85km (53 miles) SE of Budapest
Kecskemét (pronounced Ketch-keh-mate), a city of just over 100,000 people in the western portion of the Great Hungarian Plain, definitely has a village feel. The name is derived from "kecske" meaning goat and "mét" being district. You will notice a goat in the coat of arms. A quiet, sun-baked city with wide, open squares and broad avenues, Kecskemét is blessed with some of the most interesting architecture in the Great Plain region. The town's dizzyingly colorful Art Nouveau buildings may be the equal of any in the country outside Budapest.
Kecskemét was the birthplace of Zoltán Kodály, the early-20th-century musicologist, teacher, and composer who, along with his friend and colleague Béla Bartók, achieved worldwide renown for his studies of Hungarian folk songs and his compositions. Kodály also developed a method of teaching music that is used worldwide. Today, a music school in town bears Kodály's name.
Kecskemét is also famous for its many varieties of apricot brandy (barack pálinka).
If you have interest in the famous feats of the Hungarian horsemen, this is the jumping-off place to see the puszta. You can arrange a day with a horse-carriage tour, a horse show, and wind it up with a goulash party at the end. Tourinform can assist with all of the arrangements.