The building of the Balaton Museum in Keszthely houses the most comprehensive collection of the lake Balaton. The museum, which has more than a dozen permanent and numerous temporary exhibitions with a collection of around 380 thousand objects. It is open all year round and offers an interactive, child-friendly, perfect program for families.
The Most Comprehensive Balaton Collection
The Balaton and…
If you think that the Balaton is the best place, don’t miss the museum about it! The Balaton Museum presents the formation of the Balaton, its history, and the tourism connected to the lake, as well as its formation. The wonderful thing about the “Hungarian Sea” is that everyone loves it for different reasons. Most people probably visit it during the summer season for swimming and boating, but there are some who visit it all year round for fishing and hunting, or just to admire it.
The permanent exhibitions include the János Halápy Memorial Exhibition, the painter left his Balaton-themed paintings to the museum as a legacy. Recently, the Festetics Escape Room was also created in the building. But there are many interesting things to be found about the connection between Balaton and sports, castles, and people. Have you heard the legend about the giant called Balaton? They will tell you about it at the museum too!
Colorful Museum Life
Today, the museum provides a home for permanent and temporary exhibitions, various activities, and children’s camps. Its team works enthusiastically, constantly developing, renewing, and researching. You can read about the results and interesting facts of the museum research on the “blog” tab of the institution’s website.
If you are interested in the museum’s history, you can read more about it here.
Family and Child-Friendly Museum
The institution has earned the title of family and child-friendly museum through its various services. Families can visit the museum with discounted tickets, where interactive, treasure hunt games, bean bag chairs, and play areas await the children. The smallest ones have also been taken into account, with diaper changing and baby food warming options. The institution organizes several family days throughout the year, and a summer camp for children, and birthdays can also be celebrated in the building.
“Very interesting, widely informative museum about the formation of the lake Balaton, its wildlife, its population and many other things. Very useful for children with informative games, quizzes and facts. Highly recommend it!”Klaudia BodaLocal Tour Guide
Festetics Escape Room
In 2020, the Festetics Escape Room opened, where participants are placed in a real historical situation in the last days of World War II, where the goal is to save the Festetics heritage. Don’t forget, the escape room can be visited with prior registration!
Opening Hours, Admission
The museum is open all year round, except for a January break. We can also request a guided tour at the museum.
Approach and Parking
The museum is a 10-minute walk from the Main Square and Lake Balaton. If we arrive by car, parking is free in the streets around the museum.
The most exciting pieces of the museum’s collection can also be accessed on the web. The most popular is the photo archive, which contains the first images from the 1880s, including portraits of the Festetics family. The collection of more than 50,000 items includes photographs taken by museum staff of excavations and collections.
History of the Museum
We have to go back to the end of the 19th century to trace the history of the museum, when the idea of establishing a “Balaton” museum arose in the millennium period. In Keszthely, the initiative was mainly supported by Sándor Lovassy, an academic teacher, and Árpád Csák, a court bailiff. The Balaton Museum Association was founded in 1897, but the founding meeting was only held in 1898. Initially, the court bailiff’s archaeological collection was exhibited, the foundations of the ethnographic collection were laid, and the library collection was started to be enriched, and the first excavations began. The growth of the museum collection was interrupted by the First World War.
The museum building was built between 1925 and 1928, based on the plans of György Dénes. From 1935, it was possible to move the collections into the building. In 1936, the institution was merged with the Darnay Museum in Sümeg. In 1941, Béla Dornyay was elected director of the museum, and they began to organize a complex exhibition, but the initiative was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. The building was converted into a military hospital, and the exhibition objects were packed into boxes and tried to be rescued by railway wagons, but the valuable pieces were destroyed in Zalaegerszeg during a bombing attack.
It was 1949 when a permanent exhibition was created in the empty museum, mainly from borrowed objects, thus the museum could start to develop again. By the time of the exhibition opened in 1967, the museum was able to build on its own material.
A new era dawned on the museum building when Keszthely was returned to Zala County in 1979. Technical modernization and renovation took place between 1980 and 1986, and from 1986 a complex exhibition has been showing the life of Balaton and its surroundings, which has been renewed several times since then.
The 3D photography took place in the framework of Veszprém-Balaton 2023
InformationsShow on Map
- Whole year
- OpenClosing: 17:00
- Friday (today) 09:00-17:00
- Saturday 09:00-17:00
- Sunday 09:00-17:00
- Monday 09:00-17:00
- Tuesday 09:00-17:00
- Wednesday 09:00-17:00
- Thursday 09:00-17:00