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Europe > Hungary > Balaton > Siófok
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Siófok, Hungary


The capital of summer

The capital of summer

at Lake Balaton

at Lake Balaton

Siófok is located on the southern side of Lake Balaton; it is a busy, colourful bathing resort. If you are looking for not only a simple, calm fishing village, but a busier city with vivid nightlife, then this largest city of Lake Balaton is the best choice.

Siófok, Hungary

During the summer season its population multiplies. The promenade next to the lake, the warm shallow water, the busy port and the ever-changing townscape of the prospering city attract the tourists who want to relax. It is, not by accident, called the capital of summer.

The excavations of 1946 proved that the first known settlers were the Romans, although the surrounding area was inhabited even back in the Bronze Age. It is probable that at the estuary of the Sió a Roman watchpost used to exist, since ruins of buildings, remnants of fire and pottery were found here. In the 1st century the road from Pécs (Sopianea) through Ságvár (Tricciana) to Győr (Arrabona) used to lead here.

Siófok, Hungary

The Hungarians settled down here around 900AD. The word Fok, which means river in old Hungarian language, was mentioned in the charter of the Abbey of Tihany as a passage with a bridge. In 1137, Fok was mentioned again in the register of taxes, but Siófok first appeared only in documents in 1790.

Between 1552 and 1688 the area was under Turkish occupation, and at the estuary a naval port was built. Later, on the site of the Turkish fortress, Vak Bottyán János established a castle, which was last mentioned in 1864.

Siófok, Hungary

The settlement started to develop in 1810, when the Transylvania-Adriatic stage coach line went through the city. The 15-year-long operations of regulating the river were launched at this time. The Balaton Shipping Company was established in 1846. Its charter was written by Lajos Kossuth, and István Széchenyi became its long standing president. The Kisfaludy wheeled steam ship was launched this year as well.

Siófok, Hungary

From 1861 the railway line opened between Nagykanizsa and Budapest, passing through Siófok. The soggy area surrounding the railway station was banked up, and the Sió was regulated with wooden sluices. The shipping service between Siófok and Füred started in 1864. Then a bit later the bathing resort called The Hungarian Sea was completed.

Soon the construction of villas, new hotels and beaches were started. The first villa owners were mainly painters, who were impressed by the beauty of the scenery. Siófok was pronounced a city only in 1968.

The Water Tower

Siófok, Hungary

Built in 1912, the 45 metre high tower is an art relic of trade history and has become the symbol of Siófok. There is a beautiful view from its two balconies.

The Lutheran Church

The church in Oulu Park, the work of Imre Makovecz, was completed in 1993. Its main entrance is between two stylised angel’s wings and its interior resembles a ship. The Finnish Oulo has been the twin town of Siófok since 1978.

Jókai Park and its surroundings

Siófok, Hungary

The old holiday homes and villas around the park show that this is the oldest built-up part of the city. Several famous people have visited the city, and these events are recorded on plaques. The board under the balcony of The School of Arts of Siófok shows that the greatest figure of the Hungarian Romantic prose, Mór Jókai spent his last summer here. Also the other master of prose, Gyula Krúdy would often have a holiday in the Krúdy Pension on Mártírok Square. This is recorded on a plaque placed on the verandah.

Jókai Park is the most beautiful park of Siófok, where you can find a small Japanese garden and other, colourful flower beds with huge trees. You can quench your thirst at the fountain, and there is even a bandstand where you may find shelter from the rain. The playground on the northern side of the square is a favourite place of children.

Characteristics, features, properties


Smaller town or townlet


Europe (Continent)  >  Hungary (Country)  >  Balaton (Tourist region)  >  Somogy megye (county) (County or province)

GPS coordinates: Latitude 46°54'54", Longitude 18°4'36" (N46 54.9 - E18 4.6)

Siófok - Panoramic images (11 photos)

Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach - Siófok, Hungary
Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach
Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach - Siófok, Hungary
Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach
Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach - Siófok, Hungary
Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach
Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach - Siófok, Hungary
Lakeside of the Balaton, Beach
Petőfi Sándor sétány - Siófok, Hungary
Petőfi Sándor sétány
Petőfi Sándor sétány - Siófok, Hungary
Petőfi Sándor sétány
Jókai Park - Siófok, Hungary
Jókai Park
Jókai Park - Siófok, Hungary
Jókai Park
Jókai Park - Siófok, Hungary
Jókai Park
Water Tower - Siófok, Hungary
Water Tower
Lakeside of the Balaton, port and jetty - Siófok, Hungary
Lakeside of the Balaton, port and jetty
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