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House of Terror, Budapest

#1 of 128 in Museums in Hungary
Specialty Museum Museum
Explore the dark side of Hungarian and European history at House of Terror, a specialty museum focusing on fascist and communist regimes. The permanent exhibits feature artifacts from Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the fascist Arrow Cross Party, and the communist AVH (Hungarian State Protection Authority). Walk into the depths of violent, dictatorial moments that took place the 20th century by stepping into the museum's basement, where AVH prisoners were once held and tortured. These cells serve as a memorial to victims of the country's bloody regimes. Since it opened in 2002, this museum has become a member of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. House of Terror is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Budapest Edition.
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7,391 reviews
  • Brings it all home as to what the Hungarians went through as recently as the late 50s. You need a good 3 to 4 hours to do it justice David  more »
  • I visited this museum during a trip to budapest with my companion. The Museum is big enough, arranged on two floors, and tells the story of budapest and of double occupation that this city has undergone by the Nazis and the Communists. Inside the Museum trying deliberately to create a distressing atmosphere through the background music and through the testimonies of those who have experienced first-hand this tragic piece of history that are projected on multiple screens. In fact the Museum isn't bad, but maybe it's not something worth seeing, in the sense that if you don't have a lot of time in my opinion it is better to opt for more. For example I took me quite a while to visit him because the entry I had to take almost half an hour of tail and unfortunately I have not had time to visit the opera house, which is nearby but you can visit only at scheduled times. And that I was sad, I think visit the opera house would have been preferred. But this is obviously a completely personal opinion.
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  • From what he had read had created me false expectations. Most are audiovisual, more of the same. The friendly staff cold, distant, without any willingness to help visitors. Mandatory audio guide, all in English as if the rest of the nationalities not pagásemos.
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  • I liked this museum. It was really interesting information. We did not use the audio guide. Maybe if we had used the audio guide I would have given the experience 5 stars, not sure if it was good or not. But they do have information in the rooms in English but the papers are quite long which can start to feel like you have to read way too much. The museum didn't seem to be in really great order of events but does convey the general themes of what life was like during those decades. Some of the interviews they show of people are powerful and haunting. The very end is where it fell apart for me. I'm not sure if they had removed the information about how it all ended or what but it went from seeing the cells and execution victims to an empty room that seemed like stuff was missing and that was the end.
  • This is not a "feel good at the end" museum. The transition from Nazi German control to Soviet Russian control was not fun and this museum doesn't make light of anything. We did not choose the audio, and we made every effort to read the printed material. Get the audio if you don't think you'll be willing to read about a page and a half of material at most. My husband and I came fully understanding what the museum was about, having researched the building's prior use, and went in with reverence more than wanting to be entertained; so that mindset may help as you're going along. Some have said that in previous reviews that Hungary's role in the oppression of their own people is neglected, but we found that this museum actively names those of Hungarian descent who colluded with Nazi and Soviet powers as local leaders and those who followed them. Come in with humility. This museum exists so that Hungarian children do not forget.
  • Learning about the history and culture of Hungary during both the Nazi and Soviet periods was moving and interesting. In addition to this there is a good student discount available to all EU citizens under the age of 26. HOWEVER there are many areas which aren't signposted in english which makes it difficult and less interactive. Also there is only one toilet by the entrance which means there is often huge queue for both men and women
  • This is a very interesting museum based in the actual building that was being used by the state security services during the Nazi and then the Soviet period. I would recommend you buy the audio guide when you go as it is just easier than reading all the sheets of paper and plaques on the walls. The do have some very interesting relics there and unless you are well versed in Soviet/Hungarian history the guide will help a lot. The museum does focus far more on the consequences of the Soviet control of the country rather than the Nazi's. My one criticism would be that it would help if there was more of a guided approach to the pictures and videos that are on display. The audio guide is a general overview of the events that are happening at the time and it can be a little hard to link the displays with the timeline. They do seem to have guided tours, which I was not a part of, but they seems very rushed.
  • Most importantly, some of the doors to staircases were locked and you had to walk the whole length of the building to get downstairs which is an atrocious fire hazard. And the museum was too abstract. Don't be deceived to think this is a legitimate history museum. The museum designers spent too much time making the museum cool and stylized than actually trying to teach the visitors anything about Hungarian history, at least that's the experience I had as someone who doesn't speak Hungarian

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Where to stay in Budapest

Attracting countless visitors with its architecture, history, and atmosphere, Budapest also provides a great selection of places to stay. The city’s hotels include everything from cozy and economical boutique establishments to luxurious world-renowned chains. Alternatively, choose from the huge variety of bed and breakfasts and hostels, as well as rental apartments ranging from economic to deluxe. While accommodations are spread throughout the city, more of them cluster on the livelier Pest side. You may want to place yourself near the sights you want to see most, but keep in mind that the city's wide public transportation network makes it relatively easy to reach all the major attractions no matter where you’re staying.
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