Night of Museums, the one-night cultural festival held across Hungary, kicks off this Saturday afternoon. In Budapest, one wristband will allow you to visit as many of the 106 participating museums as you can squeeze in into one night; while outside the capital, many local museums organise whole-day programs with concerts and other exceptional events besides the usual gallery or museum tours.
This is going to be the 17th edition of the one-night cultural fiesta, and its popularity has been continuously growing, with hundreds of thousands of visitors turning up each year, often resulting in long queues at the most popular venues.
This year, in Budapest, the adult wristband costs HUF 1900 (Eur 6). It allows you access to all the programmes of the participating museums and other cultural institutions, and entitles you to visit the permanent and temporary exhibitions as well. In addition, wristband-owners can use the Museum buses free of charge. A novelty is the VIP ticket for HUF 10,000 (Eur 32) which allows you to enter all the museums without queuing, while half of the ticket price supports one selected museum.
Mátra Museum in Gyöngyös
Outside Budapest, entrance fees, additional services, and discounts vary by municipality and event. Here are a few of the highlights:
In Aeropark, located by Liszt Ferenc Airport, you can enter the cockpit of several older, historical aircrafts. On board, defunct Hungarian airline Malév’s former captains and flight attendants talk about the world of flying, careers, and most exciting routes, while in the background Ferihegy’s air traffic radio can be heard. In addition to emergency and rescue simulations, visitors can see demonstrations about how drug and bomb-sniffing dogs work.
In the Törley factory, located in Budafok (Budapest’s 22th district), guided tours reveal the mysteries of champagne making, the factory’s history, as well as the extensive cellar labyrinth.
Both the National Headquarter of Penal Institutions and Police Museum will allow visitors to discover places, devices, tools, and techniques the public normally doesn’t (or wouldn’t want) to have access to.
At the National Museum, Hungarian actors will hold a “theatrical guided tour” in conjunction with the temporary exhibition dealing with the famed general of the 1848/49 Revolution, Artúr Görgey.
In Szombathely, this year’s featured town, both Hungarian State Railway, MÁV’s regional headquarters, and the Railway Station is on the program. At the former, visitors may enter the operation center. At the latter, the trains’ repairing yard is on show, besides demonstrations and displays about rail vehicles.
Smaller towns shouldn’t be overlooked as well. Many of the local museums such as in Mór or Martfű, set up an intriguing whole-day program. In Mór, besides a number of local history lectures and demonstrations, wine taste-testings and other wine-related events will take place. In Martfű, archery, veteran vehicle displays, and other programs and demonstrations are on offer. In Esztergom‘s Basilica, visitors can have a look into the church’s hidden spaces, and enjoy an organ concert and other events. In Keszthely’s Balaton Museum, the Hungarian Tax Authority’s (NAV) cigarette-sniffing dog called Csiki will hold a demonstration.
You can find the detailed program and further information here.
images: Múzeumok Éjszakája- Facebook