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Jewish Budapest in one day

I just noticed that during our 5 days in Budapest this September, the great Synagogue is closed for 4 consecutive days for the Sabbath followed by the high holidays. This means we only have one day, a Friday, to see the main Jewish sites, which I believe to be the synagogue, Jewish museum and the tree of life and memorial garden. And I see that the great Synagogue closes at 4 PM on Fridays. We'd also like to see the Holocaust Museum. Is it do-able to cram all this into one day? I don't see closures on the other websites besides the synagogue, but I assume they'd be closed the same dates.

Is it best to sign up for a guided tour for some of these sites? If so, any recommendations? Or just follow RS book self-guided tour? Just trying to figure out the best way to work with this one day.

Posted by
181 posts

What days is it closed? We're going to be in Budapest in late September and it is high on our list of places to visit.

Posted by
10864 posts

The Great Synagogue is closed Saturday the 28th and then on Sunday and Monday for Rosh Hashana. While Rosh Hashana runs to October 1st, that isnt shown as being closed on their website.

That leaves you Friday the 27th for sure. But on Friday they close at 3:30 for the sabath.

I would get a guide. They do offer guides through the synagogue and that would be where i go first.

https://www.greatsynagogue.hu/gallery_syn.html#6

Posted by
107 posts

We're arriving in Budapest some time in the early afternoon of September 26 depending on what train we take in from Vienna. So perhaps we can see something that afternoon depending on how late things stay open. But here is the synagogue site:

https://www.budapestbylocals.com/budapest-great-synagogue.html

And it states that they are closed on all Saturdays - so that would be the 28th, and then further down on the page it clearly states that it's closed Sept 29, 30 and October 1. So it's literally closed 4 days in a row! I can't find any relevant info on closures on the other Jewish sites, like the holocaust museum.

I may just have to call the other places if nothing is stated on their websites. I'll look into the guide you mention, James.

Herronlaw, I'm glad my post was a PSA for you and I hope you have an occasion to visit!

Posted by
10864 posts

Your website differs from the official website. I would call and confirm.

EDIT: OPPS, I MISSED THE October date. Tou are correct.

Budapest by locals is a marketing site, not the official site. But you still have a half day on Friday and that's enough if you start early. Jewish Budapest is worth the effort. I have another idea if you PM me.

Posted by
1922 posts

Irene,
We have hired Timea Tarjani @ www.budapestjewishwalk.hu. for our upcoming trip to Budapest. She was highly recommended by relatives and friends who recently took her tours. She includes all your areas of interest and will schedule to your requests. We are planning a 4+ hour tour with her. You can do a private or small group tour. When we visit Jewish areas we have found that taking a guided tour is the best way to learn about their particular history. So far our best tours have been in Rome, Venice, Florence and Greece. Our upcoming tours along with Budapest are Prague and Amsterdam.

Posted by
13927 posts

There is the Holocaust Memorial which is state-run and open daily except Mondays. I've been there and highly recommend it. I googled "holocaust museum budapest" and found a couple of articles relating to a new museum located on the site of the defunct Jozsefvaros railway station. It's not clear to me if it's even open yet. There is apparently a lot of controversy about it.

Posted by
1922 posts

@Chani, the "Holocaust Memorial" is on our must see list. I too have read some articles on the proposed Holocaust Museum in Budapest. Thanks for the helpful information.

Posted by
10864 posts

Chani, I walked past it about 9 months ago. Wasn't open then, dont think it is now. If you find out different, let me know. When are you returning?

Posted by
107 posts

I have a question for Janis. Can you share about how much Timea charges for a 4 hour tour? I'm weighing buying the group tour from the synagogue versus a private tour with Timea. Also it looks like she gives general walking tours as well, so may be interested in that. Just wondering about her tours versus a group tour option and if we'd get a lot more out of a private tour. Thanks!

Posted by
104 posts

Based on experience from 3 years ago, I highly recommend the Jewish Heritage tours, and booking directly from their website. There is also contact information where I am sure they can advise you on the schedule. They offer 2 hour and 4 hour group walking tours as well as private tours and seemed to be closely connected to the Jewish institutions in the area. For the museum, we were guided by a Holocaust survivor who had been involved in founding the museum. At another location, when it was raining, we were allowed ad hoc meeting space inside one of the synagogues. You will have to check on this, but I think I remember that we were told that because donation from people around the world had made possible the restoration of the Great Synagogue, that high holiday tickets are made open to visitors from everywhere.

Posted by
107 posts

Hi CD, that's exactly what we did, we booked a 4 hour walking tour of the Synagogue and other important Jewish sites. So looking forward to this!

Posted by
13927 posts

James, I just saw your post. I wasn't thinking about Budapest but I am now.