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  1. Hungary
  2. Central Hungary
  3. Budapest
  4. House of Terror

Communist Budapest: 3-Hour Walk with a Historian

Product ID: 50189
Enjoy a 3-hour walk with a historian guide, who will introduce you to the Goulash Communism of Budapest’s decades under totalitarianism. Learn about the system that allowed Hungarians small liberties in exchange for obedience on major issues.
About this activity
Duration: 3 hours
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English

Pickup optional

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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Experience

Highlights
  • Visit Bem József Square, the site of the first major demonstration of the 1956 uprising
  • Explore Kossuth Square, where political and armed conflicts took place during the 1956 revolution
  • Take a walk by the housing estates of the 1970s at the edge of the city center
  • See the former People’s Stadium and typical Social Realist statues
Full description
The 3-hour Communist Budapest tour takes you to the sites of crucial events during the strange decades of oppression as well as progress. You’ll get a glimpse into daily life during this era.

Start at Bem József Square, where the first large demonstration of the 1956 uprising was held. See a coffeehouse that has retained its original interior from the 1960s. From there, you’ll take the metro to Kossuth Square, and in front of Parliament see the monuments that bear witness to the political and armed conflicts that took place during the 1956 revolution.

Take a short walk to Freedom Square, where the Cold War is symbolized by 4 stone structures: the U.S. embassy, a monument to the Soviet army, a statue of President Ronald Reagan, and the entrance to a secret atomic shelter.

The metro will take you to one of the 1970s housing estates at the edge of the city center. The housing blocks may seem drab and grey today, but at the time young Hungarian families were overjoyed to be awarded an apartment here, for the elevators and modern conveniences unknown in Budapest’s older constructions.

Drop by the former People’s Stadium (now Puskas Soccer Stadium), one of the few places in town where you can see typical Socialist Realist statues of heroic workers, soldiers, and intellectuals, pointing the way towards a bright future.

Take a short ride in one of Stalin’s trolley buses to Dozsa György Street, the broad boulevard used for May Day parades. Your guide will use an iPad and old photos to show you the contrast between the city’s present appearance and how it looked during the time of Stalin.

Around the corner you’ll find the House of Terror, a museum housed in the former headquarters of the secret services. It commemorates the crimes of communism, especially during the Stalinist years. In front of the building is a slab of the Berlin Wall.
Includes
  • 3-hour walking tour
  • Historian guide
What’s Not Included
  • Tram and metro tickets

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Bambi Eszpresszó Budapest Frankel Leó út 2/4 1027 Hungary

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Important information
Know before you go
Guides for the tour are professors, doctoral students, historians, journalists, art critics, and published authors.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4 / 5
  • Organization
    4 / 5
  • Value for money
    4 / 5
  • Safety
    5 / 5
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Adequate

Guide was knowledgeable, but didn't seem to go much beyond the basics. A day later, it was hard to remember what sites we visited, and with a few exceptions, exactly what role they played in life under communism in Budapest or in the transition to democracy. I have prior some knowledge of events in Hungary after 1968, and I didn't feel the guide told me much about life in Hungary or the demise of communism that I didn't already know. This tour did not match up well with similar tours we have taken in Prague and Berlin, although admittedly, the events in Hungary were less revolutionary than evolutionary (which the guide himself noted). I would recommend this tour to someone who has little knowledge of events in Hungary between the end of WWII and 1989, but probably not for someone who has some familiarity with that period.

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July 15, 2019

Illuminating and fascinating - I would strongly recommend.

A fascinating guide to the city by an historian who really knows his stuff. This felt like an insider's view of Budapest and it was the highlight of my trip. I would strongly recommend this tour.

March 11, 2017

Muy ilustrativo de la etapa comunista de Hungria

October 9, 2019

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Product ID: 50189