The Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum) in Budapest is one of the top museums in Hungary.
CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 2018 due to total reconstruction works.
You could spend hours and hours in its numerous art galleries in a time capsule – without noticing how quickly time flies by.
It is not only centrally located in Heroes’ Square (right on the metro line), but it features excellent temp exhibitions in addition to housing spectacular pieces of fine arts by foreign artists from ancient sculptors through old masters to more modern painters.
Temporary exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest include Klimt, Botero, Degas, Picasso, etc.
Permanent Exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts
The permanent exhibitions of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, which is in fact the most precious collection of art works in Hungary, show masterworks from all over Europe:
- Spain (with an amazing El Greco collection, also featuring Goya and Vélazquez),
- Italy (Giotto, Raphael, Aretino, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, etc.),
- France (e.g. Camille Pissarro),
- Netherlands (e.g. Van Dyck, Adriaen Isenbrandt, Frans Hals, Salomon Van Ruisdael are especially well represented),
- Austria (Holbein the Elder, Cranach, Dürer, Maulbertsch, Oskar Kokoschka), etc.
- The Egypt gallery has approx. 4000 items including human and animal mummies. See details about the permanent exhibitions below.
Opening hours of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest
CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 2018 due to total reconstruction works.
- Opening hours of permanent exhibitions: Tue-Sun 10am-5:30pm (cashiers close at 4:30pm), Mon closed
- Opening hours of temporary exhibitions: Tue-Sun 10am-6:00pm (cashiers close at 4:00pm), Mon closed
- Opening hours on Special Thursdays (when there is some kind of event) Thu 10am-10:00pm (cashiers close at 9:00pm)
- Opening hours on Hungarian National Holidays: the Museum of Fine Arts is open on some of the Hungarian national holidays (sometimes with modified opening times). For instance, on historical public holidays, like March 15, August 20 or October 23, the Museum of Fine Arts is open. Likewise, the museum is open on the second day of Christmas, on Dec 26, and on New Year’s Day. See the opening hours of the Museum at Christmas on our special Budapest Christmas guide.
There is a shop and a cafe in the Museum of Fine Arts
Budget tip: The volunteer guides of the Docent Program offer individual visitors free guided tours in English in the Collection of Old Master Paintings from Tuesday to Friday at 11:00 and 14:00 and on Saturdays at 11:00.
During the summer months Highlights Tours are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 13.00.
Address of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Szepmuveszeti Muzeum:
Dozsa Gyorgy ut 41 (Dózsa György út 41.)
Hosok tere Budapest (Hősök tere, the pronunciation is something like a British sounding ‘hersherk terre’)
Entrance fee of Szepmuveszeti:
Permanent Exhibitions: HUF 1,600
Temp Exhibitions: starting from HUF 2,200
Photo permit (without flash): HUF 300
(as for Permanent exhibitions: under 26 and over 62 from the EU get 50% discount, admission is free on the following national holidays: 15 March, 20 August, 23 October, free with Budapest Card)
Miscellaneous: no pets, no cell phones, disabled access lift is available, cloakroom is free, group discount is for 15+ adults, tours need to be booked in advance at email@example.com
Permanent exhibitions of the Museum of Fine Arts:
Egyptian Art – nearly 4000 items, e.g. Statue of Crown Prince Sheshonq from the 9th century B.C., the 3rd-century B.C. Seated Cat, as well as the latest purchase, a 4000-year-old Magic Wand carved of a hippopotamus tusk
Classical Antiquities – 5000 artworks
Old Master Paintings – 3000 paintings showing the development of European painting from the 13th to the late 18th centuries. See some of the highlights of the Old Master Paintings collection here.
Sculpture – 600 artworks of European sculpture until the end of the 18th century including Leonardo’s equestrian statuette and the Man of Sorrows by Verrocchio
Prints and Drawings – 10 000 drawings and 100 000 prints – Leonardo, Raphael, Dürer, Altdorfer, Wolf Huber, Poussin, Rembrandt, Delacroix, Manet, Van Gogh, Cézanne, etc.
Department of Art after 1800 – of about a 1000 pieces made after 1800, from Romantism to Post-Impressionism, includes paintings by Delacroix, Corot, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Chagall, statues by Rodin, Abakanowicz, etc.
Museum of Fine Arts Budapest Reviews: what do tourists say?
Although most tourists find the exhibitions of the Museum of Fine Arts fascinating and well worth seeing, some tourists found the various gallery guards unfriendly and the entrance fee system of Szepmuveszeti complicated.
“being followed from room to room by the stern faced guards” (tourist feedback on TripAdvisor)
“The entry fee can be confusing. You pay for exhibits you want to see which are broken into different sections of permanent and temporary exhibits. You also have to go to a separate line for audio tours after buying it. You also have to pay if you want to take photos and get a separate pass for that and need to ask for it. There were lines when I was there so going back later to purchase other collection entries was not an efficient option.” (tourist feedback on TripAdvisor)
“This museum is probably my favourite in Budapest. I prefer to visit it on Thursdays, when it is open till 10 pm, and sometimes hosts special events. You pay two or three times more for the ticket, but in addition to browsing the exhibitions (the permanent collection is quite interesting!) you can listen to jazz music on the ground floor, get a free glass of wine and a snack, and access any special event planned on that day. It’s just a perfect ending for a busy day, isn’t it?” (tourist feedback on Qype)
“I enjoyed the Museum of Fine Arts. While it had some lovely pieces, it is not, in my opinion, quite on par with the Louvre, the Uffizi, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery in London, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the Kuntshistorisches Museum in Vienna or even the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin. Nevertheless, I still think it worth a visit if you like art.” (tourist feedback on Fodor’s)
The History of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest
The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest opened in 1906. As Frommer’s tourist guide points out the museum was built as part of a complex urban development celebrating the 1000 year old existence of the Hungarian state (at that time as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). “During the 1896 millennial celebration of the Magyars settling and forming a nation in 896, the plans were proposed for the Museum of Fine Arts. Ten years later in the presence of Franz Josef, the king and emperor of Austria and Hungary, the Museum of Fine Arts was opened at the left side of Heroes’ Square. This was the last great monument to be built during the most prosperous period of Hungary’s history” Besides the Museum of Fine Arts, the neighbouring monuments, parks and buildings, i.e. the Heroes’ Square, the eclectic romantic Vajdahunyad Castle, the other art museum (Palace of Arts) just opposite the Museum of Fine Arts etc.