The Best Museums in Budapest

The best museums in Budapest you will find them here. Budapest has more than a hundred museums with permanent and temporary interesting exhibitions that are worth visiting. Here you have a list of the museums that you can not miss!

  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Hungarian National Museum
  • Hungarian National Gallery 
  • Budapest Art Gallery
  • House of Terror
  • Ludwig Museum
  • Memento Park

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

The Museum of Fine arts is a sample of an eclectic neoclassical style. It was built between 1900 and 1906 and it is located beside the Heroes Square. The construction of the museum was part of the celebration for the year of the millennium in 1896.

The museum is home to an extraordinary collection of more than 120,000 artworks from national and international artists. Its collection includes exhibitions from Ancient Egypt to Gothic, Rainassence, Baroque, to the modern art collection. The collection includes engravings, paintings, and sculptures.

In World War II, a bomb explosion destroyed part of the building including the original glass roof. Many artworks were looted from the original collection and taken to Germany. Some of these pieces were returned to the museum, some others were totally damaged, and some others destroyed. A small portion of the works of art was totally disappeared; with some luck, you can still find them in a flee market. So far, they are still lost.

 After an extensive restoration, the museum reopened in December 2018. Today we can enjoy an interactive space suitable for 21st-century society. Along with the restoration the collection was renovated. Part of the Hungarian Art collection from the National Gallery was returned to the Museum of Fine Arts. 

Hungarian National Museum

Budapest National Museum

This museum was founded in 1802 thanks to the sponsorship of Ferenc Szechényi. The building was originally built for the purpose of being a library. After one year of its foundation, his wife donated a collection of minerals. This contribution resulted in the creation of an exhibition and then, the creation of the National Museum. In 1846 the museum was placed in the building where it is currently located. 

The building was designed by Mihály Pollack in a neo-classical style. Inside the museum, we can admire frescoes by great artists Karoly Lotz and Mór Than. 

During the revolution of 1848, the National Museum was an important scenario. Was on the stairs of the main entrance, where Sándor Petofi read the 12 points of the revolution and the National Song. (Nemzeti dal) The museum became an iconic representation of the national identity of Hungary. Every year, the commemoration of the 1848’s revolution is held at the museum.

Its exhibition includes the history of Hungary from the foundation of the state, a collection of stone-works from the Roman periods and the Middle Ages. This includes the Árpad’s era, Hungary under the Ottoman empire, Transylvania, the Kingdom of Hungary and Contemporary Age.

Budapest, Múzeum krt. 14-16, 1088 Hungary

Hungarian National Gallery

Budapest National Gallery.

The Hungarian National Gallery is located where once was the Buda Castle. The origins of the castle go back to the fourteenth century under the reigns of the kings Louis the Great, Sigmund and Matthias Corvinus.
The National Gallery was founded in 1957; its collection is the largest documenting the development of the arts in Hungary. In 1975 the palace of Buda was re-designed to host The National Gallery of Hungary.

ts collection has been augmented due to the donations from the department of ancient Hungarian art from the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. This has given a wide representation of the whole history of art from the 11th century to our days. 

Its exhibitions include Gothic art in the Kingdom of Hungary from 1300 to 1500, late Gothic trípticos, sculptures of nudes of early nineteenth-century. Besides the collection, the museum organizes a wide range of activities and programs for families, children, and schools, among guided tours.

1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2., Hungary

Budapest Art Gallery

Besides Heroes Square, and in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, we find the Budapest Gallery of Arts. This museum was part of the celebration of the year of the Millenium in 1896. It was founded in 1877 in its former location at Andrassy street 69-71 where today is the University of Fine Arts.

This gallery houses only temporary exhibitions keeping the Kunsthalle format. This is to say that, the art gallery is operated by a local non-profit institution. The art gallery in Budapest is an institution of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

The data of the exhibitions can be consulted directly on their website: http://mucsarnok.hu 

Budapest, Dózsa György út 37, 1146 Hungary

House of Terror

Budapest House of Terror

This museum is located on Andrassy Avenue number 60. This building used to host the offices of the right-wing The Arrow Cross Party (Hungarism movement) and the ÁVH State Protection Authority. The Arrow Cross Party was a Hungarian fascist political party, pro-German and anti-Semitic character. Similar to the German Nazi Party was led by Ferenc Szálasi, who ruled Hungary during the final months of World War II. 

