle on mountain with a beautiful panorama to Cserhát

Tar – Kőrösi-Csoma Memorial Park, Buddhist Stupa and Temple, Tari Fehérkő (white stone)-mine, Castle ruins


Adventures and programs

Adventure parks:

  • Nyírjes Botanical Gardens and Wildlife Park (Balassagyarmat – 36 km)
  • Oxygen Adventure Park (www.adrenalin-park.hu/en/    – 46 km – Mátra)
  • Seholsziget (Neverland Island) Adventure Park (www.seszi.hu – Nőtincs – 68 km): horse-back riding, petting zoo, archery, hand-craft, forest play-ground, theme play-grounds, mini railway to take you around the whole park.


  • Pásztó Thermal Bath (21 km), seasonal
  • Bükkszék Thermal Bath (67 km)
  • Demjén Thermal Valley (86 km)
  • Egerszalók (90 km),
  • Mezőkövesd – Zsóry Bath (119 km)

For the Children:

  • Pásztó – Water Park, Cake Shop Csibe, Romkert (Ruins garden)
  • Balassagyarmat – Nyírjes Botanical Garden and Wildlife park,
  • Gyöngyös- Zoo (petting small lion)
  • Nőtincs – Seholsziget (Neverland Island) Adventure Park: horse-back riding, petting zoo, archery, hand-craft, forest play-ground, theme play-grounds, mini railway to take you around the whole park
  • Mátra – Oxygen Adrenalin Park
  • Ipolytarnóc – 4D cinema, Top-of-the-trees suspension bridge, fossils, adventure park
  • Szécsény – Robinson islands (waterbicyle, canoejet-ski)

Fisherman’s paradise:

  • Maconka Water reserve (Bátonyterenye – 34 km)
  • Robinson islands (Szécsény – 16 km)
  • Ludányhalász Öreg-tó (Old lake)

Horse-back riding

Kutasó, (10 km) www.ezerangyal.hu

Ludányhalászi (22 km) www.timi-tanya.hu

Pásztó – Sidi-ranch

Nature wonders:

Tari Fehérkő-mine (30 km)

Salgótarján – Rónabánya /Szilvás-kő and Bagó-kő (49 km)

  • Basalt Organ at Somoskő (58 km) – The sight of the enourmous basalt organ is breath-taking
  • The Nógrád Grand-Canyon – At the valley of the Páris – creek, in Nógrádszakál beside the formidable rock-walls and you can also find unique bole caves
  • Ipolytarnóc Fossil site (http://osmaradvanyok.hu/  – 42 km), Europé Diplom
  • Salt hill at Egerszalók– (90km) a very rare nature-formation – there are only a few in the whole world: it can only be found at Pamukkale (in Turkey) and in the USA at the Yellowstone National Park
  • Szomolya Beehive stones – (105 km) The beehive stones are cone-shaped stones with man-made booths carved into their sites. It makes us feel like being in the country of dwarfs, trolls, fairies and hobbits.

Ski slopes nearby:

Water sports:

  • Robinson – islands (Szécsény – 16 km), beach volley ball, water-bicycles, canoe, jet-ski, playground



Gastronomical pleasures

  • Alsótold (8 km): Bableves Csárda (Beansoup Inn),
  • Balassagyarmat (36 km): Restaurant Svejk, Corleone Pizza
  • Eger (86 km): Restaurant at Imola Manor House, Excalibur Middle Ages Knights’ Restaurant,  Palacsintavár (Pancake Castle)
  • Gyöngyös (44 km): Kulacs Diner, Restaurant Kékes, Casa Valerio Pizza, Bori Mami,
  • Kozárd (12 km): Restaurant Vadvirág (Wild Flower)
  • Nógrád (67 km): Enoterca Borbisztró (Wine bar)
  • Pásztó (21 km): Csibe Cake shop
  • Salgótarján (46 km): G&D Hand-craft Cake Shop (they won the prestigious prize of “The Cake of Hungary in 2015), Restaurant Kiskulacs, The House of Geo-Wonders
  • Szécsény (16 km): Restaurant Gesztenyéskert (Chestnut Garden), Restaurant Bársony (Velvet), Cake shop and Pizza Frédi

Palóc Pálinka Distillery – Etes (52 km)

Mátra Wine district –

  • Gyöngyös – Borpalota (Wine castle),
  • Farkasmály Wineries (Haller – Winery)
  • Abasár –    Kiss Winery
  • Domoszló – Bánszki Winery
  • Markaz – Vázsonyi Winery
  • Nagyréde – Gácsi Winery

Bárdos and son Winery

  • Gyöngyöstarján – Benedek Winery

Szőke Mátyás Winery

Ludányi Winery

Csernyik Winery

Recommended towns for sightseeing

Pásztó (12 km)

      Pásztó national monument town centre

  • Cistercian baroque  monastery
  • School master’s house
  • Winery from the middle ages
  • Benedictine ruins
  • Water park

Szécsény (16 km)

  • Forgách – Chateau (Francis II. Rákóczi was elected prince here)
  • Castle gardens
  • Castle ruins – Vármaradvány, walkway and watch-tower
  • Fire tower (leans almost as much as the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa)
  • Franciscan church and monastery, Rákóczi-room
  • Holy Trinity Monument
  • Ferenc Kubinyi Museum
  • Haynald gate

Balassagyarmat (36 km)

  • Palóc Museum
  • Vármegyeháza (County Hall)
  • Local Historical Collection
  • Pannónia Motorcycle Museum
  • Serbian church
  • Roman Catholic Paris church
  • County prison from before
  • Town hall, Mikszáth – Madách Memorial Room
  • Jewish Museum and Jewish cemetary by Ipoly
  • Nyírjes Botanical gardens and wild-life park


Gyöngyös (44 km)

  • St Bertalan Paris church

The treasury at the St Bertalan Paris church in Gyöngyös is Hungary’s second richest religious collection. The collection can be found at the Almásy-, or as today better known, St Crown House, where the Hungarian Crown was guarded at three occasions between 1806 and 1809.

