spies & masters
A COLD WAR WALKING TOUR IN BUDAPEST
cold war experience
Zigzag across the city and learn how the Hungarian secret police tried to honeytrap, blackmail, and compromise Western diplomats and their Hungarian contacts during the dark days of Communism.
Feel the history that’s still with us behind the renovated façades and trendy shop windows.
A story you will never forget
The sinister days of everyday life behind the Iron Curtain will come to life as we tell you about the surveillance methods and terror tactics of the secret police, and how the Americans were gathering intelligence despite of that.
We’ll show you secret and less secret locations where spies, agents, and diplomats lived, met and conspired, fighting the Cold War in their own way.
The story is supported by a huge collection of exclusive photographs taken by the diplomats, and also AVO surveillance photos to show on each location.
real stories about real people
We will uncover the fate of Hungarians – agents, dissidents, embassy and household employees, social and other contacts of the American diplomats – who got caught up in this specific front line of the Cold War and often paid a heavy price.
Eyewitness accounts and surveillance dossiers
Our tour is based on several years of private research in the Hungarian State Security Archives and conducting numerous interviews with eyewitnesses and survivors.
You will hear about real people, flesh and blood, with a name, a picture, with their own flaws and virtues, caught up in history.
“Mary” complained to me that she feels like a prisoner in Hungary, and that she has recurring nightmares at night: she has to flee from somewhere but she can’t“ - excerpt from an AVO agent’s report on her “lover”, the honey-trapped secretary of the U.S. Chief of Mission.
The tour is private: only you and your friends/family will be present
It takes approximately 3-3.5 hours, including a coffee break
A complimentary coffee / drink is included
Gift copies of declassified U.S. Legation telegrams sent during the 1956 Hungarian anti-Soviet uprising to the State Department in Washington, now only accessible on microfilm in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.
The tour starts at Liberty Square, in front of the U.S. Embassy building and the Soviet WW2 memorial
Our walk ends near the Viennese Gate in the Castle on the Buda side of the Danube river
Your guide is friendly, passionate, speaks excellent English and will share with you his own personal research for an upcoming non-fiction book about the topic
FEEL FREE TO PERSONALIZE IT: anything is possible. Whether you prefer a shorter experience, a hotel pickup or would like to add extra places to visit, such as Memento Park or House of Terror - contact us for a personalized offer.
If you feel such a walking tour (a bit of it uphill) might be too demanding for your condition, we can take public transport, call a cab or employ a personal driver. If you have any such request, please let us know in advance.