When asked about Hungary's most notable contributions to the world, one may think of goulash or the Rubik's cube--but music undoubtedly belongs on the list, as well.
Hungary is recognized for its influential musical legacy in European music history and beyond. With renowned composers and musicians like Ferenc Liszt, Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, György Ligeti, and Zoltán Kocsis, there are many accomplishments to celebrate.
However, no single center collected or displayed Hungary’s musical treasures in the context of global music history until the “Magyar Zene Háza” or the House of Music Hungary.
This museum is in a prime location for nature lovers, as it’s surrounded by the lush Városliget City Park, a place worth exploring in and of itself. The House of Music is a short ride away on the subway from our charming vacation rentals, making it an easy escape from the city bustle.
Discover all the beauty and charm of this hidden gem, nestled among a canopy of trees. Learn how to get there, explore its attractions and uncover why the House of Music Hungary is so spectacularly special!
Photo Credit: posztos
The House of Music Hungary is a remarkable testament to the power of vision and belief. What started as an idea in 2014 was transformed into reality with its grand opening in 2022.
An architectural masterpiece, it stands today as proof that Hungarian music traditions will continue to thrive.
Hungary announced an international design competition in February 2014 as part of the cultural development in the region to create a concept to celebrate the musical traditions of the country.
After considering nearly 170 projects, renowned Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto emerged victorious with his unique concept of "harmonizing and unifying with nature." With this vision, he was chosen as the victor amongst competitors from around the globe.
The House of Music was one of the most awaited openings of 2022. CNN and the World Architecture Community chose it as one of the top ten most anticipated buildings of that year.
It was envisioned that the House of Music Hungary would serve as an educational establishment featuring a long-term display of the origins and background of music and host live concerts, temporary exhibitions, and musical experiences.
There is truly nothing like it in the Hungarian capital! Even if you don't have the time to fit in a concert, simply visiting the building should be on your Budapest to-do list!
The building's thoughtful structure allows nature and music to play as one. Sometimes, the barrier between the two seems almost nonexistent.
Architects used ninety-four customized glass panels to create a completely transparent façade, creating light wells through the transparent walls and the roof structure. The unique design allows the inside to merge with the outside seamlessly.
Don't forget to look up when you visit--the undulating roof is dotted with 100 holes whose forms are inspired by the differing shapes of sound waves. As a result, the painstakingly crafted building feels like a continuation of the natural environment.
The Open Air Stage opened in mid-2022, bringing the House of Music experience to the outdoors. The stage showcases emerging talent and exciting musical experimentation, proving to be a progressive endeavor.
The exhibition space allows you to watch light, nature, and sound all interact, creating a relatively seamless experience in the middle of the lush, wooded park.
The core mission of The House of Music Hungary is to promote the art and history of music in an inclusive way.
The House of Music Hungary does an incredible job of creating a musical journey.
They do this by educating patrons about the past through exhibits and historical concerts, encouraging the present exploration of music through interactive activities, and exploring the future of music through its progressive approaches to music education.
The museum strives to play a defining role in the lives of every family, child, and young adult. They aim to achieve this by fostering Hungarian folk and classical music history alongside other global music genres.
Although Hungarian music history is rich, the museum intentionally avoids binding itself to one genre. It also aims to lift and promote aspiring artists by organizing performances. With its community-centered, music-first approach, there is always a colorful program for visitors to enjoy year-round.
Click here to learn about their open-air concerts, exhibitions, and unique events.
As a building dedicated to the enjoyment and education of music, you can find various activities and interactive exhibitions related to the subject. The programs and spaces are meticulously designed so visitors can listen to, experience, try out, and even make their own music.
You can find something different to do on each building floor of the House of Music; here is a guide to each part of the museum.
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One of the biggest attractions of the House of Music is the Sound Dome, which can be found on the underground level. The dome is a hemispherical creation where visitors are entirely submerged in sound from all sides while enjoying an immersive light projection show.
This underground level also has exhibitions related to European music, with extra attention paid to Hungarian pop music.
Photo Credit: zenehaza
The ground floor level features the Creative Sound Space - an interactive area with eight large-scale and uniquely designed sound-generating installations. This free play area allows visitors to try conducting a robot orchestra or creating a rhythm composition.
On the upstairs level, you’ll find the Music Education Room. Workshops are hosted here and designed to provide experiences for visitors of all ages in various themes. You’ll also find an instrument lab here, where children can try out interactive games and other activities.
Photo Credit: posztos
The Concert Hall and Open Air Stage both host eclectic programming of concerts throughout the year. As you climb the graceful spiral staircase to the Concert Hall, you can also access the classrooms and library, which are used for music education and workshops.
Photo Credit: Jan Zabrodsky
The House of Music Hungary is quite accessible from the city center. Budapest’s city transport is accessible and easy to navigate and provides direct routes to the House of Music Hungary.
Take the Metro 1 in Gellert Hill, which crosses the Danube River, to get to the House of Music Hungary easily.
As you stroll through the scenic Városliget or "City Park," marvel at iconic landmarks like Vajdahunyad Castle and wander into its rich history renowned in the Hungarian Museum of Ethnography - all on your way to explore a world-famous museum.
Once your time at the House of Music Hungary ends, there are plenty more attractions to catch your eye in the Városliget City Park area. A few of our favorites are below.
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The cheerful yellow arcades of the Széchenyi Baths may be Budapest's most recognizable thermal spa. A leftover from Hungary's occupation by the Ottoman Turks, Széchenyi is a historic place to steam your cares away. Relax in the sauna or splash in the indoor or outdoor pools.
Photo Credit: Razak.R
This castle is curiously unique and yet commonplace at the same time. An amazing amalgamation of architectural styles throughout the ages, you'll recognize Renaissance, Medieval, Baroque, and other types of styles all rolled into one castle.
Grab dinner at the restaurant, or head to the lake for recreation. In the summertime, you can rent rowboats, and in the winter, the lake is frozen over into the largest outdoor ice rink in Europe!
Photo Credit: Mike Ilchenko
The Hungarian Museum of Ethnography is hard to miss. Its iconic curved walls rise out of the pavement from across the park. Many people don't even make it inside the museum and just stop for a quick photo op instead.
If you do take the time to go inside, you'll find collections of artifacts, photos, and books that detail Hungarian history and culture.
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This World Heritage Site and its monumental statues are many visitors’ first introductions to Budapest’s City Park.
The monumental statue in the center is of the Archangel Gabriel. According to legend, Hungary's first king, Stephen I of Hungary, was visited by Gabriel in a dream and told to crown himself and unite the country under Christianity.
Fun fact, the Heroes’ Square won the Grand Prize at the Paris World Fair in 1900!
Visiting the House of Music Hungary will provide you with information about Hungary's rich musical past and its evolving future.
With its painstakingly curated exhibits, an ever-changing milieu of programs, and genuinely fascinating architecture, you must put the House of Music on your Budapest to-do list.
Check out these exclusive vacation rentals for options to stay in the museum's surrounding area.