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Closures of Budapest Museums and Other Sights

Edit: I've updated the thread title so I can include current status of non-museum sights.

At least some of this is not new info, but I thought it might be helpful to have this information in a single post. I have reported the current status using the guidebook-updates link.

The Museum of Fine Arts is closed but will re-open on October 31 of this year. Some highlights are suposedly at the Hungarian National Gallery (haven't been there yet), but logic suggests that there may be a period later in the year when those items are on their way back to the MFA and not on view anywhere.

The Museum of Applied Arts is closed for an extended period for refurbishment.

The Museum of Ethnography is closed until 2020 for relocation.

In possibly-related news (given that the three closed museums were major participants in the past), there are some adjustments to the Budapest Card's coverage this year. A couple of smaller places that used to be discounted 50% are now fully covered. Unfortunately, the very expensive tour of the Liszt Ferenc Academy is now half-price rather than free. Win some, lose some.

In other news, I found no ATM option at the airport other than the maligned Euronet. I took a deep breath and gave it a try. It pushed DCC very hard but did allow me to complete the transaction in forints after threatening me with an unknown exchange rate. There was no sign of a fee being charged by the ATM itself. I won't be sure until after I return home, but I'm assuming the exchange rate for that withdrawal will be essentially the same as for the bank-ATM withdrawal I made later.

I'm a bit puzzled about the number of people I've seen clustered around exchange booths here. I don't usually notice anyone using them.

Posted by
9305 posts

Does that mean you are here? The amount of construction here is amazing. The museum issue may have something to do with Orban reorganizing and building so he can return the castle, currently museums, to the seat of executive power.

Posted by
9305 posts

If you are here, see the two restaurants I just posted. Very nice, one for the people and the other for great truly authentic Hungarian food with out the tourists.

AND, do post when you get the ATM bank charges. I'm curious. There is a Euronet ATM down the street, along with a OTP Bank machine. I'm tempted to pull 20000 forint from both this week and compare (shows up on my Bank account in just a few hours).

Posted by
13676 posts

There's definitely a move to relocate some museums, I think to City Park. Beyond that, I know nothing.

The young man who sold me a Budapest Pass yesterday was quite sure the Ethnography Museum was open. Sorry, but I think I'll go with what the museum's own website says on that point. And it has been saying it for a good while, too. It's an important enough museum that I'd expect the tourist office folks to be up to date on its status.

I'm still puzzled as to whether there is actually a tourist office located at Deak Ferenc ter as opposed to the little rolling cart I eventually stumbled upon. I couldn't find an office anywhere in the area, just the cart and a bunch of private places trying to masquerade as official spots.

Posted by
13017 posts

In September I used bank ATMs exclusively, until my next-to-last day when I really wanted to buy something, needed cash, and no banks were nearby. I bit the bullet and used a Euronet machine, declined the conversion, and got about the same rate as at the banks, no fees.

Posted by
9305 posts

The tourist office is down the stairs closest to the 47/49 Tram end stop (on the river side of the street). Actually, not sure it's a tourist office exactly, but they have maps and you can buy travel cards, etc there. It's also the entrance to the M1 Millenium Metro museum.

Posted by
1966 posts

I love the Neprajzi (ethnography) museum and I got to visit it twice in the enormous and elaborate old building by Parliament--very glad I did. I remember reading it will be moved to a building in Hero's Square. Also love the Applied Arts--fabulous building, glad it's staying there and being renovated.

The National Gallery on Castle Hill is definitely worth a visit, lots of Hungarian artists and last year I got to see a special exhibit of Picasso works, the year before they had Man Ray. I'll be in Budapest on the 15th and this reminds me to check what special exhibit they have.

As to ATMs, I seek out OTP, usually the one near Kalvin ter.

Posted by
13676 posts

Update: the National Gallery no longer has the highlights from the Museum of Fine Arts on display. I still thought the NG was worthwhile. Christa, I don't pay attention to what is a special exhibit and what is part of the permanent collection, but I think the display of illustrations for "Faust" is a special deal. It's quite small.

Posted by
1966 posts

I only check out special exhibits if I have already viewed the permanent collection, to see if a return is warranted. I.e, I’ll be visiting the Lower Belvedere in Vienna for the second time as they have Beyond Klimt, and I love Secession era art.

Posted by
13676 posts

The Rumbach Street Synagogue is closed for what looks like significant work. I believe that has been planned for some time; I'm just sorry I didn't get to see it before the work started. You can still get a good idea of what the facade looks like (not worth taking pictures, though), and it is beautiful. It's worth swinging by for a peak when you're visiting the Dohany Street Synagogue.

The Memorial to the 1956 Revolution (probably not the official title) located near Heroes' Square / City Park is not visible at the moment. I assume it's behind the huge construction barrier behind the Mucsarnok. I'm guessing that's where they're building the new home for the Museum of Ethnography. I suspect it will be quite some time before that 1956 Memorial is accessible. The memorial at Kossuth Lajos ter near Parliament can be visited, however.