Welcome to Cold War Budapest! We offer possibly the most authentic Cold War walking tour in Budapest, based on our very own and yet unpublished research.
To date, people of all ages from more than 20 countries around the world have chosen to experience Hungary’s Cold War history through our unique tour, which is accessible, relatable and genuinely fun for everyone. What’s more, it is informative and exclusive enough to make scholars and historians of the era want to come and hear our findings.
WHAT MAKES OUR TOUR SO UNIQUE?
We have read literally tens of thousands of pages declassified archival material both in the Hungarians State Security Archives and in the National Archives near Washington. About half of this had never been seen by anyone before.
We have tracked down and interviewed all surviving U.S. diplomats and marines who served in Budapest prior to 1956 and experienced firsthand life behind the Iron Curtain
We have read a complete reference library of well over a hundred books and academic papers related to Cold War espionage and American activity in Hungary
We have an exclusive collection of hundreds of unpublished personal photographs taken by the U.S. diplomats and marines serving in Budapest in the 1940s and 1950s as well as surveillance photos of the Communist counterintelligence in Hungary
We have obtained huge stacks of original documents, personal letters and unpublished memoirs from those involved in the Cold War between the U.S. and Hungary
We have the passion to turn all this into an exciting, engaging, experience for you!
Does it sound too specific, too academic, a bit too, well, dull? Don’t worry for a moment: the narrative of our walking tour portrays those chilling times always through the stories of the individuals who had no choice but to live through it.
You will hear stories of real people, flesh and blood, with a name, a picture, with their own flaws and virtues, caught up in history.
Through their thus far untold personal stories, we’ll be looking to answer the following basic questions:
How did the United States collect vital information in Hungary in the darkest days of the Cold War?
What methods did the Hungarian Secret Police (AVO) use against the U.S. diplomats and the suspected American spies?
What were the joys and the harsh realities of life behind the Iron Curtain for ordinary Hungarians and for their supposed enemies: the Western diplomats
Take a look at some of the photos taken during our research that took us to many places, through Budapest, Vienna and the United States.