The summer period is perfect for viewing constellations and other celestial phenomena, and the Hungarian National Parks guide visitors to the magical world of constellations, meteors and shooting stars. These rural locations, without distracting lights and where wildlife is undisturbed, await visitors with programs to stargaze and learn.
The International Dark-Sky Association named the Zselic Landscape Protection Area a stargazing park (International Dark Sky Park) in 2009 — the first in Europe. In the highly protected area of the Zselic Landscape Protection Area, visitors can stargaze without disturbing city lights, and the complex includes a binocular dome, a planetarium, a 25-meter-high lookout tower and five outdoor information and relaxation points.
The Balaton Uplands National Park is one of the least polluted areas in the country. In mid-August, many shooting stars and meteors can be seen in the night sky, but the biggest attraction of the summer is the Perseids meteor shower, which can be observed very well from here. The Pannon Csillagda in Bakonybél, which is Hungary’s number one astronomical educational center, also offers a unique experience in the park.
Meanwhile, the visitor center of the Balaton Uplands National Park Directorate is located in the Magas-Bakony Landscape Protection Area. The facility awaits visitors day and night with a modern telescope park, planetarium, 3D cinema, and interactive space and astronomy exhibition and programs.
In the Bükk Stargazing Park, visitors can also learn about the sky through several programs, and construction has now begun on a unique astronomical visitor center, the Bükk Csillagda in Répáshuta. The Bükk National Park was declared an International Dark Sky Park in 2017.
The Perseids meteor shower, which can be observed in several places, can also be seen in the Hortobágy National Park. Named a Silver Tier International Dark Sky Park in 2011, the park was already recognized internationally as a World Heritage site (in 1973), a Ramsar site, and a Biosphere Reserve. With the addition of the IDSP award, Hortobágy National Park is in a league of its own in Hungary and Europe.
In addition to the offerings of the Mátai Swallow Forest School’s starhouse, those interested can also take part in thematic camps, night tours, star walks with bird watching, and “astro-gastro” tours.
All programs nationwide are subject to registration.