Weather :

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : Adult :HUF 1100
Senior Citizen and Student : HUF 550
European Citizens (aged 6 to 26 and 62 to 70): 50% discount on the entry fee
Child (less than 6 years): Free entry
Senior Citizen (over 70 years) : Free entry

Timings : Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed on Monday

Hungarian National Museum, Budapest Overview

Built in 1847 and located in Budapest, the Hungarian National Museum is the national museum for history, art and archaeology of Hungary, located in an impressive neoclassical edifice. It is the oldest public museum in Hungary, founded about 200 years ago. History buffs cannot miss out on this incredible museum on their visit to Budapest. Also, the architectural masterpiece that the Hungarian National Museum is makes it highly popular among architecture lovers.

The construction and architectural design of the museum is attributed to the architect Mihaly Pollack. Dedicated to the history and art of Hungary, it stands as an epitome of Hungary's national identity, housing about one million historical relics from as early as prehistoric times to modern times. The Hungarian National Museum exhibits furniture, textiles, weapons, metalwork, ceramics and one of the most valuable items, that is the Coronation Mantle. Besides eyeing the well laid out collections of the museum, one can also take a walk around the garden that surrounds it and take a look at the few statues and the pretty, old townhouses overlooking the garden.

Photos of Hungarian National Museum

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Museum Layout

The Hungarian National Museum is a perfect example of neo-classical style of architecture. There are over one million statues, paintings and other relics related to Hungary ranging from prehistoric to modern times.

First Floor
The first floor of the museum is dedicated to the history of the Carpathian Basin as well as to the arrival of the Magyars in the 9th century. 

Second Floor
On the second floor, one can find the exhibits related to the story of Magyars as well as relics from the conquest of the basin to the end of communism. All main collections can be found on the second floor, covering the time period 10th century which was the start of Arpad dynasty to 12th century which marked the end of communism. There are many rooms. The first 8 rooms has some impressive artifacts on display as well as the most precious crown of Constantine IX Monomachos, created in the 11th century. The other rooms cover the period from the Habsburg occupation to the Communist era. 

The interiors of the museum are replete with marble pillars and beautiful paintings that adorn the walls and ceilings. The museum has a beautifully sculpted pediment and huge columns that gives it the appearance of a Roman temple. 

Hungarian National Museum
Hungarian National Gallery (Source)

Exhibitions at Hungarian National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum has 7 permanent displays. It was in 1802 when Count Ferenc Szechenyi made a donation of all his personal collection to the museum. This included more than 20000 prints, maps, manuscripts, coins and archaeological finds relating to Hungary. All these are exhibited in the museum. The exhibits majorly include the various archaeological treasures that depict Hungary's history and culture.

The museum covers the Hungarian history in two parts : first one covering prehistoric times to the Avar period towards the end of 804 AD and the second one covering the time from 804 AD to the modern times. The two are distinctly exhibited on two different floors of the building. The age of Arpads, long Turkish occupation, Transylvania and Royal Hungary are the ages covered in the exhibits.

Exhibits at Hungarian National Museum
One of the displays at Hungarian National Museum (Source)

The popular exhibits include Celtic gold and silver jewellery, a huge 2nd century Roman mosaic, the crimson silk coronation mantle of King St Stephen which has a whole room for it, a Broadway piano used by Beethoven and Liszt, memorabilia from the socialist times, the Coronation cloak used by the King of Hungary, a statue of a handmade golden deer from the 6th century BC, a funerary crown from the 13th century and several other relics. There are military attire and various coins relevant to Rakoczi War of Independence.

It must be noted that the ground floor of the building has exhibits highlighting the Medieval and Early Modern stone inscriptions and carvings. Another noteworthy exhibit is the Roman lapidary in the basement of the building, which is a collection of ancient Roman stone carvings and inscriptions.

History

The Hungarian National Museum was established in 1847, but its foundation can be traced back to 1802 when Count Ferenc Szechenyi set up the National Szechenyi Library which was expanded into a museum after he donated his large collection of books, followed by his huge collection of coins. That is when Hungarian National Museum came into being.

Its collections grew after the 1807 Hungarian Parliament urged the nation to contribute and donate to the museum and after the 1832 Parliament voted for its reconstruction and hence the museum was constructed and architectured in a neoclassical style by Mihaly Pollack. The museum became a national identity of Hungary, because it played a role in the Hungarian Revolution as well. The Sandor Petofi's 12 points and the famous poem by Nemzeti dal on the front steps of the museum spurred the revolution. After the Hungarian Revolution, the statues of Janos Arany and Sandor Petofi was added in the museum. 

Tips

  • People with disabilities can enter the museum building from the staff entrance on its Brody Sandor utca side, where volunteers are available to assist them into the building and move around inside it. There are lavatory and baby changing facilities designed and available for them inside the building. 
  • Visually impaired people can visit the museum too because there are artefacts that can be touched and they are made available to the blind or otherwise visually impaired people. There is also the facility for using a social audio player in the archaeology section named On the Border of East and West. 
  • For the groups of visually impaired people the museum also provides guided tours at decent prices. 
  • On the left hand side of the lobby is the museum shop where one can buy porcelain souvenirs, museum object photos, historical maps, postcards, CDs etc.
  • Another great attraction among them is the wide range of precious and non-precious metal jewellery. 

How To Reach Hungarian National Museum

By public transport (Metro, Tram, Bus and Trolleybus): One can reach the museum by taking the Budapest Metro blue line M3 or green line M4 or Streetcar No 47 or No 49 or Bus lines no 8, 9, 15, 109 and 115  or trolley bus line no 83 to Kálvin tér and then take a short walk to the museum. 

Parking: Car parking is not permitted for visits. Recommended parking place is the underground car park on Pollack Mihaly Ter. 

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