10 Things To Do In Hévíz, Hungary

Things to do in Heviz

The fast-paced city life can take its toll on anyone, and sometimes all you need is the ultimate wellness experience. Such can be found in the small town of Hévíz, located eight kilometers (4.97 miles) from Zala County’s cultural and economic hub Keszthely. It is known as Hungary’s most popular spa town, not surprisingly because it has the world’s second largest thermal lake. The town’s original inhabitants have known of the lake’s healing properties since the Stone Age, but it was only during the Roman invasion and the subsequent bath culture boom when it really took off.

People usually visit Hévíz for its lake’s medicinal properties but don’t be fooled into thinking that there’s nothing else to do in this peaceful town of around 4,000 residents. Aside from being a haven for relaxation, Hévíz is also teeming with culture, art, and gastronomical delights. After taking a dip in its magical lake, take a walk around and discover what else makes this town so special. In a way, you too can replenish your body and soul the way the ancient residents of Hévíz did thousands of years ago.

1. Rejuvenate at Lake Hévíz

Lake Hévíz, Thermal bath in winter
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ivanhoe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Of course, a visit to Hévíz isn’t complete without a dip in its famous lake. Aside from being Europe’s largest and the world’s second largest thermal lake, Lake Hévíz is also considered the oldest and most well-known spa of Hungary. It covers an area of 47,500 square meters (511,286 sq ft) and has a very strong flow of water that can completely replenish the lake in 72 hours. The water, a combination of hot and cold, comes from a spring cave underground. It is also rich in dissolved gas components that can be helpful to those with degenerative diseases.

The lake is dotted with picturesque water lilies, and it’s inhabited by a variety of bacteria and algae that contribute to its healing properties. Its temperature has not changed for years, making it habitable for various species of plants and organisms. A newly renovated building is located at the shore, housing a top-notch wellness center.

Lake Hévíz

Address: Dr. Schulhof Vilmos sétány 1, Hévíz, Hungary

Opening hours: Open daily 9 am to 6:30 pm

Entrance fee: From 9.35 USD (2,400 HUF). Discounts are available

Contact: +36 8350170, +36 83540144 (fax)

Website: Lake Hévíz

2. Shop at the Farmer's Market

Szimpla Kert Farmers' Market (30579247464)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jorge Franganillo used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Farmer’s Market is the place to be when you want to bring home a piece of Hévíz. Open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the market is your ultimate guide to local crafts and produce. Around 144 vendors sell everything from vegetables to spices and pottery. You also get to hear traditional Transylvanian music as you scour the stalls, making this a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Farmer's Market

Address: Piac ter, Heviz, Hungary

Opening hours: 7 am to 1 pm (Tuesday and Saturday), 12 pm to 6 pm (Thursday)

Entrance fee: None

3. Have a gastro-tour of Egregy

Wagon with a wine barrel in Egregy, 2016 Hungary
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Globetrotter19 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re in the mood to tickle your taste buds, head to Egregy where gastronomic delights abound. Aside from an abundance of restaurants serving traditional Hungarian specialties, Egregy is also known for its wine cellars and beautiful vineyards. As you savor the views, you might even hear traditional music that can entice any visitor to this lovely part of town. While there, check out the snack offered by local wine producers: fresh lard bread with paprika and onions.

Roman Cellar Restaurant (Római Pince)

Address: Dombföldi u. 2023/1, Hévíz, Hungary

Opening hours: Open daily 12 pm to 10 pm

Contact: [email protected]

Website: The Roman Cellar

Vilmos Winery

Address: Egregyi szőlőhegy Dombföldi út., Hévíz, Hungary

Contact: [email protected]

Website: William’s Haus

4. Visit the museums

Pergolas and local history museum,
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Globetrotter19 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The best way to learn about Hévíz’s history and cultural heritage is through its museums. There is the Hévíz Museum Collection, established in 2004, which houses vital pieces of the town’s history. It also holds exhibitions showcasing the work of local artists. The Museum of Egregy, opened in 2015, and houses a variety of ancient artifacts dating back to 6,000 BC. Aside from excavated items such as ornaments and coins, it also contains images depicting reconstructions of ancient Roman villas.

Hévíz Museum Collection (Hévízi Muzeális Gyűjtemény/Hévízi Múzeum)

Address: Rákóczi utca 9., Hévíz, Hungary

Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm (Tuesday to Saturday)

Entrance fee: None

Contact: +36 83343419, [email protected]

Website: Hévíz Museum Collection (Hungarian)

Museum of Egregy

Address: Egregy, Hévíz, Hungary

Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm (Monday to Saturday)

Entrance fee: 1.95 USD (500 HUF)

Contact: +36 83540131, +36 83341545 (fax), [email protected]

Website: Museum of Egregy

5. Discover traces of the ancient Romans

Roman stone at Kövesd's ruins. - Aszófő, Hungary
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Globetrotter19 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located at the end of Attila Street in Egregy, these ruins of a first-century Roman villa were discovered in 1931 and restored in 2003. The excavated villa is believed to have contained a residential area, a farm, some baths, and a shrine. According to archaeologists, the buildings used to be richly decorated. The tomb of an unknown Roman soldier, discovered in 1925, is also nearby. The tomb, made of bricks, contained various tools and coins dating back to the time of Emperor Constantinus II.

