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Hungarian National Museum - Budapest

The Hungarian National Museum in Budapest

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Located in the former municipality of Pest, the Hungarian National Museum ( Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum in Hungarian) documents the turbulent history of the country, from prehistory to present day. Captain Ulysses highly recommends visiting the museum to better understand the country’s complex history and identity!

⚠️: do not confuse the Hungarian National Museum with the Hungarian National Gallery, located in Buda Castle, which exhibits the largest collection of Hungarian art in the country.

💡 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

👶 Planning a family adventure to Budapest? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Budapest with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities.

Brief history of the Hungarian National Museum

In 1808, the Hungarian National Assembly voted in favour of the construction of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest.

At the end of the 1830s, the Hungarian Parliament entrusted the construction works to Hungarian architect Mihály Pollack. The building was inaugurated 10 years later: in 1846-1847, the museum (as well as the Széchényi National Library) was transferred to its brand new neo-classical location.

In 1848, the museum played a major role in the Hungarian Revolution. It is indeed on the building’s front steps that nationalist poet Sándor Petőfi recited his famous poem Nemzeti dal (“National Song”) as well as the 12 points of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, thus launching the popular uprising against the House of Habsburg.

Even today, the Museum remains a strong symbol of freedom and independance: each year, Hungarians meet in front of the Hungarian National Museum to commemorate the revolution of 1848.

🤓 Recommendation 🤓

Let’s be honnest, Hungarian history is not something that most visitors know much about. That’s why Captain Ulysses recommends visiting the Hungarian National Museumat the very beginning of your stay in Budapest so you’ll have the country’s history in mind when you later explore the capital!

Hungarian National Museum - Budapest - facade

Visiting the Hungarian National Museum

Nestled in the district of Józsefváros, the Hungarian National Museum is worth a visit both for its neo-classical architecture and for its collections.

The architecture of the Hungarian National Museum

Built between 1837 and 1847 by Austro-Hungarian architect Mihály Pollack, the Hungarian National Museum is an imposing neoclassical building resembling an ancient temple, with pediment and columns.

At the entrance, statues of revolutionary poets János Arany and Sándor Petőfi commemorate the Revolution of 1848.

The interior of the museum is just as spectacular as its facade, especially the grand staircase, adorned with paintings of famous Hungarian artists Károly Lotz and Mór Than.

The museum’s beautiful gardens, where concerts are regularly held, are also worth taking a look at. National virtuoso Franz Liszt peformed on several occasions in this stunning setting in the 19 th century.

The collections of the Hungarian National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum documents the country’s history from prehistoric times to the Communist regime. In each room of the museum, the decoration and museography reflect the historical period presented.

The museum is divided into two main sections:

👉 on the ground floor , the museum traces the history of the region from prehistoric times to the domination of the Avars (Mongolian nomadic horsemen) which ended at the beginning of the 9th century

👉 first floor , the museum presents the history of the country from the beginning of the 9th century to the end of the Communist regime in Hungary. Visitors are invited to travel back in time and discover the history of the Árpád dynasty, the Turkish occupation, Transylvania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Among the pieces and relics on display, be sure to take a look at theHungarian Coronation Mantle. and the Roman stone inscriptions and carvings.

Monomachus Crown - Hungarian National Museum - Budapest

🤓 Captain Ulysses’ recommendation 🤓

The history of Hungary is dense and complex and it can be somewhat difficult to navigate! But a visit to the museum will help you better understand the Hungarian identity and light up your visit to Budapest!

Access

Getting to the Hungarian National Museum

Located in the former municipality of Pest, in the district of Józsefváros, the Hungarian National Museum is very well served by public transport:

MetroKálvin tér stationLine M3
TramKálvin tér stopLines 47 and 49
BusKálvin tér stopLines 8, 9, 15, 109 and 115
Trolley-busKálvin tér stopLine 83

Hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses also stop near the Hungarian National Museum. They’re quite a practical option when it comes to getting around the city.

👉 More info here.

Opening hours

The museum is open every day from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is however closed on Mondays.

Admission

Entrance to the Museum is included in the Budapest Card. Otherwise, the entrance rates are:

Adults2600 ft
Visitors aged 6 to 26 and visitors over 62 who are members of the EU1300 ft
Children under 6 and visitors over 70Free of charge

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!

👉 Find the perfect place to stay in Budapest!

 

👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation:
Booking ($: Avenue Hostel | $$: Agape Apartments | $$$: Hotel Moments Budapest)

🎟️ Guided tours, cruises, skip-the-line tickets…:
GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Civitatis

🎫 Citypass:
The Budapest Card

🚐 Transfers:
Airport transfer

🚌Transport in Budapest:
Hop-on hop-off bus tour | a russian jeep | Trabant

✈️ Flights:
Skyscanner

 

Credits
Alan b | Alan b | Szilas | Top Budapest | Yelkrokoyade

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