Between the Hungarian Parliament and the Chain Bridge, the Shoes on the Danube Bank are a poignant memorial honouring the Jewish victims of the Shoah in Budapest.
Follow the guide!
💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Want to know more about the history of Budapest? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!
Are you looking for a hotel in Budapest? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Budapest? Advice & recommendations
Planning your trip to Budapest? Take a look the Captain’s detailed article on the best things to do: A Guide to Budapest
Brief history of the Shoes on the Danube Bank
Between 1944 and 1945, the Arrow Cross Party, a fascist party sympathetic to the Nazi regime, seized power in Budapest. Thousands of Jews were then confined in the Budapest Ghetto, around the Great Synagogue, and hundreds of innocent people were executed on the banks of the River Danube. Before being put to death and thrown into the river, the victims were forced to take off their shoes.
In 2005, Hungarian artists Can Togay and Gyula Pauer created The Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial (Cipők to Duna-parton in Hungarian) so the victims would not be forgotten.
💡 Find out more about totalitarianism in Hungary 💡
If you are curious to learn more about totalitarianism in Hungary, head to the House of Terror, located on Andrassy Avenue. But be warned, this highly controversial museum is highly criticized for its lack of objectivity.
More info: The House of Terror of Budapest
The Shoes on the Danube Bank, a poignant memorial
On April 16, 2005, Hungarian artists Can Togay and Gyula Pauer set up a poignant memorial a stone’s throw from the Parliament of Budapest: sixty pairs of period-appropriate cast iron shoes on the edge of the River Danube honouring the Jewish victims of the Nazi ideology.
The artists gained international recognition for their work and made headlines all around the world. The evocative power of these shoes – some of which belong to children – abandoned on the banks of the Danube is heartrending.
💡 Find out more about the history of Budapest’s Jewish community 💡
The Shoes on the Danube Bank is not the city’s only memorial dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. You’ll find another memorial, called the Tree of Life, in the garden of the Great Synagogue.
It is truly worth a visit. The synagogue entrance tickets also include access to the Jewish Museum – a must-see for anyone wishing to learn more about the history of Budapest’s Jewish community.
More info: the Great Synagogue of Budapest
Where are the Shoes on the Danube Bank?
Address: Budapest, Id. Antall József rkp., 1054 Hungary
How to get to the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial?
The nearest metro station is Kossuth Lajos tér (line M2). The Kossuth Lajos tér tram stop (line 2) is also a stone’s throw from the memorial. Buses 15 and 115 stop nearby as well.
To get around the city freely, you can also opt for the hop-on hop-off tourist buses: they’re quite handy, especially if you don’t want to/can’t explore the capital on foot.
👉 For more info, click here.
👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!
👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!
🛏️ Accommodation: if you’re looking for an accommodation in Budapest, Captain Ulysses highly recommends Expedia. You’ll find a wide choice of hotels, hostels and apartments in the Hungarian capital. The Captain recommends in particular:
– tight budget: Avenue Hostel
– intermediate budget: Agape Apartments
– to treat yourself: Hotel Moments Budapest
🎟️ Activities: as for booking visits and tourist activities, Captain Ulysses recommends three websites: GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Civitatis. Guided tours, cruises, skip-the-line tickets, tourist activities… there’s plenty to choose from!
🎫 Citypass: If you are staying in Budapest for several days, you might want to consider investing in the Budapest Card. It includes free public transport, free entrance to the Lukacs Spa, two guided tours, free entrance to 17 museums, as well as numerous discounts.
🚐 Transfers: Budapest airport is located about twenty kilometers from the city. If you want to take a load off your mind, you can book a private transfer into Budapest’s city centre from the airport. A car will be waiting to take you to your accommodation in the city. Find out more: airport transfer.
🚌Transport in Budapest: Budapest’s public transport system is well-developped and quite easy to navigate: metro, bus, tram and even ferry. If you wish, you can also opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour which stops at all the top tourist attractions in Rome (audio guide included). Otherwise, there’s always the good old local ways of getting around the city: in a russian jeep or a Trabant.
✈️ Flights: Captain Ulysses highly recommends booking your flights on Skyscanner. You’ll be able to compare countless offers to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible.