Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library: Budapest’s Beautiful Palace Library

An oak-panelled library with a spiral staircase, chandelier and yellow armchairs

Not every library begins life as a former palace, but the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library in Budapest, Hungary, is no ordinary institution.

Complete with gilded interiors, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and ornate chandeliers, the library is a beloved spot for researchers and students alike.

Its story stretches back to 1887, when aristocrats Count Frigyes Wenckheim and his wife Countess Krisztina Wenckheim commissioned architect Artúr Meinig to create an elaborate residence.

Created during the height of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Wenckheim Palace was hailed as a masterpiece of Hungarian Neo-Baroque architecture. The finished design contained 48 rooms, including lavish salons and private boudoirs.

A ballroom with golden gilded walls and a golden chandelier filled with students studying at wooden tables
The Large Ballroom

But the palace’s time as a family home was short-lived. In 1927, the residence was bought by the City Council of Budapest. Four years of construction followed, and the building opened as a library in 1931.

The palace now sits at the heart of the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library, following an extensive renovation project completed in 2001. Named after the politician and social reformer Ervin Szabó, this state-of-the-art library holds 1.1 million volumes.

Oozing serenity and splendour, the library is a must-see destination for culture lovers. From opulent ballrooms to oak-panelled living rooms, discover the wonders of Budapest’s hidden gem.

Spiral staircase in the Living Room of the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library Budapest
Spiral staircase in the Living Room

Visiting the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library

  • Palace rooms: The palace rooms are located on the fourth floor of the library. The rooms include Dining Room, Large and Small Ballrooms and the Living Room.
  • Tickets: To visit, purchase a ticket from the information desk in the library’s main entrance. Tickets are 1900 HUF (around £4).
  • Address: Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library, 1088 Budapest, Szabó Ervin tér 1.
  • Visiting information: For the latest prices and opening times, visit

Discover more beautiful libraries

If you’re in search of spectacular libraries, check out my posts on the following:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.