Budapest - Along the Great Boulevards of Central Pest

JUL 28,2011 - JUL 28,2011 (1 DAYS)

Hungary

1 DAYS

Citywalk

The Westend, Nyugati ter, Teréz körút, Nagymező utca, Andrássy út, Erzsébet körút.

Main attractions: The Westend, Nyugati Railway Station, Eiffel tér, Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, Teréz körút 43, Teréz körút 36, Művész Mozi (ART cinema) at Terez Korut 30, Terez Korut 28, Teréz körút 25, Teréz körút 22 and Richard Court (Richárd udvar), Teréz körút 9, Teréz körút 7 - The Mahler House, Oktogon, Alexandra Könyvesház - Párizsi Nagyáruház, Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre, Thalia Theatre, Hungarian House of Photography (Mai Manó Ház), Liszt Ferenc tér, Hungarian State Opera, Avilai Szent Teréz templom (The Theresa Town Parish Church), Erzsébet körút 54, Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Erzsébet körút 44-46, Örökmozgó Filmmúzeum -  Erzsébet körút 49, Hunnia cinema, Erzsébet körút 39, Erzsébet körút 21, The New York Palace and Cafe, Blaha Lujza tér.

Start: Deák Ferenc tér. We arrive to the Westend by Metro or by walking.

End: Blaha Lujza tér (M2 Metro - Red line).

Weather: Any weather is good, even, a rainy day.

Duration: 1 day.

Orientation: Many hours along busy and bustling thoroughfares of Pest. Modern and historical architectural and cultural landmarks of Budapest.

Transportation to the start point:

Metro: From Deák Ferenc tér take Subway M3 (blue line) towards Újpest-Központ  for 3 stops. Stop at Lehel tér and walk about 6 min , 550 m to the Westend (directly from the underpass).

Bus or Tram: You can take tram number 14 and bus number 133 to Lehel tér and from there enter the Westend by the Westend’s Ferdinánd bridge side entrance.

Walk: From Deák Ferenc tér head north on Deák Ferenc tér toward Erzsébet tér, 10 m. Turn right to stay on Deák Ferenc tér, 75 m. Turn left to stay on Deák Ferenc tér, 60 m. Continue onto Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út
1.1 km. Slight right to stay on Bajcsy-Zsilinszky útca, 190 m. Continue onto Nyugati tér,75 m. Turn right onto Teréz krt., 30 m. Continue onto Váci út,
500 m. Turn right, 45 m. to arrive to the Westend. Named after an old hotel. The Westend is no longer Budapest's largest shopping centre, as it was when it was opened in 1999. It is a covered commercial small "town" with a 20-metre high artificial indoor Niagara fall (the waterfall is a nice decorative attraction), tens of restaurants and eateries, many cinemas and a bit less than 400 stores. Pest residents are using the site as their meeting-point, their coffee-house and their promenade. It is next (400 m. walk) to the Budapest-Nyugati Railway Terminal (Western Railway Station). Part of the mall is underground. There isn't much free seating and no many REAL bargains. Better prices in the most bottom floor. To avoid crowd drop in the shopping mall in the morning around 10-12 if you can. A very nice feature is the Baby-Mom Room (open every day from 11.00 to 19.00, use the escalator or elevator from the 2nd floor to the Semiramis Roof Garden). It has a comfortable armchair, changing table, and microwave should need to warm a meal for your little one.

Opening hours: The shopping mall is open every day from 08.00 to 23.00.  The roof garden is open every day between 08.00 and 23.00 .  Stores: MON-SAT: 10.00 - 20.00 or 21.00. SUN: 10.00 - 18.00 or 19.00. On the 24th and 31st of December: 10.00 - 14.00.

