The Hungarian Guide - Investing and retiring in Hungary

  • A stunning capital with unique setting A stunning capital with unique setting
  • walking and birdwatching paradise walking and birdwatching paradise
  • undisturbed nature rich in rare species undisturbed nature rich in rare species
  • enjoy the 144 mile lakeside cycle track enjoy the 144 mile lakeside cycle track
  • Teeming with History Teeming with History
  • over 300 Thermal Health Spas and warm lakes over 300 Thermal Health Spas and warm lakes
  • picturesque lakes with Carp weighing over 100 lb picturesque lakes with Carp weighing over 100 lb
  • Feast on delicious sunripened local fruit Feast on delicious sunripened local fruit
  • Lake Balaton gets as warm as the Caribbean in the summer Lake Balaton gets as warm as the Caribbean in the summer
  • Tranquil Lake Balaton Tranquil Lake Balaton
  • Lush rolling hills of western Hungary Lush rolling hills of western Hungary
  • buy a thatched cottage for under £30 000.. buy a thatched cottage for under £30 000..
  • horsemen and nature lovers paradise horsemen and nature lovers paradise
  • Europe's second largest freshwater lake Europe's second largest freshwater lake
  • A paradise for watersport enthusiasts A paradise for watersport enthusiasts
  • Tihany peninsula- a pearl of history and nature Tihany peninsula- a pearl of history and nature

North of Lake Balaton

Heviz by heatherontravels

Heviz by heatherontravels

North of Lake Balaton is the area between the Austrian border region, the Danube in the north, the Budapest region in the west and the lake in the south. This is a stunning area with beautiful hills and mountains and several nature reserves. Just north of the lake you can find the beautiful Balaton Uplands National Park, a stunning protected area of volcanic and limestone mountains. There are vineyards everywhere, tranquil villages, and listed areas of special geological interest. Every summer a prestigious cultural festival, The Valley of Arts, is held in the Kapolcs Valley. Very close to the western tip of Lake Balaton lies the world’s largest natural thermal lakeLake Hévíz. Warmed by the heat of the earth’s interior, it is even possible to bathe in the lake in winter. In summer the water temperature reaches over 35 deg C.

Balaton Uplands by Zolakoma

Balaton Uplands by Zolakoma

Further north you will find the lush green forest of Bakony. Much of the area forms part of a National Park – a protected nature reserve with lovely beech forests, picturesque valleys and over 1100 caves. Visitors can enjoy beautiful walks and trails and identify deer, wild boar and 104 highly protected rare birds. Perfect for wildlife, nature and bird watchers alike. There are also study centres, forest schools and Hungary’s most adavanced planetarium in Bakonybél. On the eastern side of the Bakony mountains there are 5 ski slopes in Eplény, just north of Veszprém approximately 45 minutes drive north of Lake Balaton and during the winter months remain open 9am to 9pm daily. Two of the slopes are lit and there are five ski lifts along with snow machines which are used as necessary.

Veszprem by Attila Nobik

Veszprem by Attila Nobik

Veszprém is a stunning city 9 miles north of Lake Balaton. It was built on 7 hills and one of the oldest settlements in Hungary. The city became the first episcopal seat of Hungary in 1009 and an archiepiscopal seat in 1993.Veszprém was the favorite city of Queen Gisela, the wife of St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary. For centuries, the queens of Hungary were crowned by the bishop of Veszprém and it is still often called “the city of queens”. It has one of the oldest universities in the country and a very successful handball team. The Veszprém Zoo lies in two adjacent valleys outside the city. There is a custom designed Kid’s Jungle and Terrarium, and a massive animal themed playground. The zoo also organises multilingual children’s program.

Cafe at Herend by Zsofi

Cafe at Herend by Zsofi

Herend is a small town short drive from Veszprém, but world famous because of the Herend Porcelain Manufactory. The Manufactory has a visitors centre, with a museum, guided tours in a “mini manufactory” where the whole production process is shown and a gorgeous cafe, with delicious cakes and drinks served in stunning china. 

zirc by korom

zirc by korom

Zirc is a picturesque town in the Bakony mountains, often calld the capital of Bakony. It is the highest town in Hungary at an altitude of 400 meters. The Abbey of Zirc was founded in 1182, today it also houses a museum of natural history and a library of 65000 books mainly from the 18th and 19th century. The abbey park is an arboretum today, and some of the trees were planted in 1780.

Pápa is a small town with a population of 32,000 people. It is called the town of towers as above the houses rise the 6 main church towers. The city’s attractions include the Esterházy Palace, which is now the city library, and the classical, baroque style catholic church. Pápa has a large historical centre, with renovated old burgher’s houses, cafes, and museums, including the Blue-Dye Museum (Kékfestő Múzeum), set up in a former factory which produced clothes and other textiles dyed with indigo blue using a unique method, which is a type of wax batik techinque. The town is also noted for its thermal baths, particularly a newly constructed swimming complex. There is an English-Hungarian bilingual school where older children have classes in English and there are native English teachers.

sumeg by photodiary of an endless summer

sumeg by photodiary of an endless summer

Sümeg is a small town of 6000 people but very popular because of the fantastic medieval fortress perched high on a an otherwise bare hill. The Fortress can be visited and there are many different exhibitions of local history and medieval life.Craft shows are held frequently and every summer there is a medieval festival.

tapolca by photodiary of an endless summer

tapolca by photodiary of an endless summer

Tapolca is a small town 6 miles north of Lake Balaton. It has a pretty town centre with a small “Mill” pond, a School museum and a unique underground lake: a three level cave system filled with water- accidentaly discovered in 1903 while digging for a well. The caves can be accessed from the centre of town and there are frequent tours. Tapolca also has an English-Hungarian bilingual school where older children have classes in English in some subjects and there are native English teachers.

Kehida Thermal Spa
Kehida Thermal Bath is a massive spa complex north west of Lake Balaton with 13 pools, slides, whirlpools, wave pools, saunas, offering fun for families and all sorts of health and beauty treatments. There are of course plenty of hotels and restaurants in the area.

szekesfehervar by Attila Nobik

szekesfehervar by Attila Nobik

Székesfehérvár is the 9th biggest city in Hungary, only 40 miles west of Budapest. The city is as old as Hungary itself, 38 kings were crowned and 19 royals were buried here. It has a beautiful historical centre and many stunning sights: cathedrals, churches, museums and the “Bory Var” a castle built by the artist Jenő Bory. Székesfehérvár is a bustling city and centre of trade, production and education. There are two bilingual schools, Rakoczi school and Comenius primary and grammar school, both of which teach older children in English and have some native English teachers.

Lake Velence by jns001

Lake Velence by jns001

Velence is a small holiday resort on the shore of Lake Velence, the third biggest lake in Hungary. Velence lake is a smaller version of Lake Balaton and popular with Hungarian families. The water gets to 25-28 degrees in the summer, there are beaches around the lake and watersports are very popular here. There is a thermal spa in Velence and it also has a bilingual elementary school.