Opera House

Christmas is unimaginable to many Europeans without the Nutcracker, and this includes Hungarians. It’s haunting music has become synonymous with Christmas, and even people who otherwise never go to a ballet or the theater are likely to have seen this one several times, it has become such a holiday tradition in Budapest.

The Opera House

The Opera house was opened in 1884, and has been a very important cultural establishment ever since. Giving a home and a base in Budapest to artists helped propel Budapest as one of the European capitals of the Arts.

The building is an architectural wonder, the size and acoustics are completely unique, it is a place that should be visited by any musical connoisseur. Sporting some of the oldest exteriors and interiors in Budapest, it feels a little bit like time travel to go into the huge marble building and see the enormous height of the main dome from the inside, with the huge velvet drapes and gargantuan chandeliers hanging down, and the warmth of the little café underneath it.

nutcracker Nutcracker

The Event

The Nutcracker will be playing in the Opera House all throughout December. The last show will be on the 30th, and that one is always considered to be the best one, but it’s a good idea to get a ticket well in advance, as most shows tend to sell out pretty quickly. The Nutcracker will be on almost everyday in December, and you can see the dates still available here.

The version that will be on can be called classical in every sense of the word. Staying true to the original set designs laid down by the tragically short lived Oláh Gusztáv who died in 1956, and with the original choreography from Vasiliy Vajnonen, the Nutcracker will bring an atmosphere of the Budapest of old, the interwar period, a period full of Nostalgia and longing among the locals.


You can buy tickets at the Opera or online at their website. If you decide to go and buy them in person, they are only open after 11 am, and are never open on Sunday. Tickets are also sold at selected ticket booths, like the one near Oktogon, or the very large, conspicuous rectangle near the tram stop at Nyugati pályaudvar. There are many different kinds of tickets, and the price can vary significantly based on where you sit, so it is best to see for oneself on the Opera’s website.

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