The building of the Hungarian National Gallery – located in several wings of the Buda Castle – is a stunning piece of art, as are the views over the city and the river Danube from the Dome terrace. See the masters of Hungarian fine arts offering insights into the history of Hungary, every-day life and rural landscapes through beautiful paintings.
Besides the Hungarian artworks, there is also a collection of masterpieces of international art in the National Gallery in the Buda Castle. Every information board on each display is written in English, and a you can purchase an English audio guide to get more information about the displays. To make your Buda Castle visit in the National Gallery even more relaxing, you can get snacks and hot/ cold drinks at a reasonable price in the Cafe of the National Gallery (no entry ticket is needed here), or buy gifts of great quality in the Gift Shop (similarly to the Cafe, no entry needed).
The paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries are probably some of the most favoured items on display as they visualise the turbulent history of the Hungarian nation dramatically presenting the years of the Turkish occupation immediately followed by the Austrian occupation.
Art lovers can easily spend here half a day, some wishing to return, but the exhibitions are intriguing to lay persons too through the wonderful arts. Taking photos in the permanent collection is permitted without flash and tripods.
The Hungarian National Gallery was established in 1957 with the aim of presenting the Hungarian art from the settlement of the Magyars in the 10th century, through medieval ages, until the present day. This overwhelming collection – 6000 paintings, 2100 sculptures, 3100 medals, 11,000 drawings, and 5000 prints – can be found in the A, B, C and D buildings of the Buda Castle, including nearly a hundred thousand artefacts in chronological order dating from the 10th century until the present days. This rich collection was moved to the Buda Castle in 1975, and became a highlight of the museums in Budapest.
In December 2018 the Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800 exhibition moved to the Hungarian National Gallery from the building of the recently renovated Museum of Fine Arts Budapest. Paintings by some of the greatest international artists like Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet are on display.
The Hungarian National Gallery’s permanent exhibitions show the development of Hungarian fine arts over centuries, from the Middle Age to Modern ages.
The displays include Medieval and Renaissance stone carvings, winged altarpieces, fragments and wood carvings from the Gothic period, monumental works, fresco sketches recalling the richness of Baroque ecclesiastical art, as well as significant significant Hungarian and international works and paintings from the 19th century and Hungarian contemporary pieces.
A separate room contains the works of Mihaly Munkacsy.
He was an internationally known celebrity of his time, whose works fetch record prices at auctions (the most expensive was a staggering HUF 75 million / approx €236,000).
His well-known oil painting, Woman carrying a bundle of faggot woods is from 1873.
Dome Terrace – Views form National Gallery
The Dome Terrace is a great place to enjoy the breathtaking views over the Pest side of the city and the river Danube. The dome is closed from November to April.
The sights you can enjoy are part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and can be best appreciated from the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Citadel atop Gellert Hill, the Dome of the National Gallery and from many of the river cruises in Budapest, which go day and night with bustling boats, dinner cruises and sightseeing tours on the river Danube in Budapest.
Entrance to the Dome Terrace requires a valid Dome Ticket purchased at the Cash Desk, as an add-on to the Entrance Ticket or as an add-on to the Budapest Card, which includes a free entry to the permanent exhibitions of the National Gallery. No entry is needed for children under the age of 6 years old (free admission under the age of 6), but children are to be accompanied with an adult at all times.
The Dome of the Buda Castle (National Hungarian Gallery wing) is open from 10 am to 5 pm. Opening hours of the Dome are subject to weather conditions. During the winter months (approx. Nov – Feb), the panorama can be viewed from the inside of the dome.
Opening Hours in National Gallery
The opening hours are subject to change, these are the regular opening times and days:
Tue – Sun: 10 am – 6 pm (entry until 5 pm only)
Occasionally, for certain temporary exhibitions, like the 2016 Picasso exhibition in the summer, the Gallery stays open on Mondays (only the temporary exhibitions, not the permanent exhibitions where Budapest Cards can be used). Temporary exhibitions require a special entry fee.
Entry is allowed until 5 pm (with pre-purchased or free tickets as well)
Cashier: Tue-Sun: 10 am – 5 pm
Shop: Tue-Sun: 10 am – 5.45 pm
Cafe: Tue-Sun: 10 am – 5.45 pm
Recommended from 6+
Closed on the following days in 2020 (not confirmed yet): Apr 13, Jun 1, Dec 24, Dec 25, and Jan 1, 2021.
Tickets in National Gallery
Full price: HUF 3,200 per Adult
Discount price: HUF 1600 per EEA citizens under the age of 26 or above 62
Audio guide: HUF 800
Payment on the spot: card payment (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Union Pay) or cash payment, both only in HUF (Hungarian Forint).
Free admission on national holidays:
15 March, 20 Aug, 23 Oct
On historical national holidays the admission is free of charge to the National Gallery.
Please note, that the default ticket entitles visitors to see all the permanent exhibitions, but temporary exhibitions require a special entry (prices vary depending on the content of the temporary exhibitions). This also applies to Budapest Card free entries to the National Gallery (to permanent exhibitions only).
Address: 2 Szent Gyorgy Square Budapest 1014. Buda Castle District 1