If you ever find yourself in one of Hungary’s most beautiful cities, make some space in your travel itinerary for these unique attractions.
Budapest – home to the famous Buda and Vajdahunyad castles, the Fisherman’s Bastion, Hero square and St. Stephen’s Basilica. A city rich with culture, thermal baths, cozy streets, amazing food and even more amazing architecture. Among the many European capitals, it’s a must see for anyone and everyone who finds themselves on a route to Hungary.
Between your regular sightseeing and a hot bowl of goulash, however, there’s much more to this city than just the buzzing tourist spots. The museum scene of Budapest is vast and interesting, with quirky collections of art and other unexpected memorabilia you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Here’s an introduction to five of the best museums.
The Postal Museum
On a corner in Benczúr street, right in the lively center of Pest, you can find Hungary’s lovely Postal Museum. Founded in 1890, and later, in 1972, moved to the breathtaking Saxlehner palace designed by Győző Czigler, this establishment has since 2012 been housed on the floors that had once belonged to the Hungarian Postal service.
Today, the museum is home to over 21,000 objects retelling the history of mail and penmenship of this Central European country. Re-creating a 19th century post office, this institution offers a great collection of documents, delivery vehicles, antiques, uniforms and switchboard telephones. Between an array of different types of mailboxes from over the years and an assortment of knick knacks all relating to the postal service, it’s a unique and niche space that’s worth a visit.
The Pinball Museum
When was the last chance you got to play on a flipper machine? In Budapest, you can do that almost every day of the week. Near the shore of the Danube, there’s an interactive permanent collection of pinball machines with 130 display pieces, some of them even being predecessor models from the end of the 19th century.
The Pinball Museum is more than just a fun experience – it’s a time capsule to a different era and an ode to childhood memories from our times spent at arcades. The colors, the lights, the sounds – all of these elements bring us back to the dreamlike and nostalgic world of the 70’s we might never want to leave. Not only is it a great space for the ones who still remember the true old-timer flipper machines, it’s a great spot for young people wanting to give these games a try.
Metal Art Gallery
Are you a fan of H. R. Giger and biomechanical art? Then the Metal Art Gallery might be the spot for you. In the 263 square meters of this exhibition, recycling meets sculpture, with 30 life size sculptures inspired by movies such as Alien and Jurassic Park.
In this Dohány Street gallery, every artwork is made from used car parts and vestin scrap metal, creating an underground feeling atmosphere that will take your breath away. It’s a fabulous place for getting the best selfies and seeing your science-fiction fantasies come to life.
The Hospital in the Rock
The Hospital in the Rock, also known as the Nuclear Bunker Museum resembles a time travelling experience directly to the 20th century. Created in the real caverns under the Buda Castle in the 1930s, this exhibition gives you a glimpse into the life and times during the Second World War.
This hospital, fully equipped with a surgical ward in 1944, was a place dedicated to health as much as to equality. Treatment was open to anybody, no matter what gender, race, religion or ethnicity they belonged to, providing care and help to every citizen in need. Today, this museum offers the reconstruction of the day-to-day scenarios during the Siege of Budapest, complete with waxwork recreations and old equipment, such as stretchers, gas masks and civil protection uniforms. It’s a place for remembering history, but also the value of peace and solidarity.
After the Communist regime in Hungary fell in 1989, many of the Communist statues and monuments were swiftly removed from the city. However, in the Buda part of Budapest, some ten years later, a new open air museum was born. Memento park is a one of a kind space commemorating the value of democracy, especially after having stepped out of the harsh shadows of dictatorship.
The park is divided into two sections, the Statue Park with 42 of the monuments removed from the capital at the end of the 80’s and the Witness Square with, among many other things, a statue of Stalin resembling the same one removed from its pedestal after the Hungarian Revolution of 1965.
Next time you find yourself in Budapest, make sure to give at least some of these locations a visit. You won’t regret it.
Picture: Shutterstock, ID: 1077343094
There are many amazing exhibitions all around the world. Check out some collections online!
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