Five musical places in Budapest where Virtuosos feel at home.Published: September 11th, 2023
Budapest has traditionally been a top-notch cultural destination for music fans throughout the years, drawing some of the finest performing artists from around the world. Today, the Hungarian capital embodies the remnants of its rich musical history, with grand concert and music halls honoring the likes of composers Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók. The breathtaking Hungarian State Opera House is one of the finest examples of neo-Renaissance architecture in the world, while the juxtaposing Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in the magnificent Palace of Arts stamps a modern and contemporary feel onto the city’s imposing skyline. From the wondrous interior of the Liszt Music Academy to the no-frills art club feel of Café Jedermann, here are five of the best concert venues in Budapest when you travel here:
1. Hungarian National Opera House
Following an extensive refurbishment and modernisation that lasted for nearly five years, the historic Opera House was reopened in March 2022.
The Neo-Renaissance palace has been open to opera and ballet lovers for over one hundred thirty years. Thousands of tourists visit the building each year to admire one of Budapest’s most important historical monuments.
Today, among the major opera and ballet performances, the opera house is home to the Budapest Opera Ball, a society event dating back to 1886.
2. Music Academy Franz Liszt
The unique Art Nouveau building of the Liszt Academy went under a comprehensive refurbishment until 2013, following which all decorations and details in the concert hall – a shrine of music history – were restored to their original condition as built in 1907. A home for high profile classic, jazz and also folk concert events, the Music Academy is also above the most prestigious universities in the world dedicated to music education.
3. Palace of Arts and Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
Locals mostly refer to it as MüPa (an abbreviation of the respective name in Hungarian language), the modern venue is located south from the city center and it has been officially open from 2005. The magnificient cultural center is encasing the award-winning Bartók National Concert Hall, a 25-meters high, 25-meters wide and 52-meters long venue, providing a total capacity for 1,699 people. The concert hall features acoustics designed by Russell Johnson. Programs cover most of the popular music genres. The Millennial Centre district is a great place to explore the latest construction efforts of the city off the beaten touristic tracks.
4. Budapest Music Center
The main focus is presenting Hungarian contemporary music and establishing the international recognition it deserves. With its 300-seat concert hall and the state-of-the-art Opus Jazz Club with a la carte dining options, BMC is arranging classical, contemporary and jazz concerts, lectures and workshops.
5. Café Jedermann
Maintained and operated by the Goethe Institute for German Culture, this intimate little venue is the direct opposite of the aforementioned places. No-frills tables in front of a tiny stage, yet excellent local inspired concerts are taking place here almost daily. Find some of the most iconic saxophone players with unique style inspired by both deep-south Delta blues and Hungarian folk music heritage. Witness how one of the most virtuosic Gipsy dulcimer instruments, the cimbalom is discovering swing, bebop, hiphop and Persian traditional music – all at the same time. Simple yet delicious food available a la carte, check out Belgian beer variety off the tap.