Conventions

Balaton for Families - 3 days



How long it takes?
3 days
Best vehicle choice for this plan:
bus
car
bicycle
This region is famous for:
Baths, Spas  and Beaches
Museums and exhibitions
Castles, Forts, Palaces
Culture and monuments
Natural values
Balaton
Families
Day 1
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.

Zobori Adventure Park

The adventure park in Zalaszabar offers fun for all ages: the youngest members of the family can try the indoor slide house, the water playground and indoor play centre, while the others will enjoy the escape room, the 4DX cinema, the 3D Exojet simulator and the VR zone. With the help of state-of-the-art technology, you can experience what it is like to ride on the most famous rollercoasters in the world, fly a fighter jet or drive a racing car.

Day 2
Church and Museum of the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany, Lavender House Visitor Centre

Start the second day with your family in the almost 1,000-year-old abbey, the world-famous symbol of the Tihany Peninsula. Once you have finished at the church of the monastery founded by (Saint) Andrew I of Hungary, walk down into the undercroft, where you will find the tomb of the abbey’s founder. It only takes 10 minutes to reach Belső-tó and the Lavender House, where you will find an interactive exhibition on how the Tihany Peninsula was formed and learn about lavender growing. The gift shop, the tea shop, the craft shop and the experience garden also focus primarily on the fragrant purple flower.

Szigliget Castle

One of the most beautiful castles in the Balaton Uplands was built 750 years ago and stands on a hill by Lake Balaton. It resisted all attempts at invasion by the Ottoman army, but was burnt down due to lightning and then destroyed by the Habsburgs. The renovation of the castle was completed in 2020: it now has more interactive elements, an exhibition and a covered space as well. The exhibitions present what the daily life of a medieval castle was like, from the smithy through the prison tower to the armoury.

Folly Arboretum and Winery

The first special trees and plants in the arboretum in Badacsonyörs were planted by Dr Gyula Folly on his family estate. Today, a fourth generation of gardeners tend to the hundreds of established trees, whose huge canopies provide visitors with cool shade even in summer; the panoramic view is also beautiful. The arboretum is an ideal place for a family outing, with its playground with wooden toys, a grill terrace and a winery.

Day 3
Balaton Bobsled Leisure Park

You can spend a whole day in the park in Balatonfűzfő. There are two bobsled tracks, covering a total of 1.5 km, and which will surely raise your adrenaline levels with the tunnel and the 360-degree turn on the track. Facilities at the leisure park also include a fitness area, a forest playground and several adventure trails for all ages. You can also test your skills in paintball and archery, and don’t miss the zipline in the Serpa Adventure Park either.

Tagore Promenade

The statues and plaques on Tagore Promenade in Balatonfüred tell you about 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 shaded promenade is also called the main street of Lake Balaton, and is full of cafés, restaurants and ice-cream shops. The latest sights added to the promenade are the Bodorka Visitor Centre – presenting the fauna of Lake Balaton – and the beautifully renovated Vitorlás tér, with its statue of actor István Bujtor.

During your visit

Wine
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.
Gastronomy
Fish soup is made in many different ways in Hungary. Along with the recipes associated with Baja and Szeged, the variety made at Lake Balaton is also well known. This latter is distinct from the fish soups of other regions in that it is made from carp, perch, pike or catfish, with the addition of other, smaller fish: the key distinction is that overall, a third of the fish used to make it must be predators. The soup also includes potatoes, and a glass of Balaton wine. There is no one standard recipe: it is made differently on the north and south shores of Lake Balaton. Careful, though: it can be spicy.

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