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.
What to Expect
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.
- 3-hour walking tour
- Historian guide
Know Before You Go
Guides for the tour are professors, doctoral students, historians, journalists, art critics, and published authors.