House of Terror

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House of Terror: Our most recommended tours and activities

Budapest: House of Terror Guided Tour

1. Budapest: House of Terror Guided Tour

Visit the House of Terror, built in memory of the victims of the fascist and communist dictatorships in Hungary, with a knowledgeable guide to learn more about the dark events that took place here at the helm of the Hungarian secret police. Gain a better understanding from Hungary's complex political background through the exhibits focusing on the 1950s and the brutality that followed the 1956 uprising. Meet your guide in front of the entrance of the building, which was once the seat of AVO (State Protection Authority). Walk through the museum together and learn about Hungary during WWII and the Nazi rule then leading to the Soviet Communist occupation. Th exhibits demonstrate how everyday life was organised under the terror of Communist secret police, how their staff members were recruited, how the general elections were falsified, how the propaganda machinery worked, and all political opposition was oppressed. Next you will see the main interrogation and torture chamber of the building, which remained untouched since the 1950s despite the multiple reconstructions of the building. See many documents of the life and economy of the 1950s: the food quota ticket system, the practice of compulsory deliveries and terror against the peasantry. The exhibition leads you to the office room of the dreaded director of the State Protection Authority, with his original desk restored. Go through the "Justice room" to see the process of politically organised show trials against people who were declared enemies of the regime.  The most horrific part of the building is the basement, where a part of the original prison cells were faithfully restored. See the various special rooms: a "wet cell", a "fox hole", a detention cell, a torture chamber and an execution room with a gallow. The last part of the exhibition shows the 1956 national revolution against Soviet occupation and Communist rule, and its consequences, the retaliation and mass emigration. Finally, you will see the Hall of Tears commemorating all of the victims, the Perpetrators' Wall and a memorial of the Soviet troops leaving Hungary in 1991.

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Budapest: Haunted Budapest Exploration Game & Tour

2. Budapest: Haunted Budapest Exploration Game & Tour

Follow the clues in the app and discover Dracula’s Castle, the House of Terror, the Haunted House, and many other haunted landmarks around Budapest. Read fascinating stories about the different destinations you are led to and uncover events that took place in them, as well as the people who used to live or work there. The quest can be played at any hour but it is recommended that you try it at night, for the full haunted experience. It will take between 1 and 2 hours to complete but there is no time limit so you can finish it at your own pace.  Each clue will lead you from one place to another, giving you exact directions so you will not need a map or GPS. When you get the correct answer, the secret story of that place is unlocked. You will not need a guide, just download the app, go to the starting point, and you are ready to go on a haunted adventure. For larger groups, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to play the city game on their smartphone. Alternatively, each person can purchase their own voucher. You can play as a group and solve the clues together as you walk, or you can split into smaller groups/teams and compete against the others. Each person can also play on their own, separate from the group, and meet the group at the end.

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Budapest: Comfortable 3.5-Hour Guided E-Bike Tour

3. Budapest: Comfortable 3.5-Hour Guided E-Bike Tour

Explore Budapest, the so-called "Paris of the East," on a comfortable on a brand new e-bike from the leading German manufacturer, Kalkhoff. First up, take in the full-length of the Andrássy Avenue passing the Hungarian State Opera House, the House of Terror, and arrive at Heroes' Square. You can be sure your guide will have all the stories along the way. From Heroes' Square, continue into City Park where you’ll be surprised by a fake castle and the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, the largest and most popular in the city. The trip continues with highlights like the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and the Jewish Quarter before diving into the downtown area.  See and learn about St. Stephen's Basilica, largest church in Budapest. In the heart of the financial district lies Liberty Square with a bloody history and a disputed Holocaust memorial. From here it is not far to the Hungarian Parliament Building, a landmark in Budapest. Next, reach the Danube River with a breathtaking view on the Buda side of the city. Cross Margaret Bridge using a nice bicycle lane and arrive at Buda and EuroVelo 6, an international bicycle way along the Danube River. Ride down to Batthyany-Square, take a picture of the parliament across the river, and continue to Széchenyi Chain Bridge, from where you will start to climb Castle Hill. Here the electric support of your bike will show its strength. Admire Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion before returning to the Shoes on the Danube Bank and passing the historical Rudas Bath. At Gellért Hill, see the famous Gellért Thermal Bath cross back to Pest via Liberty Bridge, the most popular bridge in Budapest. Do not miss the Central Market Hall and the Hungarian National Museum before you reach the Dohány Street Synagogue, the final stop on the tour before you return to the starting point of the tour.

