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Winter Wonders at Lake Balaton Waiting to be Discovered


When thinking of Lake Balaton, it will be hot summer days, bustling crowds and beachside joys that come to mind for almost everyone. However, it is also well worth visiting the “Hungarian Sea” in the winter, as it offers a lot of programmes and adventures in a setting of the most colourful autumn nature and the sublime beauty of the winter landscape.

Here is a short must‑see list to help you explore the more mysterious winter Balaton.

1.      Siófok, the “Capital of the Summer” will stay lively even in the winter.


During the Advent period, you will find here a beautiful Christmas market and events in the Main Square as well as around the Water Tower. Concerts, live performances, Santa Claus’ boat, magic shows, fire magic productions, fairytale‑themed carousels and fun trains are also part of the festivities. The tents house artisan stands and catering services where you can help yourself to a cup of hot mulled wine or a chimney cake. 


The Füredi Advent event series offers craft workshops and family events in and around Balatonfüred. The Óváros Square in Veszprém has a lot in store during the four weekends of the Advent period (Thursday to Sunday) – the experience is an exciting cavalcade of advent lights, flavours and scents, the sounds of live concerts, gastronomic experiences and craft merchandise.

2.      Dozens of lookout towers around Lake Balaton offer breathtaking panoramas of the icy lake and the surrounding land in its full autumn-winter beauty. 


The highest such lookout point around the Balaton is the Kisfaludy Lookout in Badacsony, but the winter view from the Szigliget castle leaves nothing to be desired either. On the southern shore, the “Globe Observatory” in Balatonboglár and the Sipos Mountain lookout in Fonyód are both well worth visiting.

3.      There are numerous museums around the lake offering exciting insight into the rich culture and history of the region – the winter months are especially ideal for such cultural adventures. 


The Festetics Palace in Keszthely is Hungary’s third‑largest and most‑visited castle, a historic site with a rich past. Part of the unique collection of the Helikon Palace Museum in the castle includes the exhibition of the Festetics family’s home, a special carriage exhibition and the famous hunting exhibition. Railroad enthusiasts would certainly not want to miss the historical model railway exhibition.


Still in Keszthely, the Balaton Museum, true to its name, presents the natural environment, history, and ethnographic richness of the lake area through a series of exciting exhibitions featuring interactive elements.


The József Attila Memorial House in Balatonszárszó leads the visitors through the life and works of our ill‑fated poet, Attila József.

4.      The winter sporting scene is quite active around the lake. 


There is a ski slope in Eplény near Veszprém. And when the lake freezes over, skaters and sledders will take advantage. The more adventurous can even have a go at stand-up paddleboarding – SUP in short –, canoeing, and kayaking at the outlet of the nearby Hévíz Lake which, being a thermal lake, never freezes over. 

5.      And when the body is properly tired, it is time for some quality relaxation. You will find quite several wellness hotels and thermal baths near Lake Balaton, where you can escape the cold. 


You can unwind throughout the year in the thermal lake and the adjoining wellness complex in Hévíz. Lesser‑known baths, such as in Kehidakustány, Zalakaros and Csisztafürdő, also offer lovely and warm indulgence for the body and soul alike this time of the year. 

Lake Balaton entices you with winter experiences and programmes that are just as unique as in the summer – ones you would regret missing out on.


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