12 Best Things to Do on Lake Balaton, Hungary: Must-See Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do on Lake Balaton, Hungary
This post may have affiliate links, where I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Are you looking to visit Lake Balaton, Hungary in the near future? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do on Lake Balaton. These serene sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for a memorable vacation experience.

Nestled in the heart of Hungary, Lake Balaton is a serene escape, a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by wanderers seeking unique experiences. It’s not just a lake; it’s a portal to things to do on Lake Balaton, experiences untold, a canvas painted with the vibrant colors of nature, culture, and gastronomy. Here, every sunset by the lake is a painter’s masterpiece, and every sip of wine is a melody of flavors dancing to the tunes of centuries-old traditions.

Lake Balaton is a treasure trove of adventures, where the gentle breeze whispers tales of the ancient towns that grace its shores, and the hills roll in the laughter of the vineyards they cradle. It’s a place where every stone has a story, every wave sings a song, and every journey becomes a tale of discovery.

Whether you’re a lover of history, a connoisseur of food, or a seeker of adventures, Lake Balaton has a world within its world for you. It invites you to lose yourself in its rustic towns, to find peace in its tranquil waters, and to explore the myriad of experiences it offers. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do on Lake Balaton, Hungary.

The top places to visit in Lake Balaton, Hungary right now
This article on the Best Things To Do in Lake Balaton, Hungary contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Best Places to Visit on Lake Balaton

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do on Lake Balaton? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this relaxing vacation spot in Hungary. So keep reading to discover all these unique Lake Balaton places to visit.

Are you looking to go swimming and sunbathing on the shores, and explore charming villages and towns along the coastline? Or would you prefer water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, and fishing? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees on Lake Balaton can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions on Lake Balaton that you should know about.

1. Balatonederics

Lake Balaton isn’t just a lake; it’s a tranquil haven where time slows down. Local strands, or beaches, offer picturesque scenes with golden reeds and charming jetties against turquoise waters. Locals cherish these spots for sunbathing and refreshing swims, embodying Hungarian summer vibes. For those wondering where to go on Lake Balaton for this idyllic experience, these local strands are ideal.

Balatonederics stands out, surrounded by lush greenery, providing an authentic, less touristy atmosphere. Here, the rustling leaves and gentle waves create a soothing symphony, perfect for unwinding or enjoying a good book.

If you crave some adventure, you can rent SUPs and pedal boats. These enchanting strands offer a seamless blend of nature’s beauty and relaxation.

Westernpark Nemesvita in Balatonederics, a picturesque destination with green landscapes, ideal for a tranquil escape.
Westernpark Nemesvita in Balatonederics, a picturesque destination with green landscapes, ideal for a tranquil escape.

2. Tihany Peninsula

Tihany Peninsula is a must-see on Lake Balaton. Nestled on the shores, this peninsula is known for its summer lavender blooms, it’s a visual delight. Explore charming Tihany Village, filled with lavender scents and local lavender products.

Tihany Abbey, atop a hill, offers stunning lake views. This makes it among the cool destinations on Lake Balaton. Its baroque architecture and history add allure. Nearby, an open-air ethnographic museum showcases local traditions.

For outdoorsy types, the peninsula boasts hiking and biking trails amid natural beauty. Serene beaches are perfect for relaxation and water activities. Tihany Peninsula offers diverse experiences, from history to nature. Whether exploring sites, enjoying beaches, or wandering lavender fields, it’s the place for unique things to do on Lake Balaton.

Tihany Peninsula on Lake Balaton is famous for summer lavender blooms and charming Tihany Village.
Tihany Peninsula on Lake Balaton is famous for summer lavender blooms and charming Tihany Village.

3. Badacsony

In the heart of Lake Balaton, the enchanting town of Badacsony is a haven for wine enthusiasts and those seeking serene landscapes. It’s one of the unique places on Lake Balaton where the rolling vineyards meet the tranquil waters, offering a picturesque retreat. Here, visitors are welcomed to indulge in the local wines, renowned for their distinctive volcanic mineral flavors, a testament to the region’s rich volcanic soil.

