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“First-rate artwork, Soviet-era ambience”

Hungarian National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galeria)
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Ranked #47 of 442 things to do in Budapest
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Owner description: The museum houses an extensive collection of Hungarian works dating from the 10th century to present day, including the sculpture of King Béla III's head (1200 A.D.) and lavish 15th- and 16th-century winged altarpieces.
New York City, New York
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1,096 reviews
603 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 558 helpful votes
“First-rate artwork, Soviet-era ambience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2012

My wife and I were staying at the Hilton on Castle Hill in Budapest, not far from the National Gallergy, so of course it was one of the first museums we visited during our time in Budapest. We enjoyed the art tremendously - the wealth of medieval/Renaissance altars and such by artists you will never encounter, I believe, anywhere else in the world was quite fascinating. And the epic size painting commemorating the founding of Hungary, made in 1896 for the millenium celebration, is stunning.

My complaint about the museum was that it looks like it could use an upgrade, both in sprucing up some of the galleries and in bringing the attitude of the customer service into the 21st century. Regarding the latter, when we bought our tickets, we wanted to also purchase an English language audio tour, since we guessed that most of the art would not have any English explanation (our suspicion was confirmed, by the way). The woman we bought the ticket from pointed at an empty chair and said, "oh, the audio guide person is at lunch - if you want one, you will have to come back in an hour."

Did she really think we would want to come back an hour later to get a guide? Why couldn't she just slide over and pitch in and sell us a couple of audio guides? It seemed like a very Soviet-era attitude to us - the one person who does that job is not here, and therefore, the selling of audio guides ceases. To us it would make sense to have the audio guides covered for the entire time the museum is open, or at least to have someone from the ticket seller trained to cover the guides while she is on her break. That was a disappointment, since there were many works of art that were very intriguing and we had no audio guide to help explain them to us.

Visited April 2012
Thank Charming_Karl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
125 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Which century do you like?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2012 via mobile

If you dont like old religious stuff you can get rid of the first floor, which is actually the half of the permanent exhibition. I found interesting some pictures of the XIX, very much Turner style.

Thank Koke000
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Cork, Ireland
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142 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2012

Nice way to spend a couple of hours if you are interested in art.

Visited July 2011
Thank Aoife O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
245 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“The temporary exhibit was good, but the permanent was okay.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2012

At the time of visits there were two temporary exhibits and the permanent collection.
We saw Heroes, Kings, Saints. Images and Documents from the History of Hungary and the permanent collection. Manyof the paintings did not have a description in English, which was too bad.

The most impressive paintings were part of the temporary exhibit. Especially the one painting that is usually in the parliament building and has an interesting history "The conquest of Hungary"(Honfoglalás) by Mihály made the visit worthwhile and had an explanation in English. In the room across the hall other paintings of Mihálly are featured.

The building itself, a former palace, is pretty special.

Visited May 2012
Thank CDN_Wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
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26 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The Building of historical Famousiness”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2012

This is an Art Gallery actually, with Popular and Historical Events and Persons. This is also an Honoured and Beloved Favouirete Place of Arts.

Thank Kaczorqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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