Balatonföldvár is famous for its bathing resort, virtually a city in itself. Developed in the late 19th century it has a bathing area, villas and restaurants set in sycamore-lined promenades and pine groves.
From Lucs Peak (Lucs-tető) near the settlement virtually the entire Balaton and its region may be seen and appreciated. University professor Frigyes Korányi proposed this area as the perfect site on which to develop a holiday resort and thus solicited the local landowners, the Széchenyi family. In 1894 land division began with the intention of doing just that. The final result of the streets design and a pleasant cityscape is a testament to the competence of István Spúr the Széchenyi's engineer and József Schilhán their chief gardener.
The development of the greenbelt area was equally successful. The plane avenues and the oak, pine and blue pine groves harmonise beautifully with the countryside and began to grow rapidly. Indeed, it is those trees that define the image of the settlement to this very day. The marina, the beautiful buildings along the promenade, the hotels, casinos and concert halls seemed to appear out of nothing alongside the development of the settlement's social life.
The resort was favoured by many contemporaneous famous public figures and members of the science and art world regularly spent their summers here.
Following World War II trade union and company resorts, new hotels and tourist facilities began to spring up like mushrooms next to the nationalised villas. In 1985 the settlement was declared an administrative centre and in 1992 it was granted city status. In 1994, Balatonföldvár received the Európa prize for its neat and tidy cityscape.