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Lake Balaton Tours

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Lake Balaton
At 48 miles (77 kilometers) in length and seven miles (11 kilometers) at its widest point, Balaton is Central Europe’s largest freshwater lake and landlocked Hungary’s prime summer playground, with spectacular scenery and swim-friendly milky green waters. The lake is fringed by beach resorts, a national park, and wine-producing vineyards.

The Basics
Because of its proximity to Budapest, Hungary’s largest lake is a prime choice for day-trippers based in the city. Full-day Lake Balaton tours from the Hungarian capital typically pass through the countryside before stopping at attractions around the north shore, such as the Herend Porcelain Manufactory, the spa town of Balatonfüred, and the 18th-century Benedictine Abbey on the Tihany Peninsula. Some sightseeing tours also stop at local Balaton wineries. Active travelers can bike around the lake on the cycle path that encircles it.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Lake Balaton makes a peaceful escape from bustling Budapest.
  • Bring a swimsuit to take advantage of Lake Balaton’s shallow, calm waters.
  • Watersports, such as windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and sailing can be practiced on the lake, though no motorized sports are allowed. 
  • Many full-day tours include lunch at a traditional Hungarian restaurant.

How to Get There
The shore of Lake Balaton is just an hour’s drive from Budapest via the M7 motorway. Drivers must purchase a highway permit from a gas station before venturing onto the motorway. Alternatively, trains depart several times a day from Budapest-Déli Station, stopping at Siófok, Balatonfüred, and Badacsony. 

When to Get There
Lake Balaton is at its best in summer. During this time, warmer temperatures invite sunbathing, swimming, and outdoor activities. Music lovers may want to time their trip to coincide with Balaton Sound, a major open-air electronic festival that takes place in July in Zamárdi on the south shore. Get there early in the day to avoid summer traffic. In winter, it’s often possible to ice skate on the lake. 

North Shore vs. South Shore
The lakeside resorts on Balaton’s northern shore are more low-key and often offer family-friendly facilities such as playgrounds and paddleboats. The northern shore is also home to the main wine-growing regions, the hiking-friendly Balaton Uplands National Park, and Szigliget, a village known for its 13th-century fortress. The resorts on the south shore of the lake, such as Siófok, Fonyód, and Balatonlelle, are typically livelier, with a party-style atmosphere and beach clubs. 
Address: Lake Balaton, Hungary
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5 Tours and Activities to Experience Lake Balaton

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Lake Balaton and Herend Porcelain Manufactory from Budapest

Lake Balaton and Herend Porcelain Manufactory from Budapest

star-4.5
Visit scenic Lake Balaton and a Hungarian porcelain factory on a day trip from Budapest. After leaving Budapest, explore the Herend Porcelain Manufactory to see how traditional Hungarian porcelain is made and perhaps purchase some pieces (own expense). Then, admire Tihany Abbey at Lake Balaton before lunch (own expense) and a lakeside stroll in the spa town of Balatonfüred. Air-conditioned transport; factory entrance fee, tour, and coffee or tea included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$77.33
From
$77.33
Taking safety measures

Private tour from Budapest to a top hidden treasure region of Europe: Lake Balaton

Private tour from Budapest to a top hidden treasure region of Europe: Lake Balaton

star-4.5
Spend a day away from the crowds of the capital without having to join a massive tour group. This private tour takes you a short distance southwest of Budapest to Lake Balaton, a sprawling lake surrounded by charming towns and rolling countryside. Cruise through your day at a leisurely pace with only your private guide by your side. Take a ferry cruise across the lake, walk around the historic village of Tihany (home to the 11th-century Benedictine Tihany Abbey) and enjoy the picturesque views from the Balatonfüred promenade.
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$176.94
Price varies by group size
From
$176.94
Price varies by group size

Full-Day Private Tour around Lake Balaton from Budapest by Car with lunch

Full-Day Private Tour around Lake Balaton from Budapest by Car with lunch

Escape the hustle and bustle of Budapest on a full-day private tour of the Lake Balaton area. The comprehensive tour takes you to the towns, including Herend and Csopak, that are typically missed by foreign visitors. Skip the stress of finding a restaurant and enjoy an included lunch at a traditional restaurant. With private transportation and your own guide, you get a truly personalized experience at your own pace.
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  • 10 hours
From
$206.90
From
$206.90

Private Lake Balaton Experience with an unforgettable Wine Tasting

Private Lake Balaton Experience with an unforgettable Wine Tasting

With its beaches, forested hills, vineyards, and historic architecture, Lake Balaton is an ideal choice for a day trip from Budapest. With this private tour, avoid slow public transport and travel to parts of the lake inaccessible by train, such as Tihany. Ride the ferry from Szántod, visit the Benedictine Abbey Church, stroll Tagore Promenade, and indulge in a wine tasting in Balatonfüred without worrying about having to drive.
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  • 10 hours
From
$356.88
Price varies by group size
From
$356.88
Price varies by group size

Private Wine Country Day Trip to Somló and Northern Balaton (from Budapest)

Private Wine Country Day Trip to Somló and Northern Balaton (from Budapest)

Savor Hungary’s wines and countryside on this private 11-hour trip to Somló from Budapest. Travel to this little-known wine region north of Lake Balaton, where the vineyards coat volcanic slopes, and visit up to three wineries, sampling five to eight wines at each. Learn about Somló’s ‘terroir’ and enjoy a country walk and 3-course Hungarian lunch. Private air-conditioned transport, a specialist wine guide, and local snacks during the last tasting are also included.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$397.42
Price varies by group size
From
$397.42
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

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