The town is not just a paradise for oenophiles but also a delight for gourmets. The local cuisine, characterized by fresh lake fish and regional specialties, complements the exquisite wines. It creates a culinary experience that is quintessentially Badacsony. Numerous cozy eateries dot the town, each providing a taste of the local gastronomy amidst the captivating views of the lake.

Beyond its culinary allure, Badacsony offers a myriad of outdoor activities. The gentle hills are crisscrossed with trails, inviting hikers and bikers to explore the scenic landscapes and discover the hidden gems of the region. The serene beaches of Lake Balaton are just a stone’s throw away, offering a refreshing escape on warm summer days.

Whether it’s savoring the local flavors, exploring the verdant landscapes, or simply unwinding by the lake, Badacsony promises a memorable experience for every traveler.

Badacsony is perfect for wine lovers with vineyards by tranquil waters, known for distinctive volcanic mineral wines.
Badacsony, at Lake Balaton’s heart, is perfect for wine lovers with vineyards by tranquil waters, known for distinctive volcanic mineral wines.

4. Keszthely

Keszthely, on Lake Balaton’s western shore, is a must-see blend of history and beauty. Wondering where to visit on Lake Balaton? Keszthely tops the list. Its jewel, Festetics Palace, a baroque masterpiece, houses the Helikon Castle Museum with historical treasures.

Yet, Keszthely offers more than history. It’s a gateway to pristine lake beaches, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The gentle waves and golden sands create a tranquil oasis.

Food enthusiasts will love Keszthely’s gastronomic journey. Local eateries serve Hungarian cuisine and Balaton’s fine wines, a feast for the senses. For the coolest things to do on Lake Balaton, savoring this culinary delight is a must.

In Keszthely, explore rich heritage, bask on sun-kissed beaches, or savor culinary delights, all immersed in Lake Balaton’s enchanting spirit. It’s the ultimate Lake Balaton experience.

Keszthely is a must-see for history and beauty, featuring Festetics Palace and the Helikon Castle Museum.
Keszthely on Lake Balaton’s western shore is a must-see for history and beauty, featuring Festetics Palace and the Helikon Castle Museum.

5. Szigliget

Szigliget, a charming village on the shores of Lake Balaton, is a haven for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. This makes it one of the Lake Balaton places to visit. The village is home to the ruins of Szigliget Castle, perched atop a volcanic hill with views of the lake. It’s a place where the whispers of the past intertwine with the vibrant hues of the present.

The village is surrounded by lush vineyards, where the fertile soils yield exquisite wines. Visitors can embark on a sensory journey, savoring the nuanced flavors of the local vintages, each sip a reflection of the region’s rich terroir.

Beyond its historical and vinicultural allure, Szigliget offers serene landscapes, where the gentle breeze rustles through the leaves and the azure waters of Lake Balaton sparkle in the sunlight. It’s a locale where tranquility reigns, allowing visitors to unwind and rejuvenate amidst nature’s embrace.

In Szigliget, every step is a dance between history and nature, every moment a celebration of the lake’s multifaceted charm. Is this village among the top things to see in Lake Balaton, Hungary? You bet!

Szigliget is one of the best things to do on Lake Balaton, Hungary.
Szigliget blends natural beauty and history, featuring the ruins of Szigliget Castle with panoramic lake views.

6. Vonyarcvashegy

Vonyarcvashegy is a delightful destination on Lake Balaton, where the beauty of nature and the allure of adventure converge. It’s one of the best places on Lake Balaton for water enthusiasts and those seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle.

The village’s beaches are a haven of relaxation, where the golden sands kiss the gentle waves of the lake, and the sun paints the sky with its warm hues. Visitors can lounge by the water, letting the soothing sounds of the waves wash over them. They can also delve into the myriad of water sports available, from windsurfing to paddleboarding. If you’re looking for Balaton Lake things to do, these beachside activities are a fantastic way to make the most of your visit.

