Balaton (Plattensee in German) is the biggest lake by surface area in Central Europe and gives its name to this entire Hungarian Lake Balaton region.
The Balaton was popular during the Cold War with both Easterners and Westerners because it was cheap and relatively easy to reach from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Some "German-German" family reunions took place here as that was easier than for either part to travel to the other German state. After falling by the wayside following the fall of the Soviet Union, the Balaton area has seen a resurgence in popularity. While Hungarians love spending time there, you will also encounter people from places like Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Germany. The combonation of natural beauty, cheap price tags, and cultural events make the lake a must-see in Hungary.
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