Going to the capital of Hungary but have a hard time deciding which museums in Budapest to visit? Choosing one can be challenging as Budapest museums are great to learn not only the country’s terrifying history but also see giant whale skeleton, have fun in selfie museum, and try the local liquor, to name a few. To give you some of the best options which museums in Budapest you should visit, I asked my friend travel bloggers to list the ones they liked the most.
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Budapest museums for history buffs
Hungarian National Museum
Located in the Budapest VIII district, Hungarian National Museum is the oldest museum in the country and has the most extensive historical collection. If you are a history buff, it is one of the must-visit museums in Budapest as it offers real historical context for Budapest’s countless monuments and gorgeous architecture. This Neoclassical-style museum building was built in 1847 by architect Mihály Pollack and features a fantastic collection of relics and archaeological findings from prehistory to the communist era.
You can find an extensive collection of ancient Roman stone inscriptions, sarcophagi, and statues in the museum’s basement. The ground floor displays medieval and early modern stone carvings, rare artifacts like Scythian gold and Celtic jewelry. Don’t miss the display of the medieval Hungarian Coronation mantle on the first floor.
An audio tour is available in this museum, but you can easily read the English descriptions to learn about the objects you’re seeing. The best thing about the museum is that beyond the city you can learn more about the history of Hungary.
You don’t need a full day to explore the museum, but at least keep some time as the National Museum has several rich and varied artifacts. Although Hungary is a cheap European country, a visit to this museum can be a bit pricey, but worth it as you learn a lot about the country.
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10:00 a.m- 6:00 p.m; Closed on Mondays
- Entrance fee: 2,600 HUF
Recommended by BudgetTravelBuff
The Hungarian Natural History Museum
While visiting Budapest with kids, the Hungarian Natural History Museum is entertaining to visit. It has lots of exhibits in the field of geology, zoology, botany, and paleontology. One of the most impressive is the skeleton of a whale, suspended under the dome at the main hall in the Museum. Believe it or not, the skeleton weighs almost 2 tons.
Another remarkable exhibit is the Noah Arc model with all the animals and the actual size Mammoth, which makes you appreciate the hunting skill of prehistorian humans.
Even though Museum is relatively small, you can easily spend almost 3 hours admiring different skeleton, rocks, and butterfly collections. Most of the exhibits have descriptions in English as well.
- Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 am – 6 pm; closed on Tuesdays
- Entrance fee: 2200 HUF for adults; 1100 HUF for children under 26
Recommended by The Travelling Twins
Holocaust Memorial Center
Budapest is one of the prettiest cities in Europe, and the Holocaust Memorial Center exhibition is unlike any other. It holds a poignant history that will haunt you for days after viewing it. The unforgettable images and descriptions of the Holocaust in Hungary are almost too hard to put into words. Still, this museum does an excellent job displaying the effects on different people at certain points throughout their life during World War II.
You’ll find interactive displays mixed with personal artifacts such as glasses or pens from when they were alive. These items give visitors more insight not only about what happened back then but also how one might have felt before being taken away by Nazis officials and sent off to concentration camps like Auschwitz, where many lost their lives due to starvation, coldness, or gas chambers just because they didn’t fit Hitler’s racial ideology.
The brutal and emotional journey is framed by interactive displays that will leave you with an everlasting sense of empathy for those affected by such heinous crimes against humanity, making it one of the must-see Budapest museums.
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10 a.m – 6 p.m; closed on Mondays
- Entrance fee: 1,400 HUF
Recommended by Adventures of Alice
House of Terror Museum
One of the highly recommended museums in Budapest is the House of Terror. Here the dark history of Hungary is told, and a moving picture of the oppression of Nazism and communism is conveyed. Numerous photos, videos, and rooms describe oppressively the terrible things that happened at that time. An educational visit that definitely gets under your skin and is for sure not for everybody.
The museum is located in a neo-Renaissance building and served as the headquarters and prison of the Hungarian Arrow Cross Party of Ferenc Szálasi from 1937 to 1944. During your visit, you should be aware that many people were also persecuted, tortured, and killed here during the communist dictatorship in Hungary. Photography is prohibited in the museum.
The House of Terror Museum is easily accessible by the underground (M1) or tram 4 and 6.
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10 a.m – 6 p.m
- Entrance fee: 3,000 HUF for adults.
Take a step back in time by visiting this open-air Budapest museum just 20 minutes outside of the city center! After the fall of communism in Hungary, the former communist statues were removed to Memento Park.