Beyond the shores, Vonyarcvashegy is dotted with scenic hiking trails, winding through the verdant landscapes and leading to vantage points with breathtaking views of Lake Balaton. It’s a place where every step unveils a new facet of nature’s splendor.

In Vonyarcvashegy, the charm of Lake Balaton is palpable, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in its tranquil beauty and vibrant energy, creating memories that linger long after the journey ends.

Vonyarcvashegy offers nature's beauty and adventure, ideal for water enthusiasts and a serene escape.
Vonyarcvashegy on Lake Balaton offers nature’s beauty and adventure, ideal for water enthusiasts and a serene escape.

7. Balatonfüred

Balatonfüred, a town known for its elegant atmosphere and historical charm. Here, the past and the present intertwine, offering a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors. It’s a place where architectural gems from the 18th and 19th centuries stand as silent witnesses to the town’s illustrious history, whispering tales of bygone eras to those who wander its streets.

The town’s promenade is a lively hub, where the air is filled with the melodious chatter of locals and tourists alike, and the aroma of delicious local cuisine wafts through the air. It’s a place to savor the flavors of Hungary, with each bite telling a story of the land and its people.

For those with a penchant for the outdoors, Balatonfüred offers a plethora of activities. This makes it one of the coolest activities on Lake Balaton. Whether it’s sailing on the crystalline waters of the lake or exploring the lush landscapes surrounding the town, adventure is always just around the corner.

In Balatonfüred, every moment is a journey through time and a celebration of life, a place where the soul can dance to the rhythm of the land.

Balatonfüred, a town of elegant charm, weaves together past and present, with 18th and 19th-century architectural gems telling tales of its history.
Balatonfüred, a town of elegant charm, weaves together past and present, with 18th and 19th-century architectural gems telling tales of its history.

8. Siófok

Siófok is a vibrant city on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, known for its lively atmosphere and diverse range of activities. It’s a place where every day is a celebration, and the city’s energetic vibe is contagious, inviting visitors to join in the fun and experience the best places to go on Lake Balaton, Hungary.

The city’s golden beaches are a haven for sun-seekers, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and recreation. The gentle lapping of the lake’s waves and the warm embrace of the sun create a symphony of sensations. This invites visitors to let go and immerse themselves in the moment.

For those with a love for music and dance, Siófok is the place to be. The city is renowned for its dynamic nightlife and hosts a myriad of events and festivals throughout the year. During these events, the beats of music fill the air, and the city becomes a dance floor.

In Siófok, every experience is a melody, every moment is a dance, and every day is a chance to live life to the fullest. This makes it a must-visit destination on Lake Balaton.

Siófok is a vibrant city with a lively atmosphere and diverse activities, inviting visitors to join in the fun.
Siófok is a vibrant city with a lively atmosphere and diverse activities, inviting visitors to join in the fun.

9. Zamárdi

Zamárdi, a charming town on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, is a treasure trove of natural beauty and exciting activities. It’s a place where the azure waters of the lake meet the lush green landscapes, creating a picturesque setting that captivates the senses. Here, visitors can discover a plethora of best things to do on Lake Balaton.

The town’s expansive beaches are a sanctuary for relaxation and water sports enthusiasts. The crystal-clear waters beckon swimmers, while the gentle breezes are perfect for sailing and windsurfing. It’s a place where the spirit of adventure and the serenity of nature coexist harmoniously.

Zamárdi is also home to the iconic Balaton Sound, one of Europe’s largest open-air electronic music festivals. The festival transforms the town into a musical paradise, where the rhythms of the beats and the energy of the crowd create an electrifying atmosphere.

Whether exploring the scenic landscapes or dancing the night away, Zamárdi offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all tastes and preferences. This makes it a delightful destination on Lake Balaton.

Zamárdi hosts the iconic Balaton Sound, one of Europe's largest open-air electronic music festivals, electrifying the town with music and energy.
Zamárdi hosts the iconic Balaton Sound, one of Europe’s largest open-air electronic music festivals, electrifying the town with music and energy.

