House of Terror Museum (Terror Háza Múzeum)#15 in Best Things To Do in Budapest
Located in the Terézváros neighborhood in Pest's District VI, the House of Terror Museum is a jarring but important museum that documents the dictatorial oppression Hungary faced during its fascist and Stalinist regimes. Once the headquarters of the State Protection Authority (similar to the Soviet Union's KGB), the building was where brutal interrogations and the torturing of countless political activists and dissidents took place throughout the 20th century. Tour the chillingly realistic prison cell replicas in the basement, and brace yourself for the powerful and moving exhibit on Hungary's post-World War II years leading up to the 1953 uprising against its Soviet-controlled government.
Recent visitors said this museum's exhibits are thought-provoking and informative. However, a few lamented the no photography policy inside. Another drawback: the Hungarian-only displays. To understand the material presented in each exhibit, you'll need to ask for handouts with English translations or pay an extra 1,500 forints (roughly $6) for an English audio guide. You can also reserve a guided tour with an English-speaking guide at least 10 days in advance for 8,000 forints (about $31).
The museum is open every day (excluding Mondays) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The easiest way to reach the property is via the M1 metro line; two of its stations – Oktogon and Kodály körönd – are just two to three blocks away. Tickets cost 3,000 forints (less than $12) per person, but access to temporary exhibits requires paying an additional 2,000 forints (approximately $8). On-site amenities include a cafe, a gift shop and restrooms. To find out more about the House of Terror Museum, check out the attraction's website.
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#1 Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya)
Located in the historic district of Castle Hill, Fisherman's Bastion is a neo-Gothic terrace that looks like a structure taken straight out of a fairy tale. Designed and built in 1905 by Frigyes Schulek – the same architect who built the adjacent Matthias Church – Fisherman's Bastion is named after the medieval guild of fishermen who protected Budapest from invasion.
Visitors say Fisherman's Bastion's gleaming white structure provides panoramic views of the city: From here, you can snap some breathtaking pictures of the Danube River, Margaret Island and Pest. Also save time for exploring the sight's seven ornate turrets, which symbolize the tents of the seven Magyar leaders who settled the Carpathian Basin, ultimately leading to the existence of modern-day Hungary.
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