The Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház)

The Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház)

The Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Állami Operaház) is located in central Pest, on Andrássy Avenue (Andrássy út).

Address:  Budapest VI., Andrássy út 22.

The Hungarian Royal Opera House (Magyar Királyi Operaház) in 1893

The Hungarian Royal Opera House (Magyar Királyi Operaház) in 1893

The Hungarian State Opera House, or Budapest Opera House, was designed by the famous 19th century Hungarian architect, Miklós Ybl. Building lasted from 1875 to 1884 and was funded jointly by the city of Budapest and Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Hungarian Royal Opera House (as it was known then) was opened to the public on the September 27, 1884.

Built in the neo-Renaissance style, with elements of baroque, the Opera House is an architectural gem. Ornamentation includes paintings and sculptures by leading figures of the arts at the time, including Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Károly Lotz. Whilst not the largest example, the Hungarian State Opera House is considered to be amongst the first few opera houses in the world in terms of beauty and acoustics.

The Hungarian State Opera House's interior

The Hungarian State Opera House's interior

In front of the building are statues of Ferenc Erkel, composer of the Hungarian national anthem (Hymnus), and the first music director of the Opera House (He was also founder of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra). The other statue is of Franz Liszt (Liszt Ferenc), the most famous Hungarian composer.

The auditorium has 1261 seats in a horseshoe shape and, according to measurements done in the 1970s by a group of international engineers, has the 3rd best acoustics in Europe after the Scala in Milan and the Paris Opera House.

Each year the season lasts from September to the end of June and alongside opera performances the Opera House is home to the Hungarian National Ballet.

In the 1970s the state of the building prompted the Hungarian State to order a major renovation which eventually began in 1980 and lasted until 1984. The reopening was held exactly 100 years after the original opening, on the 27th of September 1984.

The Hungarian State Opera House's painted ceiling

The Hungarian State Opera House's painted ceiling

There are guided tours in the building in six languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Hungarian) almost every day at 15:00 and 16:00 with tickets costing 2,800 HUF (about 10 Euros) for adults and 1,400 HUF (about 5 Euros) for students. Click here for more info and booking instructions!

You can reach the Hungarian State Opera House by the Metro line 1, Opera stop, Bus 105 or by walking down Andrássy Avenue (Andrássy út) from Oktogon or up the same street from Deák Ferenc square (Deák Ferenc tér). Use this Budapest public transport route-planning site (English is available here) to plan your trip, it works best when you have the exact addresses for your proposed journey’s beginning and end.

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Click here for Hungarian State Opera House’s official website!

Click here to see programs and buy tickets for the Budapest Opera House!

Let me know if you have any stories or questions about the Hungarian State Opera House in the comments below.

Destination guide Dan.

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