Hungary //

Keszthely

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Keszthely is a gentler counterpart to brash Siófok, with a pleasant waterfront with two bays (one for swimming, the other for ferries) with stretches of grass and small beaches that give peaceful views over the seemingly never-ending lake. Less likely to detain you are its “Africa Museum” (an open-air collection of grass huts), horror museum and “sex panopticon”.

Walking up from the train station along Martírok útja, you’ll pass the Balaton Museum at the junction with Kossuth Lajos utca, hosting exhibits on the region’s history and wildlife. Kossuth utca, swarming with cafés and vendors, leads up towards the beige, Baroque Festetics Palace. Created in 1745 by Count György Festetics, the palace attracted the leading lights of the eighteenth-century literary scene and high society. Highlights include the mirrored ballroom, but given the entry fee, on a budget you may prefer to admire the exterior and pretty surrounding gardens. The palace stages regular summer concerts – check with Tourinform – and also houses the Wines of Balaton Region museum in its cellars.

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