On this private tour, we take you back to 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! We'll also pay a visit to Budapest's epic Statue Park
Highlights and Themes
- Explore Budapest with just your group and private certified guide
- Transport and entry to Budapest’s Statue Park
- 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
- Refreshment stop in a retro lounge included
Dates & Times
All year around daily – 9:30, 14:30
Private tours can start from your accommodation depending on where you’re staying in the city. If this is not possible, the tour will start at our office listed below.
Absolute Tour Center
1065 Budapest, Lazar street 16,
located right behind the Opera House.
Conclusion point: city center, close to transport links.
Full Tour Description
Duration: 4 hours
To start the Communist Times tour and to set the scene, your guide will summarize how it all began. 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 and how families lived. About how and where people could travel and how long it took to get a passport. Learn the benefits of Party membership. And of the black markets and banana lines and other interesting quirks of the times.
Next up, we go out to the famous outdoor Statue Park by private car. This is where we put all the Communist statues after our return to freedom in 1990. Here we’ll take a guided tour and a learn a lesson on the symbolism behind the statues. Along the way, you’ll meet the likes of Lenin, Marx and Engels. We cover their dogmas, where they were placed in the city and for what reasons. Also at the park, we’ll visit some exhibitions of Communism related themes and see a real Trabant car that was originally designed to be a covered motorcycle and became a trademark as the “Hungarian family car”.
On this 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, World War I and II. Later we take a microscopic look at the newly appointed Communist government after World War II. We’ll see 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 Liberty Square. Cardinal Mindszenty’s played a major part in the revolution. From here we’ll see the significance of the square along with the last remaining tribute to the Soviet Union. We’ll also embrace the character of Imre Nagy at his memorial. This is in remembrance of the man who defied the Politburo in Moscow and paid dearly on the gallows two years later. Another stop will be the Parliament area where the first shots were fired, which instigated the revolt to take up arms.
The 1956 Uprising was a short-lived battle on the streets. But many Hungarians plotted their ecape from Communism. They finally laid to rest these memories through the reburial of Imre Nagy. Eventually this led to free elections and a return to a free society.
Also included on the tour is a visit to our own private exhibition room. Here we’ll 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!
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.
Private professional English speaking guide, private transfer to Statue Park and back, entry and guided tour of the Statue Park and visit to our own private exhibition room, refreshment stop in a retro lounge.
Transport from the end point, gratuity/tip.
Important Notice: Visiting the exhibition room requires the ability to climb one storey of stairs (with handrail)
Groups over 15 people please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org