Hungary’s parliament building in Budapest is ranked among TripAdvisor’s top 15 landmarks in the world.
Inspired by the British House of Parliament, it is both a Museum and an office for around 800 people.
This proud city landmark on the banks of the Danube gets almost a million visitors annually.
What to expect at Hungarian Parliament
The Parliament Building in Budapest, which the locals refer to as Országház, is renowned for its stunning architecture.
The Budapest attraction is open to visitors who get to see the stunning interiors of the building, including some of 691 well-furnished rooms.
Don’t miss out on the forty kilograms of 22 to 23-carat gold used to decorate the interiors, especially the staircases and intricate ceiling designs.
Here is a video that gives you an idea about the scale of Hungarian Parliament –
Note: Unfortunately, Budapest Parliament Building’s architect Imre Steindl never got to see his masterpiece because he went blind before it got completed.
How to reach Budapest Parliament
The Hungarian Parliament Building is at Kossuth Lajos Square, on the Pest side of Budapest.
It lies on the bank of the Danube and makes for a beautiful sight from a Danube River Cruise.
Metro to the Parliament Building
Budapest has four lines, out of which Line 2 (Red Line) can take you to the Hungarian Parliament.
Line 2 crosses the city of Budapest from Buda’s Deli Palyaudvar (Deli Railway Station) to Pest’s Ors vezer Square.
To get to the Parliament building, you must get down at Kossuth Lajos Ter Metro station.
Note: Budapest Metro starts services every day at 4.30 am and runs until 11 pm. A train passes every 2 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day. Budapest Metro Map
Tram to Budapest Parliament
Tram 2 runs parallel to the Danube from Jaszai Mari Square to Kozvagohid, and on the way, stops at the Parliament building.
Interestingly, Tram 2 is one of the ten most beautiful tramlines in the world.
Note: Validate your ticket the moment you board the Tram, else you may have to pay unnecessary fines. Since tickets can’t be bought on the Tram, you must buy them in advance from vending machines, small kiosks, Metro stations, etc.
Budapest Parliament parking
There is no parking space for private cars or buses in front of the Visitor Centre at the Hungarian Parliament Building.
However, you can park your car at Care Park, which is 1 km (0.6 Miles) from the Parliament Entrance.
They have 400 parking slots and are open 24 hours.
Budapest Parliament’s hours
From April 1 to October 31, Budapest Parliament opens at 8 am and closes at 6 pm every day, and from November 1 to March 31, it continues to open at 8 am but closes early at 4 pm.
When is Budapest parliament closed?
Visits to the House of Parliament get restricted when the Hungarian Parliament is in session.
On the first day of the week, the visitors are allowed to see the Hungarian politicians in action from 8 am to 10 am.
On such days the ticket office remains open till 11 am.
Rest of the week, visitor tours are not allowed as long as the Assembly Sessions continue.
This is why it is advisable to book Hungarian Parliament tickets online – the website/apps won’t allow you to book the tickets on days when the tours aren’t allowed.
Many tourists don’t know this and end up visiting the attraction, only to get disappointed.
The Hungarian Parliament Building doesn’t allow visitor tours on the below given National Holidays as well.
- January 1
- March 5
- Sunday and Monday of Easter
- May 1
- August 20
- October 23
- November 1
- 24, 25 and 26 of December
Budapest Parliament ticket price
The cost of the Hungarian Parliament tour ticket is Ft 8,500 (24 Euros).
All visitors above six years of age must pay this price to join the tour.
However, some visitors get a reduced price.
Kids under the age of six get a 100% discount on their Budapest Parliament tour tickets – that is, they can enter for free.
On the day of your visit, you can claim their free ticket from the Parliament’s Visitor Center.
EU Citizen discount
Till January 2013, Hungarian Parliament tours used to be free for EU citizens.
But now all EU Citizens older than six years must buy a discounted ticket which costs Ft 5,300 (15 Euros) – they get a 35% discount on the full ticket price.
Students aged between six to 24 years, who have a valid student ID can also avail discounts on their Budapest Parliament tour tickets.
Students from EU countries get a discount of 60% on the regular ticket price, and they only have to pay Ft 3,250 (9 Euros).
Students from non-EU countries get a reduction of about 40%, and their Parliament Tour ticket costs Ft 5,200 (14.5 Euros).
Note: If you book a discounted ticket, be ready to produce proof of eligibility (with valid IDs, Passports, etc.) on the day of your visit.
Budapest Parliament tours
Official Guides of the Parliament lead the Hungarian Parliament tours – visitors can’t just walk in and start exploring.
This is why we recommended you plan your tour date and book your guided tour online.
When you conveniently book these Budapest Parliament Tours online, you don’t have to queue for the limited leftover tickets on the day of your visit.
And since these guided tours are timed, those who book them at the last minute don’t get their preferred time slots.
