When it comes to beaches and opportunities for cooling off in the summer heat in Hungary, the first thing that comes to mind is almost always Lake Balaton. However, there are other beautiful Hungarian beaches as well that are less crowded and less expensive – here is the list of the best ones compiled by nlcafe.hu.
Lake Velence is just 50 kilometres away from Budapest, the Hungarian capital. Therefore it is very easy to reach, especially by car.
Luckily, though, public transport also provides a pretty good option of making it to the lake – the train takes only 35 minutes from Kelenföld at the outskirts of Budapest to Velence, the first beach stop.
The journey is really made easy with the new, air-conditioned carriages where you can even take your bike with you.
There are 16 beaches in the area of Agárd, Velence and Gárdony. The following ones are on the Southern part of the lake, closest to the train stations and are definitely worth checking out.
The first stop is Velence Korzó, just a 3-minute walk from the train station. A few years ago, some changes were made, and now the spot near Lake Velence somewhat resembles a real sandy beach next to the sea.
There is a wide promenade and the beach is sandy with numerous beach umbrellas and deck chairs available.
There are also a lot of buffets, a bouncy castle in the water and even a small department store where you can find a small Decathlon shop, among other things.
It is the perfect place for both families and friend groups, and its popularity is quite evident, considering it is hard to find a spot on the beach already on weekdays, however, on the weekend, it is virtually impossible. As for the numerous buffets – pretty much all of them serve fish, lángos, burgers, pancakes or even schnitzel, for more or less the same prices.
A plain lángos costs 400 forints (1.24 EUR), the added sour cream and cheese on top makes it around 600 forints (1.86 EUR), which is more or less the same price as for a burger. Unless it is a hand-crafted burger, for which you have to pay somewhat more, around 1000 forints (3.09 EUR). For beer, you have to pay around 400 forints (1.24 EUR), while a scoop of ice cream costs 220-250 forints (0.68-0.77 EUR).
To compare, it is important to remember that, though a pint of beer costs the same, around 400 forints at Lake Balaton, food is generally more expensive there.
A plain lángos is at least 500 forints (1.55 EUR), and with the cheese and sour cream added, it is around 700-800 forints (2.17-2.47 EUR).
Those preferring fewer people and less sandy beaches should head to Velencefürdő. There is an adorable little path leading from the train station to the beach, where a beach with fresh grass and free restrooms await the customers. The prices are similar to the ones at the Korzó: a plain lángos costs 400 forints, with cheese and sour cream it is 600 forints. It is the beer that is slightly more expensive, with 450 forints (1.39 EUR).
It is best to arrive early since this is another rather popular beach that also happens to be free to enter.
It is also located next to the Tó-Party event’s beach, where an adult ticket on weekdays is 800 (2.47 EUR) forints which rise to 1050 (3.25 EUR) at the weekend. For children up to age 4, entrance is free, for those older than that, a ticket costs 500-650 forints (1.55-2.01 EUR).
It is also important to note that a nudist beach is also quite close, where there are no buffets or restaurants, just the beach and lots and lots of naked people.
The next stop is Gárdony, where you can choose from several beaches.
There is the Sport Beach which is not free but has a huge territory, giant trees providing shelter from the sun and is also eco-conscious.
An adult ticket costs 730-1100 forints (2.26-3.40 EUR), while you have to pay 500-730 forints for the kids.
Another option is the Panorama beach on Trout Street where the prices are pretty much the same as in Velencefürdő. The beach on the Moonlight Promenade is free. You can do fun activities like renting a kayak or a paddle boat, or even SUPs (Stand Up Paddles). Prices for the meals vary only slightly.
The Lakeside Street beach is also very close to a train station.
It is possibly the free beach which has the largest shore segment. It is not so crowded, however, there are not many trees either, so it is difficult to find shade.
Luckily, there is the option of renting beach umbrellas and deck chairs. Although you can get a lángos for 400 forints and a pint of beer for 480 (1.48 EUR), this beach is also the home to the most expensive buffets at Lake Velence, where a plain lángos costs 550 forints (1.70 EUR). A scoop of ice cream, however, is still just 200 forints (0.62 EUR).
Sunbeam Beach, the most famous and most popular beach in the area, is also located nearby. Adult tickets cost 700-1100 forints, while children’s tickets cost 650-950 forints (2.01-2.94 EUR).
This is where the pop beach is operating, where Hungarian goldies like Edda or Ferenc Demjén often visit and probably feel right at home.
The Agárd Thermal Bath is also here, which is the perfect plan B if the weather turns sour.
Make sure to check out this article about must-visit Hungarian lakes other than Lake Balaton.
Featured image: Susulyka (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons