Top Things To See And Do On Lake Balaton, Hungary

Hungarian valley and lake Balaton. Hungary
Hungarian valley and lake Balaton. Hungary | © pamuk / Shutterstock
Eliza Marin

Considered the Hungarian inner sea, Lake Balaton is home to picturesque landscapes surrounded by ancient fortresses, underwater cave galleries, vineyards and historic towns. Here are 10 things to see and do here.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Szigliget Fortress

On the northern shores of Lake Balaton lies the marvelous town of Szigliget, host to one of the mightiest castles in Hungary. Built on the Várhegy hill, the Castle of Szigliget rises more than 242 meters and houses a medieval fortress built by the Benedictine order around the 13th century. The fort was attacked on many occasions. What is seen today are the ruins of the castle which protected the region from tartar invasions and Turkish occupations.

Vineyards

Budapest, Badacsony, Hungary

Surrounding Lake Balaton, beautiful volcanic hills cover a fertile mineral ground that is the finest base for vineyards. Filled with patches of grape growing farms and meandering streams, fields of lavender and limestone, the entire landscape is simply idyllic. Badacsony is one of the richest regions that captures the viticulture of Hungary, and has been popular since Roman times.

Tihany Town

Tihany, Magyarország, Hungary

On the north shore of the dazzling Lake Balaton stands proud the oldest medieval town in the region. Tihany sits proud on the top of the peninsula that centers the entire panorama of the turquoise lake valley itself. The Baroque abbey – built on top of the old Medieval castle, and the original monastery founded by King Andrew I of Hungary – crowns it off. There are brick towers, a royal crypt, and hillside streets dressed in cobblestone – romance and history in one.

Héviz Spa

Romans came here to bathe more than 2,000 years ago. Since then it has been a hotspot for relaxation and mineral treatments in all of the Balkans and Central Europe. Scattered over the area of Lake Balaton, the wonderful springs number more than 1,000 and are famed for their medicinal powers. Héviz is one of the most popular and offers a whole range of different treatments and programs.

Pannonhalma Archabbey

One of the world’s largest territorial abbeys, the Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey is a monastery complex settled on the top of hill dominating the entire landscape around it. Monks settled here around 996 having a central role in disseminating Christianity in Europe. Still active today, the monastery includes the Chapel of Our Lady, a dashing basilica, a baroque refectory and an impressive library dating from the 13th century.

Festetics Palace

Festetics Palace, Keszthely, Hungary

When the Festetics Family moved to Hungary in the 18th century they settled in none other than a monumental Baroque palace surrounded by idyllic gardens covered in flowerbeds and fountains. Inspired by French opulence, the palace numbers 34 rooms over two storeys. It includes neoclassical furniture, the country’s largest intact library, gold framed portraits and an entire regal assembly.

Lake caves

Crystal waters mingle within the galleries of the lake caves of Balaton, at about 15 to 20 meters below the surface, forming an out-of-this-world cave system. Discovered around 1903, the cave has been open to the public since 1912. It includes more than three kilometers of passages, underground karst formations, narrow channels and countess chambers.

Balaton Sound Festival

The beginning of July is the time when the little town of Zamárdi transforms from a picturesque vacation attraction into one of the most hedonistic scenes for electronic sound in Europe. Combine a fairytale location, beach cocktail bars, hammocks, tents and a crowd of almost 100,000 revelers bursting with party moods and viola: Balaton Sound Festival is born.

Windsurfing and sailing

Sailing, Lake Balaton, Hungary

Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe and gets its waters from the Zala River. it is known for its shallow depth on the south and slightly deeper beds in the north. The 50-mile-long lake covers an area in the middle of Transdanubia known for its natural beauty and pristine depths. That means sports like sailing and windsurfing are at their finest here, so don the wet gear and give it a try.

Siofok Water Tower

To the southern shore of the lake stands the gracious Water Tower of Siofok, a 45-meter-high symbol of the largest city in the Balaton region. It captures a spectacular panorama of the surrounding area. Constructed around 1912 by the architects Gergely Jenő and Gut Árpád, the building has grandiose 360-degree views from the top, which are timeless.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article