How much in advance should you book
Since only a limited set of visitors are allowed to explore the Budapest Parliament every day, the 45 minutes guided tour ticket gets sold out 1 to 3 weeks in advance.
What if you missed it
If it is the holiday season and you haven’t booked your Parliament Building tickets at least one week before your visit there are two options:
1. Buy same-day Hungarian Parliament tour tickets
You can buy same-day tickets, which are available in limited numbers at the Building’s ticket office in their Visitor Center.
You may have to wait in long queues, and sometimes the tickets may be over before you reach the front of the ticket counter.
2. Book a combo tour
These are known as combo tour tickets and are a great way to save money.
Combo tours help in saving up to 15 to 20% of the ticket costs, but many travelers don’t know this.
That’s why combo tickets are an excellent last-minute opportunity to book a Parliament tour.
How long is the Hungarian Parliament tour?
The Hungarian Parliament tour is a 45-minutes experience, which includes 15 minutes of security check and 30 minutes of walking around the Building in a group led by the Building’s official guides.
Besides showing around the delicately done up rooms, Staircases, Coronation Jewels, etc. the Guides also share the operational rules and procedures of the Hungarian Parliament.
For security reasons, you cannot stay in the Parliament building after the guided visit is over.
Budapest Parliament tour tickets
As mentioned earlier, tourists can book only guided Budapest Parliament’s tour.
Visitors can’t explore the building on their own.
How online tour tickets work
The moment you purchase the Hungarian Parliament building tour tickets, they get emailed to you.
On the day of your visit, arrive at the Budapest Parliament Visitor center 15 minutes before the starting time of the tour.
It is on the North Side of the building at the end of Balassi Bálint Street.
In case you forget to bring a print out of your ticket, the person at the Visitor Center can help.
You can then show this paper ticket on the scanning devices opposite the ticket desk and enter.
Documents to bring
Visitors must bring their ID card/passport to enter the Parliament building.
Since students up to the age of 24 years can book their tickets at a discount, they must bring along their student ID as well.
Presenting below four of the most popular tours –
1. Budapest Parliament 45-Minute Guided Tour
This is the only ticket that can get you inside Hungary’s Parliament, the third-largest Parliament building in the world.
This tour is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian.
Kids five years and below can enter the Parliament for free.
Adult ticket (6+ years): Ft 8,500
Student (6 to 24 years, with ID): Ft 5,200
Student EU Citizens (6 to 24 years, with ID): Ft 3,250
EU Citizens (with ID): Ft 5,300
*If you want to book a Hungary Parliament Tour which includes a pickup and drop from your Budapest Hotel, click here.
2. Hungarian parliament tour + Grand city tour
This trip is a 4.5 hours long guided tour during which you get to see the Hungarian Parliament and also get a tour of Budapest city.
Your first stop will be the Castle District to see the area’s main attractions such as Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion, etc.
Then you drive to the top of Gellért Hill to take in panoramic views of the city.
Later the tour moves across the Elizabeth Bridge to the Pest side to see the famous Central Market Hall and Europe’s largest synagogue.
At Heroes’ Square, you stop to see statues of famed Hungarian kings and dukes.
The best – the Parliament Building tour – is reserved for the last.
Kids two years and below don’t need tickets to join this tour.
Ticket price (EU Citizen)
Adult ticket (13+ years): Ft 15,131
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): Ft 7,565
Ticket price (Non-EU Citizen)
Adult ticket (13+ years): Ft 18,914
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): Ft 9,457
If you want the same combo tour, but with hotel pick up and drop, check this ticket out.
3. Parliament Tour in English + Danube Cruise
This combination tour is an excellent opportunity to see the gigantic Hungarian Parliament from inside and then from outside, from the Danube River (besides the other sights!).
For the Parliament tour, you must choose one of the following time slots – 11 am, 11.15 am, 11.30 am, and 11.45 am.
After the 1 hour tour of the Budapest Parliament, you board your boat for the 90-minute cruise on the Danube at 2 pm.
Adult ticket (25+ years): Ft 13,412
EU Citizens (25+ years, with ID): Ft 8,253
Student (24 years and less, with ID): Ft 12,036
Student EU Citizens (24 years and less, with ID): Ft 7,222
4. Hungary Parliament Visit + Széchényi Spa Package
This is a mega combo because it combines two of the biggest attractions of Budapest – the Parliament and the Széchényi Baths – in one day.
That’s why if you are short on time, this is a perfect ticket.
For the Parliament tour, we suggest you opt for the earliest possible time slot from the from the available options – 11 am, 11.15 am, 11.30 am, and 11.45 am so that you can spend more time at the Spa.
This ticket gets you the VIP Entrance at the most extensive thermal Spa in Europe.
Which means you also get a Bath Kit, which includes a branded Széchényi Spa towel.
