Magyar Magyar

Balaton for Explorers - 2 days

How long it takes?
2 days
Best vehicle choice for this plan:
public transport
This region is famous for:
Castles, Forts, Palaces
Culture and monuments
Religious sites
Natural values
Day 1
Get to know Lake Balaton through its history. This two-day trip will take you to medieval castles, luxurious palaces and historical towns.

Sümeg Castle

The largest and most intact castle in Hungary, a popular tourist destination not only because of its sheer scale, but also its various events, activities and services. The path to the gate is up a steep slope, so we recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes. The exhibitions on the castle’s history, together with the castle games and the exciting horse shows, give you an idea of what life was like in the fortress, which was built at the end of the 13th century. Every generation will find the castle chapel, the prison exhibition and the smithy interesting, and the visit to the castle will be like an interactive history lesson for children. Visit the medieval adventure park at the foot of the castle for even more fun.


Festetics Palace

The Baroque-style building in the centre of Keszthely is one of the most beautiful palaces in the country. Construction began in the 18th century, with the palace reaching its current size by the 1880s. Its colourful park is the most significant feat of landscaping in Central Europe, so be sure to take a walk either before or after visiting the inside of the building. The Helikon Palace Museum is an exhibition that gives visitors a picture of what life was like for aristocrats and the luxurious life of the Festetics family. The palace is home to the only intact aristocratic private library remaining in Hungary, which escaped the ravages of World War II in an astonishing turn of events worthy of the silver screen. Certain scenes of the movie Kincsem were also filmed in the palace.


Walk around Hévíz

The pleasantly warm thermal water of Lake Hévíz is unique and it has a well-earned reputation for aiding those suffering from rheumatic and musculoskeletal ailments. The promenade starting at the end of the pedestrianised street was named after Dr Vilmos Schulhof, a former doctor at the baths, and is flanked by sycamore trees and Lake Hévíz on one side and the beautiful buildings of the Szent András Rheumatism Hospital, which have stood here since the 1870s, on the other. As you walk around the lake, the road back to the entrance to the baths takes you by the Festetics Bath House and through a park where trees protect you from the hot sun.


Day 2

Walk around Veszprém

The Castle District in Veszprém towers above the medieval, crooked little streets of the town, with a profusion of museums, palaces, galleries and churches. The most important sights include the Fire Tower at the castle gate, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Dubniczay Palace and the Szent Michael Cathedral, as well as old and beautiful houses built in the 18th century. The Salesianum is located on Szentháromság tér in the recently renovated Bíró-Giczey House. It is definitely worth a visit for its halls decorated with Baroque wall paintings, a liturgical exhibition and a violin maker’s demonstration workshop. Stand between the statues of Saint Stephen and Blessed Gisela at the north peak of the castle to get a wonderful view of the town.


Church and Museum of the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany

The abbey, founded almost 1,000 years ago, is the world-famous symbol of the Tihany Peninsula. There are invaluable works of art made by famous artists in the church of the monastery founded by (Saint) Andrew I of Hungary, including wall paintings by Lajos Deák-Ébner, Károly Lotz and Bertalan Székely; the beautiful wooden statues and the wooden altars were made by Sebestyén Stulhoff. The founding king was buried in the undercroft, making this the only Hungarian royal burial place from the era of the Árpád Dynasty that is still intact.


A walk in Balatonfüred

Your visit to the centre of the town will take you back in time, with its Classicist buildings from the Reform Era, beautiful parks and cobblestoned streets. Almost every building here has a story tell and many of them have something to do with people who were stars of their time: actress Lujza Blaha and writer Mór Jókai, for example, both bought villas in Balatonfüred. After you have visited the Vaszary Villa, the Jókai Mór Memorial House and the Round Church, why not take a stroll on the Tagore Promenade and allow the many statues and plaques to tell you the history of the town? Lake Balaton’s best-known promenade is named after the famed Indian poet and Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. Many celebrities have followed the example of planting trees here set by the great artist. The latest sights added to the promenade are the Bodorka Visitor Centre and the beautifully renovated Vitorlás tér, with its statue of actor István Bujtor.


During your visit


The Somló Juhfark (literally ‘Sheep’s Tail’) is one of the oldest Hungarian grape varieties. A ‘fiery’ wine with a strong acidic bite, it got its name from the volcanic hill called Somló, which is located 50 km from Lake Balaton, as well as the distinctive shape of its grape clusters. It takes about three to four years for the wine to peak and for its acids to lose their roughness. It is also called the ‘wine of wedding nights’: it is said that drinking it increases the chance of conceiving a boy.


Catfish paprikash, which is traditionally made from wels catfish, is listed on the menus of restaurants around Lake Balaton as a specialty. It is a dish you really must taste while you are at the lake. The boneless fish is traditionally served with noodles with sheep’s cottage cheese, sour cream and bacon (cottage cheese noodles) and fried, diced bacon, accompanied by full-bodied white wines.

Move around like a hungarian