Museum of Ethnography – Budapest Hidden Gems

The Hungarian Museum of Ethnography in Budapest is a huge collection of Hungarian and international folk crafts, century old ceramics, textiles, artifacts, furniture, etc. If you have just visited the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest, it is an inviting Budapest attraction to give you some insights how Hungarians lived, ate, what they wore, etc.

Museum of Ethnography, Budapest

The Museum of Ethnography in Budapest is one of the largest ethnography museums in Europe, and if you are into travel photos, and National Geographic photography, you will love this place.

Hungarian Museum of Ethnography, Budapest

Hungarian Museum of Ethnography, Budapest (photo by Tim Waters)

The traditional Hungarian lifestyle (which is now exotic for many Hungarians) is shown with thousands of displays in 13 rooms (1st floor), including authentic mock-up houses of peasants from two of the most beautiful countryside regions in Hungary, the Őrség and the Sárköz regions. The 2nd floor, on the other hand, is where you can see exciting temporary exhibitions focusing on the peoples of other continents in addition to Europe: Africa, Asia, Australia, Oceania and the Americas.

This unique museum, residing in a stunning 19th century eclectic palace (look up the to ceiling fresco made by Karoly Lotz),  is within easy access: it is located on Kossuth square, in the city centre of Budapest. You can efficiently kill two birds with one stone as the museum is just by the Budapest Parliament building, one of the top Budapest attractions.

The richest permanent exhibitions is the Folk Culture of the Hungarians, which includes a rare collection of the most beautiful festive national folk costumes of the various regions in Hungary. Each region has its characteristic decorations, motifs and colour schemes and all of them are still inspiring modern fashion designers (most recently Converse came up with an idea to sell Converse shoes with Hungarian folk motifs, while Kalocsa folk motif clothes are donned by Nicole Kidman, Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter series) or even Jenson Button Formula 1 driver)

Hungarian Kalocsa style motifs on Nicole Kidman's dress

Hungarian Kalocsa style folk motifs on Nicole Kidman’s dress (photo justjared.com)

In addition to the permanent ethnographical exhibitions, there are exciting temporary exhibitions (e.g. About the lives of Indians in Amazonia, South America), as well as festive workshops depending on the seasons (e.g. Easter egg painting and Arts & Crafts Fair at Easter). The entrance fees are really cheap, compared to Western European museum prices (we assume anything under 7 Euros / 10 USD / 6 GBP are very reasonable prices).

Address of the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography, Budapest

12. Kossuth square (Kossuth tér), Budapest, District V (5th district) 1055 (literally opposite the back of the Parliament building)

Admission Fees at the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography, Budapest

1400 HUF full price adult tickets, 700 HUF children (and EU citizens under 26)

Opening Hours at the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography, Budapest

Tuesday – Sunday  10 am – 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

Contact: info [at] neprajz.hu

Official websiteneprajz.hu (click on the British flag icon on the left for the English version)

Further attractions close to the Museum of Ethnography Budapest (Néprajzi Múzeum):

  • the Hungarian Parliament
  • Bedo Haz, the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau
  • Szabadsag square – with a beautiful little park, nice cafe
  • The WW2 Liberation monument – dedicated to the communist Soviet troops

Eclectic lobby in the Museum of Ethnography (the building was formerly the Hungarian Supreme Court in Budapest)

Lobby in the Museum of Ethnography, Budapest

Lobby in the Museum of Ethnography, Budapest (photo by Mark Somay)

Richly decorated fresco on the ceiling of the Museum of Ethnography, Budapest (Neprajzi Muzeum).

Temporary exhibitions in the Museum of Ethnography, including exhibitions about the peoples of other continents:

Indians in Amazonia - temp exhibition at the Museum of Ethnography, Budapest

Indians in Amazonia – temp exhibition at the Museum of Ethnography, Budapest