Adult ticket: Ft 28,886
Student (with ID): Ft 25,447
EU Citizens (with ID): Ft 25,447
Student EU Citizens (with ID): Ft 22,009
What to see in the Hungarian Parliament
The Hungarian Parliament tour is a fantastic opportunity to see the interiors of the Building.
Here is our list of must-see attractions inside the Budapest Parliament –
Staircase XVII is one of the twenty-eight stairs in the House of Parliament, and your tour begins from here.
You climb up the decorative, gold-plated Staircase XVII to reach the most spectacular floor of the building – the main floor.
During this climb, you will take in the intricate statues, stained glass windows, and decorative frescoes.
The Chamber of Peers
This chamber is also known as The Old Upper House Hall and used to house the Upper House of Parliament till Hungary decided to turn into a one House Government.
It now hosts conferences and meetings.
Don’t miss the panels made of Slavonian oak, gold-plated decorations, horseshoe-shaped seating arrangement, and paintings of the coats of arms of Hungary’s royal families.
Lounge of the Chamber of Peers
After exploring the Chamber of Peers, the tour enters the Lounge of the Chamber of Peers.
Check out the pyrogranite sculptures made of a unique material considered to be an innovation in its day.
In this lounge, you also get to see the largest hand-knotted carpet in the whole of Europe, under your feet.
Once you are done with the carpet, look up to see ornate gold gilded ceilings with paintings.
From the lounge, the tour moves to Dome Hall, the geometric center of the Hungarian House of Parliament.
The Dome Hall is almost 27 meters tall (that’s as tall as a six-story building).
The sixteen-rib vaulted ceiling has colorful stained glass windows between the ribs.
Don’t miss out on the statues of 16 Hungarian rulers and kings who shaped Hungary into the country it is today.
The most prominent names are St. Istvan (Stephen I) and St. Laszlo.
Hungarian Crown in Dome Hall
The Dome Hall of the Parliament Building houses the Crown jewels and other insignia and are heavily guarded all through the day.
The crown of Saint Stephen, also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary, was worn by 50 Hungarian Kings.
Together with the scepter, orb, and coronation sword, the Holy Crown sits in a glass container.
If you are lucky, you may even see the Change of Guard, which happens every few hours.
Visitors are not allowed to photograph the crown jewels.
When you exit the Dome Hall, you reach the Grand Stairway, which is the last exhibit of the Hungarian Parliament tour.
This stairway has 96 steps, covered with red carpet, to commemorate the Hungarian Conquest in 896 and Hungarian Millennium in 1896.
Two large and one small fresco adorn the ceiling of the main stairway.
Don’t miss out on the eight, four-tonne granite columns, which were gifted by the Swedish Government.
The windows with decorative stained glass panels on the sides add to the opulence.
Hungarian Parliament Museum
After the Budapest Parliament tour is over, you are free to visit the Parliament Museum located in the Visitors Centre.
This Museum got established in 2014 to collect, preserve, and to exhibit the souvenirs from the historic building.
The four permanent exhibitions which combine traditional and multimedia technology are:
1000 Years of Hungarian Legislation: This exhibition takes the visitors on a journey through the one thousand years of Hungary’s history. This section nicely complements the Hungarian Parliament tour.
History of the Construction of the Courtyard: The history of construction talks about the Parliament Building and full of audio and visual elements.
Stone Museum: The Stone Museum houses carvings. In here, you get to see sculptures and blocks of stonework from the times of reconstruction.
1956 Memorial: This is a symbol for the 1956 Uprising against the Soviets.
Numbered Cigar Holders
Hungarian cigars were a potent national symbol in the country in the early years of the Parliament and hence most Politicians were cigar smokers.
Since the debating chambers were non-smoking areas, numbered brass cigar-holders got built in the ancillary hallways.
When the bell rang to announce the next session, they would leave their cigars in their allotted slot, and pick them up later.
Code of conduct within the Parliament
Visitors must follow a strict code of conduct during the Hungarian Parliament tour, failing which they can get evicted.
No visitor must –
- Conduct oneself in a manner harmful to the National Assembly, to the national treasure of the Holy Crown or the Coronation Insignia
- Affect other person’s human dignity
- Bring flags or other instruments of protest
- Raise one’s voice, sing or demonstrate
- Eat, drink or smoke within the Building
- Sit, lie or kneel on the stairs, ground or furnishings
- Damage the furnishings or the Parliament Building itself
- Disturb or obstruct the Parliament’s staff
- Bring noise-making devices such as whistles, megaphones etc. to the tour
- Refuse to comply with instructions and requests from the Tour Guides
Budapest Parliament’s guards will escort the visitors who fail to comply with these rules, out of the Building.
Budapest Parliament’s dress code
The dignity of the House of Parliament requires that every visitor dress up appropriately.
This does not mean that you must dress up for the Parliament Building tour – casual wears such as jeans, t-shirts, shirts, and skirts are just fines.
To wear or display symbols of dictatorship is strictly prohibited.