Every summer, as the weather gets warmer, Budapest is usually emptied and the residents of the capital set off for Lake Balaton. This year, due to the coronavirus epidemic, more people are choosing the ‘Hungarian sea’ than usual, as even politicians are promoting domestic tourism. However, there are also great and beautiful opportunities close to the capital for those who cannot afford to travel all the way to Lake Balaton. Now we have collected some of these.
The first and most obvious choice is Budapest’s ‘seaside’ resort, Lupa Beach. The resort aims to offer a true “seaside feeling” near the city with crystal clear water, white sand, palm trees, and sunshades, and can accommodate 10,000 people at a time. A number of activities are available in and out of the water such as scuba diving, SUP surf, kayaking, wake-boarding, beach football, and volleyball. Located in Budakalász, only two kilometres beyond Buda’s northern border, the beach on Lupa lake is easy to reach from the city center either by car or by HÉV local train (and a 20-minute walk) from Batthyány Square. Or you can catch their own bus service. Although a bit pricey at 4,000 HUF (EUR 11.50) for a day during weekends, there are a lot of bars and restaurants – even the Michelin-star rated Costes has a place there – and great sport opportunities.
The history of Gyömrő beach dates back to the beginning of the last century, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Water erupted on the site of a former steam brick factory in 1920. The water was immediately found to be excellent for several health conditions due to its content of radium, magnesium, ammonia, and nitric oxide, and can even alleviate rheumatic issues. It quickly became a popular spa among locals and Budapest citizens as well. There is also a 50-meter swimming track and a water polo track in the lake, and 11 smaller shops and restaurants on the shore.
Veresegyház, Malom Lake
The Malom lake in Veresegyház is part of the Veresegyház Floating islands, a natural reserve, under local protection since 1985. The lake dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was created by damming the Sződrákosi stream. The beach has been in operation since 1928, and it gives swimmers a real retro feeling in a romantic scenery. The sand is renewed every year and visitors can swim in a designated area of the lake. The rest of the lake is for anglers and the animals. The beach is also equipped for water polo, football, and volleyball fields, and a number of shops and restaurants are available on the shore. An entry ticket is 450 HUF (EUR 1,30).
It is worth a trip to the secluded but wonderful place on the Szentendrei Island’s coast, Kisoroszi, at any time of the year. Tucked away at the tip of the island, the town has a wonderful panorama of the hills and the Danube. The two branches of the Danube separate here and the amazing view of the Danube Bend unfolds in the continuation of the two waterfronts. Although the peak of the island is mostly listed as a camping site and according to the information of the owner of the area, the local government, its use is primarily not a beach and not recommended for bathing, it is not forbidden to splash into the water after a water tour or during camping there and its use is free (although entering by car to the area costs 1,000 HUF).
The Nagymaros beach in the Danube bend can be visited free of charge at any time during the summer. It has a beautiful panorama of the Visegrád Castle on the other side of the Danube. The beach in Nagymaros is 200 meters long, with a mostly pebbly and sandy shore, while in some places it is quite muddy. Due to larger boats and barges, it is forbidden to swim far towards the deep water, and since the waterfront is very popular, motor boats, canoes, and kayaks can also be expected. There is a modern playground and several buffets nearby.