BUDAPEST

Opera, Operetta and Classical Concerts in Budapest

Independent holidays and short breaks available all year round.
Escorted holidays available at certain times of year.

Budapest, Jewel of the Danube...

Short breaks or longer stays in the Hungarian Capital with the chance to experience excellent Opera, Ballet and Concerts at the Hungarian State Opera, outstanding Operetta and Musicals at the The Budapest Operetta Theatre and more...

Hungary's romantic and historic capital city is often described as the most beautiful city in Europe. Formerly two cities, Buda and Pest, sit either side of the mighty Danube. They were amalgamated in 1873.  Budapest is also known as the city of spas, uniquely rich in thermal waters providing excellent medicinal therapies. Budapest's musical heritage includes the composers Liszt, Kodaly, Bartok and Erkel. Both Lehar and Kalman were born in Hungary and their works are regularly included in the repertoire of the Budapest Operetta Theatre

Musical institutions include the Hungarian State Opera, the Budapest Operetta Theatre, the Hungarian State Orchestra, the Nemzeti Philharmonia and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Performances by the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble are given regularly and a concert by the 100 member Gypsy Orchestra provides a thrilling and memorable experience. 

For Operetta with a difference, an evening cruise on the Operetta Ship (April to October) features soloists from the Hungarian State Opera. Buda Castle, Danube Embankment and Andrassy Avenue are all World Heritage sites. The Castle district is packed with museums. The view from the Royal Palace across the Danube is breath-taking. The famous Fisherman's Bastion, situated on the Buda side of the Danube, provides magnificent views of the river and over Pest.

Good to know - English is widely spoken in Budapest.

Opera, Ballet, Operetta and Classical Concerts in Budapest

Hungarian State Opera House

The Hungarian State Opera House is situated in central Budapest.  It is the perfect example of a neo-Renaissance opera house, it was originally named the Hungarian Royal Opera House.  Construction began in 1875, funded by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary and the city of Budapest.  On the 27th of September 1884, the new house was opened to the public.  The building in itself is a work of art, with a richly decorated exterior. Elements of Baroque lends exclusivity to the wonderful build of the opera house. The paintings and sculptures inside the building make it the finest opera house in the country.  The opera house is well known for its acoustics and is considered the 3rd best in Europe. The season for opera, ballet and concerts is held each year from September to the end of June. 

The Opera House re-opens in March 2022 following closure for refurbishment.  Guided tours of this magnificent building are available.  Performances of the Hungarian State Opera and Ballet companies take place in the Opera House, the Erkel Theatre and the Eiffel Arts Studios (see right).

Details of the current repertoire for all venues are available here, or contact us for more information.

The Erkel Theatre and Eiffel Art Studios

The Erkel Theatre has a capacity of almost 2000 seats and is the largest auditorium in Hungary.  The building opened in 1911.  The building has been remodelled several times and has undergone various changes of name.  In the 1930s it was used as a cinema.  Since 1951 it has been the second home of the Hungarian State Opera and Ballet companies.  It operates as an affordable theatre for opera and ballet performances.

The Eiffel Art Studios is a complex of former railway buildings that has been converted into an Arts complex, including a 500 seat auditorium and rehearsal stages for the Hungarian State Opera and Ballet companies.

 

Budapest Operetta Theatre

The theatre was created in 1894, designed by two popular Viennese architects, Fellner and Helmer. The enormous stage of the main theatre was flanked by a graceful curve of private boxes.  The charming winter garden housed an excellent French restaurant, and a café opened onto the street front.

Until the beginning of WW1, the building housed an Orpheum (or music hall).  It was closed during the war and in 1923 it re-opened as the Capital City Operetta Theatre.  Throughout the history of the theatre, its main goal was to maintain the traditions of classical operetta.   

When the theatre was rebuilt in 1966 and in 1999-2001 it was fully reconstructed to restore the original ornamental auditorium.  At the same time cutting edge theatre technology was installed.   Today the repertoire includes Operettas and Musicals, with some 500 performances per year.  Works by Lehar and Kalman feature strongly in the repertoire.

Details of the current repertoire can be found here.  For more information please contact us.

Emmerich Kalman Theatre

The Somossy Orpheum, formerly a notorious late-night cabaret venue adjacent to the Budapest Operetta Theatre, reopened in 2017 as the Emmerich Kalman Theatre.  The intimate 200 seat theatre is an elegant venue used as a studio stage for small scale operetta, revue, cabaret and concert performances.  It is operated by the Budapest Operetta Theatre.

The Palace of Arts and other Cultural Venues

The Palace of Arts is a huge multi-purpose venue, which includes the 1600 seat Bela Bartok National Concert Hall The hall has superb acoustics.  The pipe organ is one of the largest in Europe. 

With around 60 theatres, concert halls and other cultural venues in Budapest there is a wide choice of shows, concerts and performances of all types to be experienced.

