Great Synagogue

Europe's largest - and the second largest in the world - this imposing Moorish Revival synagogue dates from 1859.

TravelCurious Tip

The Great Synagogue is full of symbolism. A guided tour is the best way to understand it, as much may go over your head!

Budapest’s Great Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe, capable of seating 3,000 people, and is the heart of Hungary’s once much more populous Jewish community. It is also the centre of Neolog Judaism, a conservative part of the Jewish faith.


It was built in five years from 1854 in the Moorish Revival style, but also features Byzantine, Romantic and Gothic elements, reflecting the great range of the Jewish diaspora. Inside, there is a beautiful rose window standing over the main entrance and an extraordinary organ which dates back to 1902. It is also contains the Hungarian Jewish Museum which includes 3rd century Jewish headstones from Roman Pannonia, along side a wealth of ritualistic silver.


Battered, but not broken

The Great Synagogue has been in the wars: it was bombed by pro-Nazi Hungarians in 1939, used as a radio base and stable by the Germans during World War II, suffered huge damage during the Siege of Budapest, and only started to be used again as a place of worship during the Communist era by the then greatly diminished Jewish community. Its restoration was only completed in 1998.


Never forget

The Great Synagogue was part of the Jewish Ghetto during World War II. On the synagogue’s north side there is a Holocaust memorial which looks over the mass graves of those murdered by the Nazis. Over 2,000 of the Jews confined to the Ghetto died of starvation and cold during the winter or 1944-45 and are buried here — which was atypical, as cemeteries are not usually found near synagogues. There is also a metal ‘tree of life’, designed by Imre Varga in 1991, on whose leaves you will find the names of some of the many thousands of victims. It is a beautiful tribute.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Budapest
Weeping Willow
Designed by Imre Varga, and adjoining the The Central Synagogue, this magnificent Holocaust memorial has the names of the dead or the missing on 30,000 inscribed leaves.
Dohany Street Synagogue
Also known as the Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, it's a historical building in Budapest and the largest synagogue in Europe.
Rumbach Street Synagogue
The Rumbach Street synagogue is located in Belváros, the inner city of the historical old town of Pest
Kazinczy Street Synagogue
Kazinczy Street Synagogue is an Art Nouveau orthodox synagogue built between 1912 and 1913 Budapest VII.
Karl Lutz Memorial
Dramatic sculpture depicting Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, who saved many Jews during the Holocaust.
Street Food Karavan
Delicious and traditional Hungarian meals and beverages

Related Tours

Pest District of Budapest: Private Walking Tour
Explore the fascinating and vibrant Pest District of Hungary’s capital city, famous for its Jewish history, and its mix of stunning architectural styles

On your private tour, you will:

  • Discover the Pest district of Budapest, and learn why the two cities of Buda and Pest were united;
  • Wander along the eastern banks of the Danube River, whilst learning of its importance to the city since ancient times;
  • Learn about the Jewish community and their history in Budapest at the Holocaust Memorial centre;
  • Visit the Great Synagogue, and enjoy a privately guided tour of Europe’s largest Jewish place of worship, with tickets included;
  • Tour inside the stunning Basilica of St Stephen’s, a neoclassical Cathedral including tickets;
  • Learn about Hungary’s politics as you stand in front of the magnificent Parliament Building;
  • Pass by the Vörösmarty tér statue and stop for a photo at the Ferris Wheel of Budapest;
  • Experience the friendly, buzzing atmosphere of Downtown Pest, a vibrant, trendy, cultural and artistic neighbourhood;
  • Stop by the  Opera House, and the House of Terror;
  • Admire the plethora of fabulous architectural styles – Gothic, Turkish, Art Nouveau and Neo-Classical among others;
  • End your at the Heroes' Square by the iconic Millennium Monument with statues featuring the Seven chieftains of the Magyars as well as the Memorial Stone of Heroes.

Budapest is really two cities, Buda and Pest, combined. The Pest district lies on the eastern bank of the Danube River and is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, Jewish community and history, and stunning mix of architectural styles from Gothic to Art Nouveau. Your private guide will show you all the most important highlights of the district on your private walking tour. 

Learn all about the Jewish community, as you step inside the Great Synagogue, a statuesque landmark that ranks amongst the world’s largest places of worship for the Jewish faith and was consecrated in the city in 1859. Stroll the leafy Andrássy út boulevard, passing by the neo-Renaissance National Opera House and other national buildings, including the formidable and magnificent Hungarian Parliament. Straddling the Danube, this stunning building is home to the Crown of St Stephen, a historically significant treasure of the Hungarian nation, bequeathed by Pope Sylvester II on Christmas Day in the year 1000. 