10. Revfülöp

Revfülöp, nestled on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. It’s a serene escape where the gentle waves of the lake whisper tales of timeless beauty. This quaint town is one of the Lake Balaton destinations for those seeking tranquility and scenic splendor.

The town’s panoramic views of the lake are truly mesmerizing, with the shimmering waters reflecting the radiant sunsets, painting the sky in hues of gold and crimson. It’s a fun thing to do on Lake Balaton that captivates the soul and leaves a lasting imprint on the heart.

Revfülöp is not just about scenic beauty; it’s also a haven for wine connoisseurs. The town is surrounded by rolling vineyards, where the fertile soils and the mild climate create the perfect conditions for producing exquisite wines. Visitors can indulge in wine tasting experiences, savoring the rich flavors and aromatic bouquets of the local wines.

Whether it’s soaking in the breathtaking landscapes or savoring the finest wines, Revfülöp offers a harmonious blend of relaxation and indulgence. This makes it a must-visit destination on Lake Balaton.

Revfülöp, on Lake Balaton's northern shore, offers tranquility and timeless beauty.
Revfülöp, on Lake Balaton’s northern shore, offers tranquility and timeless beauty.

11. Fonyód

Fonyód, a charming town, is a delightful stop for travelers with plenty of Lake Balaton attractions. Known for lush landscapes and stunning lake views, it’s perfect for leisurely strolls and photos.

The beauty of Fonyód is accentuated by its hills, which are a treasure trove of scenic spots. The azure waters meeting the sky create a breathtaking sunset symphony. If you’re wondering what to do on Lake Balaton, taking in this panoramic view is a must.

Beyond visuals, Fonyód is a culinary paradise with quaint eateries and cafes serving local flavors and modern twists. The cuisine tantalizes taste buds.

Fonyód combines scenic beauty and culinary delights, a unique experience for all. Every moment here becomes a cherished memory.

Fonyód, a charming town with Lake Balaton attractions, offers lush landscapes and stunning lake views for leisurely strolls and photos.
Fonyód, a charming town with Lake Balaton attractions, offers lush landscapes and stunning lake views for leisurely strolls and photos.

12. Balatonalmádi

Balatonalmádi, a serene and picturesque town, is one of the best places to go on Lake Balaton for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. It’s a haven for relaxation, where the gentle waves of the lake whisper tales of yore and the breeze carries the scent of blooming flowers.

Here, the lush greenery and the azure waters of Lake Balaton create a harmonious blend, painting a landscape that seems to be straight out of a fairy tale. It’s a place where time seems to slow down. This allows one to soak in the beauty of the moment and forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Balatonalmádi is not just a visual delight; it’s also a hub for culinary explorers. The town offers a rich palette of flavors, with local eateries serving dishes that are a testament to the culinary heritage of the region. Every meal here is a journey through the diverse and rich culinary landscape of Hungary. If you’re seeking unique things to do on Lake Balaton, indulging in this gastronomic adventure should be high on your list.

In Balatonalmádi, every moment is a step into a world where natural beauty and culinary excellence coexist, creating an experience that is both enriching and delightful. It’s a place where the soul finds peace and the palate discovers joy.

Balatonalmádi is one of the best things to do on Lake Balaton, Hungary.
Balatonalmádi offers tranquility and natural beauty by the lake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do on Lake Balaton, Hungary

Looking for more content on the top things to do on Lake Balaton? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Lake Balaton:

Is Lake Balaton worth visiting?

Yes, Lake Balaton in Hungary is definitely worth visiting. It’s the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, offering beautiful landscapes, water activities, and charming towns along its shores. Whether you enjoy swimming, sailing, or exploring vineyards, Lake Balaton has something for everyone. This makes it a great tourist destination.

What is the best time to visit Lake Balaton?

The best time to visit Lake Balaton is during the summer months, from June to August. During this period, the weather is warm and ideal for swimming, water sports, and outdoor activities. The lake’s beaches and towns come alive with festivals and events. This makes it a vibrant and enjoyable destination for travelers.

Can you swim on Lake Balaton?

