Memento Park - Szoborpark, Budapest
When the communist control of Hungary ended their statues and symbols were no longer popular (if they ever were) so they were removed. Someone had the foresight to salvage a large number of them and put them in a park southwest of the city. There they help locals remember and foreigners understand the nature of those times. Here you can see the big names, Marx, Lenin, etc. as well as the ‘social realist’ representations of workers and soldiers. It is sort of a retirement home for old socialist symbols.
There was a guide to show us around and explain what some of the statues represent which was very helpful. He was quite knowledgeable and had a pretty good sense of humor. A couple of his funny observations: “The Communists were so strict that a porno film then was seeing Marx without his hat and coat” and defining a Communist sandwich as “a chicken coupon between two bread coupons.”
You could drive or do a very complex public transportation trip but the best and easiest way is the tour that leaves from the Deak ter main bus terminal. The buses run daily at 11:00 and 15:00 March thru October and in July and August at 10:00 and 16:00. One guide book I read says that the bus stop is clearly marked with the Statue Park logo but that did not prove to be the case when we were there. Just read all the schedules on the post where buses are queing up and leaving. It isn’t that difficult, you just have to look for it a bit. Cost including the bus trip and admission to the park is 1950 Ft for the whole thing, but discounted to 1350 Ft with the Budapest Card. The trip to the park takes about 30 minutes and you have about 40 minutes in the park before the return trip so the whole venture is less than 2 hours and well worth the time and money.
Szoboro or Statue Park is in reality not much of a park. It is a display of bronze statues from the days of the Communist occupation of Budapest. The statues have been removed from the city and put out here in the park as a reminder of the occupation of Hungary, and as an attraction for western tourists to have a glimpse of what it was like to live in Budapest after World War II. I was interested in seeing the statues out of curousity. I almost posted this tip in the tourist trap section of this page. In my opinion its very close to a tourist trap. It is heavily advertised in guide books. Its one of the main selections in the guide given to you when you purchase a Budapest Card. There are many fliers in hotels and at tourist information booths about Statue Park. And yet when I reached the park I found it to be not very exciting. The statues were just sitting in a field with tall grass growing around them. There were several groups of bored tourists walking on the unpathed pathway trying to look fascinated. With a little work and cleaning up the park could be make into something more interesting. There is a souvineer stand here where you can buy a guide to the statues in various languages. They also have funny tee shirts with various leaders from the Communist party on them. I did give in and act like a tourist when I purchased a tee shirt with the former Communist leaders pictured as characters from South Park.
Would I advise you to skip over Statue Park and do something else instead. No. It is definately something interesting to see and that you can not find anywhere else. But go with an open mind and keep your expectations lower than what the guide books would lead you to believe. Check out my travelogue on Szobor Park for a detailed story on how to find the park. Hint...do not follow the directions in the tourist guide books, or from the brochure. Its a lot more difficult to find then they lead you to believe.
I absolutely wanted to visit this park once I'd heard of it, and it responded to my expectations. When we went there the weather was grey and together with the statues this created the peculiar, grim atmosphere I expected. The place really leaves an impression on you and it makes you think, which was the purpose when they decided to set up the park, I guess.
The park houses about 20 or 30 statues from the communist era in Budapest, in their very typical style. Very impressive!
VT put the ways to get there under 'general area or directions', but we took a taxi together with another couple from our B&B, and this was a lot faster and cheaper than the shuttle bus from Deak ter or the other options. In total we paid 6000 forint for the (return) taxi, which was only 1500 forint per person. The entrance ticket cost 1000 forint.
The Russians destroyed as much of their communist history as they could but the Hungarians decided to not forget. Wheras the park to fallen idols in Moscow is small and seedy, this park is a real attraction and is well worth the trip.
You can see giant statues and busts, frescoes, art, etc., in this well laid out and maintained facility. It also has the coolest souveniers I found in Budapest. It is where I purchased my tee shirt that has a Trabant and says "Honecker Motor Sports". Very few people get it but those that do love it.
I spent an entire afternoon here. I wish I had just packed a lunch and eaten out there. It was a beautiful day and was perfect for a picnic.
There is a direct bus that you can catch right outside the Le Merdien and Kempinski Hotels.
The direct bus line to Statue Park from downtown runs every day. The bus leaves from Deke Square (Deke ter - Metro N.1,2,3), from the bus stop distinguished by the Statue Park-timetable. Round trip tickets are 1.950 HUF/pers. (with the Budapest Card, it's only 1.350 HUF/pers.), the price includes the ticket for Statue Park as well.
Tickets are available on the buses.
The program takes about 1hr 45 mins, including transport and a visit of approximately 40 minutes.
Every day from 10 am till Sunset.
Free with Budapest Card
After the collapse of communism in 1989 various statues around Budapest were removed. Realising that history was being destroyed two young Hungarians decided to set up a museum dedicated to all these now politically incorrect statues. Setting it up on a piece of land on the outskirts of south west Budapest. It contains approximately 40-50 statues dedicated to various soviet themes.
It's definitely worth the little extra effort required to visit Statue Park on the outskirts of the city. Seeing the statues helped me to begin to understand just a little of what life was like under the communist dictatorship. And getting there meant I saw parts of suburban Buda I would otherwise have ignored.
