Budapest Parliament

The Third Largest In Europe

The commanding building of Budapest Parliament stretches between Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge on the Pest bank of the Danube.

It draws your attention from almost every riverside point. The Gellért Hill and the Castle Hill on the opposite bank offer the best panorama of this huge edifice.

The Hungarian Parliament building is splendid from the inside too.

You can visit it on organised tours only, except on some national holidays when it is open to the public.

Learn about the most important facts, brief history and architecture of this magnificent building!

The Parliament illuminated at nightQuick Links: Getting to the Parliament –  Guided Tours, Online TicketsOffline TicketsOpening HoursIn Numbers - Best of Budapest ParliamentHistory and ArchitectureNearby Attractions and Restaurants

Organised Guided Tour – Online Tikcets

Dates: April-October: every day (except for holidays, special events) at 9.30 and at 13.15

Highly Recommended Since you Won’t Have to Queue for 30-60 minutes for a ticket.

A perfect way to visit the Parliament building and the Holy Crown of Hungary, is to go on an organised guided tour.

First, the group will take a walk around the impressive building dominating the renewed Kossuth tér on the Pest side of the Danube.

After seeing and learning about the Parliament from the outside, an interior tour will guide you through the famous rooms, including the Holy Crown of Hungary in the cupola hall (taking photos is not allowed there due to security reasons, other parts of the building can be photographed), and sights (session room, the magnificent staircase) of the building.

the imposing grand staircase insideGuiding is available in the following languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French. Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Parliament Tour-Details

Note: prepare to stand in queue for at least 30-60 minutes in high season (My son and I were standing there for 1 hour in April 2014.)

Time and date: English-language guided tours: every day at 10:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 (2014.)

Ticket Prices:

  • for EU citizens: 26 EUr, non-EU citizens: 39 EUR
  • Students (ages 6-24) EU citizens: 13  EUR, non-EU citizens (ages 6-24): 19.5 EUR
  • children under 6: free

Pick-up is included in the price.

The Holy Crown of HungaryBuying Tickets Offline – Ticket Office in the Visitor Center:

If you don’t want to buy your ticket online you can buy tickets at the ticket office in the new Visitor Center at the north side of the Parliament building at the end of Balasssi Bálint Street.

Prepare for queuing: as quoted form the institution’s official website: “Please note that purchasing tickets on the spot might take a considerable amount of time”

Buy Your Ticket Online

Opening Hours (Parliament and Ticket office):

map of Kossuth square and the Parliament

Click to enlarge map!

  • 01. April – 31. October: Mon-Fri: 8.00-18.00, Sat-Sun: 8.00-16.00
  • 01. November – 31. March: Mon-Sun: 8.00-16.00

The Parliament is closed to visitors on national and bank holidays: 01. January, , 15. March, Easter Sunday and Monday, 01. May, 20. August, 23. October, 01. November, 24-26. December

After a walk around the building you will be visiting the interior of the Parliament where your guide will show you the most famous rooms, and parts of the building telling historical facts and stories.

Guiding is available in English, German, Spanish, Italian, and French.

show More on visiting the Parliament.

Getting There

Hungarian Parliament Building standing on the Danube bank in PestAddress: Kossuth Lajos tér, district V.

You have several options to get there:

  • M2 (red) metro line has a station at Kossuth Lajos tér,
  • tram No. 2 also has a stop here,
  • bus No 15,
  • trolleys No 70, 78

show Find out more about public transport in Budapest.

TIP: If you want to stay in a hotel near the Parliament building then read review of the Hotel Parliament and other downtown Budapest hotels.

Budapest Parliament as seen from Buda

Parliament Museum- The 1000 Year History of Hungarian Legislation – NEW – Reopened After 66 Years

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday: 8.00-15.45
Tickets: free in March and April 2015

An new museum opened on 06. March 2015. in the Visitor Center that can be viewed free of charge in March and April in 2015 after online registration.

Originally the exhibition showcasing the history of Hungarian legislation first opened in 1929 in the building’s northern wing and the displays encompassed the collections of the Deák room in the Hungarian National Museum, as well as political pamphlets and posters.

