Visit historical homes and an ancient abbey then wander through the green countryside that flanks this picturesque town on Lake Balaton.
Sitting on a huge peninsula on the north coast of Balaton is Tihany, a town with a history that stretches back a thousand years. Here you will find a wealth of architectural treasures, including an ancient abbey. Explore these old buildings and the surrounding countryside, which is part of a national park.
A good place to begin your visit is the building that started the town’s development, Tihany Abbey. It was founded in 1055 by King Andrew I of Hungary, whose tomb lies in the abbey’s crypt. In the same century of the abbey’s establishment, Greek monks were carving their cells out of rock in the northern part of the peninsula. Step inside these cave houses and see the cave church, which was also carved out by the monks.
See other historic buildings at the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum. The complex features a cluster of folk houses, some of which date back to the 19th century. Examine period furniture and everyday items that the peasants who lived here would've used. There is also a fishermen’s guild house, where you can see tools and implements used by 19th-century fishermen.
Tihany’s charms extend beyond its captivating historical buildings. The town is part of the Balaton Uplands National Park, a vast area of scenic splendor. Go walking by the Inner Lake and Outer Lake, two bodies of water that were created in a former volcanic crater. Hike along the Lóczy Trail to a geyser field, an otherworldly landscape of geyser cones. Venture farther afield with a walk in the hills.
At night, dine on fish dishes and Hungarian specialties in the town’s restaurants.
Reach Tihany’s ancient buildings and picturesque countryside by bus, train or car from Budapest, the Hungarian capital. The drive takes a little under 2 hours. You can also arrive by boat from some of the other towns along Lake Balaton. Tihany is small and easily navigated on foot or by bike.