One of the most iconic shots of Budapest is a brightly lit building at the banks of a blue river,enticing tourists to visit Budapest. That building stands tall during the day, contrasting the Danube’s azure hues. This attraction makes it to the top of things to do in Budapest in all the lists and continually impresses with the brilliant architecture. It is the Hungarian Parliament.
The Hungarian Parliament, also known as the Budapest Parliament is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, indeed, no photo of Budapest is complete without some part of the building being shown. The stunning architecture is the current seat of the Hungarian Parliament and offers a keen insight into Hungary’s political past. From being an independent state, to being a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire to World War I, to being a Soviet Satellite state, Hungarian politics are diverse and the history is rich. Hungary’s current Prime Minister and his staff use the office and a portion of the building is opened for visitors.
Budapest Parliament - A Quick Summary
The Parliament Building is one of the most stunning Government buildings worldwide, and enjoys the distinction of being the third largest assembly building in the world coming after the Parliament of Romania and the National Congress of Argentina. It is the largest building in Hungary and has been constructed in the Gothic Revival style, with a symmetric façade and dome. The dome of the building is Renaissance Revival architecture. There are two main halls inside the Parliament, both of which are equal, to signify equality of both houses. One of these halls is used by the Government and the other, for guided tours.
The building enjoys stunning views of the Danube riverfront and is easily accessible from the rest of the city. There are 691 beautifully decorated rooms out of which a few are open for public display. There are 242 sculptures on the walls and the corridors and rooms feature statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian rulers, and the Hungarian military. One of the most famous parts of the Parliament building is a hexadecagon or sixteen sided hall with an Upper House and Lower House chamber adjoining it.
Must-see at the Budapest Parliament
- Hungarian Crown
- Staircase XVII
- Old Upper House Hall
- Upper House Lobby
- Dome Hall
- Grand Stairway
- Hungarian Parliament Museum
•1st Apr to 31st Oct (Daily- 8:00AM to 6:00PM )
• 1st Nov to 31st Mar (Daily - 8:00AM to 4:00PM)
Budapest, Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, 1055 Hungary
Budapest Parliament Tour Tickets
Budapest Parliament Priority Access Guided Tour✪
Grand City Tour with Parliament Entry
Budapest Parliament Building - History
The Hungarian Parliament is one of the finest buildings in the world, and it stands as a symbol of the country and everything it has gone through over the years. Until 1843, the Hungarians did not have a Parliament building of their own. Following the shift of the capital from present day Bratislava to Budapest, it was found necessary to build an imperial building for the Government.
To find the best design for the Parliament Building, a competition was held in 1880, and Hungarian architect, Imre Steindl won. His design was inspired by the British Parliament. Similar to the British Parliament, the Hungarian Parliament is also located on the banks of a river- the Danube. The elements of the building had neo-Gothic and Revivalist elements which have added a beautiful charm to the building.
The work for the building began in 1885 and was inaugurated in the year 1896, to mark the 1000’s anniversary of Hungary. The building was completed in the year 1902, but the architect went blind before the building was completed and died in 1902. The Parliament Building is resilient and has stood the test of time. It has survived two World Wars, uprisings, protests and revolutions. In spite of the tumultuous history it has witnessed, the building stands tall and majestic on the Danube riverside.
What to see in the Budapest Parliament?
The Budapest Parliament is open for visitors who get to see the stunning interiors of the building and some of the 691 well furnished rooms. The guided tour lasts for 50 minutes Here’s a list of what the guided tour has in store.
The Crown jewels and other insignia lie in the Dome Hall of the Parliament Building. These jewels are guarded 24 hours a day by guards. There is a change of guard every few hours which can be observed by the visitors coming on tour. Photography of the crown jewels is not permitted.
The tour starts off with Staircase XVII, which is a decorated gold plated staircase. It leads to the main floor of the Parliament Building. Beautiful stained glass windows, rich and decorative frescoes welcome visitors to the opulence of the Parliament Building.
The Old Upper House Hall
This Hall used to house the the Upper House of Parliament till Hungary decided to turn into a one House Government. The Hall is used for conferences and official meetings at present. It is a resplendent room, with gold plated decorations, and galleries. Behind the podium, there are paintings of coats of arms of Hungary’s royal families. There is seating for 453 people in this room.
Upper House Lobby
The speciality of the Upper House Lobby is a hand knotted turquoise floor carpet. The pillars are adorned with statues of old Hungarian national groups and Hungarian crafts and culture. The lobby has ornate gold gilded ceilings with paintings.
The Dome Hall houses the Hungarian crown and royal insignia. The dome has a rib vaulted ceiling replete with stained glass paintings on the windows. On the base of the rib vaulted pillars, there are statues of Hungarian rulers on gold pedestals.
This stunning staircase is the epitome of beauty and opulence in the Hungarian Parliament building. This stairway has 96 stairs which are carpeted with a red carpet. This adds to the royal look of the building. It connects the main entrance to the Dome Hall. The speciality of this are eight granite columns, the style of which is so unique that there are only 12 such columns in the world. The windows are adorned with decorative stained glass panels.
