Lake Balaton

Balaton (Plattensee in German) is the biggest lake in Central Europe and gives its name to this entire Hungarian Lake Balaton region. The feeling that Balaton can give you is unique. The oldie, nostalgic wonder, what Balaton has, catch every visitors. The Balaton has lot of faces. In every season others, what make the visitors to discover. Not only the water, the summer feelings and fun, but the flora and fauna and the many ages demonstrated cities give you some experiences.


Towns and villages alongside Lake Balaton

Get in

By air

By train

Frequent trains from Budapest Déli run down the south side of Lake Balaton. Intercity trains stop at main stations such as Siófok, Balatonföldvár and Fonyód. Slower trains stop at all stations. Allow between 1.5 and 4 hours for the journey, and about 3000HUF (approx €13) for the one way fare. There are discounts for families (33%), adults under 26 (33%), and students (50%). Not all ticket windows at the terminal accept credit cards so you should check the signs.



Jetty in the sunset

Beautiful national parks, protected quarters, they demonstrated the old times, reservatums, theatres, aquaparks, sea baths, sport oppurtunities on earth, water and air, concerts and beautiful museums wait every visitors.

Since the lake is shallow, summer storms can create very large waves, and people have drowned in most years. A system of warning beacons around the lake alerts bathers to expected strong winds and storms: 30 flashes/minute, colour white/yellow means winds 40-60 km/h, and you should move close to the shore. 60 flashes red/white means winds over 60 km/h. Time to get out quickly!


Buy local wine of course!


The land of Balaton delights not just your eye, but your stomach. On every area receive you a real gastronomical history. You can taste the traditional foods of lands, or the famous wines of the land of Balaton.

One kind of local food is lángos, a bread-like pastry usually sold on beaches. It is offered with different toppings like cheese, sour cream, and ham, or often plain just with garlic-sauce on top. Another common "beach food" is cooked corn on the cob (főtt kukorica), grilled sausages (sült kolbász) and of course, ice cream (fagylalt, or more colloquially, fagyi).

You can also try a special Lake Balaton fish called fogas (pike-perch or Zander), served roasted.


The hills north from Balaton are known for their wine. The best you can do is going for a wine spotting tour.


Lake Balaton has been the holiday playground of ordinary Hungarians for over a century, and most of the accommodation is in private houses and apartments rented by the owners, often through agencies. All along the road there are signs for "Tourist information" which are really agents for accommodation and tours, rather than the official tourist offices (called Tourinform). Many visitors arrive without booking and can usually find rooms for around Euro 15 per person/night. Costs for a house with 3 bedrooms can run from about Euro300/week to over 1,000 (luxury house right on lake shore).

It's worth to book the accommodation before arriving because in July and August most of the places are totally full and it is hard to find a free room.

High season for Hungarians is the school holidays, from mid-June to the end of August, but many people go home by St Stephen's Day (20 August). The whole place becomes very much quieter by mid-August, and you can easily find accommodation. On the downside, lakeside bars and restaurants also close for the season.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, September 04, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.