To say that Siófok is a very divisive place is as modest of a statement as the hills of the south shore. Still, the promenade is full in summer, it's hard to find a spot to stay at, and the town is always among the top three most popular ones of Balaton. Siófok is a lost cause for many, but let's be fair: signs of life can be spotted along Petőfi Promenade.
Many people associate Siófok with endless neon signs, bumper cars, and constant 5 for 4 cocktail discounts, but fear not: these are still there. We can get that wannabe-premium vibe of white sofas that lures in many people - and that drives at least as many away to the north shore.
Yet it isn't nice to just shrug a shoulder as Siófok is definitely not a lost cause. The famous Hungarian actor-dynasty, Latabár-family had a villa here, writer Gyula Krúdy ran away with his bride, 22 years his junior, from here, and renowned writer, Mór Jókai spent his last summer here. The place has history; however, we don't bump into memorial houses and literary museums at every step. The reason for this can be found in an older article at Sonline - when the idea of a Gyula Krúdy memorial house came up, the former mayor's answer was: “The Kálmán Imre Memorial House doesn't have many visitors either."
Leaving the dreaded Petőfi Promenade behind towards the direction of Balatonvilágos, we will bump into a surprisingly good Far Eastern kitchen, while going towards Zamárdi we will find the fish fryer of a master chef among the mementos of social realist holiday homes, not to mention one of the best pizzas of the entire Balaton. Turning our backs on it all, we can head to the forest of Töreki, where we will find a nature reserve that was even discovered by a gigantic international yoga festival.
Change is in the air?
Siófok has been actively communicating the desire for a change during the past few years, and most often this shows in such slogans as “family-friendly Siófok”, “health tourism”, or “ending party-tourism”.
At the press conference before this summer they told everyone where the town stands right now, they reported the results of the beach developments, talked about the programs for summer, the new, larger ferris wheel, and they also mentioned how crime declined in Siófok.
We believe that those who had enough of the party-paradise that is Siófok will look for another place to go on a holiday either way, but those who give a chance to the area will find good spots. With the help of our articles and discovered places from the past few years, we’ll show you where to go if you wish to explore the town.
There're things to eat
- Despite the disappointing fish-situation of Balaton, the quality remains the same here. The bream, carp, and catfish of this master chef is always a good idea.
- A Far Eastern kitchen, Balinese vibes, great accommodation – we would go here for a meal and a sleep as well, and they even have a confectionery.
- One of the best stories from the summer of 2016. A married couple from Nagykőrös opened a confectionery on the promenade, and the answer to the homemade desserts was a constant full house for three months.
- There’s a line in front of the legendary lángos spot of Siófok-Balatonszéplak all summer long, even though they aren’t on the beach. The bad news is that the place is for sale.
- We can find Tuscan tranquility far from the noise and the crowds in a place where the chef and the waiter are both called Sanyi. Their great pizzas landed them among the top 15 Balaton-spots of Gault Millau.
- You’re a raw vegan and they don’t really understand what your problem is with fried cheese on the beach? Your place is in Siófok!
- If you’d go a bit further, you’ll find a lot of peace and an old wine parlor trying to renew itself as a restaurant in the middle of the forest of Töreki.
- You can find one of the best answers to the fishing-prohibition not in downtown Siófok, but not too far from it, in Sóstó: if there’s no fish from Lake Balaton, get it from the sea.
- They started in Szántód last year, and the fans of smoke and beards will open in Siófok sometime this July. We will check out their new place, until then, here’s our article from last year.
Surprisingly, this is still Siófok
- As unbelievable as it sounds, Siófok has its very own ruin-pub with craft beers and glasses hanging from the ceiling.
- You just have to leave the town behind to find yourself in such vivid greenery that even the north shore would be jealous of.
- No wonder that an international yoga festival already discovered this place for itself. The spirit of peace will move to the forest at the beginning of August this year.
- History buffs will probably find the old holiday homes of the Silver Coast in Balatonszéplak pretty interesting. We checked out two legendary buildings in this article.
Places everybody knows of (warning: get ready for the crowds)
Translated by Emma Póli