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Budapest Synagogue Tour

Has anybody taking the Viator Budapest Jewish Heritage Tour & Synagogue? We are very interested in booking this tour but can't decide whether to take the 2-hour tour or the 4-hour tour? Which one would you recommend. Thank you.

Posted by
15686 posts

First, be aware Viator does not operate tours. It is a third party seller.

At the Synagoguge, a tour is included in your admission fee.

Posted by
18775 posts

I use Viator a lot. They are fine. Actually helped out a bit when the provider went a bit odd.

If you are other than Jewish and the subject is mildly interesting. Then do the short tour.

If you are other than Jewish and the subject matter is even a tiny bit moving, then do a longer tour. If you are Jewish the same.

If when the long tour is over you are truly moved, then I have other ideas. Worst you get out of a long tour is a bit more context for what is on the news.

Have them show you were the ghetto wall was located. Cross the line yourself. I do every day and it still gives me chills. Look for these: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Stolpersteine_in_Budapest attend a service .... more to worry about here than re-selling tours.

Anyway. I would recommend this for a longer tour: https://jewishtourhungary.com/en/jewish-quarter-tour It is run by the Jewish community. You get to see a lot.

For a quickie just go to the Great Synagogue and buy a ticket to the next tour (about every 30 or 45 minutes in almost any language.

Posted by
4338 posts

While I wouldn’t discourage you from taking a tour, I used your description and googled - and don’t come up with a 2 hour or 4 hour option.

However with some research, it looks like this company operates the tours. Reading the description, it seems it totally depends on the quality of your guide for the Grand Tour and your style of travel. As Frank II said, there is a good free guided tour included with the Dohany Synagogue entrance ticket that covers much of what is included in this company’s 2 hr tour.

Distances are small and part of your 4 hour Grand Tour involves cake and coffee at the end. Worthwhile? 🤷🏻‍♀️ Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Maybe someone who HAS taken one of the tours will chime in - but if it were me, after reading all this, I would splurge on the Grand Tour for the extra conversation with a guide potential, if anything. I don’t think you gain a lot with the 2 hr tour over the normal synagogue entrance. But entrance to all the synagogues can be done on your own, and the walk-bys described are close and easy to navigate.

Edit: typing at the same time as Mr. É. He is definitely more knowledgeable than me. I have saved the link for his suggested tour and will be watching for the cemetery tour coming soon. It is a fascinating place even without a tour - and I would happily pay for a guide there.

Posted by
18775 posts

TTM, I did the one I listed and the short tour at the synagogue; and another with a company that isn't around any longer. I like the one I listed because the money goes to the Jewish community and its a good tour. The "free" tour that you get with the synagogue ticket isn't really free, its what the synagogue ticket is for and thats why the ticket is about $25. Other than the tour its a limited experience which if you are really interested in, might take 90 minutes but I think most are in and out in under an hour.,

And TTM travels more in a month than I do in a lifetime. So listen to her.

Posted by
4630 posts

Adding that the Dohany Synagogue has a small multistory museum in the NW corner of the property that would be easy to miss, I think most visitors do. The late Roman era stone with the possible menorah was in August on a landing and unmarked, as the top museum floor was closed. Rick Steves' book has a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter and although it will point out things like a mikvah that would be missed if casually walking through, and the address of the still difficult to find restored ghetto wall (keep looking), it's a pretty thin guide and not satisfactory for someone with deep interest.

Posted by
4928 posts

I took the tour that is included with the admission fee. My one suggestion is to schedule your tour early enough that you have sufficient time before closing to wander around on your own (inside and out) and visit the museums. Perhaps you can also visit independently before your tour begins.

I would have liked 1-2 hours of independent time in the museums, but didn't give myself enough time before closing.