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Self tours of Jewish Quarter Budapest

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Mar 16th, 2014, 06:29 PM
  #1
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Self tours of Jewish Quarter Budapest

We will be in Budapest in May and want to take unguided tours of the Jewish Quarter and other sights. Is a guided tour necessary to be admitted to the Great Synagogue? What is the cost in U.S. money for a tour of the area? We like to wander by ourselves after reading info in guide books. Is it wise to do the sightseeing on our own? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 10:15 PM
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Anyone who pays the admittance fee can enter the synagogue and go to the back courtyard to see the weeping willow memorial (assuming, of course, you arrive during opening hours).

If you do your homework there is no reason you can not guide yourself thru this neighborhood.

It may feel a bit seedier than other parts of the downtown, but it is perfectly safe. I like to end by taking Kertesz to Liszt Ferenc ter and seeing the beautiful music school... Do peek inside.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 10:16 PM
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absolutely do it independently. See the magnficent holocaust memoerial in the courtyard of the Great Synagogue..no need of a guide to see the shul. There isn't quite what one would call the Jewish Quarter...Budapest's 60,000 Jews are scattered all over the city and it's burbs, Two of the streets leading from the synagogue do have some Jewish stores and institutons, there is another orthodox shul with an outdoor chuppah about two blocks away.

The Museum on the second floor of the synagogue annex is quite involving. The story behind the aforementioned Holocaust "tree" is very interesting as it involves the late actor Tony Curtis. The museum docent will tell you all. Posted below are some 1983-1993 scanned pix:
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Mar 16th, 2014, 10:22 PM
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https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...1980SAnd1990S#
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Mar 17th, 2014, 04:57 AM
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You can always take a Free Walking Tour of the Jewish District. They meet at Vörösmarty squar (tér) daily @ 3:30 PM. The tour guide works for tips, and they're highly recommended.

See: http://www.triptobudapest.hu/
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Mar 17th, 2014, 05:45 AM
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The guided tour of the synagogue is very worthwhile; the guide I met was a survivor and showed us her father's name on the Wallenberg memorial in the courtyard. Hard to be better informed than that.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 07:17 AM
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We combined the free Budapest walking tour and the tour of the Great Synagogue on the same day. One enhances the other. We did the latter first so get the "inside" tour and history of the building, then did the Free Walking Tour which does an "outside" tour of the area and the building and grounds, but which doesn't go inside. A bonus to the walking tour was that they ended up at one of the Ruin Pubs where we rested for a while and bought a drink.

Pjk
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Mar 17th, 2014, 10:19 AM
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In this neighborhood, you always have to stop by a Ruin Pub, right? I've run into the tours before in Instant. We were there yesterday for a St. Patrick's Day party. A nice alternative to Szimpla Kert... Can't go wrong with either.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 06:32 PM
  #9
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Appreciate all the info. I read that you need to go early to line up to enter the synagogue. Where do you purchase the entrance ticket? Also, what are Ruin Pubs?
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Mar 17th, 2014, 08:00 PM
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I walk by the synagogue quite a bit and I have never have seen a line... You buy the ticket at a booth right out front. You can't miss it.

Ruin pubs are old abandoned buildings turned into pubs. Close to the Synagogue is Szimpla Kert. Even if you are not a pub person, go see it.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 08:04 PM
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Check out this... http://ruinpubs.com
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Mar 17th, 2014, 08:21 PM
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>>>I walk by the synagogue quite a bit and I have never have seen a line... You buy the ticket at a booth right out front. You can't miss it.<<<

We have been alone on two visits to Budapest,(1983 and 1993) wherever we went in the synagogue area...alone in the museum, and alone in the sanctuary, alone in the weeping willow courtyard. No lines, no people. I used the synagogue as a "character" in one of my recent books of historical fiction, as well as the first subway built in Budapest c. early 1900's.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 06:52 AM
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The Dohany synagogue and area is one of my favourite places to visit in Budapest. In my 4 visits to the city I somehow always find myself walking in the area and have been inside twice. I did a guided tour offered by the synagogue the first time (and I recommend it though this was in 2004), and then by myself the second when I knew better what I wanted to see more of. It is peaceful, reflective and informing. The stainless steel weeping willow sculpture is also beautiful, and more 'leaves' engraved with the names of those to be remembered are added each year.

Ruin pubs are also fun and interesting and I've also had my share of visits to a few. Some are not easy to find but I went with friends who knew of a couple of cool ones.
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