You travel to a new destination and you see all of the stuff the guidebooks tell you to see. But let’s face it, there are only so many museums, statues, and places of interest that you can look at before you’ve had enough. That’s when it’s time to go off the beaten path, and do something a bit different. Step outside of the tourist box and do something the entire family will get into. Work together as a team and have fun while on a MindQuest and beat the clock. This was one of our favorite things to do in Budapest!
Flashback to 2014; It was Thursday, and I don’t know…I felt like changing things up a bit. I felt like stealing a diamond! After a little internet research, we found the right place. An old ruin bar in the middle of Klauzál square.
What the heck is a ruin bar?
Ah, funny you ask. Picture an age-old, grey stone apartment building in the middle of Budapest Hungary, along the side streets of Klauzál square. You are blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the busy main streets and you can’t find another tourist in sight.
As you enter this apartment building, you notice it appears to be in disrepair and falling to pieces, with the walls covered in graffiti and some doors and windows are missing. You then enter the apartment building courtyard and notice a bar. This is a ruin bar.
The Hungarians have been quite creative with “recycling” leftovers from the war. They have converted several ruined buildings and made them into trendy, funky hangouts. Our MindQuest destination was on the first floor in one of the former apartments. So up the stairs we go…
Luckily, the folks at MindQuest allowed us to do just that. They actually have three different missions you can do:
- The Bomb – In a real cold-war themed office, your only goal is to find and defuse a dangerous bomb before the time is up!
- The Diamond Heist – Hack and deactivate the most advanced security system and steal the largest diamond in the world!
- Mission: Matrix – You must find a way to get into the main server room, destroy the Matrix, and save our world from the machines.
Our son and I decided we would tackle The Diamond Heist because who wouldn’t want to steal a 11,500 carat diamond? The catch? We only have 60 minutes to grab it.
When we get there, we sign in, and we’re taken to the room which will be our starting place.
It’s very non-descript, but within it are the clues to obtaining the Mother of All Diamonds. You aren’t given much direction, you just have to figure out how to move forward and find those clues, then put them to use. I won’t go into too much detail, as I don’t want to ruin it for you, but in each room, there’s a monitor with a timer that’s counting down from 60 minutes.
Once they close the door, and that timer starts, you would be amazed at how the adrenaline starts pumping. It was funny to watch our son really get into it.
(Sorry no photos allowed inside. We can’t give away the game)
The great thing about the adventure is that if you find yourself stuck, if you glance at the monitor, you may see a clue to help. The staff at MindQuest are watching you and listening to your progress, and if they see you going the wrong way, they can provide a bit of assistance to help you along to your goal.
Our son and I had a blast.
There are a range of different puzzles, and even some math thrown in (nothing too hard). In the end, our son and I got the diamond (as if there was ever any doubt!). This is really a great way to spend an hour that’s not in a museum. Come on and exercise that brain! It’s an excellent way to break up the day, and it’s very family friendly. The next time we’re in Budapest, we’ll try out a different mission as we had so much fun.
Just remember to examine everything, because you never know if it will be a clue or not.
How About Bikes?
After walking all day, why not explore a bit more on a bike tour? Baja Bikes offers bike tours of around 3 hours that show you the highlights of the city with an English speaking guide. The routes are comfortable, safe and suitable for children from around 8 years (depending on the city).
Our experience was sponsored by MindQuest.
This review is our honest personal opinion from our experience.