By the 1930s it was the city’s 3rd most popular museum after the National Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Many displayed items disappeared during World War II and the museum closed in 1942 with the hope of reopening after the war.

The communist party leaders, however put an end to this optimistic plan and terminated the museum in 1949, moving the collection to the National Museum.

The new permanent exhibition in the Visitor Centre called the 1000-year History of Hungarian Legislation is a a rich, creatively arranged display that nicely  complements a visit to the Parlament.

The Parliament in Numbers

the dome from insideThe building is 268 m long and 118 m wide across the centre. It occupies 18.000 square metres on the surface and 473.000 cubic metres of space.

About 50 five-story apartment blocks could fit into the Parliament, just to give you an idea about its vastness.

Budapest Parliament is the third largest parliament in the world. Today it seems too big for such a small country, but at the time of its construction Hungary formed part of the Habsburg Empire, that stretched from the Tatra Mountains to the Adriatic.

The Parliament has 691 rooms. The length of all the stairs together measures about 20 kilometers. The most impressive is the grand staircase.

The building contains spacious halls. The central dome’s height reaches 96 m.

The building has 27 entrance gates. 90 statues and the coats-of-arms of various cities adorn the exterior. There are 152 statues and pictures of national fauna. The decorations needed about 40 kg 22-23 karat gold.

Best of Budapest Parliament

  • beautiful interior, gilded columnsThe Hungarian Coronation Regalia is the most prized treasure; it includes the Holy Crown, the orb, the sceptre and a Renaissance sword.
  • Other notable attractions are the numbered cigar-holders that line the window sills outside the debate chambers.
    Smoking politicians left their cigars in the holders when they went in to vote. When they returned they could easily find their cigars, if they remembered the number of the holder.
  • the impressive Grand Staircase sweeping from the main entrance to the Dome Hall
  • the imposing Dome Hall and 16 statues of Hungarian leaders in it
  • Hunters’ Hall is one of the fascinating rooms surrounding the Dome Hall from the Danube side, stunning frescoes adorn its wall
  • beautiful painted glass windows by Miksa Róth

Paintings in one of the rooms

History

In the Reform Era (second half of the 19. century) the idea of a “House of a Motherland” became more and more popular.

Constructions began in 1884 and lasted for two decades. The building  opened in 1902, although it should have been finished by 1896 for the Millennium to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Hungary’s foundation.

the Parliament and Kossuth Square in the 1940-sLeaders of the country chose the Pest bank of the Danube as location, to counterweight the Royal Palace rising high on the other side of the river.

The architect, Imre Steindl got his inspirations for the design from London’s Houses of Parliament.

After World War II the diet became single-chambered, and the government uses only a small portion of the building today.

In the communist regime a red star perched on the top of the dome that was removed in 1990.

Mátyás Szűrös declared the Hungarian Republic from the balcony facing Kossuth Lajos tér on 23rd October in 1989. The Hungarian Parliament has 386 members that are elected every 4 year.

Architecture

Budapest Parliament represents one of the city’s many architectural masterpieces. Its neo-Gothic main style and the river-side location make it very similar to London’s Houses of Parliament.

The architect, Imre Steindl mixed medieval features with national and his own style. The result is an eclectic classic.

the cupola
a red carpeted staircase

The Dome

A Renaissance dome crowns a neo-Gothic facade that lies on a Baroque base ground. The main cupola is decorated with statues of Hungarian kings.

Fierce turul birds guard the main entrance. The interior decor is mainly neo-Gothic.

Other Attractions Nearby

Due to the central location of the parliament you will find a couple of sights and attractions in its vicinity.

Museum of Ethnography (Néprajzi Múzeum)

Ethnography Museum exteriorAddress: Kossuth Lajos tér 12., V. district, behind the Parliament building
Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10.00-18.00
Tickets: Combined ticket for permanent and temporary exhibitions: 1 400 HUF, students (aged between 6 and 26), pensioners (aged between 62-70): 700 HUF

The elegant Neo-renaissance palace opposite the Parliament houses the Hungarian Ethnography Museum. It is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

It boasts a rich collection of Hungarian folk artifacts (cc. 200 000) , photos, manuscripts, and recordings of folk music. The museum regularly houses temporary exhibitions on interesting themes.

show You’ll find other Budapest Museums on this page.