Walk into the Heroes’ Square, one of Budapest’s favourite public spaces where your tour will end: a popular gathering point with a monument dedicated to the Magyar (Hungarian) conquest at its heart. 
A Day in Budapest: Private Tour with Tickets Included
Budapest, Hungary’s capital and the largest city on the River Danube became famous for its spectacular architecture, rich cultural heritage, vast Parliament building, impressive synagogues, delicious local cuisine, and for being the world’s top Spa destination! The 19th-Century Chaine Bridge connects the hilly Old Town of Buda with the flat but vibrant district of Pest.  On your full-day tour, your expert local guide will show you some of the most important historical and cultural sites of Budapest - and not to mention some truly breathtaking views. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Commence your tour at Heroes' Square by the iconic Millennium Monument with statues featuring the Seven chieftains of the Magyars as well as the Memorial Stone of Heroes.
  • Visit two of Europe’s most important synagogues at Dohány Street Synagogue and Rumbach Street Synagogue (if open at the time of the tour);
  • Admire the elegance of St Stephen's Basilica, a neoclassical cathedral (tickets included) named for the first King of Hungary;
  • See the scale and opulence of the Hungarian Parliament Building - which contains the Crown of St Stephen;
  • Discover Budapest’s stunning array of architectural styles, from the Turkish era to Art Nouveau;
  • Enjoy the buzz of Pest, a vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube;
  • Take a well-deserved, relaxing lunch break at Bisztró Csárda (Lunch not included);
  • Head to Buda District and enjoy the calm and historic vibe of Buda with its characterful streets;
  • Find out what drove Buda and Pest to unify as one large capital city;
  • Walk up to Castle Hill, which offers phenomenal panoramic views of the city and over the river;
  • Learn about the Buda Castle, by the imposing equestrian Statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy;
  • Visit the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church with tickets included;
  • End your tour at Fisherman's Bastion where you are free to enjoy the panoramic views of the city at your leisure.

Explore the beautiful city of Budapest, a great city of the Renaissance, situated majestically on the Danube River. Budapest is famous for its stunning array of architecture and fairytale towers displayed extravagantly all over the city from the castle to the opulent parliament building; for its abundance of luxury thermal spas and vast network of underground caves; for its gastronomy; and for its rich artistic and cultural heritage. 

Budapest is the cultural, political, and economic hub of Hungary. The mighty Danube River neatly dissects the city, with the old town of Buda extending into the hills on the west bank and Pest sitting in the lowlands to the east. As Hungary’s largest city, Budapest is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic thanks to its long and complex history beginning with the Romans, and the legacies of the Asiatic conquest, Mongol invasion, Ottoman siege, German control, and Soviet rule. Your guide will talk you through the many trials and tribulations of the city, and the story of how Buda and Pest were eventually united as one city. 

Enjoy exploring both sides of the city; start at the Heroes' Square and learn about the iconic Millennium Monument with statues featuring the Seven chieftains of the Magyars as well as the Memorial Stone of Heroes. Walk around trendy Pest home to the largest Parliament building in the world, its height is matched by the imposing St Stephen’s Basilica, and the Great Synagogue is also one of the largest places of worship for the Jewish faith in the world.

Then head across the river to the old town of Buda, with spectacular views from the castle. Enter Matthias Church and end your tour at Fisherman’s Bastion where you can admire the panoramic views at your leisure.

Private Walking Highlights of the Jewish District in Budapest
Delve into Hungary's Jewish history in Budapest's Seventh District. On your private walking tour, you will:

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of a Private licensed guide.
  • Visit the Great Synagogue, Europe’s biggest place of worship for the Jewish faith.
  • Enjoy the buzz of Pest, a vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube.
  • Visit three synagogues built-in styles from the Moorish to Art Noveau. 
  • See moving memorials and hidden treasures in the Jewish quarter. 
  • See historic Kazinczy, Rumbach, and Dohány Street Synagogues.
  • Visit Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Garden with the touching Emmanuel tree.
  • See the dramatic memorial to Carl Lutz, who saved many Jews during the Holocaust.
  • See the last remaining part of the WWII ghetto wall. 