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From the Westend complex head south on Váci útca toward Nyugati tér,
80 m. Turn left to stay onto Nyugati tér, 110 m. Budapest-Nyugati Railway Station. Budapest-Nyugati pályaudvar (Budapest Western railway station), is one of the three main railway terminals in Budapest. Known to locals and foreigners alike simply as the Nyugati it lies in front of the Western Square ('Nyugati tér'): a major intersection where Teréz körút (Theresia Boulevard), Szent István körút (Saint Stephen Boulevard), Váci útca (Váci Avenue), and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út (Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue) converge. The square also serves as a transport hub with several bus routes, tram routes 4 and 6, and a station on M3 of the Budapest Metro. Note: there are TWO streets called Váci utca. In our case, now, we mean the northern one and NOT the famous shopping street. The Westend City Center shopping mall resides, partially, above the Nyugati train and Metro station. West Railway Station provides rail services to Eastern Hungary. In recent years, trains departing from the Nyugati also stop at the Budapest Franz Liszt International Airport. Hungarian State Railways runs regular service between the station and Budapest Ferihegy International Airport's Terminal 1. The trip takes approximately 25 minutes, costs 365 HUF, and runs 2-3 times per hour. The station sits also on the Metro 3 line connecting north and south Budapest. In front of the square, on Teréz Boulevard, are the tram numbers 4-6 run along the Grand Boulevard (Teréz körút) of Budapest providing transport to the entire city as well as bus numbers 6, 26, 26A, 91, 191, and trolley buses numbers 72, 73. The impressive building of the train station was designed by the Gustave Eiffel Company and was opened in 1877. The building is grandiose and beautiful. It is worth to explore the surroundings of the station. Beyond the station stands the Nyugati Post Office dated from 1908 (Monday to Friday from 8.00  to 18.00:

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From Nyugati tér head southeast on Teréz krt. toward Podmaniczky utca.
230 m. Turn left onto Podmaniczky utca, 130 m. You face the Eiffel tér. A lovely place where you can make a break after a long walk or ride with or without your luggage. There is a Costa Coffe shop and McDonalds nearby. A perfect meeting point with friends, families and other travellers - especially during weekends. On weekdays and Sundays, it's open from 10.00  until midnight, while on Friday sand Saturdays, from 10.00  until 02.00. I think that this is one of the most wonderful squares I saw in Europe !!! It is a quiet but, still, lively park in front of the bustling station and building - complete with a truly livable and enjoyable working environment adjacent to the the heart of Budapest Nyugati Railway Station:

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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There is Ice rink on Eiffel tér which is open from the second weekend of December and will welcome all the lovers of this winter sport until the end of February. Daily tickets are 700 HUF however with a student concession card it is only 600 HUF:

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From Eiffel tér we head southwest on Podmaniczky u. toward Kármán utca, 130 m. Turn left onto Teréz krt, 140 m. Podmaniczky street was NOT named after the urban developer  Frigys Podmaniczky, but his relative the Count Laszio who relinquished the whole area of the railway station  to the city of Budapest for free. His past house stood at Teréz körút 54. 

We arrive to the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, Teréz körút 43 on our left. It stands in the heart of the pulsating metropolis, on the Grand Boulevard, 200 metres south of the Western Railway Station. A successor to the legendary Britannia Hotel, which was established in the early 1900s. Wonderful combination of tradition, style and culture, complemented by excellent modern facilities. On its walls are frescoes from year 1550. A coffee trader Henrik Fabri opened here the Britannia hotel in 1913. The hotel was taken by Aladar Nemeth in 1926 and was cooperating by the artist Jeno Haranghy in decorating several halls of the hotel. Therefore, the hotel was called, for years, as Haranghy Museum. The hotel changed its name to Béke (Peace) hotel during WW2.  During 1983-1985 the hotel was completely rebuilt - but the frescoes on the facade and several decorations into the halls - had been preserved:
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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Our direction of walk along Teréz körút is from north-west to the south-east. We continue further southward and 140 m. further we arrive to the Teréz körút 36 house (on the right, south) side of the street. This is an elegant corner house designed by Zsigmond Quittner (who designed other 15 houses along Teréz körút). The house has a tower,a pediment, wrought-iron balconies and wooden lift-doors:

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We continue further 110 m. on the same side of the street to arrive to Terez Korut 28. But, before, the Művész Mozi (ART cinema) stands at Terez Korut 30. Great small art cinema with book store and cafe inside. For local and foreign intellectuals. English-speaking movies from 5-10 years ago. Not the mainstream ones. For up-to-date information: http://muveszmozi.hu. The building at Terez Korut 28 is an upper-class apartment building built in 1898 (!). On the 1st floor the Saint Jerome Catholic Bible Society (Szent Jeromos Katolikus Bibliatársulat) holds lectures and sells biblical, religious books:

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Continue 40 m. to Teréz körút 24:

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Continue southeast on Teréz krt. toward Zichy Jenő utca, 25 m. Make a U-turn at Aradi utca and walk NORTHWARD (back) for 70 m. to arrive to Teréz körút 25. In famous building: no event connected with, no memorable residents, no prominent shop. It is a beautiful house with arched windows and pink facade. A typical building in the Grand Boulevard:

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From Teréz körút 25 we head southeast on Teréz krt. toward Aradi u.
55 m. We turn right onto Aradi u., 15 m. Turn left onto Teréz krt. and walk 20-22 m. to arrive to Teréz körút 22 and Richard Court (Richárd udvar). An imposing building, run-down, but, beautiful in its exterior and interior.  in the corner of Teréz körút and Aradi road. Named after the Baron Richárd Drasche who built the building in 1887. A tower rises above the corner balconies. A clock on the battlements; next to the sun and moon pendant underneath the coat of arms of the Baron's initials read. Beautiful swans are molded into the the terrazzo flooring, yellow and white main staircase, glass doors, a little rusty handles but original, just as the most visible stair handrail rod holder. The Home-Made Hostel is located at this building and was elected as the best hostel around the globe:

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From Teréz körút 22 head southeast on Teréz krt. toward Oktogon and Andrássy út, 120 m. Turn left onto Andrássy út, 15 m. Turn right onto Teréz krt., 130 m. The house in Teréz körút 9 will be on  the left. Built in 1885, and, still, it is a marvelous house - even if it looks very grim. There is an elegant rear staircase in the back and an outside loggia corridor. The walls are out of color and full with pigeon' droppings. Today, the Forras Gallery occupies the frontal hall:

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The next building in Teréz körút 7 is The Mahler House. The  house is closed. This apartment block was built in 1887 and one of the first residents was Gustav Mahler. He lived here during the years 1889-1891 when he directed the Opera House Orchestra. He was living in the first floor in a front apartment. The Oktogon Pharamcy in the corner moved here in the end of the 19th century from Buda. 

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We change direction and from Teréz körút 7 we head northwest on Teréz krt. toward Oktogon, 130 m. 2. Turn left onto Oktogon, 65 m. The name 'Oktogon' refers to the shape of the square. Here, Nagykörút. (the Grand Boulevard) meets the Andrássy út (Avenue). The four identical blocks around the square were built in 1873  and designed by Antalk  Skainitzky  and Henrik Koch. To many people this buildings recall Renaissance Venetian palaces. Oktogon is also a station on the yellow M1 (Millennium Underground) line of the Budapest Metro which runs underneath Andrássy Avenue to Heroes' Square (Hősök tere).

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Turn left onto Andrássy út,  180 m (passing by Liszt Ferenc tér/square on your left. We'll return to this square a bit later) and the Alexandra Könyvesház - Párizsi Nagyáruház (Alexandra Book cafe'), Andrássy út 39 will be on the left. For many tourists - it is the most beautiful cafe' in Europe. The Párizsi Nagyáruház, which opened in 1910, was the first significant department store building in Budapest. Its facade towards Andrássy Avenue was built in Art Nouveau style, while the part facing Paulay Ede Street has the characteristic features of the Neo-Renaissance. The buildings first transformation took place in 1909 when the new owner, Samuel Goldberger renovated the building which had been damaged by a fire in 1903. The new building opened on the 3rd of March 1911 under the name Párizsi Nagy Áruház (Paris Department Store). The Párizsi Nagy Áruház was actually Hungary’s first modern department store, and thanks to its stunning architecture – an open plan atrium, a high glass vaulted ceiling, and a glass-mirrored elevator – it was soon known as one of the most beautiful buildings in the capital’s most beautiful avenue. The building survived the war undamaged, but as with the Pariszi Udvar – it was nationalized and more or less run down. The Párizsi Nagy Áruház was renamed into Divatcsarnok – Fashion Hall, and reopened to the public in 1958, and received a protected monument status in 1967. The Orco Property Group (a french real estate group) bought the building in 2005 and spent the next 4 years renovating the building. When the building reopened on the 10th of November 2010, the first tenant was the Alexandra Bookstore, which took over the ground and first floor, as well as the Lotz Hall – Lotz Terem (more to that in a moment). There is an antiques dealer/art gallery on one of the upper floors, while the rest of the building is planned to be let out as office space. After entering the Alexandra Bookstore on the ground floor you’ll find a pair of escalators...

