A Guide to Budapest's Art Museums

Hungarian National Museum | © Wei-Te Wong / Flickr cc.
Hungarian National Museum | © Wei-Te Wong / Flickr cc.
Photo of Alex Mackintosh
13 March 2017

Budapest is home to a number of artistic exhibits, from public art to world renowned institutions. With so many to choose from, we’ve run through the city’s most popular and well known art museums to offer a snapshot of what is on offer.

The Hungarian National Gallery

For an overview of Hungarian art, this is the museum to visit. Located in Buda Castle, the permanent exhibition offers a look at works from the last thousand years, with sculptures, carvings, Gothic art, and more modern pieces from the 20th century on display. There’s also an exhibition focusing on the work of renowned Hungarian painter Mihály Munkácsy, as well as temporary exhibitions running alongside the permanent collection.

Buda Castle | © Ashwin Chandrasekaran / Flickr cc.

Hungarian National Museum

Founded in 1802, this neoclassical building houses collections that allow visitors to learn about the history of Hungary, with exhibitions displaying pieces from the worlds of art, archaeology and literature. Works from medieval times through to the modern day are included in the permanent exhibitions, as well as Roman pieces.

Hungarian National Museum | © Wei-Te Wong / Flickr cc.

Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art

Founded by German couple Irene and Peter Ludwig, with a number of works from their personal collection on display, this art museum focuses on presenting Eastern and Central European art from the mid 20th century up to the present day. Pieces from artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Roy Lichtenstein can be found here, while temporary exhibitions provide a platform for established Hungarian and international artists.

Budapest Palace of Arts entrance | © Peter Siroki / Wikimedia Commons

Museum of Fine Arts

Opened in 1906, for the last century this museum has been home to a unified collection of fine art. The neoclassicist building was designed by architects Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herzog. Works of art from Europe are the focus; there’s also a collection of Egyptian art. Other permanent exhibitions include Classical Antiquities, Old Master Paintings and pieces produced after 1800 with artists such as Monet, Manet, Rodin, Cezanne and Chagall on display. Currently closed for renovation; opens again in Spring 2018

Budapest Museum of Fine Arts | © Gabor Dvornik / Wikimedia Commons

Műcsarnok (The Hall of Art)

Also known as the Hall of Art, or the Kunsthalle (thanks to its modeling on the German Kunsthalles, with their constantly changing exhibitions), this not-for-profit museum found on Budapest’s Hero’s Square focuses on contemporary art from both Hungarian and international artists. As well as established names, up and coming creatives are also given a platform, with exhibitions showing the work of students from local universities occasionally shown.

The Museum of Applied Arts

Founded in 1972, this museum focuses on applied arts (the application of art to everyday objects). International and local works from across a range of time periods are displayed, making for a varied and interesting collection. Furniture art, timepieces and a ceramics collection make up just a few of the pieces on show.

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