The 20th century saw two authoritarian regimes take hold in Hungary, and this building on Budapest’s Andrássy Avenue played a role in both. When the Arrow Cross Party took control of Hungary during the final years of WWII, the building was used as its headquarters; during the 40 years of Communist rule that followed, it passed into the hands of the State Protection Authority (AVH). Today, it’s a museum commemorating the victims of both regimes. Permanent exhibitions at the House of Terror allow visitors to learn more about the struggles of life during this time, from show trials to deportations; in the basement, reconstructions of the building’s prison cells allow an insight into the brutality of these governments.
The House Of Terror, Andrássy út 60, Budapest, Hungary, +36 (1) 374 2600
Hungary’s largest museum, this neoclassical building houses exhibitions allowing visitors to learn more about the country’s history. Artefacts from as early as the Paleolithic Era are on display, while collections focus on archaeological and historical discoveries. From the Ottoman Empire to the Communist regime of the 20th century, this museum is the one to visit for an informative overview of the country’s past.
The Hungarian National Museum, Múzeum krt. 14-16, Budapest, Hungary, +36 (1) 338 2122
During the 40 years of Communist rule in Hungary, a number of statues and monuments were erected in Budapest in honour of the regime. When the Soviet Union fell in 1989, many of these were immediately taken down. They found a new home in what is today Memento Park, an open air museum featuring a large number of these statues and offering an insight into the regime thanks to guided tours and exhibitions.
Memento Park, Balatoni út – Szabadkai utca sarok, Budapest, Hungary, +36 (1) 424 7500
Located in a modern building encompassing the Páva Street Synagogue, once a significant site of worship for the capital’s Jewish community, Budapest’s Holocaust Memorial Center remembers the thousands of Hungarian Jews killed during the Holocaust. Opened in 2004, the museum’s permanent exhibition is an exploration of the history of anti-Semitism in Hungary and the Holocaust itself, told through original documents such as photographs and personal items. There’s also a remembrance wall featuring the names of the over 500,000 Hungarians who lost their lives as a result of the Holocaust.
Holocaust Memorial Center, Páva u., Budapest, Hungary, +36 (1) 455 3333
During the Roman Empire, Hungary was part of the province of Pannonia, protected by a vast defense line called the Limes. The ancient city of Aquincum was situated along this defensive border and today, the Aquincum Museum allows visitors to learn more about its interesting history. Permanent exhibitions include artefacts from the city; the role of ceramics in ancient Rome; and an archaeological collection displaying items from prehistoric times through to the Migration period. There’s also an archaeological park, in which excavation is ongoing and visitors can check out the structures from the city of Aquincum that have been discovered so far.
Aquincum Museum, Szentendrei út 135, Budapest, Hungary, +36 (1) 430 1081