Source: Hungarian National Museum

Budapest has a wonderful mix of art museums and cultural centers, with galleries representing Hungarian culture dotted all over town. The collections on view range from those of international significance to those representing local interest, however, the rich cultural heritage Budapest can call its own is fascinating, so we’ve gathered the best museums in Budapest for you to visit during your stay.

Source: dimitrisKamaras, Flickr

Who should visit:

– 19th Century artwork enthusiasts.

Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art

Pop Art by Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann is just one of many enticing reasons to visit Ludwig, and there are many more. Founded in 1989, the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art is home to over 600 artworks and several hundred deposits.

A collection of progressive Hungarian artworks showcase Hungarian culture from the ‘60s-‘70s, which is also known for its Central- and Eastern European character, portraying works of Slovakian, Polish, Romanian and ex-Yugoslav artists.

Housed in a stunning building of sunlit floors, contemporary art overflows on 3,300 square-meters, with the first two floors usually hosting main exhibitions, workshops and art conferences, and the third floor is home to the modern art private collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig.

Source: Wikipedia

Who should visit:

– Fans of Concept and Pop Art and those looking for an insight into the contemporary arts in Hungary.

The Museum of Fine Arts Budapest

Set on Heroes’ Square, the newly renovated Museum of Fine Arts is hailed as one of the best (and largest) art museums in Budapest, where you’ll find everything from Egyptian art to prints and drawings, up to 1800.

Those looking to find out more about Hungarian art, should definitely go for the Collection of Classical Antiquities, as this exhibition occupies a special position in Hungarian culture: it’s the only “comprehensive collection of ancient art in Hungary, which provides a unique opportunity for a direct encounter with the artistic heritage of classical antiquity”.

Furthermore, the Old Master Paintings collection is rich in world-famous, international masterpieces, including works by Raphael, Anthony Van Dyck, Valázquez, El Greco, Francisco Goya, and Albrecht Dürer.

Source: Thanate Tan, Flickr

Who should visit:

– Those who want to be inspired by “the art of Hungary”.


Also gracing the iconic Heroes’ Square, opposite the Museum of Fine Arts, stands one of the largest art museums in Budapest: Kunstalle – home to temporary, contemporary art exhibitions.

2019 is a great year to visit, with an exhibition displaying images by filmmaker David Lynch (David Lynch: Small Stories, 2019. March 1. – June 2.) – also a highlighted exhibition of the Budapest Photo Festival.

Kunsthalle Budapest is also known for its scholarship, “Derkó” named after the painter and graphic artist Gyula Derkovits. The scholarship established in 1955 provides financial support to young artists and also carries a great deal of prestige.

Source: Műcsarnok, Budapest

Who should visit:

– Fans of Contemporary Art, and those who want to get to know the Hungarian art scene.

Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center

The famous Robert Capa quote “if your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” resonates with the Center that features a body of work from the prominent Hungarian-born photographer.

Considered as one of the greatest war photographers and photojournalists, Capa captured stunning shots from the Spanish Civil War, WWII, China, and Vietnam.

The Center is an integral part of Hungarian culture, also holding contemporary Hungarian photography exhibitions besides Capa’s heritage.

Source: Thierry Ehrmann at Flickr

Who should visit:

– Adventure lovers and adrenaline seekers, with an interest in history.

Petőfi Literary Museum

Named after one of the greatest poets of the nation, Petőfi Sándor – a symbol of the Reform Age, and an icon of the War for Independence of 1848-49 in Hungary, this Budapest museum is a gem.

The Museum is hosted in a beautiful building, and has a fantastic layout, with vibrant, themed rooms filled with the greatest Hungarian poems (translations provided!), stories to read and interactive elements to enjoy. The public collection on display encompasses both classical and contemporary Hungarian literary heritage, with the goal of safeguarding, displaying and sharing literary knowledge.

Source: Wikipedia

Who should visit:

– The museum is a must for both bookworms and literature lovers alike who aim to learn more about Hungary’s notable literary heritage.

Museum of Applied Arts

The Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest was founded by the Hungarian Parliament in 1872, and has cemented its place as a Hungarian Art Nouveau masterpiece – thanks to the building’s intricate roof tiles, created by the world-famous Zsolnay porcelain, tile and stoneware manufacturer.

Built between 1893 and 1896, this beautiful Budapest Museum is currently closed to the public due to refurbishment works, and is scheduled to re-open in 2020. However, in the meantime, the public can view temporary and permanent exhibitions at the György Ráth Villa in Budapest.

Source: Andrew Moore, Flickr

Who should visit:

– Fans of the Art Nouveau movement

Museum of Music History

It’s the last on the list, but this Budapest Museum makes for an exciting visit, with rooms displaying musical instruments in Hungary, a Piano Workshop, and not forgetting a room showcasing Ethno musicological Research in Hungary. Music plays a big part in Hungarian culture, with the country being proud of its wonderful composers, such as Béla Bartók, Franz Liszt and Zoltán Kodály, plus the high standard of musical education and methods in the country.

To gain insight in the history of music, along cobblestone roads in the heart of the Castle District is where the enchanting Museum of Music History lies. In 2019, the “Hungarian violin makers – The Legacy of the Reményi Family” (2018 April 19. – 2019 March 4.) exhibition is one not to miss!


Source: Zenetörténeti Múzeum Budapest

Who should visit:

– Anyone and everyone interested in the history of music.

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