Hungarian Parliament Museum
This museum is located in the Visitors Centre and is free for everyone to visit. It currently has the following exhibits,
- 1000 Years of Hungarian Legislation
- History of the Construction of the Courtyard
- Stone Museum
- 1956 Memorial
These exhibits are open for the public and tell the history of Hungary. The history of construction talks about the Parliament Building and is filled with audio and visual elements. The Stone Museum houses carvings and the 1956 Memorial is a symbol for the 1956 Uprising against the Soviets.
Budapest Parliament Tickets
Budapest Parliament Priority Access Guided Tour
- Skip the long ticket lines and gain priority access to the Budapest Parliament House.
- Walk through years of history with a certified guide in one of the most decorated government buildings in the world built in Gothic Revival style with opulent interiors and lavish halls.
Grand City Tour with Parliament Entry
- Visit the Chain Bridge, Margaret Bridge, Castle District, Matthias Church, Fishermen's Bastion, Gellért Hill (Citadel), Synagogue of Europe , Budapest Zoo, Heroes' Square, Opera House & St Stephen's Basilica on the Grand City Tour from an air conditioned coach.
- Gain priority access to the Budapest Parliament. Entry fee & Guide fee inclusive.
Budapest Parliament - Know Before You Go
These are a few important tips to know before you plan your trip to the Hungarian Parliament building.
Getting to The Budapest Parliament
The Parliament Building lies at the bank of the Danube. It is on the Pest side of the city, at Kossuth Lajos Square. It can be reached on Subway station Kossuth Tér on the M2 underground line. It can also be reached with Tram Line 2 on the Kossuth Lajos Square Station.
Timings of the Budapest Parliament
- From 1st April to 31st October (Monday through Sunday: 8:00AM – 6:00PM )
- From 1st November to 31st March ( Monday through Sunday: 8:00AM–4:00PM )
Please note, visits to the Budapest Parliament is restricted during weeks in which the National Assembly holds its plenary sittings.
- It is necessary to provide proof of eligibility while purchasing discount tickets. This proof will be checked at entry.
- There will be a security check before entry into the building.
- Photography of the crown and the Dome Hall is prohibited. However, it is allowed in other parts of the building.
- The Parliament Building is accessible to people with disabilities.
- Guide dogs are the only animals permitted in the building.
- Washrooms and lavatories are located in the Visitors Centre.
- Guided tours may be cancelled in case of parliamentary events, even as late as immediately before admission.
Code of Conduct
The Hungarian Parliament Building expressly prohibits the following:
- To wear or display symbols of dictatorship
- To bring flags and any matter signifying a protest into the building
- Talking in loud voices and singing in the premises
- Eating, drinking and smoking within the premises
- Guide dogs are the only animals permitted in the building.
- Sitting, lying or kneeling on the stairs, the floor or any furniture or furnishings
- Noise making devices like whistles, megaphones are expressly disallowed
Tickets, Tours and Tips
It is advisable to book tickets to the Hungarian Parliament Building beforehand. Only a limited quantity of tickets are available each day at the Visitors Centre. It may take a while due to queues to get the tickets. Advance tickets can only be purchased online.
The tours are available in Hungarian, English, French, Hebrew, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish at the following times every day.
- Hungarian: 10:45 AM, 2:00PM
- English: 10:00AM, 12:00PM, 12:30PM, 1:30PM, 2:30PM, 3:30PM
- French: 11:00AM, 2:00PM
- Hebrew: 12:45PM
- German: 10:00PM, 1:30PM, 2:30PM
- Russian: 12:30PM, 3:30PM
- Italian: 10:30AM, 1:45PM, 2:45PM, 3:45PM
- Spanish: 10:30AM, 1:45PM, 2:45PM, 4:00PM
Budapest Parliament Guided Tour Details
- The duration of the tour is 50 minutes.
- For tickets booked in advance, present the tickets at the Visitors Centre
- It is necessary to have a printed copy of the ticket for scanning.
- ID proof is required at entry.
- It is advisable to arrive 15 minutes before the timings mentioned in the ticket.
Budapest Parliament Reviews
My number one recommendation when visiting Budapest would be to visit the Parliament building inside and out! Situated on the Pest side but must see views also across the River Danube and from the Buda side. The stunning, magnificent architecture is breathtaking. A must see!
We decided to do the guided tour which was great. You can choose your preferred language to have the tour in and consists of head sets so that you don't miss what the tour guide is saying. It lasts around 1 hour and you get to observe a section of the building including the holy crown jewels and the guard change. As it is a working, used building you only get to explore one of the wings however it is enough to get a feel of the grandeur and glory of this building.
- AmanAujla1692, TripAdvisor, April 2018
My key comment for all visitors: buy a ticket - on line - before visiting. They sell out quick, apparently days in advance. Please do not think you can walk in and buy tour tickets. This tour is so popular that all spaces sell out quick.
- GalvestonJT, TripAdvisor, March 2018
Read what others have to say about the Budapest Parliament on TripAdvisor.