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Hungary’s 300-year-long and very strong operatic tradition was given a major boost when the Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház) opened in Budapest in 1884. The building was designed by Mikós Ybl with influence from the Vienna Opera House. It now houses both the Hungarian State Opera and the Hungarian State Ballet. Its acoustics are considered among the finest in Europe, nearly as good as Milan’s La Scala and Paris’s Palais Garnier.
Enjoy both the interior and the exterior of this neo-Renaissance building. Outside the theater are statues of the well-known Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and also Ferenc Erkel who composed the Hungarian national anthem. Erkel founded the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra and was the first music director of the Opera House.
Inside, see paintings and sculptures by Hungarian artists Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Alajos Stróbl. Look up above the 1,261-seat auditorium to see the beautiful chandelier weighing 6,710 pounds (3,050 kilograms). It lights the Károly Lotz fresco of the Greek gods on Olympus in the vaulted ceiling. The entrance to the auditorium includes a wide stone staircase carpeted in red. The interior continues the opulence with plush red seats surrounded by walls and multilevel boxes shining as if they were made of pure gold. On most days guided tours are available in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Spanish.
The highlights of the Opera House, however, are its performances. Many of the world’s greatest operatic singers have performed here, including Renée Fleming, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Cura and Juan Diego Flórez. The opera and ballet season lasts from September through June and includes classics and occasional premieres. Book in advance if you would like to see a great opera or ballet in this special venue.
The Hungarian State Opera House is along Andrássy Avenue, near the Danube. Take the subway or bus, or walk from Heroes’ Square.
Would you like to make your time spent at Hungarian State Opera House even more unforgettable? Don't forget to try some of these things to do:
Your next great adventure has been waiting for you! You might like to try a Fast Track Ticket Budapest Parliament Tour-EU Citizens or a Scholar-Led Belle Époque Budapest Walking Tour.
If you're looking for more options, examine our Budapest things to do page.
Located in Erzsebetvaros, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Blaha Lujza Square and Dohany Street Synagogue. Hungarian National Museum and Hungarian State Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Blaha Lujza ter Station is only a 4-minute walk and Astoria Station is 7 minutes.
This family-friendly Budapest hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Vorosmarty Square, St. Stephen's Basilica, and Szechenyi Chain Bridge. Dohany Street Synagogue and Hungarian State Opera House are also within 10 minutes. Vorosmarty Square Station is only a 2-minute walk and Deak Ferenc ter Station is 3 minutes.
Located in Inner City Budapest, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Dohany Street Synagogue and Hungarian National Museum. St. Stephen's Basilica and Hungarian State Opera House are also within 15 minutes. Astoria Station is only a 2-minute walk and Ferenciek Square Station is 4 minutes.
This family-friendly Budapest hotel is located near the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Kiraly Street, Hungarian State Opera House, and House of Terror. St. Stephen's Basilica and Hungarian National Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Oktogon Station is only a 5-minute walk and Vorosmarty Street Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Terezvaros, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hungarian State Opera House, St. Stephen's Basilica, and House of Terror. Szechenyi Chain Bridge and Dohany Street Synagogue are also within 15 minutes. Opera Station is only a 2-minute walk and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street Station is 4 minutes.
Located in Terezvaros, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hungarian State Opera House and St. Stephen's Basilica. Szechenyi Chain Bridge and House of Terror are also within 15 minutes. Opera Station and Arany Janos Street Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Belső-Ferencváros, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Corvinus University of Budapest and Great Market Hall. Hungarian National Museum and Gellert Thermal Baths and Swimming Pool are also within 10 minutes. Fovam Square Station is only a 3-minute walk and Kalvin ter Station is 7 minutes.
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