City Profiles: Balatonfüred

Whether you are planning to spend your summer holiday at Lake Balaton, or just looking for a quick weekend getaway, is here to help you choose your destination. This time, we are looking at the Capital of the Northern Shore, Balatonfüred.

Where it is and how to get there

Balatonfüred lies on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, close to the Tihany peninsula. Since it's rather close to the eastern basin, you can get there very quickly from Budapest, both by car and by public transport. Although the distance is only 130 km, the motorway can get really crowded and jammed in the summer months, so you might want to check traffic news and seek alternative routes. The most popular way to get there is by taking M7 from Budapest to the eastern shore and then turn left onto Route 71, which takes you along the shore to Balatonfüred. The less crowded option is to exit M7 at Székesfehérvár and continue on Route 8 to Veszprém, where you can take Route 73 towards Csopak, only a few minutes away from Balatonfüred. Fewer people come this way, although it's only 5 km longer and a lot less crowded than the first option.

If you don't have access to a car, you can get to this pearl of a city easily by train. MÁV, the Hungarian railway, operates on summer schedule from the 16th of June till the 26th of August, which means that there are at least two trains every hour. Depending on the kind of train you select, the journey can take from 1:59 up to 2:39. You can board these trains both at Déli train station and at Kelenföld. The train station in Balatonfüred is located close to the city center? it is 1 km, so about a 10-12 minutes walk away from Tagore Promenade, which stretches for miles along the shore of the lake. 

What to do

Balatonfüred is the cultural capital of the Balaton region, but it's also perfect for partying. The city has recently been replanned and renovated, so you can admire the city's signature classicist buildings in all their glory. Füred also has a busy port, with ships transporting people and bikes both to nearby Tihany, and to the southern shore as well, so you can easily explore the nearby area if you stay for more than a few days.

Füred offers a pretty cool selection of gastronomical curiosities, whether you are looking for minimalist food experiments, or for typical Hungarian cuisine. Prices are pretty cheap compared to the other parts of Balaton, and the quality is always consistent. Some must-try places include Malackrumpli, Hatlépcsős, and Baricska csárda. If you have a sweet tooth, you'll probably keep returning to Karolina, as many people do from all around the shore, and you can also discover Bergmann and Kedves, both top-of-the-line pattiseries.

Balatonfüred offers numerous bathing possibilities. Esterházy beach is a bit on the pricier side, but Kisfaludy beach is close enough if you'd like to have something on the cheaper side. The area is also famed for its thermal water, whose benefits you can enjoy in Annagora Aqua Park.

Füred is home to a number of festivals, most of them focusing on wine. The summer starts with the Wine-Book-Jazz festival on the 6th of June, followed by VinAgora, an international competition on the 16th. But the most famous is probably the Borhetek, which means weeks of tasting superb wines on the shore from the 13th of August till the 3rd of September.

The most popular place for parties is SunCity, a small mediterranian party village near Füred's shopping mall. This is almost like being in a city within the city, where the music never stops, and you suddenly have thousands of friends. The curiosity of this place is that it copies the architecture of Greek villages, but it's actually a lively party town with pubs, bars, and discos. There are also a couple of houses that you can rent, which adds a cool twist to your holiday on the shore of the Hungarian Sea.

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