July and August are the two hot months, often with periods of ’KÁNIKULA’ i.e. the Hungarianized Latin word for dog days. The national pastime is to escape to a STRAND, which even a small town can afford to have. As opposed to medicinal baths (GYÓGYFÜRDŐ) ’strand’ is a recreational establishment with cold water swimming pools and typical ’strand food’ like lángos and all those Hungarian fast food. Thanks to the flexibility of the language the word can be easily converted into a verb ’STRANDOL’ which means much more than just BATHE. ’Strandolás’ is a full day activity including bathing, sunbathing, eating, drinking, reading and socialising. The best ‘strandok’ are of course at Lake Balaton (in diminutive slang BALCSI) where you have the choice between fee-paying strandok and szabadstrand (free but no added services).
The strand season starts on May 1 and lasts until September. In Budapest alone there are more than 40 strands varying in standards and prices.

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