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which bring you up to the first floor, and throws you directly in front of the Lotz Hall (Lotz-Terem) – a fantastically ornate Neo-Renaissance ballroom turned into grandiose cafe. This is the breathtaking hall that makes the Párizsi Nagy Áruház so special - fantastically decorated with the paintings of Károly Lotz:

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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From Alexandra Könyvesház - Párizsi Nagyáruház, Andrássy út 39 we head southwest on Andrássy út toward Nagymező u., 85 m. We turn right onto Nagymező u., 65 m. and the The Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre, Nagymező utca 17  will be on the right. In the past years the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre has become a renowned and sought after theatre abroad. It tours with its musicals and operettas regularly in different theatres and festivals in Europe, travels regularly to Japan, but has also performed in the United States and in different countries of Asia, as well. Up-to-date information: http://www.operett.hu/operett.php?pid=repertoire.
In 1923 the city of Budapest decided to give the genre of operetta a home of its own. With the opening of the Metropolitan Operetta Theatre the Hungarian capital saw the beginning of the "silver operetta" period by giving a new and permanent home to the genre after Népszínház and Király Színház. In the history of the theatre the most important thing was to cherish the traditions of the classic operetta while enriching it with modern artistic solutions. Next to Vienna, Budapest is the other capital of the operetta and anyone who comes to our theatre can see the high quality of the genre represented here. The Operetta Theatre's present house was built after the plans of the famous Viennese architect-duo Fellner and Helmer in 1894. The spacious stage of the main auditorium were surrounded by intimate booths in a half-circle on both sides, while a dance floor ensured enough room for the waltz, polka, mazurka and the galopp. Its decorative winter garden housed the most exquisite French restaurant, while on the street front a concert café was opened. In 1966 the building was rearranged, whereby the inner architecture and rooms were changed to a great extent. Between 1999 and 2001 it was completely refurbished. The most modern European stage technology was built in and the beautiful original decoration was regained along with the balcony row of the auditorium. Today the theatre has 901 seats in an air-conditioned auditorium:

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nagymező street is also called theatre quarter or the Broadway of Pest. You’ll find a lot of restaurants along Nagymező street as well as a bunch of clubs. Imre Kálmán was the king of operetta/light opera in the 19th-20th century. His statue, with his cigar, stands in Nagymező 17:

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In Nagymező utca 22 you find the Thalia Theatre (Thália Színház). Since 1996, Thália has been functioning partly as a presenting theatre, featuring guest performances and guest artists. The Theatre was opened in 1913 and was originally called Jardin d'Hiver (after the winter garden on the mezzanine). It has been through 12 name changes since its foundation. It hosted the shows of Madách Theatre and the Budapest Operetta Theatre during their reconstruction, and even the Hungarian State Opera exported some its premiers to Thália:

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Hofi statue: Hofi’s (a Hungarian comedian from the 20th c.) was to make people laugh and here his head is joking with a skull. The title of this statue is actually „színház” which means theatre but Budapesters just call it Hofi statue. It stands in front of Thalya theatre:

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The Hungarian House of Photography (Mai Manó Ház). The Hungarian House of Photography (Magyar Fotográfusok Háza), also known as Mai Manó Ház, stands in Nagymező Street 20. Its main goal is to provide a venue for Hungarian, international, historical and contemporary photo exhibitions. The Mai Manó Bookshop on the mezzazine floor functions as a photo gallery as well, so visitors can browse its photography-themed books in the unique atmosphere of the actual exhibitions. In the collections of the 3rd-floor Pécsi József Library of Photography, one can find national and foreign photo albums, professional books on the technology and history of photography. Opening hours: 14.00 - 19.00.