Its ideology was based on a mixture of Austrofascism and Hungarian fascism, called by Ferenc Szálasi as “Hungarism”. This movement was characterized by extreme Hungarian nationalism, promotion of agrarianism, anti-capitalism, and anti-Semitism. The ÁVH was the secret police of Hungary from 1945 to 1956. It was one of the cruelest secret police in the Soviet block.

Its investigation system operated through the execution of secret arrests followed by periods of torture from 3 to 18 months of duration. Once the confessions were obtained, the prisoners were submitted to the state system of courts and public prosecutors to issue a judicial sentence. These tortures were carried out right inside the building that today hosts The House of Terror, a name very well deserved.

Get ready to go!

You have to be mentally prepared to visit this museum cause it shows an awful part of history. You’ll be surrounded by an environment that takes you to the darkest side of life that nobody wants to live. The exhibition takes you interactively through a journey on two of the most brutal episodes in the history of Hungary. World War II, and the communist era.

Testimonies of people on video, recorded calls heard on old phones recalling the terror that people of that era have felt. Memories of the scaring image of the secret police’s black car. Knowing that, whoever climbed on it, might be never seen again.

There is a lot of written information and it is necessary to take the time to read each of the explanations. You will find the information in English and Hungarian. This information will make you understand the context of each room. It is widely recommended to acquire audio guides to understand better the context, most of the videos are in their original language with subtitles.

The most impressing part besides the memorial to the those who were tortured in the place, and the massif original war Tanque, might be undoubted, the cells on the underground level of the building. 
Nowadays, the cells are adapted for the public, however, it breathes cruelty, fear, and death in the air of the place.

It is a museum in which you have to be prepared, you won’t find beauty inside. You will find the beauty once you leave the building and you will be thankful for living in this era. You’ll be glad to live a life in the best circumstances of our times. You will realize without a doubt, that this museum will make you value your own existence.

Ludwig Museum

Budapest, Ludwig Museum

The Ludwig museum isLocated in the Budapest Arts Center MÜPA and if you are a fan of If you are a lover of “contemporary art” or conceptual art, this is the place for you.

This museum was founded in 1982 by the German couple Irene and Peter Ludwig. This couple wanted to publicize and preserve international art by creating their own collection. This collection was initially exhibited in the Budapest Art Gallery making a donation of 70 pieces of art. In 2005, after the construction of Mupa, the Ludwig Museum moved where it is now its home.

Budapest, Komor Marcell u. 1, 1095 Hungary

Memento Park

Budapest, Memento Park

After the fall of the communist regime, all the statues sculpted in honor of the communist regime were removed from the streets. That is how the creation of an open-air museum was decided in which these sculptures is being exhibited. Raising awareness about the past to never repeat it again.

Memento Park was opened to the public in 1993 as a commemoration of the anniversary of the fall of the socialist regime. In it, we can find statues of the main actors of this period like Lenin. Memento is a bit far from the center of Budapest, you will access to it by public transport. Here we tell you how to get there: 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Public Bus Transport to Memento Park from “Kelenföld station – Metro 4” – with BUS No. 101B, 101E and 150 to Budateteny vasutállomas (Campona). Start time: Monday to Friday every 10 minutes. Saturday – Sunday every 30 minutes. The ride to Memento Park is 10-15 min. Day passes, BKK-tickets (prepaid: 350 HUF, on the bus 450 HUF) and Budapest Cards are valid.

To access Kelenfold station take one of the following metro stations:
From Pest-side:

– Keleti palyaudvar (Keleti Railway Station, Subway No.2)

– Rakoczi ter (the grand boulevard, tram No.4 and 6.)

– Kalvin ter ( National Museum, tram No.47 and 49, Subway No.3)

– Fövam tér (the Grand Market Hall, tram No.2)

From Buda-side:

– Gellert ter (Gellert Bath, tram No.18, 19, 41)

– Moricz Zsigmond ter (tram No.61 from Szell Kalman ter)

– Ujbuda Kozpont (Allee Shopping Center)

For more information, consult its website:

http://www.mementopark.hu