Orchestras in Budapest

There are nine professional symphony orchestras in Hungary that perform regularly in Budapest. The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra is the oldest in Hungary, founded in 1853.  The Budapest Festival Orchestra is ranked among the top ten orchestras in the world.  For a different experience the 100 strong Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra emphasises works inspired by Hungarian folk music, including Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Monti and the Strauss family.

Other Attractions in Budapest

There is so much to see and do in Budapest it is impossible to list everything here.  Getting around the city is easy due to the excellent public transport system.  

The Hungarian Parliament
Building

The Hungarian Parliament Building with its huge dome, is a hugely impressive Neo-Gothic building.  It is a notable landmark of Hungary, and a popular tourist destination in Budapest. It is situated on Kossuth Square in the Pest side of the city, on the eastern bank of the Danube. It was designed by Hungarian architect Imre Steindl in neo-Gothic style and opened in 1902. It is one of the largest buildings in Hungary. A guided tour is well worth taking. 

Buda Castle, Castle Hill, The Hungarian National Gallery and History Museum


Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. It was first completed in 1265, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769. The castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum. Buda Castle sits on the southern tip of Castle Hill, surrounded by the tourist area known as Várnegyed, which is famous for mediaeval, Baroque and Neoclassical houses, churches, public buildings, and monuments. 
Castle Hill is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular


 

Fisherman's Bastion


The Halászbástya or Fisherman's Bastion is one of the best known monuments in Budapest, located near the Buda Castle. It is one of the most important tourist attractions due to the unique panorama of Budapest from the Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces. Its seven high-pitched stone towers symbolize the seven chieftains of the Hungarians who founded Hungary in 895. The original walls were built in the 1700s, forming part of the walls of a castle. Several historians say that in the Middle Ages this part of the castle walls was protected by the guild of fishermen, who lived under the walls in the so-called Fishtown or Watertown. The current structure was built between 1895 and 1902, in Neo-Romanesque style.


 

Sézichenyi Thermal Baths

The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Its water is supplied by two thermal springs, their temperature is 
74 °C and 77 °C.   People often play chess while immersed chest high in hot water.

There are around a dozen thermal baths and spas in Budapest offering a variety of health and beauty treatments.

St. Stephen's Basilica

St. Stephen's Basilica is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary.  It is the third largest church building in Hungary. Built between 1851 and 1905, this magnificent building accommodates 8,500 people and features a 300-foot, neo-Renaissance dome.

The Chain Bridge

Completed in 1849, the Széchenyi Bridge was the first to be built across the Hungarian section of the Danube, linking the cities Buda and Pest and is now considered to be one of the city's major landmarks.  It was designed by English engineer William Tierney Clark and built by Scottish engineer Adam Clark. Commonly known as the Chain Bridge, at the time of its construction, it was regarded as one of the modern world's engineering wonders.

Margaret Island

Margaret Island is a 2.5 km long island, 500 m wide, in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest. Quiet walkways, flower gardens, romantic ruins and century-old trees make up this popular recreation spot. Its mediaeval ruins are reminders of its importance in the Middle Ages as a religious centre. The island spans the area between the Margaret Bridge and the Árpád Bridge.

 

Danube Cruises and the Operetta Ship

A cruise on the Danube should not be missed as some of the most beautiful sights of Budapest are best viewed from the river.  There is a variety of daytime and evening cruises.  Some offer dinner and live music options featuring Hungarian folk music. The Operetta Ship offers a dinner inclusive package with singers from the Hungarian State Opera and the Budapest Operetta Theatre performing numbers from popular operas and operettas.

Other attractions in Budapest

There are around 150 museums of many types in Budapest to experience and explore.  Whether your interest is in arts, science, natural history, culture, transport, or a more specialist interest, there is something for everyone.  Some of the more unusual museums are the Chocolate Museum, the Pinball Museum, the Houdini Museum. For music lovers there are museums dedicated to Franz Liszt and Zoltan Kodaly as well as the Museum of Musical History.  There are palaces and castles, parks gardens and famous shopping streets to explore, as well as a huge variety of places to eat and drink.

Where to Stay in Budapest

As with any large city, there is a very large selection of places to stay in Budapest, from very traditional to ultra modern; 5 Star luxury to simple budget accommodation, fully serviced hotels or self-catering apartments.  Depending on your own tastes, requirements and budget we can book any style and type of accommodation for you. 

Our Specially Selected Hotels in Budapest

We have a couple of favourite hotels that we have chosen for their central location, their warmth of welcome and their high quality standards.  These hotels have proved popular with our guests over recent years.

Hotel K&K Opera

Located on a quiet side street adjacent to the Hungarian State Opera House in one of Budapest’s most exclusive districts. The hotel is a short stroll from the city’s most famous sights and one minute’s walk from the nearest underground station.  The Budapest Operetta Theatre can be reached on foot in about five minutes.

