Budapest Nightlife Tips by german_eagle
Budapest Nightlife: 391 reviews and 536 photos
opera house by night
Budapest's opera house is an impressive building. Magnificent, plenty of stucco, frescos, marble, gold. The musical quality of the performance I attended - TURANDOT - didn't keep up with the ambience. It was a huge disappointment.
Staging was fine, the gal who sang Liu was very good, the rest was - blah. The orchestra was loud but not very inspired/precise. The chorus was not precise at all and sounded a bit thin sometimes. Cast of the smaller parts was ok, Turandot was too often shrill. The biggest let-down was Calaf - he didn't sing the high notes, in 'Nessun Dorma' he tried and - nothing.
I am sure it is different in festival times. My bad luck was that the spring festival started right when I left the city. I do know that Hungary has great singers; Judith Nemeth e.g. sang Ortrud (LOHENGRIN) in Dresden and she was fabulous.
A note on tickets: Prices are on the cheap side. I paid HUF 8,000 for a seat in a box (first row) in the centre on the second circle. Absolutely perfect. Make sure you don't buy a seat on the 3rd balcony because the entrance for those is on the side - you'll miss the grand staircase. Prices double during festival times when international stars appear (sometimes).
The box office is on the left side of the opera house.
Dress Code: Rather informal affair. I didn't feel overdressed in dark suit and tie but saw many in casual clothes. Might be different at festival times.
Address: 1061 Budapest Andrássy út 22
A main spot for nightlife activities is Nagymezö utca, also called "Pest's Broadway". Of course it is smaller than its New York pendant, but it also offers some entertainment and fun places from theatre to nightclub.
For musical and operetta go to the Operetta and Musical Theatre. It is located in a building that was constructed after plans by the famous Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer in 1894. It was recently refurbished and is very ornate (I'd say kitschy). Their productions - sometimes co-productions with Vienna's theatres - are very successful, tickets are inexpensive.
Another option is the Thalia Theatre, across the street from the Operetta and Musical Theatre. Be prepared that their plays are in Hungarian, though. They also have dance shows and folk music. From time to time they host performances of the Operetta and Musical Theatre vis-a-vis.
Right next to the Operetta and Musical Theatre is a nightclub with the famous name "Moulin Rouge". They have cabaret and shows in the style of the 1920s, much naked skin is on display :-)
Dress Code: Casual. The folks that I saw didn't dress up much.
Address: Nagymezö utca
Directions: off Andrassy ut, between opera and Oktogon.
Other Contact: www.thalia.hu
Madach musical theatre
This musical theatre was designed by hungarian-jewish but Berlin-based architect Oskar Kaufmann in 1952 and opened in 1961. They play internationally well-known musicals like "Chicago" or "Phantom of the Opera" - Andrew Lloyd Webber licensed a completely new production, the first ever, of this musical for this theatre.
Tickets are inexpensive. The box office is open in the afternoon.
Dress Code: very casual
Address: Erzsébet körút 29
Phone: 06 1 478-2041
Theme: Family Spot
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