Buda Castle Quarter Hungarian National Gallery
Hungarian National Gallery

Hungarian National Gallery – a wonderful place where art comes to life


The Hungarian National Gallery presents the development of visual arts in Hungary from the foundation of the state to contemporary modern art. After the nationalization of the capital city’s art collection in 1953, there was no longer sufficient space at the Museum of Fine Arts to exhibit all the visual arts materials. The idea of establishing a completely independent Hungarian museum of fine arts materialized after the revolution of 1956, leading to the founding of the Hungarian National Gallery in 1957.

Initially, the collections of the Hungarian National Gallery were primarily drawn from the New Hungarian Gallery of the Museum of Fine Arts, including its modern sculpture, medal, and graphic collections. At the time, the collection consisted of approximately 6,000 paintings, 2,100 sculptures, 3,100 medals, 11,000 drawings, and 5,000 prints. The Gallery opened on October 5, 1957, in the former Curia building on Kossuth Square.

In 1975, the Hungarian National Gallery moved to the Buda Castle Palace, where it opened its first exhibition in October of the same year. In 2005, the gallery’s exhibition spaces were expanded with further parts of the Buda Castle, allowing for even more exhibitions.

Today, the Hungarian National Gallery’s collection includes 110,000 works of art, with its notable pieces on display in permanent exhibitions. The museum also offers temporary exhibitions for a more comprehensive presentation of individual artists’ work.

A special feature of the Hungarian National Gallery is the panoramic viewing terrace, which can be accessed only after purchasing an entrance ticket.


It’s important to note that the panoramic terrace is closed during the winter season, so visitors can only enjoy the view through the glass during that time.

The Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest showcases a variety of exhibitions, both permanent and temporary. The permanent exhibitions include medieval and Renaissance stone carvings, Gothic panel paintings, wooden sculptures, and a comprehensive collection of 19th and 20th-century Hungarian art. These exhibits feature notable Hungarian artists such as Mihály Munkácsy and László Paál, reflecting significant artistic movements and the evolution of Hungarian art through the ages.

Current temporary exhibitions feature a range of artists and themes. For example, one of the recent exhibitions focused on the School of London, highlighting works by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and other prominent 20th-century British figurative painters. Another exhibition celebrated the work of modern Hungarian artist Dezső Korniss, exploring his contributions to art and his influence on Hungarian culture.

The Hungarian National Gallery, beyond its extensive collections and exhibitions, also serves as an educational and cultural hub. It regularly organizes educational programs, workshops, and guided tours designed to engage a wide range of audiences, from school groups to art enthusiasts and scholars. These programs aim to deepen visitors’ understanding of Hungarian art and its historical context.

Additionally, the gallery participates in international collaborations, lending artworks to global exhibitions and hosting international art pieces, thereby fostering a cultural exchange and enhancing its global presence.

Architecturally, the gallery is housed in the Buda Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which adds a historical and architectural dimension to the experience of visiting the gallery. The castle itself, with its grand halls and panoramic views of Budapest, provides a majestic backdrop for the art on display.

The Hungarian National Gallery offers various ticket options:

Permanent Exhibition Tickets:

  • Full price: 3200 HUF
  • Reduced price for youths (ages 6-26) and seniors (ages 62-70): 1600 HUF
  • Free admission for children under 6 and adults over 70 (for EEA citizens)

Temporary Exhibition Tickets:

  • Full price: 5800 HUF, which includes admission to the permanent collection and other special exhibitions.
  • Reduced price: 2600 HUF for eligible groups

The Hungarian National Gallery is closed on Mondays and open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The ticket office closes and the last entry (including advance tickets) is at 5:00 PM, with exhibitions starting to close from the 3rd floor at 5:30 PM. The Museum Shop, which is accessible without an entry ticket, operates from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM.

The Hungarian National Gallery stands out for its comprehensive collection that spans the entire history of Hungarian art, from medieval times to contemporary works. Nestled within the historic Buda Castle, the gallery not only offers a visual feast of art but also provides breathtaking panoramic views of Budapest. Visitors can explore Gothic altarpieces, 19th-century masterpieces by artists like Mihály Munkácsy, and avant-garde pieces from the 20th century, making it a journey through Hungary’s rich artistic evolution. Additionally, the gallery’s unique setting within the architectural grandeur of Buda Castle adds an extra layer of historical and cultural significance, making each visit a memorable experience.

Is Hungary National Gallery free?
The Hungarian National Gallery is not free for general admission. However, it offers free entry on Hungarian National Holidays (March 15, August 20, and October 23) and provides several discounts. Children under the age of 6 and adults over 70 receive free admission, while visitors aged 6-26 and 62-70 can get discounted tickets. Additionally, holders of the Budapest Card can access the permanent exhibitions for free.
Is the Hungarian National Gallery worth visiting?
Yes, the Hungarian National Gallery is worth visiting for its extensive collection of Hungarian art, historic setting in Buda Castle, and diverse exhibitions.
How much does it cost to go to the Hungarian National Museum?
The cost to visit the Hungarian National Museum is 5 800 HUF for a full-price ticket (temp.exh.).
Can you visit the National Gallery without booking?
Yes, you can visit the Hungarian National Gallery without booking in advance, but purchasing tickets online may help minimize waiting times upon arrival.
What can we see in National Gallery?
At the Hungarian National Gallery, you can see a diverse collection of artworks including medieval stone carvings, Gothic altarpieces, and extensive collections of 19th and 20th-century Hungarian paintings and sculptures, along with temporary exhibitions.
How long does the Hungarian National Museum take?
Visiting the Hungarian National Museum typically takes around 2 to 3 hours to thoroughly explore its extensive collections and exhibits, although guided tours can condense the visit into as short as one hour if you are pressed for time.
How long can you spend in the National Gallery?
You can spend as much time there as you like – even the whole day! You can expect to spend about 1.5 to 3 hours visiting the Hungarian National Gallery, depending on the depth of your interest in the exhibitions. If you’re pressed for time, a quick tour covering the highlights can be done in approximately 90 minutes.
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