High Voltage at the Electrotechnikai Museum

Budapest's Electrotechnika Museum
Budapest’s Electrotechnikai Museum

This is the Electrotechnikai Museum in Budapest, a museum that tells the story of electrical engineering. Although it looks like it is housed in a large and impressive building (albeit not as large or imposing as the Hungarian National Museum) the museum itself is only a few rooms big. So far, this is starting to sound like a very uninspiring museum adventure, isn’t it?

In all honesty, it could have quite easily have been quite a dry visit, electrical engineering isn’t my forte and this is the first museum in Budapest I’ve encountered on this visit that didn’t have any marvellous museum mannequins on display!

One thing that I have learned in all my years of museum adventuring, and yes it has been years now, is that the people who work in small museums are the ones who get most excited about what they can share. That goes tenfold for those who work in small science or tech museums (like the Kirkaldy Testing Museum in Southwark).

After exploring a few things ourselves, a member of staff showed us around the museum, explaining what we were looking at, and showing us where the interactive bits were (and how to work them). This extra support made the objects on display a lot more accessible, especially when we had no idea what we were looking at!

The Electrical Engineering Museum had a really impressive collection of lights, with a particular emphasis on neons.

Neon lettering from the Electrotechnika Museum
Neon lettering from the Electrotechnika Museum

This example, which I think was from an old Italian restaurant was one of the interactive elements of the museum – you could switch it on and off, but now that I think about it, the fact that it wasn’t on all the time might have something to do with the electricity bill…

The interactives were more than just about switching lights on and off. They helped explain the story the museum was trying to tell, which is what these things are supposed to do. As someone who couldn’t follow the text, and had some difficulty in following everything our guide was saying (damned language barriers!) these things really helped to make the visit more than just wandering around and looking at things.

Also, they sometimes made some very pretty colours…


Seeing the coloursΒ helped me toΒ appreciate the skill and the science that goes into creating things like the signs we see everyday and even the lamps that light the streets at night.

But there is a beauty in the engineering too, as you can see from this incredible piece.

Elaborate neon tubes
Elaborate neon tubes

The museum had a certain beauty to it as well. Those of you who follow my instagram feed would have seen these fantastic tiles.


I quite liked the tiles at the Electrotechnika Museum in Budapest.

A photo posted by Jack Shoulder (@museumadventures) on Oct 18, 2015 at 4:04am PDT


The walls were as beautifully tiled as the floor, with a fantastic green to break up the beige paint. The, I hate to use this term but, ‘vintage’ posters added so much to the history of the electronic objects the museum displays. A little bit more information about these would have helped so much with the understanding of the objects and how they were presented to and perceived by the general public.

A vintage electrical poster
A vintage electrical poster

If you would like to explore the Electrotechnikai Museum, an adult ticket is 800HUF.

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