Explore Sopron’s city center (location)
Sopron’s historic Old City is a palimpsest of history: Roman, medieval, and Baroque remains crowd atop one another (it feels like there’s a Gothic church on every other corner). During the warmer months, locals fill every crevice of these centuries old winding streets. Highlights include the Tűztorony on the main square, the Szent Mihály church, and Új utca with the old Jewish quarter and medieval synagogues.
Visit the village of Fertőrákos (location)
Located just outside Sopron, this village offers several points of interest. The Páneurópai Piknik commemorates the spot where the Iron Curtain was first lifted in 1989; there’s a Roman-era Mithras temple from the 3rd century CE; and a famous stone quarry, which provided construction materials for the nearby Habsburg capital city (Vienna) for centuries and today functions as a performance stage with opera and theater pieces.
Visit the Esterházy Castle of Fertőd (location)
No trip to Sopron is complete without at least a glance at the immense Baroque summer castle of the Esterházy family (their comparable winter palace is located across the border in the city of Eisenstadt). This noble family, with Joseph Haydn as its in-house court musician, was the wealthiest in the country, lording over much of western Hungary until the end of WWII. Parts of the castle are open to visitors.
Venture across the border to Burgenland (location)
Once in Sopron, capitalize on the city's proximity to neighboring Burgenland in Austria (take a car if you’d like to cover more ground but it also makes for a popular trip by bicycle). Right across the border is the city of Rust, known for its charming city center and cafés. A bit further, the Esterházy family’s massive winter palace anchors the city of Eisenstadt.