Hungarian State Opera House

This Neo-Renaissance opera house on Andrássy út features world-class acoustics, and has seen many an important resident.

TravelCurious Tip

If you go to an evening performance, dress the part. You won’t be turned away for scruffiness, but you will feel out of place!

Miklós Ybl was one of the great Hungarian architects. He designed the Várkert Bazaar, parts of St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Rácz Thermal Bath — but the Hungarian State Opera House, built in 1884, is perhaps his finest contribution to Budapest.


Set off the beautiful Andrássy Avenue, the opera house is approached by streets paved with small wooden cubes. Once the whole avenue was paved in the same way and traversed exclusively by horse and carriage; now this romantic image is the preserve of the opera house.


Its style is neo-Renaissance, with a Baroque twist. The façade is adorned with statues of muses and opera greats, celebrating the links between European and Hungarian music. So statues of Liszt Ferenc and Erkel Ferenc stand alongside those of Mozart and Puccini. It is a heritage the opera house deserves: Gustav Mahler was once its artistic director.


Within, the decor is opulent. The marble columns and gilded vaulted ceilings show the wear of time, which lends them an old world air. The auditorium is vast, seating 1300 people and illuminated by a huge chandelier that weights over three tonnes and was crafted in Mainz especially. A magnificent fresco of the Greek gods on Olympus provides a worthy audience for the spectacles.


Good vibrations

The opera house was designed with precise attention to its acoustics. A recent study rated its acoustics as the third best in Europe, after only the Scala in Milan and the Opera Garnier in Paris. Sometimes third place isn’t so bad.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Budapest
St Stephen's Basilica
A neoclassical cathedral dedicated to the first Christian king of Hungary; his (alleged) right hand is housed in its reliquary.
Weeping Willow
Designed by Imre Varga, and adjoining the The Central Synagogue, this magnificent Holocaust memorial has the names of the dead or the missing on 30,000 inscribed leaves.
Rumbach Street Synagogue
The Rumbach Street synagogue is located in Belváros, the inner city of the historical old town of Pest
Kazinczy Street Synagogue
Kazinczy Street Synagogue is an Art Nouveau orthodox synagogue built between 1912 and 1913 Budapest VII.
Jewish Ghetto Wall Fragment
The Budapest Ghetto was liberated on January 17th, 1945.
Karl Lutz Memorial
Dramatic sculpture depicting Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, who saved many Jews during the Holocaust.

Related Tours

Highlights of Pest: Private Walking Tour
Explore the fascinating and vibrant Pest District of Hungary’s capital city, famous for its Jewish history, and its mix of stunning architectural styles. On your private tour you will:

  • Enjoy the personal attention of your expert private guide.
  • Discover the Pest district of Budapest, and learn why the two cities of Buda and Pest were united.
  • Wander along the eastern banks of the Danube River, whilst learning of its importance to the city since ancient times.
  • Learn about the Jewish community and their history in Budapest at the Holocaust Memorial centre
  • Visit the Great Synagogue, and enjoy a privately guided tour of Europe’s largest Jewish place of worship, with skip the line tickets included.
  • Tour inside the stunning Basilica of St Stephen’s, a neoclassical Cathedral (entrance included).
  • Learn about Hungary’s politics as you stand in front of the magnificent Parliament Building. 
  • Pass by the Vörösmarty tér statue and stop for a photo at the Ferris Wheel of Budapest.
  • Experience the friendly, buzzing atmosphere of downtown Pest, a vibrant, trendy, cultural and artistic neighbourhood. 
  • Stop by the Heroes Square, the Opera House, and House of Terror.
  • Admire the plethora of fabulous architectural styles – Gothic, Turkish, Art Nouveau and Neo-Classical among others.
  • Stroll through the tranquil park to see the beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle.
  • End your tour with the gorgeous Széchenyi Spa, a luxury bathing complex. (Entrance not included. Please note if you wish to enter you will need to have a vaccination certificate).