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We change directions again and head, now, to the east. Our next destination is the Liszt Ferenc tér. It is 300 m. walk to this square. From the Magyar Fotográfusok Háza - Mai Manó Ház at Nagymező utca 20, we head southeast on Nagymező u. toward Andrássy út, 120 m. We turn left onto Paulay Ede utca, 180 m. We face Liszt Ferenc tér. This square is named after Franz Liszt (Liszt Ferenc in Hungarian), the world famous Hungarian composer. The square is around 200 meters long with a park in the middle and restaurants and cafés all around (most of them are pricey). Liszt Ferenc Square Budapest is a great place to meet up, relax, drink and eat. There is a wide choice of restaurants situated around the square.

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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The List Musical Academy (Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem) is at the south-east end of the long and cute square. The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music is a concert hall and a world-famous music conservatory. The building was erected in 1907 in Art-Nouveau style. The seated statue above the main entrance depicts Ferenc Liszt, the first president of the Music University founded in 1875. Its interior is richly decorated with frescoes, stained glasses, and mosaics and its concert hall is considered the most beautiful of its kind in Budapest. Once the workplace of world-famous Hungarian musicians and composers, like Béla Bartók or Zoltán Kodály, the Academy today attracts students from the four corners of the world as one of the top music schools. Folllowing a 4-year reconstruction, the building was reopened to the public in the autumn of 2013 with its former beauty in contemporary quality. Inside is one of the city's most popular concert halls. It can host 1200 people. Opening hours: 11.00 - 18.00:

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We head now to the Hungarian State Opera House in Andrássy út. We leave the Liszt Ferenc tér from the Menza Etterem (Restaurant), Liszt Ferenc tér 2.  Head northwest on Liszt Ferenc tér toward Andrássy út, 85 m., Turn left onto Andrássy út, 350 m (cross Nagymező utca) and the Hungarian State Opera, Andrássy út 22, is on your right. The decision to build the Opera House was made in 1873. Following a public tender, the jury selected the design submitted by famed architect Miklós Ybl (1814-1891), a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture. Construction began in 1875 and, despite minor delays, was completed nine years later. The project was funded by Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. The opening night – to which Emperor and King Franz Joseph was also invited – was held on 27 September 1884. The gala performance, conducted by Ferenc Erkel and his son Sándor, featured the first act of Bánk Bán, the overture from Hunyadi László and the first act from opera Lohengrin of Wagner. Today it is the largest opera house in Budapest and in Hungary. Miklós Ybl’s neo-renaissance palace has remained virtually unchanged in the 130 years since and continues to attract admirers of opera and ballet alike. Each year, thousands of tourists visit the building to take in one of Budapest’s most impressive 19th century national monuments. In beauty and the quality of acoustics the Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the finest opera houses in the world. It was built in neo-Renaissance style, with elements of Baroque. Ornamentation includes paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art including Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Károly Lotz. In front of the building are statues of Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt. Both were sculpted by Alajos Stróbl. Liszt is the best known Hungarian composer. Erkel composed the Hungarian national anthem, and was the first music director of the Opera House; he was also founder of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. Each year the season lasts from September to the end of June and, in addition to opera performances, the House is home to the Hungarian National Ballet. Today, the opera house is home to the Budapest Opera Ball, a society event dating back to 1886 (like in Vienna).

