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!
Guided Tour of the Parliament
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 and sights (session room, the magnificent staircase) of the building.
Guiding is available in the following languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French.
Organised Guided Tour - Online Tikcets
Dates: April-October: every day (except for Monday and holidays, special events) at 10.00, November-March: Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: at 10.00
Highly Recommended Since you Won't Have to Queue for 30-60 minutes for a ticket.
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, 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 other parts of the building telling historical facts and stories.
You can ask for guiding in the following languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French.
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
full price: 23.43 EUR, student: 10.71 EUR
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.)
Prices: adult-EU citizens: 1750 HUF, under 18-EU: 875 HUF, adult-non-EU: 3500 HUF, under 18 non -EU: 1750 HUF
Time and date: English-language guided tours: every day at 10:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 (2014.)
Ticket office: during the reconstruction of the building and Kossuth Square the ticket office is in the Ethnography Museum opposite, Open: Monday: 08.00 - 11.00, other days: 08.00 - 26.00
More on visiting the Parliament.
The Parliament is closed to visitors on 01. January, Easter Sunday and Monday, 01. May, 01. November, 24-26. December
Guiding is available in English, German, Spanish, Italian, and French.
Address: Kossuth Lajos Square, 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
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.
The Parliament in Numbers
The 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
- 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 walls
- beautiful painted glass windows by Miksa Róth
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. It opened in 1902, although it should have been finished by 1896 for the Millennium to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Hungary's foundation.
Leaders of the country chose the Pest bank of the Danube as premise, 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.
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.
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)
Address: 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.
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 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.
An Interactive Fountain on Szabadság Square
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 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.
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 BiarritzAddress: 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.
Address: 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.
See more cafe recommendations.
Osteria Italiana l'Aranceto
Address: 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.
See more choices of Italian Restaurants in Budapest
Culinaris Gourmet Food Store & Restaurant
Address: 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.).
Other Sights & Attractions in Budapest