Nestled on the right bank of the Danube, in the district of Lipótváros, the Parliament of Budapest is undoubtedly one of the top tourist attractions in the city.
Follow Captain Ulysses on a tour of this iconic monument overlooking the River Danube! Welcome on board!
Accommodation, flights, activities, citypass …
You’ll find all the Captain’s suggestions in the section
Captain Ulysses’ favourites at the very end of the article!
Short history lesson about the Hungarian Parliament
The city of Budapest was founded in 1873 after the unification of three different cities: Buda, Pest, and Óbuda.
In 1880, the National Assembly of Hungary approved the construction of a brand new building which was to embody the new capital’s power and sovereignty. An international competition was organised to select the architect to whom the realization of the plans for the Parliament would be entrusted. Imre Steindl won with a project largely inspired by the Palace of Westminster in London.
⌛ Little historical reminder ⌛
Hungary did not declare independence until 1918, and was previously ruled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Construction began in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1,000th anniversary of Hungary in 1896, although construction works actually ended 8 years later.
The Parliament’s architect went blind and passed away in 1902, before completion of the construction.
Ready to be amazed? Here are some
mind-blowing figures about the Parliament of Budapest:
- The Parliament of Budapest is 268 meters (879 ft) long and 123 (404 ft) meters wide
- The dome is 96 meters (315 ft) high
- The workforce required for the construction of the Parliament? 1000 people!
- 40 million bricks, half a million semi-precious stones… and 40 kg of gold were used
- The Hungarian Parliament includes 691 rooms, 10 courtyards, 29 stairways, 242 sculptures and 2772 windows
- It has a total floor area of 18,000 m² (193,800 sq ft)
- At the time of the construction, the Budapest Parliament was the largest parliament in the world! It now the 3rd biggest in the world after the Parliaments of Romania and Argentina.
In a word: extravagant!
Visiting the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest
If you want to visit the Parliament of Budapest, the only option is a guided tour. The Parliament – understandably – does not allow visitors to roam the building on their own.
The visit lasts approximately 45 minutes during which the tour guide will provide detailed information about the building’s history and architecture. Visits in English start at 10 am, 12 pm, 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. As the Parliament of Budapest is one of the top tourist attractions in the city, Captain Ulysses highly recommends booking your tour in advance, either on site or online.
Facade of the Hungarian Parliament
Before entering the Parliament, take a moment to peer at its impressive facade.
Built in a decidedly neo-Gothic style, the Parliament of Budapest is definitely quite similar to the Palace of Westminster in London. Unlike the latter, however, it features a 96-meter-high dome. The building is flanked by several towers, which are also in a neo-Gothic style.
The interior of the Hungarian Parliament
Inside the Parliament, the decoration is collection of luxurious ornaments: gilding, tapestries, sculptures, stained glass …
👉 The hexadecagonal hall & the crown of Saint Stephen: this large hexadecagonal hall (16 sides) houses the famous crown of Saint Stephen and the crown jewels of Hungary. Statues of the kings of Hungary – including Stephen I – are also on exhibit. Photos are prohibited in the hexadecagonal room.
👉 The living room of the former chamber of deputies and the sitting room of the upper house : now open to visitors and converted into a meeting room, this large semi-circular room housed parliamentary sittings until 1945. In 1945, the Hungarian parliamentary system, which was until then bicameral (2 chambers: 1 upper chamber + a lower chamber) becomed unicameral (a single chamber).
🤓 For your information 🤓
You may notice strange objects in the sitting room of the upper room: these are numbered cigar rests. As the Chamber of Deputies was non-smoking, parliamentarians had to put down their cigars before entering the room!
Admiring the view from the Danube
As you can imagine, as an accomplished sailor, Captain Ulysse is always up for a cruise! ⛵
The view on the Hungarian Parliament from the River Danube is particularly stunning, especially at nightfall! That’s why Captain Ulysses strongly recommends that you embark on a cruise on the Danube: a must-do in Budapest!
👉 If you’re running on a tight budget, the Captain recommends this1 hour cruise with cocktail . If you have a few Hungarian forints to spare, why not try a dinner cruise on the Danube with concert? If you’re want to discover Budapest’s buzzing nightlife, then you should definitely opt for a festive cruise .
Getting to the Hungarian Parliament
The Parliament of Budapest is located in the district of Lipótváros, on the right bank of the Danube.
The nearest public transport stops are:
|Metro||Kossuth Lajos tér station||M2 line|
|Tram||Kossuth Lajos tér stop||Line 2|
|Bus||Kossuth Lajos tér stop||Lines 15, 70, 78 and 115|
Hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours also stop at the Parliament of Budapest. They’re quite a practical practical option when it comes to getting around the city.
👍 The Captain’s tip 👍
Captain Ulysses highly recommends this Budapest free tour.
You’re free to choose how much you want to tip the tour guide at the end of the tour!
Opening hours of the Parliament of Budapest
English tours of the Parliament start at 10 am, 12 pm, 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Tours are also available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian or Hebrew.
The Hungarian Parliament is closed during plenary sittings and on certain public holidays (January 1st, March 5th, Easter Sunday and Monday, May 1st, August 20th, October 23rd, November 1st and from the 24th to the 26th December).
|Adult member of the EU||3200 HUF|
|Children & students members of the EU|
6 to 24 years old
|Adult non EU citizen||6 400 HUF|
|Children & students non EU citizens|
6 to 24 years old
|Children under 6||Free|
⚠️ Watch out for fake tickets ⚠️
Be careful! Fake tickets for the Hungarian Parliament are on sale on the internet. To avoid scams, be sure to buy your ticket on this official site or from a trusted reseller like GetYourGuide , Civitatis or Tiqets .
The Captain’s favourites in Budapest
If you’re looking for an accommodation in Budapest, Captain Ulysses highly recommends Booking.com which lists a wide selection of hotels, hostels and apartments in the Hungarian capital.
If your budget is a little tight, the Captain particularly recommends theAvenue Hostel .
If you’re looking for a midscale option, the Captain recommends three aparthotels in particular: Hedonist Lodge , Dolce Vita Rumbach and Tempo Life Apartman .
And if you want to treat yourself to a really nice hotel, why not splurge on a stay at Hotel Moments Budapest ?
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!
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.
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: shared transfer or private transfer.
🚌 TRANSPORTS IN BUDAPEST
Budapest’s public transport system is well-developped and quite easy to navigate: metro, bus, tram and even ferry. You can also opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour which stops at all the top tourist attractions in Budapest (audio guide included). Otherwise, there’s always the good old local ways of getting around the city: in a russian jeep or a Trabant.
Captain Ulysses highly recommends booking your flights on Skyscanner. The website allows you to compare countless flights to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible.
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