Budapest is really two cities, Buda and Pest, combined. The Pest district lies on the eastern bank of the Danube River and is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, Jewish community and history, and stunning mix of architectural styles from Gothic to Art Nouveau. Your private guide will show you all the most important highlights of the district on your private walking tour. 

Learn all about the Jewish community, as you step inside the Great Synagogue, a statuesque landmark that ranks amongst the world’s largest places of worship for the Jewish faith and was consecrated in the city in 1859. Stroll the leafy Andrássy út boulevard, passing by the neo-Renaissance National Opera House and other national buildings, including the formidable and magnificent Hungarian Parliament. Straddling the Danube, this stunning building is home to the Crown of St Stephen, a historically significant treasure of the Hungarian nation, bequeathed by Pope Sylvester II on Christmas Day in the year 1000. 

Walk into the Heroes’ Square, one of Budapest’s favourite public spaces: a popular gathering point with a monument dedicated to the Magyar (Hungarian) conquest at its heart. Your final destination on the half-day tour of Pest is the largest spa in Europe, the mosaic-rich Széchenyi Spa, an immense bathing complex built in elaborate Art Nouveau style, where you have the option of purchasing tickets to explore the bubbling hot springs and steaming pools of curative waters, enjoyed throughout the centuries by around 100-million bathers. 
Hungarian Food Tasting & Private Walking Tour of Budapest
Explore Budapest’s thriving foodie scene on this private walking food tour with several tastings, so be sure to arrive hungry. Learn about the history of Hungarian cuisine as you sample its many and varied flavours, and admire the highlights of the city too. On your private tour you will: 

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of your expert private guide, a local foodie!
  • Sample many delicious authentic Hungarian tastings on this culinary journey through Budapest. 
  • Admire many of the architectural highlights of the city as you explore its foodie scene.
  • Browse the sensational food markets and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. 
  • Try delicious Hungarian goulash, succulent paprika chicken, fisherman soup and dumplings washed down with a Hungarian-style spritzer or a glass of white wine from the vineyards of the south of the country.
  • Visit local bars and cafes and authentic gourmet restaurants.
  • Eat like a local and meet chefs, kitchen staff and food vendors.
  • Learn the history behind the nation’s favourite dish.
  • Get the inside scoop on the best places to eat in the city.
  • Try some of Budapest’s tastiest street food.
  • End at a lively bar in the centre, to continue at your leisure.

Budapest boasts a diverse array of different dishes with abundant culinary influences. In its soups and stews, there are the tell-tale signs of Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania, while stuffed vegetables and pickled salads are from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia. To Austria, it owes many of its pastries and to Turkey, its coffee, with German and Russian occupation also leaving its mark. Yet with the regional towns and villages of Hungary’s culinary heartlands, Budapest’s focus is squarely on home-spun dishes - albeit with a modern, contemporary twist.

Delve into the city’s gastronomic history on this experiential, sensory and delicious food tour. 

Get to know Hungary through its incredible food. Experience for yourself how history and societal changes continue to add new complexity to the city’s foodscape. In the markets, in the cafes, in the kitchens and at the food stalls, you will meet some of the chefs and watch kitchens in the throes of creativity: smell the food, listen to it pop and spit, devour it with your eyes, before finally – tucking in! 

Budapest’s favourite local dishes read like a Hungarian map, with every corner of this landlocked country represented in restaurants in the city. Like any capital city, Budapest is home to people from all over the globe, adding further culinary bites to the city’s mouthwatering food mix. 

Traditional Hungarian cuisine is heavy, no surprise given the bitterly cold winters; however, demand in Budapest is increasingly for modern interpretations of these robust dishes, so lighter and smaller portions, tapas-style. 

Want to order like a local? Try delicious Hungarian goulash, succulent paprika chicken, fisherman soup and dumplings washed down with a Hungarian-style spritzer or a glass of white wine from the vineyards of the south of the country. This tour is a tantalising tasting adventure of authentic Hungarian baked goods, sumptuous slow-cooked meats, freshly cooked soup, pies and fresh local produce. Enjoy! Or as they say in Budapest: jó étvágyat!
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