Magyar Állami Operaház. This gorgeous neo-Renaissance opera house is affectionately known to the rest of the world as the Hungarian State Opera House. Considered by many to be one of Budapest’s most beautiful buildings with breathtaking architecture, the opera house was designed by a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture, Miklós Ybl. He created what many would agree is one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe. Ever since its opening in 1884, it has been an iconic institution in the Hungarian capital. Located on the popular Andrássy Avenue, the construction of the opera house was funded by the city of Budapest and by Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary.
Inside the Opera House
Hungary’s largest and most celebrated performance hall boasts an exquisite interior featuring murals and frescoes depicting Greek mythological scenes by two famous Hungarian artists of the day, Bertalan Székely and Károly Lotz. When visitors enter the building, they are first treated to the sight of the opera house’s impressive foyer with a double grand staircase and grey marble columns supporting the arches. In addition, there is a huge gilded chandelier that hangs down from the ceiling. Each level has a different layout and decoration with gold and red furnishings dominating the lavish auditorium. With a reputation for having exceptional acoustics, the opera house is third best in Europe after La Scala in Milan and the Palais Garnier in Paris and is able to seat up to 1,261 people. Interesting nugget of information – the opera house was decorated with more than seven kilograms of gold, back in those times, that’s a lot of money.
Statues of the world greatest composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Smetana, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Monteverdi can be found on the main facade. Seated statues of Franz Liszt (most famous Hungarian composer) and Ferenc Erkel, the first director of the Opera House, who also composed the Hungarian national anthem adorn either sides of the main entrance. Visitors will also be able to see muses such as Terpsichore, Erato, Thalia, and Melpomene representing dance, love poetry, comedy, and tragedy around the opera house.
We recommend catching any of the 50 plus performances including operas and ballets that are held there during the main season between September and mid-June. You can also watch performances by the Hungarian National Ballet here. For more information on the Opera House, check out its website. If you don’t have time to see a performance, you can take a guided tour any day from 3 to 4 p.m. for 2,900 HUF (about $13 USD). Alternatively you can choose to explore the lobby which you can do for free but the only way to tour the interior is with the guided tour.
HUNGARIAN STATE OPERA HOUSE
Hours: Tours daily 3pm and 4pm
Location: Andrassy ut 22, Budapest VI
Transportation Metro: Opera (Yellow line)
Prices: 2 900 HUF/person, 1 900 HUF for students with ISIC card, 20% discount with Budapest Card and free for children under the age of 6.
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Each of our 51 well-appointed contemporary studios, one, two and three bedroom penthouse apartments is furnished to high standard with open plan living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, modern bathroom, state of the art entertainment systems, high speed internet is available throughout our property, luxurious bedding and designer amenities. Full hotel style services are also available including 24 hour reception, security and concierge, a breakfast Suite offering a full Continental buffet breakfast each morning and a roof terrace with loungers to relax from the hustle and bustle of Budapest.
Address: Nagytemplom u. 31. – 1082 Budapest, Hungary
Phone: +361 872 5900