Remember the good old times of Communist Budapest, when people drove Trabants, drank spirits at work, lived in block flats, stood in banana lines, had two passports, coupon books, no TV on Mondays and no freedom of speech! Experience the build up to 1956 Uprising, follow the marches, relive the battles and hear the stories!
Highlights and Themes
- Explore Budapest with a small group and a knowledgeable guide
- Get an in-depth introduction to the Communist history of Hungary
- Learn about important historical events like the 1956 Revolution, WWI & II, and get a 19th-century historical overview
- Visit our own unique exhibition of how life was back then (display of furniture, artefacts, readers, relics)
- Understand the speeches, protests, marches and Soviet invasions that made up the 1956 Revolution
- Get a feel for the lifestyle and culture of the time and see how we lived under Big Brother
- Hear about the transition to freedom with the fall of the Iron Curtain
Dates & Times
Year Round – Daily at 14:30
Absolute Tour Center
1065 Budapest, Lazar street 16,
located right behind the Opera House.
54 € Adult
50 € Student (with a valid student card)
27 € Child (up to 12 years)
Infants are free up to 2 years
Full Tour Description
Duration: 3.5 hours
The Hammer and Sickle tour is perfect for those who want to get a little glimpse of how Budapest was during Communist rule! Written and raved about in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers, this tour takes you through 50 years of Communist life in the Hungarian capital.
To set the scene, your guide will summarize how it all started, what you could and couldn’t do, and what life was really like behind the iron curtain. You’ll learn about how children were brought up, how families lived, how and where people could travel, how long it took to get a passport and other interesting quirks of the times – like black markets and banana lines.
Also included on the tour is a visit to our own private exhibition room where we will introduce you to the real features of a Hungarian home, including relics and typical furniture and furnishings. Furthermore, we have an extensive collection of many communist related artefacts, such as red and blue passports, party member’s registration book, pins, medals, currency and huge placards to help your understanding of the propaganda we once lived under!
As the tour progresses you’ll come to learn that Hungary’s is a past filled with victories, failures and struggles. We’ll guide you through these eventful times, showing you the places and sights involved and teaching how it shaped Hungary today.
On the tour, we’ll also confront another major event of the era – the 1956 Revolution – and the events that led up to it, including the War of Independence, the Great Compromise, WWI and WWII – all examples of the Hungarian quest for freedom.
After delving into the recent history we take a microscopic look at the newly appointed Communist government after World War II and how their actions fed into the eventual 1956 Revolution. The tour leads you through the first protests and marches and the first shootings and killings that led the Hungarians to fight back against an unethical regime and some of the major areas where all the action happened.
Some of our stops and stories will be about our Liberty Square for Cardinal Mindszenty’s part in the revolution as well as the significance of the square and the last remaining tribute to the Soviet Union! We will embrace the character of Imre Nagy by his memorial in remembrance of the man who defied the leaders in Moscow and paid dearly on the gallows two years later. Another stop will be the Parliament area where shots were fired, which instigated the revolt to take up arms and defend one’s freedom.
The 1956 Uprising was a short-lived battle on the streets but silently in the back of the minds of many Hungarians they plotted their flight from Communism and finally laid to rest the memories through the reburial of Imre Nagy leading to free elections and a return to a free society.
Our walking tours run with small groups and generally do not have more than 15 participants. This makes them interactive and personal and gives you plenty of chances to ask questions and get to know your guide. You can also hit them up for local tips on where to go and what else to do.
We reserve the right to alter and change the tour program without prior notice due to construction, city closures for events, festivals and so on throughout the year.
English speaking guide, entry to our private exhibition room, many stops for photos and questions.
Entry fees to sights and museums, food and beverages except where noted, transport to the meeting point or from the conclusion point, gratuity/tip.