Best museums in Budapest

Ludwig Museum Budapest

Best museums in Budapest

Museums offer the opportunity to dig into the past of a culture, as well as to discover its artistic side. Visiting a museum can be a great idea on a rainy day. We put together a list of the most comprehensive museums in Budapest.

Whether you are a history buff, an art lover, a photographer, or simply a curious traveler you can choose the ones that better fit your interests. Note: Keep in mind that most of the museums in Budapest are closed on Monday.

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts Budapest


The Museum of Fine Arts is a place not to be missed when visiting Budapest. Not only does it host a wide variety of prestigious collections, but its architecture makes it a must-see building in the city.

Come here for a unique chance to see both antique Hungarian art (from the 11th to the 18th century, and a stunning selection of classic, Egyptian, and European artworks.)

After an extensive renovation, the Fine Arts Museums reopened in 2018, giving back to Budapest the Roman Csarnok, a room that had been closed for 70 years! A tribute to Romanesque style covered in frescos. It can be an inspiring experience to spend a few minutes in this room and look at its details (you can search for the peacocks, they are a treat.)

Hungarian National Gallery

National Gallery Budapest


The Hungarian National Gallery is located inside the Royal Palace in Buda, the National Gallery it’s the ideal museum to sink into the Hungarian fine arts of the 19-20th century.

Hungarian painters are little known abroad, and this visit will for sure provide you with the opportunity to see something you have never seen before. More than 10.000 pictures, a rich collection of sculptures, a section dedicated to Contemporary Art.

If all this is not enough, there are also +50.000 prints, and sketches, including the preparatory drawings by famous Hungarian decorators such as Károly Lotz (the architect of the Opera House). Before leaving, visit the Dome for a view that will make you misty-eyed!

Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art

Ludwig Museum Budapest


When it comes to contemporary art, Ludwig is the place to go in Budapest. A modern building along the river, right next to the Palace of Arts, the Ludwig Museum counts over 800 works of art, from antiquities to contemporary art representing international tendencies, including local works.

The continuous flow of its original exhibitions makes this museum a regular spot for locals as well.

The pieces were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig, a German couple of worldwide famous art collectors who contributed to the development of several museums in different cities.

Vasarely Museum

Vasarely Museum Budapest


An alternative museum to visit is the one dedicated to Victor Vasarely, the master of Hungarian Op Art.

Vasarely is worldwide considered as one of the inventors of Kinetic Art, and he was very prolific. From his early advertisement drawings to his plastic works from the 60s and the 70s, the collection, with more than 400 pieces, creates a captivating universe of illusions.

After living a good part of his life in Paris, Vasarely donated all of his works to the Zichy Palace, in Budapest. As one of the main sights of Óbuda, a visit to the museum offers the chance to take a (super recommended) walk in this special district.

House of Hungarian Photographers (Mai Manó Ház)

Mai Mano House


Which better location for a museum of photography, than the house of a photographer? Located in busy Nagymező, a street packed with theatres, and cafés, the Hungarian House of Photography organizes temporary exhibitions dedicated to international photographers, and it’s particularly indicated to photography lovers.

Mai Manó was the photographer of the royal family at the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire, specializing in children’s portraits. His studio was designed to glorify photography as a proper form of art. For example, the putti are holding a camera, which is a pretty unique detail.

Visiting the Hungarian House of Photography you’ll have a chance to explore this extraordinary building, decorated with frescoes that ensured Mai Manó colorful backgrounds for his photos.


Aquincum Museum Budapest


Did you know that Budapest’s history goes back to the Roman Empire and that Hungary used to be part of a Roman province? The ruins of the Roman city of Aquincum are still visible in Óbuda, now a vibrant district on the Buda side.

Hop on the suburban railways (HÉV), and spend a couple of hours discovering what Budapest was before Buda and Pest were even founded. The museum boasts a collection of historic Celtic and Roman artifacts, and the visit includes the ruined gardens.

Kiscelli Museum

Kiscelli Museum Budapest


A true hidden gem inside a baroque monastery plunged in the Óbuda’s wood, the Kiscelli Museum is a treasure for design and photography hunters.

Together with a permanent exhibition with pieces of furniture, blueprints, trade signs, and photos, the temporary installations focus on the history of Budapest, fashion, sports, and the history of photos.

A little warning: the Kiscelli Museum is an off-the-beaten-path, which makes it cool, but also a bit more challenging to find. Make sure to check the route and transport options when planning your visit! You can also reach it on foot in about an hour from the city center if you fancy a walk on the hilly side.

Hospital in the Rock

Hospital in the rock museum


Secret until 2002, the Hospital in the Rock was built in Buda Castle Hill between 1939-44. The structure worked as a hospital for civilians, and for soldiers, at the time of the Siege of Budapest, and of the 1956 Revolution.

During the Cold War, the hospital was converted into a bunker, equipped to face a nuclear attack, becoming a “Top Secret” structure of the Hungarian defense. In 2007 it reopened as a museum, animated by passionate tour guides explaining the deep connection between the hospital, and the history of the 20th century.

Buy tickets to the Hospital in the Rock>>>


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