Top 3 Concert Halls Everyone Should Visit In Budapest

Here are 3 awe-inspiring concert halls you can visit in Budapest that will surely ignite your creative spirit!

Hungary has its fair share of history within Europe and, indeed, the world. Many prolific composers such as Franz Liszt, Bela Bartok, and Zoltan Kodaly made history within Hungary’s borders and numerous concert halls. These magnificent displays of architecture and acoustics set the stage for some of the most groundbreaking musicians in history, the contributions of which are reflected in music today. While the limelight has long burned out for the genre, there is immense value to visiting these historical and inspiring buildings in Budapest today.

Numerous studies support the hypotheses that classical music improves brain function and physiological health. Since the almost global shift of attention to Western pop culture, however, possibly due to the stigma of elitism surrounding classical music, the importance of traditional genres of music are nearly forgotten, so much so that entire orchestras and musical schools find it challenging to support the art. Here are three concert halls in Budapest you should visit if you wish to understand and be inspired by the value of classical music and art.

Művészetek Palotája / Müpa 

Müpa Budapest concert halls in budapest
FACEBOOK Müpa Budapest

While you will find many Hungarians appalled at its modernism, the Müpa (pronounced “moo-puh”) is a beautifully designed concert hall with an open stage for all varieties of music besides classical. It can be found in the 8th District, right next to the Rakoczi bridge. Opened in 2005, what makes this hall truly special is the genius acoustic structure of the interior of its main performing hall, which is capable of seating almost 1700 people, as well as one of the largest organs in Europe. Furthermore, the building boasts a gallery featuring creations by personalities such as Pablo Picasso, Yoko Ono, and many renowned local artists. Though it is currently closed for renovations, you can find an event calendar on its website here!

Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem / The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music

Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music / Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem
FACEBOOK Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music / Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem

Considered one of Hungary’s national treasures, The Liszt Ferenc Academy is, evidently, more than just a concert hall. Built in 1875, the academy withstood the separation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, two World Wars, and countless revolutionary battles. To say it is historically ingrained in the country is an understatement. But the fact that it attracts an international body of musicians and students to this day is one of many indicators of why you should too be one of its visitors. Found in the 6th District, the concert hall was named after one of the world’s most famous composers and pianists, Ferenc Liszt (otherwise known as Franz, since his heritage is disputed between Austrian and Hungarian.) So prolific is he in Hungary’s culture, in fact, that we named our airport after him too. It comes as no surprise that someone so internationally acclaimed is merited one of the most famous concert halls in the world. While anyone may easily find beautiful music here, history buffs can find their share of interest, too, as the building is full of hundreds of years old manuscripts and original scores on display for the public. To find a list of events and tickets, please visit their website for more information!

Magyar Állami Operaház / Hungarian State Opera House

Operaház concert halls in budapest

Opened in 1884, the State Opera House has also seen its fair share of history. On top of being one of the oldest surviving buildings within the capital, it is also, architecturally, one of the most beautiful. Found in the 7th District, the opera house shares proximity to other wonders, such as St. Stephen’s Basilica. Its stage has been graced by greats, think: Hector Berlioz, and it continues to produce outstanding performances by the world-renowned Budapest Festival Orchestra. As a musician myself, this one is my biggest recommendation. The opera house recently renovated its interior, including a revolutionary overhaul of its acoustic paneling, truly providing one of the best venues for sound quality. You can find a list of exciting events for all demographics on their website.

Concert halls in Budapest
Photo by AfroRomanzo from Pexels

Classical music is often disregarded due to its stigma as an elitist and exclusive genre of music. I find, however, that few forms of art require us to sit and appreciate its beauty as classical music does. The French poet Victor Hugo once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” As I repeat in many of my articles, one of the best ways to learn about other cultures is to listen. Music reflects our societies through time, and the same is true with classical music. If your curiosity guides you to Hungary, be sure to visit these venues. They are sure to inspire your spirit as they have many others.

Tom grew up in Hungary and was well acquainted with the Board of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, seeing dozens of their performances all over the world.

Thomas Benko

Content Editor Associate

Tom was born and raised in Hungary by a multi-cultural family, he has spent much of his life traveling in different countries. Tom is obsessed with culture-specific art and cuisine, his favorite place to visit is Pilsen, Czech Republic, as he considers it his second home, a place filled with cultural minutia. In his spare time, Tom likes to study music and paint, and trains to be a volunteer firefighter.

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