Though small in size, the 7th District currently has Budapest’s highest population density, leading the streets a buzzing ambience, day or night. Plenty of historical remains, a cemetery, a memorial garden and a museum provide a poignant narrative on the Holocaust and the former Budapest Ghetto. 

As Central Europe’s largest Jewish community, Budapest is home to around 90,000 Jews, of which ten thousand are believed to be Holocaust survivors. Since the fall of communism, the city has seen a revival of Jewish religious life in the city. Shops and businesses reopened and around 20 synagogues are now found throughout the city, representing a variety of movements including Orthodox, Chabad Lubavitch, Neolog and Liberal. Budapest also boasts many Jewish schools, cultural centres, monuments, historical sites, kosher restaurants, ritual baths, kosher butcheries, bakeries, and even a matza factory. Several museums are dedicated to Jewish interest. 

On this fascinating tour of Budapest’s Jewish Quarter, you will discover the Jewish Heritage of the 7th District with a knowledgeable local guide. Hear centuries-old tales of Jewish history and gain first-hand insight into Jewish culture past and present. Discover Dohany Synagogue, the largest in Europe - with a capacity for over 3,000 people, visit a memorial to heroic Jewish soldiers who fought in WWI. Your tour of Budapest’s Jewish Culture will take you to the “Weeping Willow” memorial, inscribed with the names of over 400,000 Jews killed in the Holocaust. You will also see a bronze statue of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat credited with saving tens of thousands of Jewish lives in Budapest. 

Learn about the lives of the Jewish community under Soviet rule, when Budapest became the only Soviet satellite country where an operational Rabbinical Seminary continued to exist. Learn about the beautiful Rumbach Synagogue, the Orthodox community within the Jewish Quarter and the story of Carl Lutz Memorial. 
 
Please note the following as well, relating to your visit to the Dohany Synagogue:
Your tickets are for a specific time slot at 10 AM. Tickets cannot be exchanged nor refunded for a different time slot. 
  • Please dress appropriately. Men must wear a kippah (available on-site).
  • You will undergo a security check upon entry.
  • No large backpacks are permitted.
  • Opening hours may be changed last minute due to services and events.

Welcome to Budapest: Private Guided Walking Tour
Explore the highlights of the beautiful Hungarian capital of Budapest, on this half-day walking tour around the city's main highlights.

On your private tour, you will: 

  • Admire the scale and finery of the Hungarian Parliament Building in Kossuth Lajos Square;
  • Walk by the famous Kossuth Lajos square, also known as the bank of the Danube;
  • Find out what caused Buda and Pest to unify as one large capital city;
  • Learn of the importance of the Danube River to Budapest since ancient times;
  • Enjoy the tranquillity of the quaint and characterful historic streets of Buda as you learn the stories of famous Hungarians who lived here and shaped the destiny of the city;
  • Pass by St Stephen's Basilica, a stunningly elegant neoclassical cathedral;
  • Experience the buzz of Pest, a vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube;
  • Walk around Castle Hill, which offers phenomenal panoramic views over the city;
  • Pass by the buildings on the Buda side like Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion, Sándor Palace, and Buda Castle.
  • End the tour at Fisherman's Bastion terrace, and enjoy the best views of the city at your leisure!

Considered one of Europe’s most strikingly beautiful cities, Budapest contains an incredible array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is an amalgamation of two independent settlements of Buda and Pest that were joined in 1873.

Learn about Hungary’s complex political history outside the magnificent Neo-Gothic Parliament building, admire the stunning St. Stephen’s Basilica and enjoy the relaxed and famously friendly atmosphere of Trinity Square's lovely 13th Century Matthias Church. 

Budapest is split by a wide sweep of the mighty River the Danube, Europe’s second-longest river (the Volga is the longest) that stretches from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. The city is rich in geothermal water resources, with thousands of subterranean pools spouting mineral-rich waters dating back over 2,000 years. Using 20 million litres of water, Budapest’s grand, mosaic-clad bath-houses are open to the public, earning it the title of ‘World's Spa Capital’! From the Ottoman Empire of the 16th Century through to the tragedies of World War 2 and the thriving modern city it is today, your guide will show you the major monuments, and the hidden gems, and tell you the many stories that have shaped the city over many centuries. 

Also experience the buzz of Pest, the vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube. You’ll also walk around Castle Hill with its sweeping vista overlooking the city – the money shot! Your tour ends at Fisherman's Bastion terrace, to enjoy the best views of the city at your leisure!
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