The attractions of Siófok town
In Szabadság square the symbol of Siófok, the Water Tower is located, which was designed by Jenő Gergely and Árpád Guth and built in 1912. The 45-meter high tower was reconstructed and re-opened in May 2012, with a Tourinform office on its ground floor. From the panorama terrace, where a glass-walled lift takes visitors up, the town’s panoramic view unfolds and on “the Top of the Town” a café awaits guests.
Siófok joined to the Floral Hungary movement from the beginning. In 1996 the town won the first place, while in 1997 in the competition of European Cities it won a gold medal. Due to the developments done in the past one and a half decades the town has now become the city of parks and flowers.
The Rose Garden is located directly on the lake shore. The diversity of flower beds and rose-bushes, the shade of the gigantic plane-trees and the moist touch of the lake create a kind of paradise spirit. The Across the Lake Swim (between Révfülöp and Balatonboglár is an event attracting crowds. In every year those who love challenges can test their strength by swimming the lake across from the northern shore to the southern. In the Rose Garden a statue evokes the memory to the first man swimming across the lake i.e. to Kálmán Szekrényessy. In the park there are some other interesting statues: Tibor Vilt ‘Lake Balaton Mermaid” (1974), József Somogyi “Fishermen”(1998), Tamás Varga “Frigyes Karinthy”. Siófok is the hometown of the famous Hungarian composer Imre Kálmán. Therefore from the central place of the park we can get to the music pavilion, where the sculptor Imre Varga’s sculpture of Imre Kálmán can be found. Here in the park, creating a tradition, musical evenings are often organised.
In front of the railway station, built in 1904 and renovated in its former glory, the 16 thousand square metres Millennium Park is located, which was designed by Dr. Imre Jámbor in 1994. Also here one can find works by Sándor Kiss: World War II Monument, by István Martsa: Woman taking Shower and by Imre Varga: Martyrs’ Statue-group, and since 2004 even a fountain.
The largest and oldest park of Siófok is the 4.6 hectare Jókai Park, which was restored in accordance with the original plans and opened in 2006. According to local historians the famous horse racing tracks were located here long ago. A rather intense effect is increased by several summer flowers, by the small pond that survived times and in a corner of the park by a small Japanese Garden, which recalls us the spirit of the Far East in a romantic English Park. Here you will find the Jókai Villa, which was built in 1897. Mór Jókai (writer) spent his last summer here. Currently it is a hotel and restaurant.
The other reputable villa of the town is the Krúdy Villa, which was built at the end of the 19th century and was a pension run by the artistic photographer Ede Ellinger. In 1915 Gyula Krúdy (writer) met Zsuzsa Várady-Rózsa here, whom he later married. Currently the villa is a pension.
A very interesting sight is the Siófok Harbour, where scheduled tour boats start from. The largest ship traffic of Lake Balaton takes place here. In the park, located in front of the harbour building, a monument has been erected for the 100th, the 125th and 150th anniversary of steam-boat traffic on the lake. At the northern edge of the harbour is Tibor Vilt’s statue ‘Lake Balaton Mermaid” (1974.) In the adjacent park one can find the old sights of Siófok thus the Rose Garden, which again seems to revive due to the good work of the gardeners.
Mineral museum: In the protected exhibits of the museum, opened in 1986, one can see the rare minerals of Transylvania, which cannot be seen in any other inland museums, such as “nagyágit” (in Romanian: Săcărâmb) up to gold nuggets.
Imre Kálmán Memorial House: For the 105th birth anniversary of Imre Kálmán on 22 October 1987 in Siófok a museum was open in his birthplace. A permanent exhibition can be seen on the ground floor of the home. In the interior corridor the spirit of the last century’s last decades in Siófok affects visitors, when writers, artists and musicians spent their summer holidays in the resort town leaving their urban life behind and preparing for their next duties in the coveted silence.
Egg museum: The Egg Art Exhibition was open on 10 October 2003, on the world egg day, as part of the first Lake Balaton International Egg Festival in the South-Lake Balaton Cultural Centre in Siófok. This temporary exhibition was the base for establishing the permanent egg art centre.
The exhibition works can be divided into several groups, which are beautiful and valuable figures of the private collection on various decorative eggs, exhibiting works of handicraft and of the applied arts as well. Folk art features and a rich variety of motifs can be seen, which combines newer and newer forms of decorative and creative elements.
Attractions of the neighbourhood
Tihany peninsula: The Tihany peninsula, which once was an island and only after the water level of the lake decreased joined the mainland, is one of the most beautiful regions of the lake, and it is no exaggeration to say, of the whole country, and besides the stunning landscape it has got on a few square kilometres unique geological, botanical, zoological and historical records.
Kereki Castle: The village of Kereki, which is famous for its medieval castle ruins, is in Somogy County, 10 kilometres away from Lake Balaton.
Festetics Palace: This beautiful baroque building is the third biggest palace in the country and is the symbol of the town of Keszthely.