The FINA World Championship is about to start. While the main program happens in Budapest, open water swimming events will take place at Lake Balaton, in Balatonfüred. Therefore, there will be a huge crowd and traffic jams in the city’s historical downtown. If you had enough from the crowd, we suggest a few quiet places to get away from the craziness:
#1 Lóczy Cave
The area of the Bakony–Balaton Geopark includes the Lóczy Cave exhibition site and its surroundings. The cave is reachable from the center of the town in 5 minutes by car, and with a 0.5 hour-long walk, by following the green stripe tourist marks (from the train station). The temperature in the cave is always 54 Fahrenheit (12 C), therefore take a sweater and pants with you for the trip.
#2 Jókai Lookout Tower
From the cave follow the green triangle trail to reach the Jókai Lookout Tower (Tamáshegy). There is a stunning view to Lake Balaton, the Tihany Peninsula, and Balatonfüred from the 1040-feet (317 meter) high tower. Don’t miss it!
#3 Balatonfüred City Market
From the tower you can reach the Balatonfüred City Market by following the blue trail. Local people prefer to do some shopping here. One can find fresh meat, bakery products, local-grown vegetables and fruits, as well. Open from 7 am to 5 pm every day, except Sundays. There are free parking places behind the building. Pro tipp: if you are on a budget but are looking for a good restaurant, Brada Faloda is across the street on the first floor of Silver Mall. This is a self-service restaurant offering a large variety of Hungarian dishes. Try the take-out option. On the negative side: closed on Sundays and they accept cash only.
#4 Roman Catholic (Red) Church
Since it’s only a stone’s throw walk from the market, everyone will easily spot the building of the marked Red (Catholic) Church.
#5 Pastry shop in Arács
Decades ago Arács was a city of its own, later it became part of Balatonfüred. If you leave the city on the Arácsi street, stop at the famous Arácsi Pastry Shop. Ice creams, cookies and cakes are made following old, traditional recipes, so you can forget any healthy, sugar-free or paleo delicacies. Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, except Monday.
#6 Green Tea Teahouse
If you are a tea-addict, like MsPurple, then your choice will be the Green Tea Teahouse across the street from the Pastry Shop. The huge selection of all kinds of tea will satisfy all tea-lovers. They have tea selections from China and India to the more exotic African an Arab blends. Open all year round from 9 am to 10 pm, and from 2 pm to 10 pm on Sundays during winter time (Sep-May).
#7 Koloska Valley and Wild Life Park
Since you are tired from sightseeing, the best way to chill out on a Sunday afternoon is a light walk in Koloska Valley. This area is also part of the National Park. Hot tip: if you fancy to cook something on open fire, go early, because the fire places are rapidly taken. There is no admission fee in the Wild Life park (open 8am-6pm daily).