For almost half of the 20th century, Russia’s Soviet leaders controlled the Hungarian government, and traces of these decades under communism are still visible throughout the capital city. Meet an experienced guide who lived during the communist era to learn what everyday life was really like in Budapest at that time, from firsthand tales of navigating Kafkaesque bureaucracy to adventurous descriptions of the black-market economy. After the introductory discussion, participants are taken on a walking tour to highlight relics of the communist era still visible around the city today.
- An introductory description of life under communism by an experienced guide who lived during Hungary’s communist era
- A drink at Budapest’s classic Bambi café, a typical eatery of the communist era which remains unchanged over the decades since then
- Customized information about life under communism, with friendly guides happy to answer all questions
- A walking tour of Budapest sites that still reveal traces of Hungary’s era under communism
- A deeper understanding of life under communism not only in Hungary but throughout the Eastern Bloc
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Experience Hungary’s era under communism through firsthand stories told by experienced Fungarian guides who lived through the days when Budapest was under direct Kremlin control. From everyday tales of difficulty with procuring bananas to extraordinary descriptions of communist party parades, learn about the real experiences of Hungarians during these surreal times with this 2-hour talk and tour.
Participants meet their guide at Buda’s Bambi Presszó café – considered by many as the last city stronghold of communistic catering culture – and are encouraged to ask specific questions about life under the communist regime.
Following the introductory session, the tour provides a firsthand picture of how the communist system worked for normal people living in Budapest, including what life was like then and how the collapse of communism left an imprint on Hungarians and Budapest still visible even today.
Along with learning about the local experience and witnessing traces of communism in several Budapest sightseeing destinations, participants gain a deeper understanding about life throughout the Eastern Bloc.
Included: a notebook, a souvenir pen, handouts and a coffee or a soft drink
Not included: other drinks or food, public transportation tickets or pass
“What was it like to live in Communist Hungary?”
Being a hands-on learner, I need to get as close as possible to the thing I am studying to understand it. But as a tourist, how do you get close to Communist Hungary? As an ex-pat living in Budapest, after years of living here and meeting people of all kinds, doesn’t make it that much easier. It’s not the kind of thing you get to ask people everyday. Sure, you can see it on the buildings; they bear plenty of scars. With their bullet holes from WWII and then 1956, what they can’t tell is what it was like for the people that lived in them and how did they manage to go on. From simple things, like how did they go shopping and what was it like to be a kid during Communism, to major things like what if you weren’t a Communist and/or an atheist? Did people believe the Cold War would end in nuclear war?
This is why I loved going on the FUNGARIAN tour Life under Communism. The guide provides a good overview of the various ideologies and political factors that made Soviet Communism what it was and how this played out in Hungary, but the bulk of the tour is facts about and explanations of life during Communism, including the guide’s own experience from that time. Being open to any and all questions, the tour guide also gives strikingly candid, and sometimes very unexpected, answers. This tour is designed to take a special peek into the lives of Hungarians under communism and welcomes those who dare look straight through the keyhole with their questions, curiosity, and empathy.
I learned a lot from this tour but mostly I felt closer to Hungarians after this tour because somehow being able to connect with their lives at that time – their worries, fears, interests, and in-jokes – filled in many parts of the picture about an era some Hungarians still don’t feel comfortable talking about; it helped me to understand the Hungarian experience better.
I would recommend this tour to those interested in history as well as anyone out there who thinks getting to know more about people (everything about them) is the most important thing about life and the best part of traveling.
“We highly recommend Fungarian for language lessons and tours”
We contacted Fungarian for two purposes, to take language lessons and participate in one of the many interesting themed tours offered. … For the tour, we chose “Time-Travel into the 80’s, Lecture and Short Tour, Life Under Communism.” Our tour also was led by Mr. Molnár. He first met us for coffee, where he began his brief history overview and explained the tour itinerary. He had numerous photos and other artifacts to support his lecture, which we found fascinating and detailed beyond what we already had read about the period or had experienced/learned at other sites and museums. We then left for the walking tour, which began in Pest and ended in Buda, a reverse on his usual tour, designed to accommodate our needs. Miklós is wicked smart, entertaining, and engaging. His knowledge extends way beyond the tour focus, as he integrated news accounts and personal stories. He answered all our questions, embedding Hungary in the global changes that occurred correspondingly. Our high expectations were well exceeded. I highly recommend Fungarian for tours and language lessons. We definitely will be calling again on our next trip to Budapest.”