Parliament in Budapest, Hungary

The Hungarian Parliament is an absolutely must see attraction in Budapest with is splendour, 40 kg of gold, 500,000 ornamental stones, 242 statues, painted glasses, a 96-meter high central dome, 18 000 square meters and 13 elevators. OK, the elevators are probably not so important. But it is a fact that the Parliament in Budapest is majestic. It was built at the end of the 19th century in Gothic Revival style (and luckily it more or less survived the bombings of Budapest Siege in WW2). Are you from the EU? If you are, it is 50% cheaper to visit the Parliament (used to be free admission until Jan 2013, but since then, everyone has to pay a ticket).

Parliament in Budapest, Hungary

Parliament in Budapest, Hungary (photo by Flavio Spugna)

If you manage to take a nice photo of the Parliament in Budapest without the scaffolds on, you are a lucky tourist. It is almost always scaffolded due to the extensive exterior.

Gilted decor in the Hungarian Parliament, Budapest

Gilted decor in the Hungarian Parliament, Budapest (photo by Adam Reeder)

Quick and quirky facts about the Hungarian Parliament, Budapest:

  • The biggest building in Hungary, the highest building on the Pest side (same height as the St Stephen’s Basilica): it is 268 metre long (879 feet), 123 metre wide at the entrance (403 feet), 96 meter high (315 feet), 18 000 square metres
  • The exterior is mostly Gothic Revival (see the Palace of Westminster in London), the interior of the Parliament is mixed with Renaissance and Baroque elements
  • The Hungarian Coronation Jewels, like the Holy Crown is kept in the Parliament, Budapest.
  • The total cost of building the Parliament in the end was more than twice the projected costs (instead of 18,5 million ‘korona’ or crowns – currency before the Hungarian Forint – 38 million crowns).
  • Originally the ‘House of the Nation’ had a double chamber parliament, but it has been a single chamber since 1944
  • The Parliament in Budapest has a huge library of its own (500,000 books)
  • There was approx. 40 kg / 88 pounds of gold (22-23 carat) used for the decorations
  • The architectural tenders for the Parliament that lost were eventually used for the design of the buildings next to the Parliament: the Ministry of Agriculture and the Museum of Ethnography are also on Kossuth Square.
  • The Parliament in Budapest is probably the most widely used symbol of Budapest and Hungary
  • The Parliament has been scaffolded continuously since WW2, eating up billions of Hungarian Forints for maintenance and restoration. The reason for this is not only the extensive Gothic design, the many statues, or the greying exhaust fumes of a city of 2 million people. But the outer layer of the building: the layer is made of soft lime stone in many parts (15-30 cm thick easily corroding limestone, according to Istvan Ferenc, the construction manager of the Reneszansz Co responsible for getting the Parliament in a good shape again) so it has been gradually replaced over the last 70 years…
  • Visiting the Parliament is at half price for citizens of the EU (source: parlament.hu). See the current prices of Hungarian Parliament Tours and Tickets here.
Hungarian Coronation Jewels -  Parliament, Budapest

Hungarian Coronation Jewels – Parliament, Budapest (photo by Bogdan I. Stanciu)

Note: In the last few years, there have been peaceful and less peaceful rallies around the Parliament on national holidays (March 15, August 20, October 23). If you should happen to come on these days, make sure you check the current news about any upcoming rallies or political turmoil.

Read more about the History of the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary.

Guided Tours: There are daily English tours at 10am, 12pm, 2pm from Mon to Sun
Opening hours: season 1 (Oct 1 – Apr 30) Mon-Sat 8am – 4pm, Sun 8am – 2pm, season 2 (May 1 – Sep 30) Mon-Fri 8am – 6pm, Sat 8am – 4pm, Sun 8am – 2pm

Parliament Tour Budapest

Parliament Tour Budapest – photo by Le Foto di Grimmo

Address: Kossuth tér 1-3., Budapest H-1055
Getting there: by metro, there is a metro station on the red line called Kossuth ter
Admission Fee: 50% discount for EU members (show your passport), non-EU citizen tickets: HUF 3500 HUF full price, HUF 1750 HUF for Students

Note for visitors:

  • use of the toilet is not allowed during the 45 min visit
  • there is no cloakroom or any other locker for extra stuff
  • the Parliament is accessible with wheelchair and guide dogs are allowed too
  • you CAN use cameras and video recorders in the building (except for in the Crown room)
  • booking is only needed for groups, individual visitors can drop in at Gate X (gate number ten) at the Parliament, or buy a Parliament Ticket in advance (recommended, see more info about Budapest Parliament Tours). Early birds have an advantage of beating the crowds and long lines building up from 9 am.