The Bartók National Concert Hall, located in the Palace of Arts, opened in 2005. The state of the art decor and excellent sound system make it a favorite among locals and touring theatre companies. The BNCH is also home to the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and Budapest Festival Orchestra, which explains the flurry of activities year-round. Past performers include Zoltan Kocsis, Greek violinist Leondas Kavakos and pianist András Schiff.
Operetta, concerts, and rock opera; the newly renovated Budapest Operetta Theatre features an ecclectic mix of live musical events. Also, for fans of drama, the Theatre puts on Shakespeare plays and other classic performances. Old fashioned box seats, ceiling design, and architecture juxtapose modern lighting and stage technology, creating a uniquely stylized experience.
Although bathing culture has roots as far back as the Roman Empire, the thriving Hungarian tradition began to take shape when the country was under Ottoman rule in the 16th and 17th centuries. More than just a preeminently popular spot for both locals and tourists in the nation's capital, the Széchenyi Baths also comprise the largest thermal bath complex in all of Europe. Its 15 indoor baths and three large outdoor pools are fed by two hot springs whose waters have medicinal value, particularly in the way of joint health. Upon arrival, visitors can seek healing advice from a qualified team, relax with a massage or rejuvenating therapy, enjoy activities in the open-air pool, and so much more.
Housed within the Royal Buda Castle, on Szent György tér, the National Gallery is a not-to-be-missed attraction for art lovers and enthusiasts. Established in 1957, the prestigious gallery is home to almost the entire history of Hungarian art; thus chronicling the progress of fine arts in the country. Some of the artworks housed here date as far back as 10th Century! Some of the masterpieces featured in this glorious institution includes Woman Dressed in Polka Dots Robe by József Rippl-Rónai and Mihály Munkácsy's Christ before Pontius Pilate. Open all week, except Mondays, the Hungarian National Gallery or Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, as it is locally called, is open to general population between 10a and 6p.
The Parliament Building was constructed at a time when Hungary was three times the size it is now, prior to its defeat at the culmination of World War I. The neo-Gothic building is a palatial affair with 691 rooms, 10 courtyards and 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) worth of stairs; it is Budapest's tallest building and one of Hungary's largest structures. Construction began in 1885 upon the designs of architect, Imre Steindl, and would take 17 years to bring to fruition; a majestic Gothic Revival building with Renaissance and Baroque elements enmeshed in its intricate design. A lavish dome is the centerpiece of the facade, framed by delicate spires and graceful arches, while the interiors are richly ornamented, illuminated by sparkling chandeliers. The inspiration for this building is said to have been the Palace of Westminster in London. Today, the government is housed in only a small portion of the building and is home to the Hungarian Crown Jewels. Like so much along the Pest bank of the Danube, the best views are to be had from across the river. Guided tours are available when parliament is not in session.
This spectacular building (designed by Lechner) caused much controversy when it opened. Today it is generally considered a masterpiece, although it has been considerably toned down over the years. Lovers of architecture and interior design simply must visit. The displays inside are almost all temporary but there is a permanent exhibition of Hungarian arts and crafts. It is worth noting that this was only the third such museum in the world (the first being in London, the second in Vienna).
Located in the Castle District of Budapest, the beautiful building of the National Dance Theater or the Nemzeti Táncszínház is simply hard to miss. The theater is a breeding ground for talents in the field of dance, from classical to contemporary they welcome all with open arms. It boasts of near-perfect acoustics, elegant furniture and gilded decorations which create a perfect mood for the spectacle that awaits to delight spectators. Since the end of the 20th Century, National Dance Theater (Nemzeti Táncszínház) has focused on professional dance shows; such is the popularity of this place that several local, national as well as international dance troupes consider it their honor to be able to perform here. For dance aficionados this place is surely a gem that cannot be missed.
This museum is definitely worth a visit, especially if you have been enchanted by the beauty of Budapest and you want to learn more about it. It is housed in one of the wings of the actual palace. You will find several exhibitions retelling the city's long and turbulent history as well as sections that have been renovated to show what the palace used to look like in medieval times. There is also a fine collection of statues.
Hagyományok Háza, or Hungarian Heritage House, is a pretty sight in white. It was conceived and designed by Aladár Árkay and Mór Kallina. This 19th-century building has a history to reckon with. Formerly built as a cultural center, this place now houses an auditorium, halls, theater and lounges. The ornate pillars, marble stairs and grand chandeliers make for impressive interiors. As an institution, it was founded to promote national art, folk, culture and tradition. This place hosts interesting events and watching a show here is sheer pleasure.
If you are looking for a different experience that gives you the best of the land and water, then RiverRide will surely interest you. This aquatic yellow bus will take you through interesting sights such as the Academy Of Sciences, Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes' Square and Dohány Street Synagogue. Then it will make a splash into the Danube River and take you through places like Margaret Island, Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Buda Castle. Hear delightful stories and folklore by the expert guides that will keep you enthralled throughout the journey.
Tabán Kinotéka was the first of its kind in Buda when it opened in 1910. It went through many name changes and owners before 2014. It is a haven for art cinema lovers. Equipped with the latest sound system, it features two intimate halls for movie screenings.