The Hungarian Parliament was constructed between 1885 and 1902. This was a result of a law born in 1880 where they decided to build an own Parliament for Hungary in Budapest and all suggestions were to be presented before January 1st in 1883. It was debated which of the suggestions were to win, but what was decided without any problem was the location. It naturally had to be on an area with lots of space, meaning a bit outside of the inner center of Budapest in those days. So Kossuth Tér was a natural location for the construction.
The winner architect was Imre Steindl, a very important Hungarian architect living in this period. The architect unfortunately died just some weeks before the Parliament building was finished. Even though the building was not yet finished, they still used it celebrating the Hungarian millennium in 1896. The building is symmetric, so if you would cut it in two on the middle, both sides would still look the same. It is interesting that during the 17 years the construction lasted an average of 1000 people worked on the building at the same time.
Today it is possible to visit the Hungarian Parliament almost every day. There are guided tours in several languages every day (in English normally at 10.00, 12.00 and 14.00). The entrance is free for members of the European Union, while others need to pay about 3500 HUF per person. Be aware that it is few tickets available for these tours, so you better show up early in the morning if you want to get in! Every 15th minute they also let people enter the Parliament to walk through, without a guide.
Inside the Hungarian Parliament
Inside the Parliament you can see lots of special rooms, staircases, paintings and of course the Hungarian Crown with the Crown Jewels next to the crown itself. Earlier the crown was located in the National Museum by Astoria, but on January 1st in year 2000 it was taken from the National Museum to the Parliament. The crown is not the crown they once used to crown King Stephen as the first king of Hungary, this has an origin some hundred years later. Still, it has a great value to the Hungarian people and it was a great joy as it returned to Hungary in the 1970s after spending quite some years in the United States.
The Hungarian Parliament is most beautiful from the Buda side (seen from Batthyány Tér) or from the Fishermen’s Bastion. If you want it even better, enjoy the view from a Danube Cruise in the night!
Hungarian Parliament visitor information
It is possible to visit the Parliament from Monday to Friday between 8.00 and 18.00, Saturdays between 8.00 and 16.00 and Sundays between 8.00 and 14.00. Entrance is free for citizens of EU nations, while the price is 3500 HUF for everyone else. There are guided tours in English in the Parliament at 10.00, 12.00 and 14.00 every day. There are also guided tours available inside the Parliament in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Hebrew. To visit the Parliament you need to bring your passport (if you are a member of the EU) and you need to meet by gate number 10, next to the big black stone/torch and facing the Museum of Ethnography.