The multi-lingual team provide the personal service of a family-run business. The reception is open 24 hours a day and the concierge desk is always ready to offer advice on finding tickets for the opera or booking a table at the best restaurants. 

4 Star Superior

Spacious and stylishly designed rooms radiate warm elegance and comfort. The careful selection of high-quality fabrics and finest textiles enhance the unique ambiance of the rooms.  Guest beds with top quality mattresses, down duvets and premium bedding ensure a most restful sleep. Facilities include full climate control, a mini bar, private bathroom, and super-fast Wi-Fi.   

The extensive buffet breakfast includes full English and continental options, local delicacies and a selection of fresh fruit. 

Light bites, regional dishes or international favourites are available for for lunch and dinner and the bar is open for relaxing drinks or a nightcap.

Guests have free access to the wellness centre, where you can loosen up in the sauna, unwind with a massage, or exercise in the gym.

Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel

The Four Seasons Hotel, Gresham Palace is a 5 Star luxury hotel situated opposite the Chain Bridge, within a 15 minute walk from the Hungarian State Opera, Operetta House and main shopping streets.  The building is a superb example of Art Nouveau architecture. It includes stunning mosaics and original stained glass.   

24 hour room service and concierge service is available. The hotel offers a truly luxurious experience.

5 Star Luxury

 

The hotel has 179 guest bedrooms and 14 suites.   All rooms have air-conditioning and temperature control, super fast WiFi, fully stocked private bar, hair dryer, in-room safe, international satellite television and luxury bathroom products.

The Pava Restaurant is bright and sunny with panoramic windows that look across the Square to the Danube. The cuisine is contemporary Italian with Hungarian specialities. The Gresham Coffee House is one of the most popular cafes in Budapest offering light meals, sandwiches and daily specials along with a wide selection of mouth watering pastries.

There is a newly refurbished Spa, Pool and Wellness Centre.

Our Holiday Package - What is included?

Our Independent holidays and short-breaks in Budapest can be taken at any time of year and are individually tailored to your own preferences and requirements.

  • Single travellers, couples and small groups are all catered for.
  • Dates of travel and length of stay is entirely flexible.
  • The hotels listed above have been specially selected by us, but if you prefer something different we will book any accommodation style or type of your choice, whether hotel, guest-house or self-catering apartment (subject to availability).
  • We will book tickets to any concerts, performances and similar events of your choice.  We will inform you of available performances, concerts and other cultural events taking place during your stay.  We will always strive to book the very best tickets available, according to your seating preferences and budget (subject to availability).
  • We will arrange and book private transport to concerts and events, airport transfers, rail tickets, excursions and sight-seeing trips, according to your wishes.
  • It is possible to combine your visit to Budapest with a stay in another destination.  We will make all transfer arrangements for you between destinations.

Holiday Prices
As all of our holidays are tailor-made to your own requirements your holiday price will be calculated according to your chosen options.  We will put together proposals and quotations for you based on your own preferences.  All proposals can be amended as often as you wish (and prices adjusted accordingly) until you are fully satisfied with the proposed arrangements.  

All quotations are offered entirely without any obligation on your part.

Flights and European Rail Travel
In order to give you maximum flexibility, we do not include flights in our holiday packages.  Flights may be booked separately with our Flights Agent, or you can book or arrange your own flights if you prefer.

If you prefer not to fly, we can book European rail travel for you.

All quotations are offered entirely without any obligation on your part.

Contact Us for more information.

What happens if I am forced to cancel my holiday due to Covid restrictions or other circumstances out of my control?

We want you to be able to book with confidence.  Whilst we very much hope that everything will go ahead as planned, we are in fairly uncertain times, so it is worth considering the following:

  • Wherever possible we will book accommodation on a flexible cancellation basis.  This may make the rates a little more expensive but should we need to cancel or amend arrangements any losses to you are minimised.
  • Ground transport arrangements such as transfers by 3rd party operators, rail tickets etc. are not normally booked until close to the time of the trip. This means that fares / rates may vary slightly from those initially quoted at the time of booking.
  • Unless performances are cancelled by the organiser / venue there is usually no refund or amendment if tickets cannot be used.  Sometimes organisers / venues will show some leniency and offer an alternative date or voucher instead of a refund, but this is not guaranteed.
  • Flights can sometimes be amended, at extra cost, but cannot normally be refunded unless the operator cancels the flights.  Vouchers are sometimes offered in lieu of refunds.

With this in mind, we would advise ensuring that your travel insurance is adequate to claim for any unrecoverable losses that may be incurred in the event that you are forced to cancel all or part of your trip, especially with regard to enforced Covid restrictions by governments, transport operators or suppliers that are out of our control.  In the event of unavoidable cancellation we would do all we can to provide documentation to your insurers to support any claim.

Operetta Heaven Holidays from C and H Travel Ltd
Registered Office: 18 Medway Drive, Allestree, Derby, DE22 2UB, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 208 144 6545
Email: info@operettaheaven.com