I am, frankly, not a museum person..and therefore have little to say about Budapest in this regard.  But a Budapest Card for the Metro ( also offers free admission to many museums, and there are many, many museums in Budapest to choose from; for a booklet listing the things the Card gets you into, go to:

The National Museum is on Muzeum körut and is about a couple of millennia of Hungarian history – in fact, it’s an important venue within that history: the 1848 Revolution more or less started on its steps (after more or less having started in the restaurant of the Pilvax Hotel, around the corner from the apartment).  It takes you from prehistoric times through the present in a series of displays (often with placards that are only in Hungarian; rent the audio guide).  It not only provides a history of Budapest but gives a sense of the last 1000 years of Europe and the progress from the Dark Ages through the Renaissance to the brink of catastrophe that we are living in. 

There are twin art museums facing each other across Heroes Square (one a classical world art museum of some strength, the other a contemporary museum of some creativity and daring).  There are exhibitions in the Castle, and the entire Castle District has become a kind of Museum Mile.

There is a Museum of Applied Arts at Ferenc korut, with a modest collection and a lot of empty space, but what there is is pretty fascinating and it’s pleasant to walk through such a grand space with so little cluttering it (I told you I wasn’t much of a museum person). 

I am a huge fan of the contemporary art museum at the Palace of the Arts,

And there’s a natural history museum that I have never been inside, around the bend on Ulloi utca from the Klinikak metro station. 


Budapest is filled with museums (there's a marzipan museum for the truly dedicated, a pharmacy museum, a mercantile museum...), but as often as not its museums are half-empty.  Collections languish, awaiting funds for preservation. Large sections of the lesser museums remain closed to visitors.  Keep your expectations low, view the buildings themselves for the architectural and historical stories they tell, and ferret out the new artists and gelleries.