Absolutely, you can swim on Lake Balaton. The lake’s water is generally safe and suitable for swimming during the summer months. Its shallow, warm waters make it a popular destination for swimming enthusiasts. Numerous designated beaches and resorts around the lake offer excellent opportunities for swimming and water sports.

Sunset over Lake Balaton, Hungary
Sunset over Lake Balaton, Hungary

Is Lake Balaton expensive to visit?

Lake Balaton offers a range of options to suit different budgets. Accommodation, dining, and activities can vary in cost. While some upscale resorts may be more expensive, there are also budget-friendly options like guesthouses and campsites. Overall, with careful planning, Lake Balaton can be an affordable destination.

What is the most beautiful town on Lake Balaton?

The title of the most beautiful town on Lake Balaton is highly contested, but many bestow it upon Tihany Peninsula. This town is a symphony of historical charm and natural beauty, with its iconic Abbey, fragrant lavender fields, and panoramic views of the lake, creating a picturesque and enchanting atmosphere.

Why is Lake Balaton famous?

Lake Balaton is renowned as the “Hungarian Sea,” a blissful retreat offering a myriad of recreational activities. It’s famous for its thermal spas, historic castles, and vineyards, providing a diverse experience for visitors. The lake’s shallow waters and summer warmth make it a favored spot for swimming and water sports.

What can you do at Balaton?

Lake Balaton, often referred to as the “Hungarian Sea,” is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe and a popular holiday destination in Hungary. Here’s a list of things you can do at Lake Balaton:

  1. Beach Activities: Many towns around the lake have well-maintained beaches. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, or building sandcastles with the family.
  2. Water Sports: Engage in water sports like sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
  3. Cycling: The area around Lake Balaton has a dedicated cycle path, making it a paradise for cyclists. Rent a bike and explore the scenic beauty.
  4. Wine Tasting: The Balaton region is known for its vineyards. Visit the Badacsony wine region on the northern shore and indulge in some wine tasting.
  5. Visit Tihany: This picturesque peninsula is famous for its historical Abbey, lavender fields, and stunning views of the lake.
  6. Balaton Uplands National Park: Explore this national park’s volcanic hills, limestone plateaus, and lovely basalt formations.
  7. Spa and Wellness: Several towns, like Hévíz, offer thermal baths. Hévíz is home to the second-largest thermal lake in the world, known for its medicinal properties.
  8. Festivals: In the summer, Balaton hosts numerous festivals, including the famous Balaton Sound, a massive electronic music festival.
  9. Fishing: Lake Balaton is a haven for anglers. Catch fishes like carp, catfish, and pike-perch.
  10. Sightseeing Cruises: Take a boat cruise to enjoy the panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings.
  11. Visit Fortresses and Castles: Explore historical sites like the Szigliget Castle and the ruins of the fortress in Fonyód.
  12. Local Cuisine: Try Hungarian dishes at the lakeside restaurants, especially the fish dishes which are a specialty.
  13. Nightlife: Towns like Siófok are known for their vibrant nightlife with beach clubs, bars, and discos.

What is the most beautiful part of Lake Balaton?

Lake Balaton, with its shimmering waters and picturesque surroundings, offers numerous beautiful spots. However, one of the most frequently highlighted and arguably the most beautiful part of Lake Balaton is the Tihany Peninsula.

Here’s why Tihany stands out:

  1. Tihany Abbey: This historic Benedictine monastery, founded in 1055 AD, offers panoramic views of the lake. The abbey, perched on a hill, and its two baroque towers are iconic symbols of the region.
  2. Lavender Fields: Tihany is renowned for its lavender fields. During the blooming season, these fields transform into a purple paradise, and the annual Lavender Festival attracts numerous visitors.
  3. Inner Lake and Echo: Within the peninsula, there’s a smaller lake called the Inner Lake. The area is also famous for its unique echo, although modern buildings and tree growth have diminished its once-famous intensity.
  4. Traditional Architecture: The village of Tihany has preserved its traditional thatched-roof houses, giving visitors a glimpse into the region’s history and culture.
  5. Natural Beauty: The peninsula is a protected area and boasts diverse flora and fauna. The volcanic hills, geyser cones, and basalt columns add to its natural allure.
  6. Stunning Views: Being on a peninsula, Tihany offers breathtaking 360-degree views of Lake Balaton, especially during sunset.

