We will stay in Budapest for a week and we want to come for 1 day to Balaton (arrive and return in the same day) by train. What place (or town) do you recommend, where it is good to swim, rent a small boat, walk in some countryside (forest, nature)? Something interesting for kinder 7 years old? Thanks in advance.
Concerning you'll be staying for one day only, I don't recommend the area of the Keszthely Basin - it is very nice, but traveling there takes an extra 1-2 hours one way. Now, you have the choice of the northern and southern shore. The northern is better for swimmers, as the lake depth increases quickly, while the souther shore is more suitable for children with its shallow waters. So, in your case, I recommend the southern shore. It's a bit easier to access, too (the railway mainline runs on the southern shore, the northern shore has a minor line). In Siofok, you'll surely find a suitable beach. Still, if you prefer personal recommendations, let me suggest you to visit Balatonlelle. Walking towards the marina, make a left before you reach the shore, there you'll find a 2-3 km long free-entry beach, which is in a good condition and offers all services what other beaches do (possibly with the exception of lockers - the solution is not to take too many valuables and leave someone reading a book or sunbathing while the others are swimming). You may also rent a paddleboat there. Do not miss a visit in Marton Cukraszda, a confectionery on the main road, 10 minutes from the beach, 5 from the station, just off the roundabout in the city center. Kids will have a great time there, waterslides, funfair, etc.
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