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Budapest: E-Bike Guided Tour and Castle Hill

4. Budapest: E-Bike Guided Tour and Castle Hill

Explore the beautiful city of Budapest in the most relaxed way possible, by E-bike. Follow your local, enthusiastic guide to some of the most famous sights in the city and learn interesting facts about each location.  Ride your bike to the Chain Bridge and climb up to the stunning Castle Hill, where you can experience incredible views over the city. Descend back down to the Danube and journey alongside the famous river. Spend some time on Margaret Island, before you visit the Hungarian Parliament Building. Travel to Freedom Square and admire St. Stephen's Basilica. Venture down Andrassy Avenue and view the Hungarian State Opera House and the House of Terror on the way. End your tour at Hősök tere, one of the major squares in Budapest, and spend some time in City Park before you return to the office. 

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Budapest Half-Day Tour: Life Behind the Iron Curtain

5. Budapest Half-Day Tour: Life Behind the Iron Curtain

Take a private full-day tour of sites in Budapest that memorialize Hungary’s time behind the Iron Curtain, and learn about life during that era. Visit the Citadella to learn about the siege of Budapest toward the end of World War II, which was the beginning of the story of the country’s occupation. Admire the Liberty Statue, or Freedom Statue, the huge monument erected in 1947 on Gellert Hill. The Liberty Statue was originally dedicated to the Russian troops, and with a pedestal 26 meters high and the statue another 14 meters it is probably the tallest of its kind in Europe. It’s now considered a universal symbol of freedom and is an important feature in the city’s panorama. You’ll also visit the Terror House, a museum dedicated to those who fell victim during the Communist era (audio-guide included). Other monuments that your guide will show you include statues of famous personalities of the era, including Marx, Lenin, and Ostapenko. The Memorial of the Hungarian-Soviet Friendship, and many others erected from 1945-1989, were relocated from the city to the open-air museum of Memento Park. The collection of 42 pieces includes the 6-meter-high statue of the Liberation Army Soldier as well. Finish the tour with a more joyful memory of the era with a ride on the Children’s Railway in the Buda hills. Originally known as the Pioneer’s Railway, it opened in 1949, operated by children aged 10-14 years.

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Budapest Private Guided 3-Hour City Tour by Bus

6. Budapest Private Guided 3-Hour City Tour by Bus

See the main sights on both parts of the river in Budapest. Walk around the Castle District, enjoy the view from the Citadel, drive along the Andrássy Avenue to Heroes’ Square, passing by many of the sights of the city. Your tour starts after pick-up from your hotel. On the Buda side, stop in the Castle District and during a short walk you will see the main attractions of the area. Walk to the Matthias Church and to the Fisherman’s Bastion. The Gellért Hill (Citadel) provides the most spectacular view of Budapest. On the Pest side, you can see Parliament, St. Stephens Basilica and many other sights. On the way to the Heroes’ Square you can see Adrássy Avenue with the Opera House, the House of Terror and many luxury shops. After that, the drive continues to the City Park. You will pass by the Vajdahunyad Castle, Europe’s largest thermal spa (Széchenyi Bath) and the Budapest Zoo and the Once Upon a Time Park.

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Communist Budapest: 3-Hour Walk with a Historian

7. Communist Budapest: 3-Hour Walk with a Historian

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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in House of Terror

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What people are saying about House of Terror

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 13 reviews

Our guide was very dedicated and informed. He responded to the wishes of the group and was even able to show new people who have lived in Budapest for 20 years. Spontaneous, creative. In the end we got a little out of time, so the drive up to the castle hill and back turned out to be quite quick. Super German !!!

Fantastic trip with a very competent English guide Joel However, we would think that you might. took a break midway with some food and drink (at your own expense) or pointed out that there are no breaks so people can take any. a water with on the trip. Can highly recommend the second trip

The bike was fantastic...David was just the best guide...thank you we had 2 lovely Texas girls with us..we were even a half an hour late couldn't find the meet up..they made such an effort to catch us up thank you

Wonderful experience, we were priviliged to see a lot of the biggest attractions. The tour guide was great.

Haunting but well worth visiting. Great informative guide.