This neo-Renaissance opera house has an illustrious history as one of Budapest’s greatest cultural venues, with legendary composer Gustav Mahler having once served as director here. Behind the Miklós Ybl–designed facade, which features statues of Puccini, Mozart, Liszt, and Verdi, is a plush interior with gilding, marble, and chandeliers.
A landmark of Hungary’s capital, this beautiful building is seen during many city sightseeing tours, including walking, bike, Segway, tuk-tuk, scooter, and hop-on hop-off bus tours. Visitors who want to explore the interior have two options: Join one of the thrice-daily guided tours of the venue, which conclude with a mini concert performed by two opera singers, or book tickets for a full performance.
The opera house is home to the Hungarian National Opera and National Ballet companies, as well as the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. Performances are held most days, and sometimes more than once a day. Most operas are performed in their original language, whether German, Italian, or French, with Hungarian and English surtitles.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Hungarian State Opera House is a must for music fans and architecture enthusiasts.
- Refuel at the Opera Café, situated on-site.
- No dress code is enforced but most patrons wear smart dress (i.e., no shorts or sneakers).
How to Get There
The Hungarian State Opera House is situated on Andrássy út boulevard in the Terézváros district of Budapest on the Pest (east) side of the Danube. To get here, ride the M1 metro line to the Opera stop, which is just steps from the Hungarian State Opera House, or take the M3 line to Arany János station.
When to Get There
Tours take place in the afternoon with tickets available at the door. If you have tickets to a performance, arrive at least 20 minute before the start time so you have time to find your seat and get settled.
Choosing a Seat
Tickets to performances at the Hungarian State Opera House are—by American standards—relatively cheap. The most reduced-price tickets typically have only partial views of the stage, while more expensive tickets tend to offer unobstructed views. That said, the venue is renowned for its acoustics, so the sound will be excellent no matter where you sit.
Please note: The Hungarian State Opera House is currently closed to the public for renovations. The reopening is scheduled for 2019.