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The Open-Air Ethnographic Museum in Szentendre

The SkanzenSzentendreGreater Budapest

Would you like to see how Hungarian villagers spent their days centuries ago? Would you like to experience for yourself the atmosphere of times past?

Visit the largest open-air museum in Hungary in Szentendre, where you can gain first-hand knowledge of the folk architecture, housing culture, farming and lifestyle of the Hungarian-speaking areas.

Szentendre Skanzen

If you’re choosing a sight to see in Hungary, be sure to visit Szentendre, just 25 kilometres north of Budapest, as the number of gorgeous sights here is almost endless. These include one of the most popular tourist destinations of the Danube Bend and the area around the capital: the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum, also known as Skanzen. The unbroken popularity of the museum is no surprise, since it provides a unique experience: visitors essentially take part in time travel, during which they gain insight into every aspect of Hungarian country life from the mid-18th century right up to the first half of the 20th. In fact, certain buildings date back even further.



The permanent exhibition: folk regions at the Skanzen

The Skanzen in Szentendre, which has been recognised with numerous awards over the years, displays the rural heritage of the past broken down by village-like building groups, or divided into so-called regions: here you can view authentic objects and original buildings that have been relocated (both reconstructed versions and authentic copies) to get an in-depth understanding of the folk architecture, way of life and culture of past centuries. You can roam the following regions to examine their peasant gates and porches and related community, religious and farm buildings:


  • Upper-Tisza Region
  • Market town of the Great Hungarian Plain
  • Little Hungarian Plain
  • Western-Transdanubia
  • Bakony, Balaton Uplands
  • Southern-Transdanubia
  • Upland market town
  • North-Hungarian village
  • Transylvania (this is a work in progress, expected to open in 2022.)
Authentic folk-architectures

Each region takes you to its own magical world and each has its individual, unique beauty and charm. We also have another piece of good news for you: the museum railway makes it much easier to get around this vast area. Did you know that this is the longest museum railway in Europe?



The Skanzen’s thematic and temporary exhibitions

As part of the permanent exhibition, as well as the regions you can also see several thematic exhibitions, which provide exciting additional information built around their own central theme. The current choice on offer is as follows:


  • Farewell from the peasantry
  • In the drifting of history – Population exchange in Southern Transdanubia in the 1940s
  • Just a ‘bit of work’ – Villagers on ‘Malenkiy robot’ at the end of World War II
  • Carts and wagons


The Skanzen in Szentendre also caters to visitors with temporary exhibitions. If you’re interested to learn what other exhibitions are available right now, visit the Skanzen official website here.

The living museum

The museum staff has always worked to make the Skanzen a place to enjoy. As a result of this hard work, today the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum provides several ‘extra’ services.


In order to get a truly realistic picture of Hungarian village life centuries ago, we need more than the sight of static buildings and objects – it is also important to get to know the everyday life of living people. Thus, craftsmen work in the courtyards, peaceful lambs graze in the grass, the fragrance of herbs spreads from the kitchen, and, among other things, you can learn about the preservation practices of the time. Each of the active sites of the Skanzen are pretty exciting and many of them transmit knowledge that is useful to this day.


Don't let the fact that you’re with children deter you from visiting the Skanzen. The exhibition has ample attractions for the little ones: the so-called children's points of interest are designed to make the visit intriguing for them with various crafts activities, storytelling and puppet theatre.

Workshop for children in the open-air museum

The Skanzen in Szentendre – in numbers

We have a few interesting details for number-aficionados: the museum founded in 1967 is located on a nature conservation area of nearly 60 hectares. Its collection consists of almost 400 buildings, in addition to 80,000 objects, 9,300 general items and 6,329 data items of historical value, as well as boasting 118,000 photos and 21,117 slides. Simply amazing!



Move around like a hungarian