DECODED BY NATIVES
Balatonfüred holds two titles that speak of its great traditions in catering for the needs of holiday makers. The town was declared the first official health resort of Hungary in the first half of the 18th century. Since 1987 it's been holding the title of International Town of Grape and Wine.
Discover yourself what this small town on the north shore of Balaton has in store for you.
Map of Balatonfüred, Hungary
Attracions in Balatonfüred
The Tagore promenade (named after Rabindranath Tagore, the famous hindu poet who's been cured in the hospital) and the pier exudes seaside atmosphere where graphic artsists draw pictures of willing models, people feed gulls and swans while admiring the graceful glide of sailboats on the turquoise water.
Two statues, the Fisherman and the Ferryman guard the meeting point of the promenade and the pier.
You can relax, bath and enjoy the sunshine on three major beaches in Balatonfüred.
- the Eszterházy Beach (Tagore Promenade, admission: 550 HUF/adult),
- Kisfaludy Beach (Aranyhíd Promenade, admission: 350 HUF/adult) and the
- beach of the Füred Camping (Széchenyi utca 24., admission: 900 HUF/adult for a whole day)
The beautiful Rose garden in front of the pier makes a spectacular background for the Sail Unfurling Ceremony (Vitorlabontó Ünnepség) and for the Whitsun Song International Children Chorus Festival.
The opening event of the holiday season, welcoming the first ship from Siófok, takes place on the pier in early April.
The Kerektemplom (Round Church) from the middle of the 19th century forms a Greek cross.
The Roman Catholic Parish Church, commonly called the "red church".
On Szent István tér (St Stephen Square), the former center of Balatonfüred stand the town hall the Catholic church built from red stone and a Protestant church.
Balatonfüred's vibrant cultural life attracted many polticians and other socialites in the Reform Era in the 19th century making the town some sort of political center.
Many of these famous people had villas built in the popular resort the best known is the mansion of the 19th century writer, Mór Jókai.
His villa has been turned into a museum (opening hours: 19th May-30th Oct: Tue-Sun: 10.00-18.00, admission: 360 HUF for adults, 180 for students, pensioners)
Another architectuaral masterpieces include the Villa of Lujza Blaha, where Hungary's prima donna (1850-1970) and "nightingale of the nation" spent her summer holidays.
The 120 m long Lóczy cave (Lóczy barlang) at the end of Öreghegyi road was discovered in 1882 and you can visit it with a guide.
In the direction of Csopak in the Koloska valley (Koloska völgy) lies a nature reserve the 760 hectare forrest from where you can reach the Koloska spring on several tourist tracks.
Climb up the Jókai Lookout (Jókai-kilátó) to admire the stunning view of Lake Balaton and the rolling hills.
The benefits of acidic waters Balatonfüred abounds in were already known in the 18. century, they cured heart and circulatory disorders, motoric, skin, and gynaecological diseases with it.
Bath houses and drinking wells were established on Gyógy tér which is a few minutes walk from the beach. Many people still drink the medicinal water of the Kossuth Lajos drinking hall on Gyógy tér today.
Behind the hall operates the heart hospital built in 1912-13.
The sanatorium built in Copf style on the northern part of the square dates back to 1781-1803. Hotel Árkád occupying the former theatre of the sanatorium hosts the famous Anna Ball in July.
Between Gyógy tér and Balaton beach lies a large park where famous patients of the town planted trees to the memory of their healing.
The end of the tourist season doesn't mean that Balatonfüred hibernates for the winter. On the contrary autumn abounds in programs related to grape harvest and wine making.
In very cold winter months the a water of the lake frozes and ice skaters, hokey players swarm on the lake at Eszterházy beach.
The Wine Weeks of Balatonfüred in August gives you a great opportunity to taste wines made in the Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region.
Stalls of wine producecers line the Tagore Promenade for 2 weeks in August
Wine making in the Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region has great traditions looking back to several hundred centuries history.
The best known grape varieties grwon in the region include:
- Olaszrizling (Welsh Riesling),
- Rizlingszilváni (Mueller Turgau),
- Muskotály ( Muscat), and
Stefánia Vitorlás Restaurant
Address:Tagore Promenade 1., next to the pier
Taste traditional Hungarian dishes like Fisherman's soup on the sunyn terrace, rinse it with a glass of local wine. They have a selection of international dishes too.
Address: Széchenyi út (main road) 23.
A nice grill restaurant in the center of Balatonfüred. I especially like the self-service salad bar offering 10 kinds of salads.
Astoria Restaurant Address: Jókai utca 28.
Hordó Csárda Address: Széchenyi utca 33.
An elegant place in the reconstructed Dőry mansion (built in 1867)
A family-run inn with Hungarian and Transylvanian specialities. Hungarian music and folklore programs entertains the guests.
They have another inn Tölgyfa Csárda (on Meleghegyi Dűlő) from the terrace of which you can enjoy Balatonfüred's most scenic panorama.
Programs in Balatonfüred
Perhaps the best known attractions of Balatonfüred is the Anna Ball held on last Saturday of every July.
The first ball was organized to the honour of the daughter of Szentgyörgyi-Horváth family, Anna-Krisztina in 1825. Choosing the beauty queen of the ball is the highlights of the prominent event.
Don't be sorry if you can't attend the ball you can see the beauty queen and her ladies (udvarhölgy?) the following day when they travel along the streets of Balatonfüred in a hintó in the company of the mayor.
Balatonfüred's one of the center of sailing competitions organized on Lake Balaton.
Various musical festivals also take place in Balatonfüred including the International Guitar Festival or Jazz Festival.
The Wine Weeks (Borhetek) in the mid-August on the Pier stage and the Promenade give you a perfect opportunity to taste the delightful local wines and enjoy the cultural programs.
At the open-air exhibion at Balácapuszta (along the No. 73 road leading to Veszprém) you can see the extarordinary ruins of a villa quarter consisting of 35-40 buildings from the Roman era.
The park surrounding the Ranolder Villa (Kishegyi út 13.) in Csopak from the 1860ies is a small botanic garden with valuable pine trees. The wine estate and cellar belonging to the villa was equipped the most up-to-date equipment in the 19th century. Its owner today produces award wining wines on the property.
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