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Momento Park Tour

Hello,
I am reading through the RS guidebook about Momento Park. RS mentions the tour from the park that is 50 minutes as well as provides his own walking tour. Are both needed? If choosing one, which one would you recommend? Finally, we will have a car-- is it best to drive or still take the public transportation RS describes?
Thank you!
Kallie

Posted by
244 posts

We enjoyed visiting the Memento Park in some of the free time on our RS Prague/Budapest tour. We did npt have a car being on the tour, but our guide gave us directions on using the bus to get to the park. It is a bit of a way out and we had to make a bus transfer. But it was an easy trip to make, and in my opinion, it is easier to let the locals do the driving especially when you need to keep on a time schedule. We did not do a tour and felt that it was not needed.

Posted by
11475 posts

I have to admit that in nearly 20 years of travel to Budapest I have never been there. But, if I were to go I would get a guide book and take the bus (I cant remember, but I think Eyewitness Guide covers it - and its my favorite guide for Budapest --- Sorry Rick). As I recall it leaves from Deak Ferenc ter. It will take you half a day to get there and back and even begin to see it so unless it really, really interests you......

As for the car, the stress is two fold, driving and the cost of parking. Driving? If you are American you will have to remember that there are no (almost) left turns in the city. To turn left you have to make circles until its a right turn. Then there is the issue of right of way at intersections. The guy turning into your path from a street to the right has the right of way in most situations or in situations so poorly defined that it can be a challenge. With good, easy and cheap public transportation all a car will do is slow you down and cost you a bunch of money. And lets not even discuss the phantom parking spaces I have had to buy from the government.

Posted by
17398 posts

Oh, James, please dish. I'm sure it's a good story. Let us experience Hungarian bureaucracy vicariously.

I enjoyed my visit to Memento Park a lot, but I have an uncommonly strong interest in 20th century history and the Cold War. I think it's a sort of special-interest attraction. I'd recommend the House of Terror instead for folks who don't have time for both.

I just used Rick's guide, and I traveled by public bus. It is a significant time commitment.

Posted by
5688 posts

I can’t begin to imagine driving in Budapest but I suppose as someone mentioned if you are on your way out or way in it might work out okay. I took the bus when I went out there.

I think doing it with a guide vs. using the info in Rick’s book is personal preference. There’s probably enough info in Rick’s book to give you an idea what you’re seeing. Going with a guide, you always have the chance that you’ll end up with someone really engaging who will really enrich your experience. (Of course you can always get stuck with a dud, too.)

Posted by
11475 posts

Acraven, one of the conditions of legally operating my short term rentals in District VI is that I have to pay for a parking space. Of course I don't actually get a parking space, I guess its a virtual parking space. Of course this may have gotten lost in translation some how. I just know I had to pay. Our local on the forum may be able to explain it to me. Then there are the issues with the Tax office that takes at least two trips a year to sort out. They keep kicking me out of their system. Did I mention that I am paying what is essentially a condo fee on a bomb shelter? But all things counted, its a pretty decent place to do business.

Posted by
359 posts

... plus, you have a reserved spot in a bomb shelter - which may one day become a precious commodity.

Posted by
11475 posts

PerilsofP with the way the way the Яussians are behaving, that might be a possibility.

Posted by
2 posts

It will be quite difficult to drive. It is better to choose public transport or, for example, use an electric scooter. It will be both more convenient and easier.

Posted by
1711 posts

When we went in 2002, we used the HOHO bus. Granted, there were about 6 tourists on the bus then and no one else around when we got off. it was interesting, but we are also history buffs.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks all! This is helpful!
Did anyone do the RS walking tour in his book or the guides park tour he talks about?

Posted by
17398 posts

I consulted Rick's notes as I walked around the park. I don't know that I necessarily followed the exact route he proposed.

Posted by
614 posts

I went there on my own in 2013 during free time on the Eastern Europe tour. I took public transit both ways. A little intimidating at first since it involved a tram to bus connection but everything is pretty well spelled out. The bus stops are announced and you can follow along on the map. I also had a nice gentleman offer to help with navigation.

I did the park tour on my own, using the RS book as a guide. VERY interesting place to visit. I recommend it. They were showing a Soviet era propaganda film in one of the buildings. I highly recommend that too.

The park is very open to the sun with not a lot of shade as I recall. Prepare appropriately.

Budapest was an unexpected joy on this tour. Very different from my mental image.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks all!
Great question, James! We had tickets for May and we have pushed back and replanned to be there early August, but we are trying to not get our hopes up. Soooo, maybe August? If not, time will tell I guess.

Posted by
2127 posts

I visited Memento Park in 2018, using Rick's book as my guide--I generally prefer to do things on my own-- I took the bus from Kelenfold station, probably about 30 minutes as it goes through the suburbs and that was also enjoyable to see. When you exit the bus immediately check the timetable for the return bus as I recall it's every half hour and I wanted to make good use of my time there--any time in Budapest is precious to me :) I spent perhaps 45-60 minutes wandering the park, plenty of fascinating statues to photograph and on a Sunday afternoon in May it was sparsely populated with visitors. I am interested in Hungary's experience during the Communist era and thus the park was a must-see for me.

Posted by
2026 posts

Memento Park is filled with communist statues in the socialist realism style. If you know any history, 50% of the statues are obvious - Stalin. As to the rest, I'm not really sure what the value of a tour is. The statues are a reminder of a lost world - goulash Communism in Hungary, 3rd way communism in Yugoslavia, East Germany as the most Stalinist state outside of Mother Russia, etc.

We went there in 2011. I continually embarrassed my daughter by saying things in Russian (not that my grammar was correct). It was a hoot.