Located in sight of the Chain Bridge on the Buda side of the Danube River, Budapest History Museum forms one wing of the Royal Palace, sharing space with the more extensive Hungarian National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galéria).
The museum relates the turbulent 2,000-year history of the three towns that form Budapest – Buda, Pest and the oft-overlooked Óbuda – and there are currently five permanent exhibitions, with one covering recent Budapest history still under construction. The ruins in the basement are poorly labeled but worth persevering with as they are a mix of staircases, cellars and corridors from previous castles on the site.
There are plenty of dumpy prehistoric figures, tiled medieval stoves and Gothic statues but the highlights of the museum are the reconstructed rooms of the Royal Palace, which include the medieval chapel and the Gothic Knights’ Hall. An innovative new exhibit submerges visitors in 3D film to ‘walk through’ the history of the last 1,000 years.