What is special about Lake Balaton?

Lake Balaton, often referred to as the “Hungarian Sea,” holds a special place in the hearts of many, both locals and tourists alike. Here’s what makes Lake Balaton particularly special:

  1. Size and Significance: Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, serving as a major holiday destination for Hungarians and visitors from neighboring countries.
  2. Unique Microclimate: The lake’s vast surface, combined with the surrounding hills, creates a unique microclimate. The Balaton region is one of Hungary’s most important wine-producing areas, especially known for its white wines.
  3. Recreational Hub: The lake is a hub for summer activities, including swimming, sailing, fishing, and sunbathing. Its shallow waters warm up quickly, making it ideal for swimming from early summer to early autumn.
  4. Rich Biodiversity: The wetlands around the lake are home to various bird species, making it a hotspot for birdwatching. The Tihany Peninsula, a nature reserve, is particularly known for its flora and fauna.
  5. Cultural and Historical Sites: From the Tihany Abbey with panoramic views to the Festetics Palace in Keszthely, Lake Balaton is surrounded by historical and cultural landmarks.
  6. Thermal Springs: The region boasts several thermal springs, and the town of Hévíz, near the lake’s western end, has the world’s second-largest thermal lake.
  7. Festivals and Events: Throughout the year, especially in summer, the region hosts numerous festivals, including wine festivals, music events, and the famous Anna Ball.
  8. Scenic Beauty: The lake, with its calm waters, surrounded by vineyards, rolling hills, and traditional Hungarian villages, offers picturesque landscapes that captivate photographers and nature lovers.
  9. Local Gastronomy: The region is known for its fish dishes, especially the traditional fisherman’s soup, and its wines, particularly from the Badacsony region.
  10. Accessibility: Its central location in Hungary and good transport links make it easily accessible for both domestic and international tourists.

How many days is enough for Lake Balaton?

For most visitors 3 to 4 days is a good amount of time to explore Lake Balaton and its surroundings.

Here’s a suggested breakdown:

  • Day 1: Explore Keszthely, the largest town by the lake. Visit the Festetics Palace and the Balaton Museum. Spend the afternoon at one of the beaches or take a boat ride.
  • Day 2: Head to Tihany Peninsula. Visit the Tihany Abbey, enjoy panoramic views of the lake, and explore the lavender fields. In the afternoon, you can visit Balatonfüred, a historic spa town, and stroll along the promenade.
  • Day 3: Dedicate this day to outdoor activities. Depending on your interests, you can go hiking, cycling, or partake in water sports. Alternatively, you can explore the northern shore’s vineyards, especially around Badacsony, known for its unique volcanic wines.
  • Day 4: Spend a relaxing day at Hévíz, enjoying the thermal lake, or visit other charming towns around the lake like Siófok or Balatonlelle. If you’re into birdwatching, the Kis-Balaton wetlands are a must-visit.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Lake Balaton

Looking for more content on the top things to do on Lake Balaton? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Lake Balaton:

Lake Balaton, with its myriad of enchanting locales and activities, is a canvas painted with the vibrant hues of nature, culture, and gastronomy. It’s a place where every nook whispers tales of history and every bite is a dance of flavors. From the tranquil beauty of Balatonalmádi to the historic charm of Tihany Peninsula, each location around the lake offers a unique slice of Hungarian life, waiting to be explored and cherished.

Whether you’re a lover of nature, a culinary enthusiast, or a seeker of cultural richness, Lake Balaton has something to offer. It’s a destination that invites you to immerse yourself in its beauty, to lose yourself in its stories, and to find joy in its pleasures. So, pack your bags and set sail for an adventure through the enchanting lands of Lake Balaton, and let the lake, with its shimmering waters and whispering winds, weave its magic around you.

The top things to do in Lake Balaton, Hungary for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in Lake Balaton, Hungary? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment