Guide to the North side of the Lake Balaton

I really enjoyed my one week holiday in Hungary. As there was a long weekend in Poland thanks to 1st and 3rd May, I decided to go back home. Originally I planned to go to Gdansk, but as whole Poland decided to travel, I couldn’t find anyone who could host me via Couch Surfing. And somehow I nor could find anyone who joined in my trip, so I decided to postpone this route to a subsequent time.

During my one week in Hungary, I had many plans, like studying for my entrance exam and letter writing. I couldn’t manage them at all like I planned, I studied almost nothing, and the letter pile, started with 17 letters still has 12 letters to answer. I guess my penpals won’t be happy about it, and it seems I’m turning to be a very bad penpal – so sorry, girls!

I could do some outdoor stuffs, like visiting my relatives, and going out to Balatonfüred, which was the town of my high school years as well. I haven’t introduced to you this place yet.

There are many foreigners who come to Hungary to visit Budapest only. They don’t really consider visiting other places, which sounds quite sad, as Hungary is not about Budapest only. The older generation of foreigners know the Lake Balaton very well, therefore during summers they often come there with their families – especially from Germany and the Netherlands. Actually in my home village there is a street with only Dutch summer houses, which sometimes are bigger than a Hungarian family house.  So let’s go back to the topic, to Balatonfüred.

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Balatonfüred is one of the most popular town nearby the Lake Balaton, the biggest lake in Central-Europe. It’s located on the north side of the lake, 130 kms far from Budapest. There are only 13,000 inhabitants there, but during summer you cannot really realize that.

What can you do in Balatonfüred?

Well, I would say that the most beautiful things are up and down: on the hill, and at the lake.

You can hike up to “Tamás-hegy” or “Jókai lookout”, where firstly you can find a huge cross. There is a panorama to the Lake Balaton. If you’re not tired enough, you should continue your trip up to the hill, where there is a lookout point, which a more beautiful view of course. It’s not a strenuous hike, but it’s in the another part of the town, which is not that touristy. If you’re going up to this point, you probably wouldn’t meet that many foreigners, or even people.

The second point of interests is the lakeside. There is a very nice promenade called “Tagore promenade”, which got its name after the Indian writer, Rabindranath Tagore, who came to Balatonfüred in 1926 to the sanatorium. You can find many trees planted by several popular person, including Mahatma Gandhi.

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You can go on short cruises from the harbour – I have been to a 1 hour cruise this weekend, but they provide 2 hours cruise as well. On the other hand, you can also take boats according to the timetable. Our 1 hour long cruise took us closed to Tihany, where there is one of the most well-known abbeys of Hungary; and headed us back to the harbour. If you’re in the area for the first time, don’t hesitate to take the boat to Tihany instead, and walk up to the abbey. It’s a very nice trip as well, even up to the abbey from the Tihany harbour, at the abbey (the view is amazing, you can see the whole lake!), and in the village behind the abbey. In the village there are several gift shops, including my favourite “Paprika House”, which is decorated only with Hungarian paprikas. There is a cute Doll Museum as well for those who’re interested in dolls. I definitely suggest you to go to Tihany, it’s also a very beautiful place.

And, a restaurant suggestion!

As Balatonfüred is a touristy town, especially in summer, the prices can be high. OK, I say this as a Hungarian, probably for foreigners it’s not that expensive. But still, if you’re really on a budget, you should visit “Peron Pizzéria”, which is located at the train station. “Peron” means “platform” in Hungarian, which really describe the location, and the restaurant as well. If you go in, you find yourself on a train: the seats look like the train seats, and you can find the same cases like on a train – even with luggages! 😀

The name of pizzas are also related to traveling by train, which makes choosing from the menu more funny (for example the “Dish of Fare-Dodger”: a pizza with pizza sauce, ham, sweetcorn and cheese; or the “Incorrect Reserved Seat-Ticket”: a pizza with pizza sauce, ham, pineapple and cheese, and so on). My favourite pizza is the “White Steam Locomotive” with sour cream, ham, mushroom, sweetcorn, cheese and onion. On the menu you can find other foods than pizzas of course. This time I ate the “The Chef’s favourite pork”, which is made from the Hungarian potato pancake “tócsi”, mushroom, cheese, pork, ham, and this whole is poured off with sour cream with garlic flavour. I adore this food as well ❤

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I really enjoyed my day in Balatonfüred, and I hope you won’t hesitate to go there too after reading this post.

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