The town lies around the southern and eastern sides of the Badacsony hill. The tourist center is not in the heart of the city rather around the port and railway station at the southern feet of the mountain. Most people start their discovery of Badacsony from here let they be interested in the landscape or in the harmonies of colour and taste of the Badacsony wines.
From the ship station, Trail S leads us to the top of Badacsony. The trail, along vineyards, summer houses, goes next to the Róza Szegedi House. The building, built in Baroque style in 1790, houses a literature museum where possessions and original manuscripts of Sándor Kisfaludy can be seen. In the garden, there is also a winemaker’s house. The building used for wine pressing by Sándor Kisfaludy now gives place to a restaurant. Its balcony presents a scenic view of the lake.
Going further along for a few minutes, we can reach Trail P, the Kuruc route, which goes around the mountain. This route was made in 1953 for the 250th anniversary of the outbreak of Rákóczi’s War of Independence. The national park has its study trail on this route. Going a few meters further we reach a big basalt rock – the Rose Stone. According to the legend, if a young couple, with their backs turned to the lake sit on the rock they will get married the same year. In another version, they have to watch the sunset sitting on the rock together.
The Trail Pa, branching from Kuruc route, leads to the top of Badacsony and ends at Trail K which goes along the sights of the mountaintop: Stone Gate, Kisfaludy Look-out Tower, Hertelendy Memorial, Randolder Cross.
If we go from Kuruc Route along Trail S to the west, we will reach Trail K at the Rodostó Tourist House. The tourist house was built on the 200th anniversary of the death of Ferenc Rákóczi II in 1936. From here more than 450 steps – on the Bujdósók Stairs – lead along basalt organ pipes to the top of the mountain.
In the center of the town stands the Neo-Romanesque style St. Emeric Church built of basalt bricks in 1931. It is an architectural curiosity as the dome itself is also built of basalt (and ferrocement). It is Europe’s only basalt church. The St. Donat chapel (Római Street) is also built of basalt.
Next to the ship station (Egry Walk) is the house of painter József Egry (1883-1951), today operating as a museum. He is called the Painter of Balaton as no one has captured the atmosphere of the lake more beautifully than he did. His tomb made of basalt by Miklós Borsos is in the cemetery of Badacsonytomaj.
It is also worth tasting the famous wines of Badacsony.
The skirt of the mountain has been inhabited a long time ago, a few centuries BC the Celts and later the Romans settled here. The memory of the Pauline St. Emeric monastery built in the 13th century is only preserved in the name of a spring, the Klastrom well.The town is first mentioned in a document from 1317 as belonging to the Szigliget Castle. Later, the city had many owners.
In the 17th century, the Ottomans raided the city man times, it become desolated. At the beginning of the 18th century, the repopulated town belonged to the Esterházy family. A part of the population was working as fisherman but the majority were grape growers and wine makers. Today, the center of the Badacsony Wine Region is here.
Badacsony became widely known only at the beginning of the 19th century, mostly through the poems of Sándor Kisfaludy (1772-1844).
An upsurge in the economy of the town started with the opening of the basalt mines (1903) and the building of the railway (1909). The operation of the mine meant the desolation of the mountain. Later they realised that preserving the natural landscape is more important than momentary profit and the mines were closed in 1964.