The tourist season has already started at Lake Balaton, the most popular vacation destination for Hungarians. With the expansion of discount retail chains, it seems that holiday costs will be significantly lower for families, though this may be bad news for restaurant and buffet owners.
According to information compiled by financial site penzcentrum.hu, the most popular towns around Lake Balaton, based on pre-bookings, are Siófok, Balatonfüred, Zamárdi, Héviz, Keszthely and Balatonlelle.
Prices at beach buffets are high: the cheapest beer costs HUF 400, while a mineral water typically costs HUF 200. Lunch for a family of four in a modest restaurant can amount to HUF 10,000.
Compared to this, prices in discount retail chains are significantly lower. Here, a 1.5-liter bottle of mineral water costs as little as HUF 50, a half-liter bottle or can of beer HUF 175, and a one-liter carton of juice HUF 329. In addition, fresh fruit, canned food and quality meat are also much cheaper compared to local shops and restaurants.
Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that families prefer shopping in discount stores and bringing their food and beverages in cooler boxes for a day at the beach. Discount chains are expanding continuously in order to meet such demand. Lidl is already present around Lake Balaton with nine stores, penzcentrum.hu notes.