Roman Ruins

Address: Attila utca, Egregy, Heviz, Hungary

Opening hours: All day

Entrance fee: None

Tomb of the Roman Soldier

Address: Egregy, Heviz, Hungary

Opening hours: All day

Entrance fee: None

6. Check out the traditional churches

Szent Magdolna-templom és a Battyán-hát, Egregy, 2016 Hungary
Source: Photo by user Globetrotter19 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Aside from ancient artifacts, Hévíz also has some well-preserved medieval architecture. The Romanesque St. Magdalene Church from the Arpadian Age, constructed during the 13th-century, is considered as one of the gems of the town. Until 1991, it has been subjected to constant renovation. The church currently houses a variety of folk art and provides some of the most stunning views of Hévíz.

The Calvinist Church, with its traditional Hungarian aesthetics, looks like it might have been constructed in the middle ages. Despite its facade, it was actually constructed between 1995 to 1998. Constructed according to the original 1941 architectural plans, the church was inspired by the design of Transylvanian Calvinist churches. It is known as the only church in Hévíz catering to Calvinism, a major branch of Protestantism.

St. Magdalene Church from the Arpadian Age (Szent Magdolna templom)

Address: Egregyi úti temetőben (Egregy cemetery), Heviz, Hungary

Opening hours: All day

Entrance fee: None

Website: St. Magdalene Church from the Arpadian Age

Calvinist Church

Address: Helikon utca 6, Heviz, Hungary

Opening hours: 3 pm to 4 pm (Tuesday), 10:30 am to 11:30 am (Thursday), 9 am to 12 pm (Sunday)

Entrance fee: None

Contact: +36 302680525, [email protected]

Website: Calvinist Church

7. Watch movies at HévíZ ArtMozi

Sala de cine
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jorge Simonet used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

In Hévíz, cinema is truly alive and well. Renovated in 2005, this charming theater has a projection room that can accommodate 104 people. It showcases a variety of international as well as local films.

Hévíz ArtMozi (Fontana Motion Picture Theatre/Hévíz Fontana Filmszínház)

Address: Rákóczi u. 9., Hévíz, Hungary

Opening hours: Daily screenings at 4, 6, and 8 pm

Contact: [email protected]

Website: Fontana Cinema (Hungarian)

8. Stroll around Dr. Schulhof Vilmos Promenade

Hévíz, Dr. Schulhoff Vilmos sétány
Source: Photo by user Christo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located around the thermal lake at the end of the Pedestrian Zone, the Promenade is great for walking around after a therapeutic swim. As you stroll through the flower-lined paths, you will see a variety of 18th-century buildings including the Szent András Reumakórház (Saint Andrew’s Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases). After seeing traces of Hévíz’s ancient and medieval past, you will now get to see parts of its colonial history.

Dr. Schulhof Vilmos Promenade

Address: Dr. Schulhoff Vilmos stny., Hévíz, Hungary

Website: Dr. Schulhof Vilmos Promenade

9. Immerse in small town bustle at the Pedestrian Zone

Pedestrian street Hévíz
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user HTME used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Known as the main center of activity, one can never get bored at the Pedestrian Zone. Spanning the entire length of Rákóczi Street, the Pedestrian Zone connects Széchenyi Street (the main street) with the Promenade. Truly a picture-perfect sight, the area is bordered by 1920s villas and lined with trees, boutiques, cafeterias and ice cream parlors. The Tourinform Office, which provides bicycles for rent, is also located here. The Therapeutic Center (Terápiás Centrum), which contains an indoor bath, can be found at the end of the street.

Located opposite the zone is the Dr. Moll Károly Square, which contains a fountain and bronze statue. The statue is dedicated to Károly Moll, one of the pioneers of Hévíz’s medical industry.

Pedestrian Zone

Address: Rákóczi utca, Hévíz, Hungary

Opening hours: All day

Entrance fee: None

10. Marvel at the architecture of the City Hall

Town Hall in Hévíz
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Globetrotter19 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Built in 1950 and renovated in 1997, this architectural wonder is truly a sight to see. And just like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, it’s actually much bigger inside. Its facade looks relatively small when in fact an entire storey is hidden underground.

The new building was designed in collaboration with Péter Reimholz, a Kossuth Prize-winning architect. Aside from an office block, it also has a theater hall which occasionally becomes the venue for scientific and cultural events. While there, check out the unique staircase and ellipse-shaped tower. Don’t be surprised if you hear a particularly interesting sound: the City Hall also has a carillon of 18 bells playing several times a day.

City Hall (Hévíz Város Önkormányzata/Polgármesteri Hivatal)

Address: Kossuth Lajos u. 1., Hévíz, Hungary

Opening hours: 8 am to 11 am (Monday, Thursday, Friday), 8 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 3:45 pm (Wednesday)

Entrance fee: None

Contact: [email protected]

Website: Hévíz Város Önkormányzata (Hungarian)

Explore and relax in Hévíz

Hévíz 1
Source: Photo by user HTME used under CC BY-SA 3.0

From its famous lake to its cultural heritage, Hévíz is a wonder worth experiencing. Small as it may be, this town is not only limited to relaxation and wellness. If you’re in the mood for historical and cultural exploration outside the bigger cities of Europe, go on and explore this lovely gem of Hungary.

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