Located on Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square), one of Budapest’s main squares, the newly renovated Museum of Fine Arts is home to Hungary’s largest art collection!
Among many other things, the museum exhibits Egyptian mummies and paintings by great masters! In short, a visit not to be missed!
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!
Brief history of Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts
The origins of Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts
In 1896, Hungary celebrated the millennary anniversary of the Hungarian state. As part of the festivities, the country launched major construction projects, including Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts (in Hungarian, Szépművészeti Múzeum) as well as the Széchenyi Chain Bridge .
The construction of the museum was entrusted to architects Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herzog and started in 1900. Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts was inaugurated 6 years later on December 1st 1906, by Franz Joseph I st, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.
⚓Attention, sailors! ⚓
Want to find out more about Budapest’s top landmarks and museums? Check out the Captain’s article on the best things to do in the Hungarian capital!
WWII & Soviet occupation
During World War II, the museum suffered extensive damage and a large part of its collections were evacuated to Western Europe. Upon their arrival in Budapest, the Soviets confiscated the majority of the remaining pieces to send them to Russia.
At the end of the 1940s, the Museum of Fine Arts was entirely restored and art pieces that had remained safe in Western Europe during the war were returned to the museum.
Over the years, the collections grew, so much so that in 1957, the museum was lacking space. The Hungarian National Gallery was thus created to exhibit the works of Hungarian artists, while the Museum of Fine Arts was henceforward dedicated to international collections.
Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts today
Between 2015 and 2018, the museum, which was starting to age, underwent major renovations. In the 2010s, the Hungarian government decided to reorganize the Hungarian National Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. The building currently housing the Museum of Fine Arts will exhibit the collections dating up to the 19th century while a new building, located in the future museum district of Budapest, will house the collections of the 20 th and 21 th centuries.
😍 The most beautiful museums in Budapest 😍
To find out more about the most beautiful museums in the Hungarian capital, feel free to take a look at Captain Ulysses’ articles: The Hungarian National Gallery (= the art museum exhibiting the works of the most famous Hungarian artists) | The Hungarian National Museum (= the museum retracing the history of the country).
Visiting Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts
The architecture of Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts
Built between 1900 and 1906, Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts is worth a visit both for its architecture and for its collections. The building blends neo-renaissance and neoclassical influences. At first glance, the museum looks just like a Greek temple, with a portico supported by 8 Corinthian columns.
The interior of the newly renovated museum is also quite impressive, especially the imposing Romanesque hall.
The collections of Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts
The collections of the Museum of Fine Arts are divided into 6 sections:
- Gallery of ancient sculptures
- Gallery of ancient paintings
- Modern collections
Don’t miss the Egyptian mummies: impressive to say the least!
The museum also exhibits the works of great masters from all over Europe:
- France : Monet, Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin, Delacroix, Corot…
- Italy : Gentile Bellini, Canaletto, Raphael, Correggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Tiepolo…
- Flanders & the Netherlands : Pieter Bruegel, Rubens, Frans Hals…
- Spain : El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso…
👍 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!
Getting to Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts
To get to Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts, head to Hősök tere/Heroes’ Square, a stone’s throw from Városliget Park and the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
The nearest public transports are:
- the Subway : Hősök tere station (line M1)
- the bus : Hősök tere stop (lines 20E, 30, 30A and 105)
- the trolleybus : Hősök tere stop (lines 72, 75 and 79)
Hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses also stop near the Budapest Fine Arts Museum. They’re quite handy to navigate freely between the main sites and monuments in Budapest.
Address : Budapest, Dózsa György út 41, 1146 Hungary
The Museum of Fine Arts is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is however closed on Mondays.
Admission to Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts is:
|Full price||3200 forints|
European citizens aged 6 to 26 and 62 to 70
|Free of charge|
Children under 6 and European citizens over 70
|Free of charge|
Admission is exceptionally free on March 15, August 20 and October 23.
💡 Good to know 💡 : the Budapest Card grants visitor a 10% reduction on the admission ticket to the Museum of Fine Arts. The Budapest Card also includes unlimited public transport and free entry to a number of museums and monuments in the capital, including the Lukács Baths.
👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and tours beforehand!
👉 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 Booking. You’ll find a wide choice of hotels, hostels and apartments in the Hungarian capital. The Captain recommends in particular:
– for small budgets: Avenue Hostel
– for intermediate budgets: Hedonist Lodge, Dolce Vita Rumbach and Tempo Life Apartman
– 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: shared transfer or private 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 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.
✈️ 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.