Budapest Opera House

The Opera House in Budapest is one of the most prestigious musical institutions

Budapest Opera House
Budapest
Photo by Mark Mervai
Photo by Mark Mervai
The chandelier
Budapest
Photo by Mark Mervai

Why visit: history, architecture, world-class opera, guided tours, Andrássy Avenue

A Brief History of Budapest Opera House

The opera house in Budapest stands as one of the most beautiful Neo-Renaissance buildings in Europe. When it was opened in 1884, the city shared the administrative duties of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with Vienna. In fact, Emperor Franz Joseph commissioned its design. Construction included the use of marble and frescos by some of the best artisans of that era. Designed by Miklós Ybl, one of Europe's leading architects in the mid to late 19th century, the Budapest Opera House quickly became one of the most prestigious musical institutions in Europe. Many important artists performed here, including Gustav Mahler, who was also the director for three seasons.

Budapest Opera House

The staircase - Photo by Phil Watkins

The Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the best opera houses in the world in terms of its acoustics, and has an auditorium that seats 1200 people. It is horseshoe-shaped and, according to measurements done by a group of international engineers, has the third best acoustics amongst similar European venues (after the Scala in Milan and the Paris Opera House). The statue of Ferenc Erkel stands in front of the Opera House. He was the composer of the Hungarian national anthem and the first music director of the Opera. The other statue in front of the Budapest Opera is of Ferenc Liszt, the well-known Hungarian composer.

Getting to the Budapest Opera House: Take the Millennium Undreground (M1) to "Opera" station

Insider Tip:
You can tour the Opera House during the day and learn about its gorgeous architecture as well as enjoy a world-class performance in the evening. Guided tours are offered daily at 3 pm and 4 pm in English, François, Deutsch, Italiano and Español. Tours in Japanese are offered Mondays and Saturdays. Tickets are available in the Opera Shop and tours take about 45 minutes. Prices are HUF 2,900 for adults and HUF 1,900 for students. For groups of 10+ people tours are available any time during the day, but pre-registration is necessary. Please contact Opera Visit at (+36-1) 332-8197 or at (+36-30) 279-5677 to reserve a group visit. More info on the tours is available at operavisit.hu.

A performance at the Budapest Opera is a fantastic experience and it won't break the bank. You can get quality tickets for as little as USD 10.00. Click here for this season's premiers and highlights.

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tags: must see attractions pest side entertainment renaissance architecture city center culture