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Introducing Lake Balaton

High season in Lake Balaton is July and August; crowds descend and prices skyrocket. If you're keen to enjoy the water activities but don't want the crowds, try to visit in June or September – the water is still warm (versus a bathtub-like 28 to 29 degrees in the heat of summer) yet everything is still open and it feels summery – without the intense humidity.

Outside of the high season it's easy to show up without a reservation and wing it, though you'll probably need to settle on midrange or above options. If you arrive in the Lake Balaton area without a hotel booked and you are keen to find budget accommodation, your best bet is to keep an eye out for signs saying ‘szoba kiadó’ or ‘Zimmer frei’ (Hungarian and German, respectively, for ‘room for rent’). In many cases you have the option of renting a room in a private home or an entire apartment in an old villa.