Please sign in to post.

Dress for the Opera

I plan to attend a performance of the Hungarian State Opera when I am in Budapest in a couple weeks.

I travel light and do not plan to bring a suit coat to Budapest and my other destinations, but I want to look presentable for my attendance at the opera. I will buy a ticket for a balcony seat or a seat somewhere in the back. If I wore a nice sweater and slacks or a collared shirt with tie and slacks, would one of those be satisfactory? I regularly go to the symphony in Chicago, where I live, and have seen a wide gamut: some people are decked out in fine, expensive attire, others are in mid-range clothes and still others wear blue jeans. I imagine slacks would be OK for my visit to the opera in Budapest.

Thank you.

Posted by
15565 posts

You'll be fine. I go to the opera in Chicago and nobody blinks an eye if someone shows up in jeans.

Posted by
10648 posts

Sam is correct. If it's good enough for Chicago it dang well should be good enough for the rest of the world. When will these foreigners quit trying to be different and just accept the fact that us Americans set the standard for the world.

Cbarner1, if you buy the cheap seats and you make some effort to be presentable the worst you can expect is that the Hungarians that enjoy their theater and make a special night of it will just see you for what you are and appreciate you accordingly.

I traveled to Bpest yesterday with no more than a carry-on bag which did contain a wrinkle proof blue blazer. Having it opens up more possibilities when traveling, and looking "correct" garners better service. Personally at the theater I always wear a sports coat and tie at a minimum and a suit most often. A nice sweater, collared shirt and and a tie in the balcony is probably a good choice. It's not what you can get away with, it's about respecting others. That's subjective so I leave it to your discretion.

If you want some more basis for your decision making process you might want to Google images of the interior of the Opera and examine how people are dressed.

Posted by
10648 posts

If you add up all the time I have spent in Bpest over the last dozen years it might equal half the time that worldinbetween actually lived here so I think she is your best bet for advise. BUT, I also think it's true that we all see things through our own set of filters ... myself included. We have, to the best of my recollection, been to 9 performances in Budapest. Ask me how I saw people dressed at those performances and in all but one case it is the better dressed people that stick I'm my mind. The one glaring exception was the 30 something year old man who purchased the odd seat in the box next to ours. The others in the box were dressed very formally and you could tell they didn't appreciate this man being in jeans and a t shirt. I am sure it took something away from the evening of the others. I also know with great certainty that at every performance at the Operett Theater a coat and tie was a norm for those in the boxes because there is an intermission parlor for the box ticket holders and I would remember someone that didn't have at least a jacket.

But again, I realize that my recollection might be biased so I encourage you to Google the images. There are several that portray the interior in enough detail and resolution to be informative. And! If I remember, I will take an informal head count next week.

Posted by
10648 posts

I think we are on the same wave length. Admittedly I am conservative and I enjoy the setting and the aire of the venue and I sort of resent the dumbing down of everything in life. I also have a lot of respect for our hosts (the Hungarian people) and want them to always appreciate tourists from Texas (the boots give it away). So we make every effort to be on our best behavior.