Stay cool in Hungary

Newsletter - Jun15 - Stay CoolThis Sunday marks the official start of summer when experience the longest day of the year; the summer solstice. After the previous two cool starts to summer in 2013 and 14, this year’s already starting off like it’s going to be a hot one. We’ve asked several well-known locals where they like to cool off during hot summer days both in and out of town.

  1. Római Strandfürdő – Known for its thermal water going back over 2,000 years, the Romai swimming pools have been a favorite spot for third district denizens and astute Budapesters since it was renovated back in 2000. Inside you can find several larger pools, a couple for the kiddies, big green spaces, typical ‘strand’ food, and three amazing slides to help you cool off and beat the summer heat. One thing to watch out for is the kids, and some adults, throwing balls around without a care in the world for your head. Of course this is true at every pool or beach in Hungary.
  2. Normafa – Did you know that up until the 70’s Normafa was a local ski area with its own snowmaking, lifts, and even ski jumping slopes. These days Normafa is best known for hiking, running, and spectacular views of the city. If you’re feeling lazy, or want to save all your energy for the hike down, several buses regularly leave from Széll Kálmán tér, getting you to the top in under 45 minutes. There are other ways to ‘summit’ Normafa including a chairlift and cog-railway. No matter how you get there, cooler climates await you at the top.
  3. Lake Velence – With an area of 26 km2, one third of it covered in reeds, Lake Velence, due to its shallowness and the amazing amount of sunshine we receive in Hungary, is one of the warmest lakes in Europe. Ok, maybe not the most refreshing way to cool off but being rich in minerals (sodium and magnesium), the water regenerates a fatigued body and may ease rheumatoid symptoms. It can be easily reached in 40-50 minutes by train from Déli train station
  4. Aquaréna – Who doesn’t love waterparks! On a hot summer day in Budapest, there is no better way to cool off than a trip to one of the best waterparks in Central Europe. Aquaréna boasts freefall slides, a ‘UFO’, a ‘Black Hole’, and a 700 m2 entertainment pool with its own current. You’re going to need a day to recover after taking in all the great slides at Aquaréna.
  5. Lake …..Bánk! – I bet you thought I was going to say that other lake in Hungary that everyone refers to as the sea. If your idea of a great time is fighting traffic both ways, standing in long lines to get onto the beach, waiting forever for food and drink, and scrambling for whatever free space there may be; feel free to head south. If you’re open to something a bit off the beaten path with much less traffic back and forth, head north past Vác to Bánki-tó. Though not a large body of water, this small lake in Nógrád County is a perfect spot for a day’s trip out of the city to the cool country. Surrounded by green hills and a calming atmosphere Lake Bánk will be a calm and cool retreat. On June 26-28 there will be the 11th annual Louis Armstrong Jazz Festival!

Don’t agree with our list, or have better suggestions? Please write our FaceBook page and tell us what’s your favorite summer destination in Hungary to stay cool.