Siófok, Balatonlelle, Zamárdi Most Popular Balaton Destinations

Tourism

Photo by Vera Petrunina / Shutterstock.com

This year, one in five summer holiday bookings in Hungary are made in the Lake Balaton region, according to Szallas.hu. The most popular towns among holidaymakers include Siófok, Balatonlelle, and Zamárdi.

According to a recent Szallas.hu survey of a sample of 1,150 people, 40% of respondents are planning to make at least one holiday trip to the Balaton this summer.

Mercédesz Dobronoki, tourism marketing manager of Szallas.hu's Programs team, notes that while Lake Balaton is still popular, the decline and shift in demand among domestic travelers is noticeable, as last year a third of summer holiday bookings were made for the Lake Balaton region.

About a third of those who do travel to the lake favor the northern shore, while 42% prefer the southern side and a quarter cannot or would not like to choose between the two.

The northern and southern shores offer vastly different experiences. In the north, the sweeping views of Badacsony, the Tagore promenade in Balatonfüred, and the Tihany peninsula all have a large fan base. The beaches of Siófok, Balatonlelle, and Zamárdi on the southern side are especially popular among people looking to enjoy a day in the sun.

The survey also reveals that tourists at the Balaton like visiting beaches and restaurants, and are also keen on taking part in cruises, exploring parks, and attending festivals. On the other hand, sports activities such as surfing, SUP, wakeboarding, and extreme experiences such as tandem jumping are not very popular.

Szallas.hu says that 39% of people on holiday at Lake Balaton often visit restaurants in the area. Most of them visit these places for lunch or dinner and snacks/ice cream/dessert. Cafés and cocktail bars also attract many people, while breakfast and brunch are less popular. 

When choosing a restaurant, recommendations from friends and acquaintances are the most influential decision-making factors, but Google reviews and influencers' recommendations also play a big role.

Other decisive factors include the possibility of payment by credit card and Szép card, guest reviews and responses, and photos of the place and food.

"There are several domestic gastronomic maps available both online and offline, which provide visuals with creative illustrations, but guest feedback suggests that photos are more useful, so for this season this is one of our new features on the 'Balaton 111' online map, to bring real guest reviews alongside real photos to help travelers plan their stops," says Dobronoki. "We already put the best of the Hungarian sea on our interactive map last year, which was visited by nearly 33,000 users in 2022."

On the "Balaton 111" free access online map some 111 Balaton attractions, and on the Szallas.hu Programs page, more than 12,000 tourist attractions await users who wish to explore the opportunities offered by the country's biggest lake. The number of visitors to the latter subpage has increased by 23% compared to last year, Szallas.hu notes.

In addition, Szallas.hu has decided to debut a new map and downloadable travel guide called "Adria toplista" (Adriatic top list), which includes 150 Croatian beaches, attractions and programs to help those planning a holiday in Croatia.

"We have collected the treasures of the Croatian Riviera from Istria to Dalmatia," explains Dobronoki. "Thanks to the area's unique natural features, everything from wild national parks and stunning mountain views to waterfront adventures and family activities can be found here."

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