What is the best of Tapolca, Hungary

Located in the Veszprém county, in West of Hungary, Tapolca is a cute little town close to the Lake Balaton. Tapolca attracts many tourists due to its surrounding green hills, relaxed atmosphere and laid back country life. I enjoyed strolling through Tapolca’s sunny streets, but it is best to rent a car so you can truly explore its surroundings.

What to do in Tapolca

The Lake Cave

Located right in the heart of Tapolca, this unique attraction is a 3km long cave system. You can explore it at your own pace, or as part of a guided tour and listen to the most interesting facts about this Hungarian subterranean gem. You will be given 3D glasses to enjoy a few beautiful images of some of the cave’s deepest sights. You will also have the chance to watch a 10-minute long movie which explains further about the origins of the cave and the surrounding landscapes.

At the end of the tour, you will go underground, jump on a small boat and explore the cave system. The admission fee is only 2000 HUF. I very much enjoyed the tour, how the information was presented and the boat exploration. When you find yourself in Tapolca, even if you’re just passing through, make sure you stop and check out The Lake Cave.

Tapolca Lake Cave

Szigligeti vár

The Castle of Szigliget is located about 15 minutes by car from the centre of Tapolca. Strategically located on a hill, the surrounding landscapes unfold themselves once you climb your way up the stairs and into the tower remains. The Castle of Szigliget bears over 750 years of history and represents a valuable legacy to the Hungarian people, as this is one of the few castles which never had the Ottoman ensign on its towers. There are many events held at the Castle grounds, including the Castle Festival and the renowned Historical Archery Competition.

I wanted to organise my visit during the Historical Archery Competition because I was keen to see dressed up people shooting arrows. The atmosphere was brilliant as if I stepped into the Game of Thrones movie sets.

Szigligeti Castle Hungary

Mill Pond

This is a small romantic part of Tapolca. After checking out the Lake Cave, head over to the Mill Pond and have a lovely stroll, whilst enjoying a lazy, sunny afternoon.

A trip to Lake Balaton

Although I arrived in Tapolca during offseason, I could still enjoy a lazy evening right by the Lake Balaton’s shores. The water looked clear and peaceful, I wish I could have changed into my swimming costume and dive right into the cold and deep lake. I could finally understand why many people love Lake Balaton, and how its beauty managed to conquer so many hearts, that it became one of Hungary’s main tourist attraction.

Lake Balaton View

What to eat in Tapolca

La Pergola – We visited this restaurant by chance, as we happened to be in the neighbourhood when we got hungry. I loved that I could enjoy my lunch in their back garden, which featured rustic tables and benches. La pergola menu contains a ridiculous amount of pizza with all sort of variations (think fish with pineapple, brain and all sort of bizarre combos). If you don’t fancy brain pizza, you can try the breaded ball-shaped chicken with plums. If you are feeling adventurous, try chicken breast with pears and sultana rice or pork brains with vegetables and chips. Cool off with an icy gin and tonic.

Ice Cream – Outside the Lake Cave there is a desert mobile which sells handcrafted, delicious ice cream flavours. When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, you should treat yourself to a cone full of yumminess. I went for lavender, forest berries and blackberry flavoured ice cream.

Ice Cream Tapolca

Where to sleep in Tapolca

Although there are several places you could choose from in Tapolca, I decided to sleep in Zalahaláp for a more traditional experience. Besides, if you rent a house with a terrace, located right up the hill, you will enjoy magnificent views over the surrounded landscapes and all the way to the Lake Balaton. During the evening, best to eat al fresco to marvel at a breathtaking vanilla sky. Sit back, relax and enjoy the silence. Zalahaláp is a wonderful place for a truly relaxing retreat in the heart of Hungary, located just 10 min North of Tapolca. Check holiday homes on booking.com.

Tapolca Hills

Your turn now! Have you ever been to Tapolca? Tell me what you like most about Tapolca in the comments section below.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


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