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Museum night in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities

Every year Budapest opens all their museums and cultural institutions during one night on June 23rd. They call it Night of the Museums. Now I have only experienced this night once, in 2019, and had a lot of fun. I thought it would be a good idea to blog about it, so you can check it out too. If you’re in any way flexible while planning a trip through Hungary, or if you are going to be spending a few days in Budapest, then go for it. Start planning your trip to Budapest to check out one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and experience Night of the Museums for yourself. Unfortunately you do need a sitter for your younger children, but if you’re traveling with teens, there are some locations that will make Museum Night fun for them.

How does it work?

Up until the 23rd of June you can buy tickets for Night of the Museums at participating venues and the ticket offices of BKK (the Budapest Transport Centre) or you can buy them online via jegymester. The tickets cost 1700 HUF (about €5,30) per adult. When you’ve paid you receive a bracelet that you have to wear on the night itself and you also receive a copy of the program so you can plan your visits. The night ends at 2.30am.

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My man and I were in Budapest in 2017 and were lucky enough to be there when the event took place on a Saturday night. We had a great dinner and the city is so amazing that we just spend the first few hours after dinner just walking along the Danube river having drinks at a few of the many bars located there.

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Buda Castle and National Gallery

Then we decided to head over to the Buda Castle that houses the National Gallery. As soon as we entered we heard music. It is so special to visit a museum at night, look at the beautiful pieces and hear live music all at the same time. We were there around 10pm and it was crowded, but not too much and most of the visitors were locals. We sat on the lovely stairway listening to classical music (not an expert, so no idea what we were listening to, but it was beautiful). After an hour and a half we decided to have a drink outside of the castle and we were gifted with the most amazing view over the Danube and the Hungarian Parliament Building.

Instead of taking the Castle Hill Funicular we walked out via the back and took one of the buses that drive a special route during museum night and if you show your bracelet you’ve got yourself a free ride. Our next stop was one I was looking forward too, I like spooky things and this venue looked promising. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Labyrinth

We went to Labyrinth, which is situated in a complex of caves and cellars beneath Castle Hill. During WWII it was used as a shelter and a hospital. But it’s mostly known as the place where Vlad Tepes, aka Count Dracula, was imprisoned for a while during the 15th century. The place itself wasn’t much to brag about, but they made a spectacle out of it this night. The lights were off in some of the cellars and in others only a few candles gave away which way to go. They also hired a guy dressed as Dracula to scare people. I heard lots of girls scream. And I even spotted a guy who held his girlfriends hand the whole time. He was truly spooked. It was a fun experience. Although the space is impressive in itself, we went in and walked out within an hour. Older teens will definitely enjoy this one!

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There was lots left to explore, but after a full day (and night) of cultural visits it was time to go back to the hotel. Have you ever been to a museum night? Not only Budapest organizes them. If you have any tips, fun for parents and children, let us know in the comments.