House of Terror

House of Terror. The name, that gives you chills and goosebumps. The name, that reminds you of the past. And a name that stands out with its uniqueness.


The House of Terror is located on Andrassy Avenue 60. The place where people were detained, tortured, interrogated and killed during the two, bloodiest periods of Hungary, the fascist and communist regimes in the 20th century.

They opened the museum in 2002 in order to give people a better understanding of Hungary’s political background and to give a better view of these times on 4 different levels. It is also an important memorial to the victims. Most of them never left the building alive.

This is one of the most interesting museums of Budapest. Whenever I go there, I can feel the fear in the basement, the stories of the walls and cells, where they broke the will of the prisoners, and the depression. Although it is not a fun place to enjoy, but it is a very important part in our life what we must not forget. Nobody can let these things happen again in the future. And to prevent the future, we must know our past.

Once you enter this building, you are ready to get an experience and knowledge about Hungary, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and their connection to each other. Part of the exhibition shows you materials of the fascist Arrow Cross Party and the communist ÁVH, which was similar to the Soviet Union KGB secret police.

House of Terror from the outside
House of Terror from the outside

Why this place is called House of Terror?

We had dictatorship, which meant terror, secret police activities. The communist regime, for example in the heavy dictatorship had a motto: “If you are not with us, then you are against us!” This meant that you couldn’t trust anyone, not even your best friend, your neighbour, you lover. If you just said a bad joke in public against the regime, you could easily end up in a labour camp, in a gulag in Siberia, in prison or being executed, or you could end up in this place, the house of Terror. Any time during the night a black car could show up at anyone’s house, they knocked on their door and took them away from their family, without any explanation if they were not in favour of the regime. Most of them never saw each other again. They tortured them until they wrote down their confession about things, even if they never did or said them. 

The reconstructed building of the House of Terror looks totally different from the others on the Avenue. It has a characteristic grey colour that symbolizes the colour of the uniforms during these regimes. The light draws the Nazi swastika, the Soviet five-pointed start, and the word ‘TERROR’ to the walls and to the sidewalk through the holes of the cornice. A frieze runs around the building with small photos of victims of communist dictatorship.

Entrance to the House of Terror
Entrance to the House of Terror

In front of the museum, you can see The Iron Curtain Monument, with its rusty iron chains, symbolising the period when Hungary was separated from west Europe for 40 years. 

The Iron Curtain Monument
The Iron Curtain Monument

Inside the House of Terror

The ground floor where you step in to get ready for the things, you can see afterwards, although this is not, where the exhibition begins. The colours, the theme, the materials they used will give you basic impressions. You can see documentaries, marble memorial slabs and even a T54 tank on display!

The permanent exhibition strangely begins on the second floor. There are eight exhibition halls and a smaller projection room on this level. The themes of the exhibition follow the chronology of the Hungarian totalitarian dictatorships. You can get a glimpse of the Hungarian Red Arrow-Cross Party, on the Hungarian Nazis, on the gulags, and so on.

The exhibition on the first floor opens with the room of resettlement and deportation and pictures the era of collective persecution after the Second World War. You can also get an insight of the period’s absurd and ridiculous propaganda resources and documents, everyday life. You can also see a torture chamber that was preserved in its original form. Other things can be seen here too, but I just mentioned some of them.

The last, but the most depressing, grinding and interesting place in the museum is the basement. In the basement, you can see the cells, where people were held and tortured. Its look is very realistic.

How to get there and other info

It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM. The House of Terror is closed on Mondays.

You can easily reach it from Oktogon 4-6 tram stop (5 minutes walk) or by the Millenium Underground also called M1 or Yellow metro line (Vörösmarty station).

The ticket price is 3000 HUF, but there are reduced prices too.

Audio guides are available here without booking in English, German, Spanish, Russian, French, and Italian for 1500 HUF/person.

There are guided tours in English, too. Much of the information and the exhibits are in Hungarian, although each room has an extensive information sheet in both English and Hungarian.

Unfortunately it is not allowed to take photos inside the building, but you can never forget the experience of the House of terror. Remember!

Your experience is important.
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