The exterior of Museum of Fine Arts at Heroes’ Square, Budapest
 The exterior of Museum of Fine Arts at Heroes’ Square, Budapest

5 must-see museums in Budapest

Want to wander through ancient history to the fine arts? Find out which museums you can’t miss when you’re in Budapest.

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Budapest is the gateway to Hungarian history and culture. It has witnessed many of the events that have shaped Hungary as we know it today, from the founding of the country in 1000 A.D. to WWII and the fall of the Soviet Union. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in this history is by visiting Budapest’s museums. Whether you’re one for art, war, political, or social history, there’s a museum waiting for you to explore. You’re sure to find something to captivate you in one of the interactive exhibitions of Budapest’s 5 must-see museums.  

1. House of Terror

The exterior of House of Terror on Andrássy Street, Budapest
The exterior of House of Terror on Andrássy Street, Budapest

Kicking off our list is arguably one of the best museums in all of Europe the House of Terror. The name itself captivates the imagination. On what would normally have been a beautiful street, 60 Andrássy út served as the headquarters for the secret police during two terror regimes in Hungary – fascist during WWII and communist up until the fall of the Soviet Union. Here, the infamous Arrow Cross, Hungary’s brutal Nazi party, acted as the Gestapo, torturing and interrogating anti-fascist rebels. After the war, many of the same freedom fighters were once again targeted by AVH (short for “Államvédelmi Hatóság” – State Protection Authority), which was essentially Hungary’s very own KGB. Today, the museum stands as a sobering memorial to the victims, and as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. 

Highlights include a real Soviet tank, the dark basement where prisoners were kept, and the fully immersive exhibitions featuring harrowing first-person accounts of survival.

How to get here: Take tram 4-6 or metro line 1 to Oktogon from where it’s just a few minutes of walk.

Summary of
House of Terror

Opening hours
tuesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
wednesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
thursday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
friday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
saturday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
sunday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
mo closed.
Price Range
$$
Web Address
Social Media
Address
Budapest, Andrássy út 60, 1062 Magyarország

2. Museum of Fine Arts

 The exterior of Museum of Fine Arts at Heroes’ Square, Budapest
 The exterior of Museum of Fine Arts at Heroes’ Square, Budapest

Damaged during the bombing of World War Two, Hungary’s largest and best art museum was only recently reopened. Sitting beside the magnificent Heroes’ Square just past the Millennium Monument of the seven Magyar chieftains, the exterior itself is eye-catching. Step inside to gander at the exquisite Romanesque hall, covered with brilliant frescos and classical paintings. You’re then free to wander through five floors of art history, exploring ancient Egyptian relics, 13th century paintings and sculptures from the Greats of Baroque and Hungarian history. 

Highlights include exhibitions of Raphael and El Greco.

How to get here: Take metro line 1 to Hősök tere. Alternatively, you can take a Hop-on Hop-off bus to get here. Click here to find out more.

Summary of
Museum of Fine Arts

Opening hours
tuesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
wednesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
thursday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
friday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
saturday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
sunday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
mo closed.
Price Range
$$
Web Address
Address
Budapest, Du00f3zsa Gyu00f6rgy u00fat 41, 1146 Magyarorszu00e1g

3. Hungarian Jewish Museum

The exterior of the Dohány Street Great Synagogue
The exterior of the Dohány Street Great Synagogue

If you find yourself in the 7th district by Dohány utca, look for the twin towers of Dohány Street Great Synagogue Budapest As the largest synagogue in Europe, you can’t miss exploring this 150-year-old building. Attached is the Hungarian Jewish Museum, home of Judaica objects, artefacts and archives from one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. Most objects reflect daily life, while others include handwritten books and pictures of the centuries-long history of the community. The museum was built in 1932, and its artefacts were hidden in the cellar to be kept safe from bombings and Nazi collectors. 

Highlights include the weeping willow memorial with 30,000 Hungarian Holocaust victims inscribed into its leaves. 

Tip:

If you’d like to learn more about Hungarian Jewish history, don’t miss the Jewish Budapest walking tour, the Holocaust Memorial Center and the Shoes on the Danube memorial.

