A location with as rich a history as that of Budapest is bound to have a thriving arts scene and Budapest does not disappoint with the performing arts options it offers for tourists.  The most popular form of performing arts to see while in Budapest are the major symphony orchestras which the area is famous for, but there are plenty of other options for travelers who are interested in other types of performing art.

  • The Művészetek Palotája (Palace of Arts - not to be confused with the Palace of Art visual art gallery) is a beautiful piece of modern architecture situated right on the banks of the Danube in southern Pest.  Performances here include classical music, ballet, jazz and theater.
  • The Opera House in central Pest hosts opera and ballet performances.  The gorgeous building alone is worth the price of admission.
  • The Liszt Ferenc (Franz Liszt) Music Academy hosts numerous classical music performances by both students and professional symphonies.
  • The Duna Palota (Danube Palace). In this concert venue the most prestigious Danube Symphony Orchestra performs the most famous classical melodies combined with Cimbalom. 
  • Budai Vigado (Hungarian Heritage House)  - The relatively simple eclectic appearance of the Hungarian Heritage House is compensated for by some magnificent Art-Nouveau decoration inside: an impressive hall, the wide marble staircase and pillars, a spacious richly-decorated theater hall and a splendid 301-seat theater. This is the home theater of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, who perform here over 120 times a year. The State Folk Ensemble has been bringing authentic Hungarian folk music and dance culture alive and to the stage for more than 60 years. (www.hungarianfolk.eu)

Visitors interested in seeing plays while in Budapest should make sure to time their visits to the area during the theater season which typically runs from September through June each year.  Popular theater venues include:

  • Merlin Theater is the best theater for English-speaking visitors, as it is the only theater in the area which is considered to be a foreign-language theater.  In addition to English performances, the Merlin Theater has plays in German and sometimes in the local Hungarian language.  Located in the inner city, this theater is easy to get to and is not expensive at all, making it accessible to almost all visitors.
  • Visitors interested in seeing more local theater productions should visit the Vigszinhaz, or Merry Theater, which primarily produces outrageous local musical theater.
  • More famous musical performances, such as Broadway performances, can be seen at the Madach Theater.

More information about all types of performing arts in Budapest is available at http://www.frommers.com/destinations/....  


The Danube Palace and the Danube Symphony Orchestra are preparing some special holiday programs which are worth considering if spending Christmas of New Year's in Budapest: www.ticket.info.hu