Here visitors can see and interact with 42 statues contained within the park. Each sculpture has a short description and information about where it was formerly located in all of its socialist glory. This open-air museum isn’t fancy or even well maintained, but it is fascinating and provides a perfect glimpse into the past. Allow about 3 hours total (including drive time) for this excursion. Because it is open-air, it is very casual and great for families and solo travelers alike.
Tip: if the weather is hot, try and go in the morning. There is very little shade at the park.
- Opening hours: May-Oct daily: 10 a.m – 6 p.m; Nov-Apr daily: 10 a.m – 4 p.m
- Entrance fee: 1,800 HUF for adults, 1,200 HUF for students; children under six free of charge
Fun and unique Budapest museums
Museum of Sweets and Selfies
For anyone looking to experience Budapest off the beaten track and just have some fun, the Museum of Sweets and Selfies is a must-visit. It’s not a typical museum – it’s a place where one can literally feel like a kid in a candy store and where you can take the most Insta-worthy colorful photos.
With such fun rooms like the neon room, the sprinkles pool, and the banana swing, you’ll never want to leave, but note that a visit is limited to 90 minutes so everyone can enjoy taking dozens of photos in this unique museum. Visit during weekdays in the morning or around noon to have the museum almost all to yourself.
Apart from the original museum, a second one called Museum of Sweets and Selfies: Bubbles was recently open, and there’s an option to buy combined tickets for those who want to visit both places.
- Opening hours: Every day: 10 a.m – 7 p.m
- Entrance fee: 2,990 HUF on weekdays and 3,500 HUF on weekends. A combined ticket to both museums: 4,990 HUF on weekdays and 5,990 on weekends.
Recommended by My Path in the World
The young at heart looking for something fun and exciting to do will surely enjoy visiting one of the unique Budapest museums. Flippermuzeum is a pinball museum and arcade located in a basement in Újlipótváros.
Pinball enthusiasts can stay for as long as they like and play as many games as they want. There’s no need to insert coins since the machines are set for limitless play. There are about 150 machines at the museum, with some of the oldest games dating back to the early 20th century.
The majority of games are pinball machines, but the museum boasts an exciting collection of vintage games like early foosball machines and rod hockey tables from the 1930s and 40s. Film and music fans will find machines inspired by iconic movies and bands like Rocky, Star Wars, AC/DC, and the Rolling Stones. Hopping from one device to the next while being hypnotized by flashing lights and pinball sounds is an easy and fun way of killing a few hours in Budapest.
- Opening hours: Wed-Fri: 4 p.m – 12 a.m; Sat: 2 p.m – 12 a/m; Sun: 10 a.m – 10 p.m; closed Mon-Tue
- Entrance fee: 3,500 HUF for adults; 2,500 HUF for those under 26 or over 62
Recommended by Will Fly for Food
Zwack Unicum Museum
A little-known place in Budapest that is definitely worth visiting is the Unicum Factory, specifically the Zwack Museum. It is located close to the river on the Pest side. Coming from the center, get off at the 3rd stop after the Biggest Bazaar.
The Zwack company itself was founded in 1790 and to this day is a family business. It is known for the production of the Unicum, Hungarian herbal liqueur (exported to 40 countries), Palinkas, and wines.
The basic version of the liqueur consists of about 40 ingredients. While visiting the factory, one of the rooms contains various spices and herbs which, as they say, can be used in production, but the family has been keeping the whole recipe a secret for years.
During the sightseeing, you can visit an exhibition about the factory, the Zwack family, and the world’s most extensive collection of small bottles of alcohol (about 17,000 exhibits).
- Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 10 a.m – 5 p.m
- Entrance fee: 2,500 HUF for adults and includes a tasting.
Prepare for the trip
To ease your travel planning, check out all the posts about Hungary travel. Additionally, here are some of the websites and services I use when preparing for my next adventure anywhere in the world.
- Book affordable flights on Skyscanner, a platform that shows the best routes and flight deals to your destination. There’s a money-back guarantee if you miss the flight!
- Check iVisa to see if you need a tourist visa to visit Hungary, how to apply online if applicable, or where’s the nearest embassy or consulate
- Find budget-friendly deals on all sorts of accommodation types on Booking and Agoda
- Pre-book a private transfer from Athens Airport to your hotel
- Buy the most flexible and budget-friendly travel insurance, SafetyWing, to cover all sorts of health problems on the road
- Book in advance some of the best city walks, cultural experiences, and day tours to maximize your stay and experience here
Want more inspiration?