Religious treasure collection Gyöngyös

  • Mátra Museum
  • Franciscan Parsonage / Church and Monastery / Historical library
  • Borpalota (Wine castle)
  • Gyöngyös Zoo
  • Parádsasvár ArtGlass Glass factory

Salgótarján (46 km)

  • Nógrád Historical Museum
  • Mine Museum
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Uránia Observatory
  • Salgó Castle

 Nógrád (67 km)

  • Nógrád Wildelife park
  • Nógrád Castle
  • Csurgó Spring
  • Enoterca Bistro
  • Monument to the Seven Chiefs
  • Slovak County house

 Eger (86 km)

  • Eger Castle
  • Eger Basilica
  • Nagyboldogasszony Franciscan Church
  • Minaret
  • Minorita Church
  • Nagypréposti Palace
  • Archbishop garden
  • Agria Kert
  • Szépasszonyvölgy
  • Eger Termal bath
  • Turkish bath
  • Beatles Museum (Hotel Korona)

Special attractions

Memorials of famous Hungarians:

  • Benczúr-castle and mausoleum in Benczúrfalva (5 km from Szécsény), István Simon exhibition
  • Madách-chateau – Csesztve (38 km)
  • Klári Tolnay Museum – Mohora (32 km)
  • Mikszáth Memorial house. Mohora
  • Mikszáth-memorial chateau Horpács (51 km), buried in the cemetery are Mikszáth’s wife and their son who died young
  • Balassagyarmat (36 km) townhall, Mikszáth – Madách memorial room
  • Terény-Kiskérpuszta (33 km) – Albert Szentgyörgyi Albert spent his childhood’s summer vacations here

Locations connected to Mikszáth in Slovakia:

  • Sklabina – he was born here
  •  Rimavska Sobota- he went to school here
  •  Banska Stiavnica – he graduated from secondary school here, at the same school as Petőfi

 Nógrád sanctuaries:

  • Nagylóc – Őrhegy, according to the legend, in an andesite stone one can see Jesus Christ’s footprint, prints of his donkey and his walking stick,
  • Tar – Buddhist Stupa and Temple, Körösi Csoma Memorial park (28 km)
  • Szentkút – National Shrine (35 km) – Mátraverebély-Szentkút
  • Szécsény – Franciscan Church – Francis II. Rákóczi spent the night before the day when he was elected prince)    (16 km)
  • Szanda – Mária-spring, Káponka
  • Gyöngyös – Franciscan Church and Monastery, St Bertalan Paris church, Religious treasure collection (44 km)
  • Eger – Egri Bishop Palace, Cultural and Religious History Visitors Center

Connecting to the WAY OF MARY (MÁRIA ÚT) (Vanyarc – Bér – Buják – Ecseg – Kozárd – Mátraszőlős – Sámsonháza – Szentkút)

Csodarabbik Útja – Bodrogkőváralja – Mád (Jewish Religious treasure collection memorials)

Castle tours and World heritage sites

Castle tours:

Castle visits in Nógrád, by the border and in Slovakia.

Nógrád (67 km),

Szanda (36 km),

Buják (36 km),

Salgó (53 km), Somoskő (58 km), Fülek (72 km), Sirok (69 km), Eger (86 km)


Further away

Boldogkőváralja (190 km),

Regéc (201 km),

Füzér (226 km), Sárospatak ( 206 km )


World heritage sites in the region and nearby

  • Tokaj historical wine district and cultural landscape
  • Hortobágy National Park – A Puszta
  • Caves of Aggtelek Karst- and Slovak Karst
  • Mezőkövesd – Matyó embroidery

Festivals 2016



Buják Sunday (first Sunday in June)

Palóc Festival – Herencsény (July)

Parád Palóc Days – Parád – (middle of July)

Beer festival – Balassagyarmat (13-17 July)

Derelye and Dedelle Festival – Iliny (end of July)

Rétes Festival – Hasznos (Mária-Magdolna festival, last weekend in July)

St Anna Day Palóc Festival – Balassagyarmat (last weekend in July)

Fairy tale castle tournament – Hollókő (23 July)

St Stephen Day Castle Tournament – Hollókő (20 – 21 August)

Palóc Vágta – Kozárd

Lepény festival – Varsány (21 – 22 August)

Szilvaszombat (Plum Saturday) – Kétbodony (27 August)

Palóc Cushion Festival – Mátraderecske (end of August)

Haluska Festival – Vanyarc (10 September)

St Michael Day Palóc Festival – Varsány (27- 28 September)

Grape harvest Festival – Hollókő (8 October)

Marton-day Goose-day – Hollókő (12 November)

Palóc Gala in Eger (end of November)

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