How to get here: Take metro line 2 to Astoria from where it’s just a few minutes of walk.

Summary of
Hungarian Jewish Museum

Opening hours
tuesday 10:00:00 – 16:00:00
wednesday 10:00:00 – 16:00:00
thursday 10:00:00 – 16:00:00
mo fr sa su closed.
Price Range
$
Web Address
Address
Budapest, Dohány u. 2, 1074 Magyarország
Exterior shot of the Hungarian National Gallery
Exterior shot of the Hungarian National Gallery

From the riverbanks of Pest, Buda Castle stands tall and proud on its hilltop. Surprisingly, the interior of this beautiful palace isn’t a throne room or a grand hall as you’d expect – but one of the finest museums in the city. Like most of the museums and monuments in Budapest, the castle was largely destroyed during World War II. The ruins were converted into a museum, and to this day the royal rooms of the castle are home to some of the best Hungarian artwork from renowned artists such  Vasarely, Gulácsy, Munkácsy, and Mednyánszky. 

Tip:

On a nice sunny day, climb up into the dome of the Gallery for a great view of the city.

How to get here: Although there are multiple ways to reach Buda Castle – arguably the most unique way is by the Buda Castle Funicular. To get there, simply walk across Széchenyi Chain Bridge, or take bus 16 to Clark Ádám tér.

Opening hours
tuesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
wednesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
thursday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
friday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
saturday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
sunday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
mo closed.
Price Range
$$
Web Address
Address
Budapest, Szent György tér 2, 1014 Magyarország

5. Hungarian National Museum

The exterior of the Hungarian National Museum
The exterior of the Hungarian National Museum

Budapest’s Múzeum Körút (Museum Boulevard) is a leafy-green sanctuary. Walking around this little neighbourhood surrounding the National Museum is a calming experience. Built in 1807, the largest museum in Budapest has long been a part of Hungarian history – and played an important part in it, too: in 1848, Sándor Petőfi was standing on the entrance steps as he read out his famous poem, Nemzeti dal (National Song), which inspired the Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburgs. Today, you can see the statue of Petőfi as you walk in. Inside, the history lesson continues with floors upon floors of exhibitions spanning across Hungarian history. 

Highlights include artefacts belonging to King St. Stephen I, founder of Hungary (whom St. Stephen’s Basilica was named after), and weapons used to fight the Ottoman invaders in the 17th century. 

How to get here: Take metro line 3 or 4 to Kálvin tér from where it’s only a few minutes of walk. The museum is also close to Astoria, served by metro line 2.

Summary of
Hungarian National Museum

Opening hours
tuesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
wednesday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
thursday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
friday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
saturday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
sunday 10:00:00 – 18:00:00
mo closed.
Price Range
$$
Web Address
Social Media
Address
Budapest, Múzeum krt. 14-16, 1088 Magyarország

Wherever your interests may lie, the museums of Budapest offer the perfect day out in the city. Take a stroll through the Fine Arts museum or pop into the Dohány Street Great Synagogue on a rainy day. Climb to the dome-top of the National Gallery or explore the deep, dark depths of the House of Terror. History and culture is yours to discover in Budapest’s 5 must-see museums.

Q & A

What is the best museum in Budapest?
The House of Terror is rated one of the best museums in Budapest, along with the Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery, the National Museum and the Hungarian Jewish Museum
What are the best museum experiences in Budapest?
There are 5 must-see museums in Budapest, the House of Terror, the Hungarian Jewish Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery, and the National Museum.
Which museums are best for travellers?
To learn about Hungary, visit the 5 must-see museums of Budapest — the House of Terror, the Hungarian Jewish Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery, and the National Museum.
Which museums are the easiest to visit?
Spend half a day or so wandering through the House of Terror, the Hungarian Jewish Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery, and the National Museum.

More interesting and useful tips

The Great Synagogue Budapest is definitely an unmissable attraction! Don’t miss it if you visit the Hungarian capital.

If you’re looking for a pleasant stroll around the famous Heroes Square, you should first read our article on the subject to truly appreciate this endlessly beautiful architectural masterpiece.

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