There are guided tours of the building in six languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Hungarian) almost every day:daily at 15.00 and at 16.00 (If rehearsal is on, then most probably there will be no tour).  Prices: Adults HUF 2900/ € 11,5/ person, Students (with International Student Card,ISIC) HUF 1900/ € 7,5/ person. The visitors are divided then into several groups according to the language, and gathered at different points of the entrance stair, and finally guided inside the building. Note: sometimes it is difficult to hear the guide. There are many groups in many languages. The guided tour may be carried out, sometimes, hastily.

The guests are offered a "Mini Concert" ticket together with the guided tours. The mini concert takes 5 minutes and includes 2 arias performed by one opera singer, right after the tour. Location of the concert is the Main Buffet of the Opera House (or another special room but not the auditorium). The program of the concert is varying since there are different performers. You can reach the Opera House easily using the yellow metro, Line 1.

I would suggest that even if you are not an opera devotee, going to the opera in Budapest is a great experience that you shouldn’t miss while visiting this wonderful city. Take advantage of the affordable prices of the performances, tickets costs ranging from 400 ft up to 16,900 ft (sometimes higher), depending on the production. The main season of the Budapest Opera runs from September until the end of June and includes over 50 major ballet and opera productions, many of which are familiar to international opera and ballet lovers . I recommend booking some weeks in advance, though cheaper seats are often available at the last minute. A tip: if you do stay in a box make sure you have one of the three seats in the front row. People sitting behind cannot see most of the stage and are forced to standing up to get a view. Up-to-date information: http://visitbudapest.travel/arts-entertainment/opera-performances

Online reservations: https://www.jegymester.hu/eng/PlaceInfo/3/Hungarian-State-Opera-House

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Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

If you’ve never seen the inside of an old-fashioned opera house , the interior of the Budapest Opera might make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It’s all purple velvet and ornate gold decorations, and the walls aren’t walls but row upon row of private boxes elegantly decorated with mirrors. The horseshoe-shaped, three-floored auditorium provides a breathtaking experience. The auditorium holds 1,261 people. It has – according to measurements done in the 1970s by a group of international engineers –  the third best acoustics in Europe after La Scala in Milan and the Palais Garnier in Paris. Although many opera houses have been built since, the Budapest Opera House is still among the best in terms of the acoustics. The gorgeous red-gold colours, the relaxed, harmonised composition with its ceiling fresco above and the lavish bronze chandelier make this the most memorable space in this representative building. Each level is decorated differently, but the overall picture is uniquely harmonious.

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Bertalan Székely Hall: The hall is decorated with rich oak carvings in which the dominant feature is Székely’s naked putti-ornamented rococo frieze, known as the Four Seasons. This room currently hosts recitals and press conferences:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The round ceiling is decorated with Károly Lotz’s monumental cupola fresco. The main hall is decorated with a

bronze chandelier weighing 3050 kg. It illuminates the above designated fresco by Károly Lotz - depicting the Greek gods on Olympus.

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The foyer has marble columns and dominated by marble panels of various colors:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Red Salon, which is the parlour for the royal box and received its name from its oak panels and sour cherry-coloured drapes, is situated on the first floor. Its walls and ceiling are decorated with a mythologically themed cycle by Mór Than. The royal box opens from the parlour, which to this day remains closed to the public. Performances can only be viewed from this box by Hungary’s three topmost dignitaries and their guests:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Going to the opera was a great social occasion in the 19th century. A vast, sweeping staircase was an important element of the opera house as it allowed ladies to show off their new gowns. The grand staircase is one of the most impressive aspects of the Opera House. The main branches of the staircase lead from the two sides of the foyer directly to the ground floor auditorium entrances, so the Opera House’s magnificent use of space is not fully revealed until one reaches the mezzanine. Wrought-iron lamps illuminate the wide stone staircase and the main entrance. The ceiling is covered with murals by Bertalan Székely and Mór Than. They depict the nine Muses (nine squares representing “The Awakening and Victory of Music”). The decorations featuring mythological scenes above the windows are also Mór Than's work:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The central stage proscenium arch employed the most modern technology of the time. It featured a revolving stage and metal hydraulic machinery:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The royal box is located centrally in the three-storey circle. It is decorated with sculptures symbolizing the four operatic voices - soprano, alto, tenor and bass:

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From the Hungarian State Opera, Andrássy út 22 -head northeast on Andrássy út toward Hajós u., 160 m. 2. Turn right onto Nagymező u., 180 m. You pass (on your left) the Radnóti Miklós Színház (RadnótiTheatre), in Nagymező u. No. 11, which keeps its distance, remaining a literature-centered repertory theatre. Turn left onto Pethő Sándor u. 15 m and the
Avilai Szent Teréz templom (The Theresa Town Parish Church), Pethő Sándor utca 2,  is on your left. The church, designed by Fidel Kasselik and was built in 1809, replacing a wooden chapel. The statue of St. Theresa on the facade as well as other reliefs around are the work of Lorinc Dunaiszky. The church tower served as a fire-watch tower, and, thus, has a circular balcony. The interior altars were designed by Mihaly Pollack:

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Head southwest on Pethő Sándor u. toward Nagymező u., 20 m., turn left onto Nagymező u., 40 m., turn left onto Király u., 290 m. Turn right onto Erzsébet krt., 85 m. The building in Erzsébet körút 54 is on the right - opposite the Royal Hotel. The house (Hungarian:lakóház) - eclectic block of apartments built in 1888 based on the plans of Gustav Lederer. Still preserves wooden windows' frames decorated with wrought-iron and flanked with guarding statues. Inside the entrance and in the staircase there are gilded stuccos. There are beautiful star-patterned floor tiles. Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933), psychoanalyst lived here between 1905 and 1916 :
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A bit further southward along Erzsébet Avenue, in the opposite side of the street - stands Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Erzsébet körút 43-49. Corinthia Hotel Budapest is one of the grandest hotels in the city. An impressive landmark building with an imposing Neo-classical façade and soaring glass atrium. Designed by Rezso Ray and opened in 1896. From 1915 a cinema (Royal Apollo) operated in the ballroom, changed its name to Red Star, and, finally, Apollo. The hotel still preserves its original facade and ballroom:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

70 m. more southward move,again, to the opposite side (south) of the avenue to Erzsébet körút 44-46. Mor Jokai, a leading Hungarian writer of the 19th century lived in a corner flat in the 2nd floor of this building ( see a memorial plaque in the street corner).

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Several cinemas have existed along the Erzsébet Boulevard. The film Museum, located at Erzsébet 39 (renamed Örökmozgó Filmmúzeum) screens renown cinema classics:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Hunnia cinema, Erzsébet 39, (Hunnia Kávézó) is the last original, authentic cinema with its narrow, dull, small hall. Open: MON - SAT 17.30 - 01.00:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Try to sneak into the building in Erzsébet körút 21. Again, an eclectic  (see also the adjacent # 19house ) facade, Neo-Renaissance stuccos inside, and the beautiful loggias all around:

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The New York Palace and Cafe is 500 m. further south, in Erzsébet körút 9-11. The New York Café has lived through many eras, political systems and historical turning points. It was designed by Alajos Hausmann and was built in 1894 for the NY Life Insurance company. Still, it has always been reborn, sparkling and occupied by those who longed for its comforts: artists, members of the nobility and commoners alike. Franc Molnar wrote his book Paul Street Boys in this cafe. Molnar threw the cafe keys into the Danube so the cafe would never close... The Boscolo Group has reconstructed it in a way which reflects the tendency to regain its old patina and reputation ranking it as the “Most Beautiful Coffee House in the World”. It is a striking, breath-taking place: alabster pillars, giant ceiling frescoes, gilded ornaments. BUT, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE PHOTOS INSIDE !

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Hungary, visiting things to do in Hungary, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

If you continue three minutes further (180 m.) south along Erzsébet körút - you arrive to the Blaha Lujza tér (M2 Metro - Red line). The domed corner building of the First Domestic Savings-bank of Pest has dominated the square for more than 100 years. The square is named after Lujza Blaha, an actress (1850–1926). The Hungarian National Theater was located on the square until 1964 when it was demolished (blown up actually) because of the subway construction. The Corvin department store, in the square, dates from 1926.

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