Statue Park is open every day from 10 till sunset, and there's a souvenir shop and toilets on-site. And a Trabant. :-)
You could follow the directions below. Or, even better in my opinion, take tram 19 or 49 to Etele ter, then the yellow bus (every 15 minutes) from the bus station nearby (buy your ticket first at the 'Volanbusz' building in the bus station). If you have a 'Buda card' it covers the tram but not the 'yellow bus' ticket.
First of all you have to know that this park is quite outside the city.
From Pest side take tram 49 to its final station, from there you should take a Volanbusz (yellow buses).
From Buda side trams 19, 47, and 49 to their final station or buses 7 or 107 (the red).
After the fall of communism all communistic statues were transferred to this park. It’s not a big exhibition and it shows, in my opinion, that Hungarians really want to forget their past! I recommend it only if you have seen all the other places in Budapest. Ticket costs 600HUF.
At least for us "western europe" citizens it's interesting to touch by hand the symbols of sovietic politics.
Statues of Lenin, Stalin and other russian politics were originally located in the center of Budapest and are now collected in this openair museum.
Statue Park is home to many of the old communist era statues and monuments and is well worth a visit. There are some stunning examples here even if there is not too many of them.
I would recommend making your own way here rather than taking the organised bus as you can save about a half of the cost and it only takes about 30mins longer. To do this, head to Etele ter, which is the end of the line for tram No. 19 heading south. Go to the Volanbusz station which is behind the construction site there and get your return ticket from the office there - the buses usually depart from station 7 or 8 and go to Diosd-Erd. Look out the right hand window until you see a large pair of boots (Lenin's) and get off here - cross the road and this is statue park.
A must see site is the Statue Park which has huge monuments from the "age of the Communist dictatorship".
The statues were originally located all over Budapest but were removed once there was a change in the political system.
There is a bus that leaves from the city around 11. It takes an hour to get to the park, you stay at the park for an hour and then return.
We didn't want to kill the whole middle of a day so we hired a cab driver and it took only 20 minutes to get to the park without traffic. He told us about many of the statues and what it was like in Hungary back in the Communist days. We spent probably 40 minutes at the park checking out the statues.
When the Iron Curtain fell, and the Communists lost power, the Hungarians removed all the communist statues, plaques, reliefs and dumped them outside of town. Then they turned it into a tourist attraction: Memento Park. Everything communist is celebrated here, from farm workers, to Spanish revolutionaries, from Lenin to the fathers of Hungarian communism: Szamuely, Kun, and Landler.
It's a must for any fan of socialist realism, or just fascinated by what Budapest would have looked like under Communism. It's a bit expensive for what you get, though. Tickets are 1500 forints, and you can walk around very slowly in about 30 minutes. The park is also not in a nice part of Buda. Although the bus ride takes you through some of the most exclusive parts of Buda, the park itself is on the edge of town under looming electricity pylons and a concrete water tower.
It's open every day of the week from ten until sunset. You can take a direct bus from Deak Ter, but at 4,500 forints it is outrageously expensive. Public transport isn't that difficult, although you'll need to be looking out for the stop as the electronic information boards don't seem to work that far out of the city. Keep your eye out for a huge red brick gate behind some scruffy wooden barracks, with a concrete water tower in the background. See that and it's the next stop.
The Statue Park is a small park. It's located South-West of the citycentre.
About 50 old Sovjet statues and monuments are displayed in 6 circular paths. Besides a souvenirshop (which is in fact nothing more than the cash desk) there's nothing spectacular to do here. Rather a disappointment after visiting their modern website before.
Although the souvenirs are authentic, the walk through the park will last you not more than 25 minutes.
Watch the souvenir I bought at my pictures .
If you have an interst in the history of the Iron Curtain and want to see some true relics with your own eyes, the statue park should be appealing! It is a heavily advertised tourist attraction and is made 0out to be something perhaps it is not. My only suggestions are that you go early in the day (it shuts in late afternoon - especially when it gets dark in winter), use public transport to get there - it's much cheaper than the tour buses from the city centre (which are overpriced).
Once you are there, there are some souvenirs for sale at the shop - postcards, badges, medals etc...
If you have not been to communist countries before, in Memento Park you can see the huge monuments and statues wich stood on Budapest' streets and squares during communist period. There are the boots of Stalin demolished during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and there is a film-showing, Life of an agent, a training film for agents during communist times.
Lets go by direct bus, it takes 20 minutes from Deák tér, in the center of Budapest. But if you go by public transport you will see outskirts of Budapest. It is a bit outside the town but it worth, you will feel like behind Iron Curtai.
Statue Park is a very interesting place that allows visitors to get a glimpse of what life was like in communist Hungary. All of these statues were at one time in downtown Budapest, but in the early 90s, everyone decided to move them to a park in the suburbs. This park is very popular with tourists. You can view statues of Lenin, Karl Marx, and other various Hungarian statues. There was an extremely large Stalin statue, but it was damaged and now only his boots remain. At the gift shop you can buy communist memorabilia and listen to the music of the Red Army Choir. Taking photographs is a must. I recommend visiting Statue Park to history lovers and anyone else interested in Hungary's history.