Statue of Imre Nagy, Vértanúk tere

Imre Nagy’s Hungary’s prime minister’s during the 1956 October 23rd revolution, statue stands on a small bridge facing the Parliament Building on Vértanúk tere.

Statue of Imre Nagy on a wooden bridge

Statue of Nagy Imre – prime minister during the 1956 revolution for independence

Szabadság tér – (Liberty Square)

Szabadság tér is just a short walk south east of the Parliament building. Some great buildings of architectural value flank this pleasant green spot. The statue of former US president, Ronald Reagan guards the end of the square.

Accommodation TIP: There’s a very nice hotel at the southern side of the park, the IberoStar Grand Hotel Budapest, a 5-star boutique hotel with a great resturant.

Szabadsag Ter in Summer, a Fountain

An Interactive Fountain on Szabadság Square

Russian war memorial

bronze statue of Ronald Reagan on Szabadsag ter

Statue of Ronald Reagan: walking from the Parliament building towards the Embassy of the USA

Falk Miksa Street – An Avenue for Art Lovers

Falk Miksa Street in autumnFalk Miksa utca is a charming street starting at the northern part of the Parliament and taking you to Szt. István körút on Grand Boulevard.

Almost every other building houses an Antique Shop or Gallery, so if you want to pick up some great Art deco, baroque or modern artwork at affordable price.

The street has a new attraction, a Columbo statue (according to an urban legend Peter Falk was a great-grandson of Miksa Falk – a 19. century Hungarian writer and politician, chief editor of the German Pester Lloyd newspaper) was added in late 2013.

Here are some of the best antique shops and galleries in the street:

Virág Judit Gallery & Auction House

Address: Falk Miksa u. 30, V. district

Website: Virág Judit Gallery

Kieselbach Gallery & Auction House

Address: Szent István körút 5.

For serious art collectors: rare paintings, graphics, mostly late 19-early 20. century.

MissionArt Gallery

Address: Falk Miksa u. 30, V. district

Mainly Hungarian paintings form the late 19. – early 20. century: Nagybánya School,

Where to Eat in the Area

Café Biarritz

terrace of the Biarritz restaurantAddress: Kossuth tér 18. 1055, district V.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9.00-22.00
Tel: +36 1 311 4413

One of the best restaurants in the city center. The seasonal menu offers Mediterranean-style grill food, fresh salads, there is also weekly menu.

The wine dinners are great opportunities to taste the best of Hungarian wines.

Café Picard

Cafe PicardAddress: Falk Miksa u. 10., district V.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 7.30-22.00, Sat-Sun: closed
Tel: +36 473 0939

Quiet café with warm atmosphere. Great variety of sandwiches and salads. You can choose what to put inside your sandwich.
show See more cafe recommendations.

Osteria Italiana l’Aranceto

l'Aranceto Italian RestaurantAddress: Szabadság tér 16., Budapest 1054, district V., on the western side of Szabadsag Square
Opening hours: 10.00-24.00
Tel: (+36) 1 269 3534

l’Aranceto, orange grove in English, offers traditional Italian food in a quiet, cozy atmosphere.

Italian wines are on the wine list as well as a great selection of grappas are available.

show See more choices of Italian Restaurants in Budapest.

Culinaris Gourmet Food Store and Restaurant

Culinaris Gourmet Food Store and RestaurantAddress: Balassi Bálint u. 7, Budapest 1055, district V., a short walk north of the Parliament building

Opening hours: restaurant: Mon-Sat: 8.00-15.00, Sunday: 10.00-15.00, store: Mon-Fri: 9.00-20.00, Sunday: 10.00-18.00

A great place to have breakfast or a light lunch made from fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The store has all sorts of food stuff from all over the world (dairy and bakery products, spices, chocolates and sweets, beverages, meat products etc.).

show See also our page about Best Restaurants in Budapest, or our recommendation of Hungarian Restaurants in Budapest.

Other Must-See Sights & Attractions: Buda CastleSt. Stephen’s BasilicaDohány Street SynagogueHeroes’ Square – New York Palace