Széchenyi Memorial Museum

Lonely Planet review

Approached through attractive grounds with sculpted vegetation, this excellent museum gives you a detailed insight into the work of István Széchenyi, as well as the man himself.

The rooms on the museum’s ground floor, furnished with period pieces, trace the Széchenyi family and their role as key players in the 1848–49 War of Independence, as well as István’s greatest influences – from the men whose thinking shaped his own and the widow he’d married to significant events, such as his military service and involvement in the ill-fated government of Lajos Batthyány. A sweeping baroque staircase leads to the exhibits on the 1st floor – testimony to István’s many accomplishments and diverse interests – from Budapest’s Chain Bridge, the Danube and Tisza Rivers’ engineering works, steamboat and rail transport, to photography, silk farming and horse breeding, explored through an engaging mix of models, artefacts and maps.

While there’s a taped commentary in several languages (including English) in each room (just press the button), an audioguide (200Ft) will save you the Babylonian clash of languages when others compete for the button.