A trip to Budapest means you cannot miss out on the Hungarian State Opera House.
And it’s truly a treat for the eyes and ears.
Before I even get down to the details, let me tell you this: PLAN AHEAD!
This place is always packed, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s not just a place where opera and ballet lovers come to be swept off their feet, it’s a place for anyone that wants to experience art in it’s many different shades.
Just a heads up: It’s hard to get tickets online as they sell out rapidly, especially if you’re planning to see famous performances like The Nutcracker.
But no worries, you can also call and see if there are any tickets available, and usually there are some!
I happened to get my tickets by reserving them on the phone. I have to admit I was very lucky!
Since my boyfriend was coming to visit me, I thought to myself: why not take him to see The Nut
cracker at The Hungarian State Opera?
I started searching for tickets at the beginning of December, and EVERYTHING WAS ALREADY SOLD OUT!
But after calling, I found two AMAZING tickets (the best tickets if you ask me)!
We were in box 10, which is to the left of the Royal Boxes. The box is on the first level, so not too high and not too low. You see the stage and the performance to perfection, but you also have the view of the orchestra and the opulent surroundings. Each box has two rows with three seats each.
Anyway, if you’re in Budapest in December, you HAVE to see The Nutcracker ballet. I’m sure that the other performances are just as phenomenal, but The Nutcracker during the holidays is just magical.
Something that really caught my attention were the beautiful backdrops. The house, the living room, the Christmas tree and the royal castle were all so real and beautiful. Not to mention the beauty of the dresses and the phenomenal orchestra.
The music transports you.
And hats off to the dancers. Throughout the duration of the ballet, I felt like I was the one dreaming! With each spin and gracious movement, not for one second did I glance away (except maybe to admire the jaw-dropping architecture)!
Conclusion? Tschaikovsky is a genius.
About the seating, you can either get tickets in the orchestra level or in one of the dress circles.
There are four dress circle levels: the ground floor parterre boxes, the first floor boxes, the second floor boxes and the third floor.
I don’t recommend the third floor boxes, in my opinion you are too high and you can’t quite enjoy the performance to its fullest. The first floor seats are great, but try to get the ones in the center as you will get a much better view (boxes 7 – 10 are the best).
While if you get a seat at the orchestra level, try to sit in the first 5 central rows.
During the break between the first and second act, head to the Opera Bar and enjoy a glass of wine or champagne.
The Hungarian State Opera House is really a must-visit place in Budapest. It’s a world-class opera house and the performances and the setting are truly unforgettable. Click here for information on the opera house’s program.
The Budapest Opera House is located in Pest in the elegant Andrassy Avenue in the 6th district and it’s a short walking distance from restaurants of the 5th and 6th districts! If you have restaurant reservations after the opera, don’t make them before 9.30pm (if you go to the 7pm performance)!
A little history…
The Hungarian State Opera House was built by the famed architect Miklós Ybl from 1875 – 1884 and the construction was financed and commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary.
Even if you do not attend one of the performances, the building in itself deserves a visit. Its neo-Renaissance architecture is truly a marvel, and the horse-shaped auditorium has been decorated with more than 7kgs of gold and hundreds of statues!
The Opera House was inaugurated on September 27th, 1884 with a performance conducted by Ferenc Erkel, whose statue stands in front of the Opera House. After its inauguration, the Budapest Opera House quickly became one of Europe’s musical and cultural institutions.
In terms of acoustics, the Hungarian State Opera House is considered to be the third best in Europe, after Milan’s La Scala and Paris’s Palais Garnier.
The Budapest Opera House is open daily for visits. For more information on visiting hours and prices, click here.
If you’ve been to the Hungarian State Opera House let me know about your experience! And if you have any questions leave a comment!