sights & culture

15 best attractions at Lake Balaton

Writers

  • Póli Emma

4/17/2019 1:27 PM

There are so many things to see and do at Lake Balaton that it’s sometimes hard to pick the right one. If you’re not sure where to go, these 15 attractions are always a solid choice.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Badacsony

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8261 Badacsonytomaj, Badacsony

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Badacsony towers over Lake Balaton, a volcanic hill popular with hikers – but it’s also so much more than that: it’s the home of excellent vineyards and offers outstanding culinary delights. Not to mention, of course, the view from the top.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Csobánc Castle

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8286 Gyulakeszi, Csobánchegy

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Atop Csobánc hill once stood a castle of historic importance during the 1700s. Now there are only ruins, but the area has a special atmosphere, and a view that’s worth the climb.

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Festetics Palace

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8360 Keszthely, Kastély utca 1.

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A trip to the most visited palace in the country is also a trip back in time. From a beautiful library to multiple exhibitions, this Baroque landmark in Keszthely offers attractions that will keep you occupied throughout a whole day.

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Gömbkilátó

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8630 Balatonboglár, Kilátó utca (Várdomb tetején)

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Balatonboglár’s rather unique globe-cum-lookout tower is one you can’t miss if you're in the area. Although the view is pretty spectacular, the iron structure itself merits investigation.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Balatonföldvár History of Sailing Visitor Center

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8623 Balatonföldvár, Erzsébet utca 50.

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A lookout tower and an exhibition space in one, the History of Sailing Visitor Centre in Balatonföldvár is a great spot to visit if you're with the kids as they can play with a wind machine and get to know about sailing ships.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Hegyestű

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8273 Monoszló, Geológiai Bemutatóhely

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An iconic Balaton spot, the basalt columns of Hegyestű on the north shore offer an easy hike and a unique view. There’s also a geological exhibition site and an outdoor stone collection nearby if you want to learn more about the area.

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Kis-Balaton

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8746 Balatoni Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság

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Kis-Balaton is a lively nature reserve at the western edge of Lake Balaton. Its marshes have a rich bird population, making it the perfect spot for ornithology as well as lovely walks in peaceful surroundings.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Szentbékkálla Stone Field

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8281 Szentbékkálla

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The Szentbékkálla Stone Field (also known as Kőtenger) is a unique natural site: spread out across a plain, it features rocks of all shapes and sizes that used to sit on what was the bed of the Pannonian Sea. This sea of stones is a nice spot for a hike which you can reach after a 15-minute walk from Szentbékkálla.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Castle of Szigliget

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8264 Szigliget, Kisfaludy utca 26.

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Szigliget Castle is one of the most emblematic sights in the region. Currently under renovation, this 750-year-old fortress is a multi-faceted destination with exciting exhibitions, open-air concerts and a stellar view.

Photo: Kristóf Hölvényi - We Love Balaton

Tagore Promenade in Balatonfüred

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8230 Balatonfüred, Tagore sétány

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Balatonfüred’s famous Tagore Promenade is lined with restaurants, cafés and ice-cream parlours along the shore of Lake Balaton. It’s a lively, buzzing spot by the marina, and although it gets crowded, you really can’t visit Balatonfüred without stopping by.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Tihany Abbey

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8237 Tihany, I. András tér 1.

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The iconic two towers of Tihany offer a magical view along with intriguing exhibitions. Of great historic value, the monastery here dating back nearly 1,000 years, the abbey runs its own confectionery, creating desserts from the lavender that surrounds this sacred site. They even make lavender beer...!

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Old Lavender Field

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8237 Tihany, Csúcs-hegy oldala

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The Old Lavender Field of Tihany is a hidden gem: in June, when lavender is in bloom, the landscape is a mass of fragrant purple. Various products are made from the blossoms, from oils to beers, which you can try and purchase around Tihany.

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Fire Lookout Tower

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8200 Veszprém, Vár utca 9.

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Walking through the cobblestoned streets of Veszprém’s Castle District is like travelling back in time. There are plenty of other attractions nearby, too, such as the Fire Lookout Tower and the exhibition space at Dubniczay Palace.

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

Villa Romana Baláca

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8248 Nemesvámos-Baláca, külterület

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Located north of Csopak, the Villa Romana Baláca exhibition site is a unique set of ruins dating back to ancient Pannonia, and the Roman presence in the region. The most spectacular features are the mosaics, but there are also everyday objects and statues on display.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Stupa

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8353 Zalaszántó, Világosvár

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A rather rare sight in the Balaton region, Zalaszántó’s Stupa is temple symbolising the spirit and wisdom of Buddha as well as peace, happiness and enlightenment. Visiting the Stupa is free of charge, and a one-of-a-kind experience.

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