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Appropriate clothes for Budapest Opera?

Hi there,
We will be in Budapest in late May and may want to attend the opera or other classical music event. I'm not planning to pack "evening dress". Would it be okay to just wear black pants and a nice blouse? Or is that too casual?

Posted by
6408 posts

That outfit works not to casual. They will forgive you anyway since you are tourists.

Posted by
2089 posts

I attended both the Opera and a musical at the Operettszinhaz last May and decided I would feel best if I wore a dress and heels (lightweight jersey, not a fancy gown) just like I do when attending the San Francisco opera, but your suggested outfit is also perfectly appropriate. I had a seat on the main floor and noticed an astonishing array of everything, including tuxedos, formal gowns, furs, sports jackets and trousers, dressy pants outfits, nice dresses, jeans and sneakers, and even a hoodie.

Posted by
10859 posts

You can look here for some ideas:

https://previews.123rf.com/images/quasargal/quasargal1206/quasargal120600553/14148484-Hungarian-State-Opera-House-in-Budapest-Hungary-Stock-Photo.jpg

On this forum I keep hearing things like, “I wore jeans and I didn’t feel out of place” my question is how did the other around you feel? I go to the opera in Budapest once or twice a year and I have asked a few local folks and this is what I have come up with.

Men, sports coat and tie at a minimum. In the boxes go a little more upscale as the boxes are generally Hungarians and for them this is a big deal and you will be mixing with them. If you can’t do this then go to an early performance and sit in the balcony.

If its opening night or something otherwise special; a suit. If it’s a gala, a tux. Even then there were a number that didn’t take that direction: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ai7Zk-szxfTJg8xLymfSwRH2tWUuLQ I like this photo because I am in it.

The last time we were in the Opera for a typical performance I counted the men that I could see that did not have a coat and tie and the number was 12. Assuming I could only see about half the people and that half those there were men, then the number would be 20 or 30 out of 650.

When booking your tickets be sure you are buying in the Opera House. I heard they were going to close it soon to start a remodel. The second venue is the Erkel theather which isn’t the same thing as being in the opera.

Also don’t overlook the Budapest Operett. Great venue and great shows. Same dress guidelines.

OH, Women's clothes? Anything that looks good in the company of the guy is the best I can do on women's clothing. My wife wears black slacks, shorter heal than most women, a blouse and one of those sequined jackets.....

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks folks, that's helpful information and thanks for the tip about the operett. We're pretty casual folks and can get away with that in the concerts and events in Seattle. I can't imagine my husband will want to pack a tie and sport coat, so I guess we'll consider the matinee.

Posted by
10859 posts

I got a navy blazer from Orvis. Wrinkle proof and full of pockets. I wear it when I travel. Its been all over the world with me. Beats the heck out of one of those travel vests.

Posted by
5280 posts

Just back from our second concert at Liszt Academy in Budapest -- I wore black pants, nice but not fancy black top, scarf and pearls (ok, they aren't real), my husband wore a dark sweater over collared shirt and the cord pants he wears every day for travel. Many locals in suits (men) and dresses/nice pants (women) This venue is not quite as upscale as the opera -- but our tickets were only $30 for both of us and the music was great.

Posted by
10859 posts

Another really great place and one where dress has no issue is Opus Jazz Club. Love it.

Make reservations at Callas Café for after the opera. Sure, there are better, but its excellent and the location next to the opera is ideal. Sort of like a continuation of the evening.