Hey! Who turned out the lights? The invisible exhibition is a fascinating project that will, on the one hand, help you understand the world of the differently abled, but also make you focus on your own senses more. In this world of braille typewriters and talking clocks, you'll venture into the world of differently abled people. How is it to be blind? To be deaf? Partially sighted or blind people will be your guides, and share their experiences. So can you navigate a room while missing parts of your senses? At the invisible exhibition, you can find out. And there is more. For example, you can join the invisible wine tasting. After wandering through the pitch dark, the invisible wine tasting promises you a much more intensive experience, since your senses are now heightened. And it is wine season, after all.
Palace of Wonders: Campona & Playbar
Bring out the scientist in you by visiting the Palace of Wonders. This two-fold exhibition is basically a science theme park for adults and children alike – or couples, they get a special ticket and a heart-shaped balloon when they leave. Adorable. There are two versions of the Palace of Wonders: Campona and the Science Center Playbar (they are at different locations, mind you). At Campona, you walk through an exhibition of scientific curiosities: Optical illusions, fun with magnets, a Kinect game that lets you land a rover on Mars, and you can even lay on a bed of nails while you learn how they aren't pricking your skin. There's much more, of course, and even if you've heard about the illusions before and know how a bed of nails works, it's still fascinating to see it in action. Finally, there's a 4D-Mini-Cinema that takes you on a virtual rollercoaster ride. The Palace of Wonders truly makes you wonder.
The Science Center Playbar is very similar but tailored to adult audiences. The topics are a bit more mature, for example, there's a birth exhibition that takes you through the different steps of how we all came to be. Then there's a 9D-cinema and an Illusion Exhibition with a room of infinite mirrors and more. Highlighting one of the world's most famous scientists ever, an Isaac Newton exhibition takes you through the elementary ideas of optics, gravitational mechanics, and astronomy, a laboratory, and … drinks. It's Budapest, of course, there was going to be drinks.
If you haven't graduated yet as a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, there's absolutely no reason not to visit the Playbar – or the Campona version. Getting your mind twisted by illusions and the peculiar workings of the world does not get old, and you might learn something you didn't know.
Hospital in the Rock
The Hospital in the Rock is, despite the name, not just a hospital anymore. Instead, it's a nuclear bunker museum beneath the Buda castle hill. The 'hospital' is part of a network of interconnected tunnels, caves, and cellars, which is now dedicated to the former secret emergency hospital and bunker previously housed in these caves.
During World War II, these tunnels and caves were used as air raid shelters. In time, an emergency hospital was built in the caves to treat civilians and soldiers caught in the raids.
Hourly guided tours in Hungarian and English are available for the hospital itself, but the other parts of the cave system can be toured as well. In short, this is surely one of the most haunting and impressive historical sites you can visit in Budapest. Just imagining being treated for serious injuries in the cold, lightless cellars under the hills makes your blood run cold.
To be fair, the high time of pinball machines is over and done with. Long gone are the days when you could find one at any pub or arcade you went to, and even on the computer, they aren't as popular anymore. So if you need a big shot of nostalgia (or are not even young enough to have lived through those times), check out Budapest's Flipper museum. In fact, the Flipper museum is Europe's largest flipper museum. It offers over 130 machines on almost 400 square meters. It's surely a more unconventional museum, but great for nostalgic people and newcomers alike.
For those with a sweet tooth, there's the chocolate museum. Sounds too good to be true, right? It all starts at the entrance, right next to the big chocolate fountain. There, you will pick a piece of candy (marzipan, for example) that you can dip into the heavenly sweet pool and, of course, then eat. From there, three different tours (the Praline tour, the Regal tour, the Deli'Do tour) take you through the entire museum. The tours are quite extensive, lasting up to two hours, and during that time you'll learn about the making of chocolate, watch films, and even produce your own chocolate, which you can then take home and keep as a memento – or … well … let's just say … whatever happens, happens. Bon appetite!
New Budapest Gallery
The New Budapest Gallery in the 'whale' next to the Danube features contemporary art and classical avant-garde works, art from the time between the world wars, as well as the sixties. On 760 square meters, Hungarian and foreign artists alike present their impressive collection.
Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center
At the Capa Center, which is named after famous Hungarian photographer Robert Capa, and which is less a museum and more a giant exhibition, visitors can marvel at remarkable documentary and press photography. From October 18th, 2016 to January 8th, 2017, the center houses the Pécsi Jószef Photography Grant exhibition, which showcases the results of 25 years of the eponymous grant that has traditionally been given to young talents to help them start their careers. Judge for yourself if they spent it well!
The Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art is an impressive collection of Hungarian and international art. Here, you can find anything from Andy Warhol's pop art to hyper-realistic artworks from Morley and Close. Do those names ring a bell? Great, this museum is where you can find them all. They don't? Even better! Go check them out now, they are really, really good! The entrance fee is 700 Forint, and students and seniors get in at a 50% discount! Apart from art, you'll find a bookstore, a museum store, and a café to reminisce about the artworks you've just seen, or take home a reminder.
Mai Manó House
If you're into photography beyond mere selfies, go to Mai Manó Ház, or as it's also known, the Hungarian House of Photography. This diverse and intricately built house that looks as if every floor comes from a different time period showcases national and international photo albums as well as educates you on the technology and history of taking pictures. It doesn't matter if you want to see ancient history or modern marvels of camerawork, Mai Manó has it. Throughout the year, different exhibitions focus on different topics. The current exhibition is called "Water Connects", runs from the 17th of October to the 20th of November, and is about … well, guess!
House of Terror
The house of terror might sound like an extreme fun house, but it is, in fact, a museum that commemorates victims of the Nazi and Communist regimes in Hungary. Yes, it is a somber topic, but something that concerns everybody. The museum is located in the actual former headquarter of the Nazi party and was, amongst others, a prison for unwelcome opponents of the state. Visitors can view the ever-changing borders of Europe looming like a living organism on a big screen, pay homage to the tens of thousands of innocent victims, or sit in one of the underground prison cells and dare to imagine what the people in there went through. It's a topic that's as relevant as ever, and the House of Terror draws you into a truly terrifying piece of history everybody needs to experience at least once.
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