Life was already very active and pulsating in antiquity on the shores of Balaton, which was highly esteemed by the old Romans (they called it Lake Pesto) as certified by the archeological findings. Much has not changed with the immigration of the Magyars/Hungarians. The first Hungarian Language Monument, the Founding Document of the Tihany Abbey (1055) mentions the settlement by name.
The name of the settlement: also sió as fok mean in the Finno-Ugrish language running water or excavated gutter – the name is even double connected with water. The construction of the South Railway in 1861 brought a turning point in the history of Siófok. The previously dusty village became the center of the country’s bath culture. Anyone who wanted to travel to the Lake Balaton had to enter the yellow-bricked station building, because the jarkwater („vicinal”) through Siófok and the Kisfaludy ferry boat could reach Balatonfüred four hours earlier than if you had taken directly from Pest to Balatonfüred a stagecoach. „Boarding inns” (hangaldas) were built one after the other. The Sió lock and a harbor were constructed and a lot of small holiday palaces were erected. In 1878 a Swiss- style wooden „bath house” was built on the water. The inscription on the magnificently carved facade proclaimed proudly: „Hungarian Sea” and in fact people from all over Europe came to bath and splash. When they didn’t bath, they spent the time in the etage-panorama room of the bathhouse or in the lounge, which was planned for one hundred people. Siófok personified the idyllic peacetime of the Royal and Imperial (K.u.K.) era. Perhaps it is not mere a chance that the operetta king Imre Kálmán was born right here and absorbed this „world” in himself just to become the composer of such famous works like „The Gypsy Princess”, „Countess Maritza” and „The Violet of Montmartre”.
Siófok is the capital of Balaton every summer and can be reached from Budapest or Nagykanizsa on the M7 motorway and from Szekszárd on the main road 65.
The shore of the city can be divided in two parts: the section West of the Sió Canal is called Ezüstpart – Silver Bank, the name of the section East is Aranypart – Golden Bank. The majority of hotels and the city’s entertainment center, the Petőfi promenade are located on the Golden Bank and our hotel also.
The Roman Catholic church was first built in Baroque style, then converted into neo-Romanesque style. The Lutheran church was erected according to the plans of the Hungarian star-architect Imre Makovecz. The square in front of the Culture House is adorned with works of the famous Hungarian sculptor Imre Varga. You can take a pleasant walk in the Millennium Park in the Jókai Park, in the harbor and in the Rose Garden as well. It is well worth seeing the memorial exhibition of the famous operetta composer, Imre Kálmán and to step up the Water Tower.