Why visit: history, Communist past, unique collection
Memento Park, a Communist-themed outdoor museum located just outside Budapest, is a reminder of the fall of tyranny. In 1989, when Hungary chose to embrace a free market economy, the new government removed many of the statues and monuments identified with the former Communist regime. Now, these formerly revered relics of an unfulfilled dream stand together, providing unique experience. Anyone with even a remote interest in the country's history will find the short trip worthwhile.
Things to Do and See at Memento Park
Statue Park is probably the best-known attraction within Memento Park. The gigantic monuments displayed are powerful reminders of dictatorship. Don't be afraid to climb up next to Lenin for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.
Grandstand and Stalin’s Boots
The Grandstand is the replica of the tribune where Communists leaders would stand, waving at marching crowds on state holidays. It also served as the pedestal for the giant statue of Stalin, which was pulled down during the revolution in 1956, leaving only his boots behind.
This exhibition hall is the replica of an authentic military barrack. It houses temporary exhibitions, a photo collection of the 1956 Revolution, as well as the 1989-90 political changes.
Other features of Memento Park include a cinema, where ‘The Life of an Agent’ is played non-stop with English subtitles; a Trabant, which was the most common vehicle in the communist bloc; and the Red Star Store, for unique, communist-themed souvenirs.
For more information visit their website www.mementopark.hu
Monday-Sunday: 10 am to sundown
Adult: HUF 1,500
Student: HUF 1,000
Budapest Card, Hungary Card: HUF 1,000
English-language tour: HUF 1,200 (tour fee is in addition to the entrance fee). The 45-minute tours run from 11:45 am several times a day.
Getting there: The easiest way to get there is to take the direct bus transfers from downtown Budapest, available daily at 11 am (in July and August also at 3 pm). The bus leaves from Deák Ferenc tér (accessible by all Subway lines M1, M2 and M3), from the bus stop marked Memento Park. Cost is HUF 4,900 per person, which includes return transportation and entrance fee to the museum.
Memento Park is also accessible by public transport. Take bus No. 150 from the corner of Fehérvári út and Bocskai út (Újbuda Központ, Allee Shopping Mall). The ride to Memento Park stop is about 25 minutes. Buses run every 20 minutes (at :10, :30 and :50) Monday to Friday and every 30 minutes (at :00 and :30) Saturday and Sunday. Or, take Volánbusz No. 710, 720, 721 or 722 from Kelenföldi Pályaudvar (Kelenföldi Railway Station, Etele tér). The ride to Memento Park stop is about 10 minutes. Buses run every 15 minutes.
Photos courtesy of Memento Park