Whenever the term “exhibition” is mentioned, many people tend to think of huge museums where numerous oil paintings and sculptures of long-gone artists are put on display. They think of knowledge and history imparted in a strict manner, which is undoubtedly appealing to a lot of people, but still not to everyone. If you belong to those who prefer to get new input in a more entertaining and, above all, interactive way – congratulations, this article is meant for you! Being a metropolis full of innovations, Budapest has quite a number of unusual exhibitions that are worth a visit as they are unique and fun for adults as well as kids. In the following, we’ll introduce you to the best ones around town.
Everyone who has been growing up during the late 70s and 80s is familiar with this colorful and boisterous place called arcade, a public gaming paradise open for teens, children, and even adults. Although they differed from place to place, there has probably never been an arcade without a pinball machine, as this game was especially popular – and still is! To all those who feel like riding on a wave of nostalgia or might even want to introduce their kids these noisy and flashing machines, we recommend paying a visit to the Pinball Museum in Budapest, which is the largest ongoing pinball exhibition in Europe. The best thing: It’s interactive, meaning you’re not only allowed to marvel at the 130 different machines that are exhibited on almost 400 square meters, but also to play exciting games of pinball there!
Recommended for: retro game addicts and arcade fans
Whenever we wake up and open our eyes, we expect to see our surroundings, things and people. Ever wondered what your life would be like if you suddenly lost your sight and had to rely on all of your other senses? At the Invisible Exhibition, you’ll get to experience how living without the sense that gives us the most information feels like, going on an interactive journey into an invisible world. Guided by a blind or partially sighted person, you’ll make your way through a course where you’ll obtain any information exclusively with the help of your senses of hearing, touch, balance, and smell. So embark on this unique adventure and let go of a sense most of us are taking for granted!
Recommended for: those who seek new insights into the world of senses
Hospital in the Rock
If you have already dived a bit into the history of Castle Hill, you might be aware that the hill itself is honeycombed with an extensive natural cave system. During the Second World War, this geological peculiarity came in handy, as a first-aid place for immediate medical treatment was badly needed. Hence, the Hospital in the Rock was built right into the caves, opening its gates in February 1944. And this was just one function this institution had fulfilled in its past: At the tense time of the Cold War, it was also upgraded to a nuclear bunker which has, luckily, never been put to use. Nowadays, the Hospital in the Rock is a museum filled with authentic objects, such as furniture and surgical instruments, some of them even dating back to the 40s, having belonged to a surgeon who was employed there. To give an even more profound insight into life at the Hospital in the Rock, almost every room is filled with realistic wax figures to recreate characteristic scenes. To visit, you have to book a guided tour, which are offered in Hungarian and excellent English and let you relive the past of war-torn Budapest.
Recommended for: those who do not only want to hear about history, but actually experience it
You think science is boring and everything but fun? There’s a place that will convince you of the contrary – Csodák Palotája, CsoPa for short! CsoPa is not a science museum in the conventional sense, but more of an interactive scientific playing area where knowledge and fun go hand in hand. As there are more than 250 tools and games illustrating several physical phenomena, spectacular cinema ride movies, intriguing demonstrations and lectures on a daily basis as well as a wide variety of further programs, you don’t just spend an hour at CsoPa, but almost an entire day! Consequently, this colorful mix of education and entertainment makes this place the ideal destination for both kids and adults.
Recommended for: hobby scientists, families with children
House of Houdini
You’re feeling drawn to the mysterious and love to be astounded by magical illusions? Then you should stop by the House of Houdini, a museum dedicated to the famous Hungarian-born illusionist Harry Houdini. Thus, many artifacts that have belonged to the popular escape artist are put on display here, among them personal letters, handcuffs, and other items he put to use in his fascinating shows, but also props from the latest Hollywood movie about his life. As it is right and proper for a real magic museum, there’s also a mini theater included where the most talented magicians from Hungary will amaze all visitors with their own show of illusions and mind-tricks.
Recommended for: everyone who needs a little magic in their lives
House of Unicum
Unicum is more than just a spirit – it’s a Hungarian national drink. If you’ve already come across this unique herbal liqueur during a wild night out and wish to learn more about this beverage, distilled from more than 40 different spices and herbs, a visit to the House of Unicum should be on top of your to-do list. Based on a secret family recipe, Unicum has been produced since the late 18th century and was originally served at the royal court of Austro-Hungary to facilitate the digestion process of the nobles. At the House of Unicum, you’ll get much more information on the history of this liqueur during a tour through the museum, the old distillery, and its cellar. And in the end a tasting awaits you in which you get to taste the different varieties of this Hungarian all-time classic.
Recommended for: those interested in Hungarian food and drinks, herbal liqueur lovers