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Hungarian National Gallery in Castle District, Budapest
Hungarian National Gallery in Castle District by F.H

Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest

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.

There is also a collection of masterpieces of international art. Every information board on each display is written in English, and a free English guide is also frequently available offered by volunteers. The Gallery has a nice Gift Shop and a Cafe.

Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle
Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle by D. Entwistle

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.

History

Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle, Budapest
Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle by Jenni Konrad

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.

Permanent Exhibitions

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.

Woman Carrying Fagott by Mihály Munkácsy. Hungarian National Gallery
Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle by BriYYZ

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 faggots 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 the many river cruises in Budapest, which go day and night with bustling boats, dinner cruises and sightseeing tours.

The Dome Terrace is free to visit with the Gallery entry, and is open from 10 am to 5 pm. Opening hours of the Dome are subject to weather conditions.

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)
Mondays: Closed
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)
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 2019: Apr 23, Jun 11, Dec 24, Dec 25, Jan 2.

Tickets in National Gallery

Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle Budapest
National Gallery / Photo by D. Entwistle

Permanent exhibitions:
Full price: HUF 1,800 per Adult
Discount price: HUF 900 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

Special Festival Events – Opening Hours

The opening hours of the Hungarian National Gallery are affected by some of the greatest national festivals taking place in the Buda Castle, such as the Festival of Crafts and the Wine Festival around Aug 20 and early September (typically between Sept 6-10, depending on which days are on the weekend).
The Hungarian National Gallery will be open during the Wine Festival, but there will be a special entrance for visitors.
We kindly recommend to visit their website prior to visit regarding accessibility of the museum building during these events.

32 comments

  1. Hello,

    I am planning a trip to Budapest with a group of friends and we wish to visit the National Gallery in September.

    My question is how can we get a “free English guide is also frequently available offered by volunteers” as you describe? Do we have to schedule it or are there any tours in certain hours?

    Also, some of my friends turned 25 years old in 2017, but they are still students. Can they purchase tickets with student discount if they present their International Student ID card?

    Thank you in advance.

    Kindly awaiting your response,
    Filipa

  2. Hello, we are planning to come to Budapest with a group of students. Do we need to pre-book for the National Gallery? Or can we just come and get the tickets on the spot? we will be around 30 people.

    Thanks,

    Chiara

    • Dear Chiara,

      thank you for contacting us.

      We have sent you an email with regards to your question.

      I hope I could be of help.

  3. Hi! I’m curious about a painting I saw during my visit to the Hungarian National Gallery, but I haven’t been able to find the name of it or anything about it online. Is there any way I could learn more about it?

  4. Stephanie Andrews

    I recently visited Budapest and loved every part of this beautiful city. While at the museum, I loved the painting on the second floor (I think) in a corner. Beautiful pastels, blues and a woman lying on her side at the bottom. I cannot find anything about this painting. Could you please just tell me the artist and name of painting? I bought a tote bag and have received a lot of comments. I’m embarrassed to not remember the information.

    Thank you in advance.
    Stephanie

  5. we were there at Christmas – on the top floor there was a beautiful wood sculpture of a woman with a split in the wood that was like her heart was bursting out. Who is that by and what is it called? is it part of the permanent collection? or just a temp piece? It has haunted me all this year.

  6. Hello,
    we came to visit the museums today, as well as the Bacon and Freud exhibition, and were told that both were closed due to yesterday’s national holiday.
    Nothing indicated on the official site that it would be closed. I can’t think of a better way to inform people and let them know about this crucial information, than the ste. According to the information that you provide, it should be open today. We’re very disappointed.
    Regards

    • My mistake – I thought this site here was the official one. But just found out it isn’t…

      • Hello Laurent,

        thank you for your email. We are sorry that you could not visit the exhibitions you were interested in.
        Buda Castle is the home of several institutions, museum, gallery, cafes, library. Each institution has its own official website, e.g. the website of the Hungarian National Gallery can be found on: mng.hu, the library is oszk.hu
        The opening hours are always shows on the website of the museums/ galleries, and it was indicated on the website of the Hungarian National Gallery too. But each institution reserves the right to re-schedule their opening hours during certain periods that include national holidays:
        23 October – public holiday – only the temporary exhibitions will be OPEN, admission is free for all visitors
        So the gallery and the museum as such are not closed on Oct 23, they are, as their respective websites show, open on national holidays, but not all exhibitions can be visited. Nevertheless, there is still a chance to see the buildings inside, and we hope you can return on another day to see the rest of the exhibitions too.
        We are sorry that you missed out on the exhibitions you planned to see, it must have been disappointing.
        Nevertheless we hope that you still had a chance to enjoy the architecture and the rest of the n buildings, which all have some gems and interesting exhibits.
        We hope you to see you back in the Buda Castle and its surrounding historical district.
        We strive to publish any changes and important information but it is always wise to check the respective websites of a certain institution before visiting the castle, unless you intend to visit the Castle and its area anyway (the courtyards with the beautiful statues, gates, photo balustrades, and so on, are open, and many other attractions too, like the Fisherman’s Bastion, etc.)

  7. Hello, dear Sir or Madame,
    I’m writing to you in a hope for help me with information for my dissertation.
    My name is Anastasiia Tychkova. I am from Ukraine, I am art historian and Phd student of National academie of fine art and architecture (in Kyiv).
    My theme is “Influence of europeen fine art schools on peinture of Adalbert Erdelyi”.
    As I know he was studying in Budapest during 1911-1915 period in studios of Imre Revesz and Karoly Ferenczy.
    He passed sometime in workshop in Kecskemet.
    I also know he’ve had a few exhibitions in Hungarie.
    I am wondering if you have some paintings of Erdelyi in your museum collection or maybe some more information or documents about it?
    If your answer is yes could I ask you to send it to me or I should do it in official way with a letter from my academie? I’m planning visit in Budapest this spring.
    Sincerely yours,
    Anastasiia Tychkova.

    • Dear Anastasiia,
      thank you for contacting us.
      The Hungarian National Gallery can be contacted directly at info.mng [at] mng.hu
      Thank you for your understanding.

  8. Stephen kofi Tetteh

    Hello my name is Stephen kofi Tetteh from Ghana West Africa I want to visit Hungary for a tour but I will like you to brief me a little bit about your tour system in hungary thank you

    • Dear Stephen,
      thank you for contacting us.
      Buda Castle Tours can be booked in advance via our website, in the booking forms next to each tour description. The payment can be made via Paypal or a standard bank card. After the payment has been made, you will receive a confirmation email which will serve as your e-ticket.
      Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at info [at] budacastlebudapest.com

  9. Hello!
    My mother turned 70 last year. She’s EU citizen. Please tell me what are the prices for visiting the attractions in the Buda Castle. Because some sites are saying a price for seniors +62, some sites are saying it’s free +70.
    Thank you so much
    Best Regards

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