We will be going to the Nutcracker the night of Dec 1. We will be staying on a River Cruise ship that night so I'm working on the logistics of that evening. If you have been to the Nutcracker do you know approx what time the ballet will end if it starts at 7:00 pm? I'm thinking about hiring a driver to pick us up at the end of the performance and then do a river front drive to see the view of the city at night before taking us back to the ship.
Wish I could tell you exactly. We go to the theater often but don’t pay that close attention. Generally right about 10pm. One time it was critical that I knew so I wrote the theater and they gave me a precise time. Do that or tell the driver to arrive at 10pm and know that you will either have 15 minutes to poke around inside the theater before he arrives or you will owe him for 15 minutes of wait time. Be sure to get his phone number and be sure to carry your cell phone. Makes it easier and less worrisome. The reason I don’t pay closer attention is we generally have dinner afterwards at Callas Café (next door to the Opera) and for that when making the reservation I always just say “after the opera”; or if not that we just live across the street about a block in, and we go home.
For your riverfront tour. A couple of ideas. First, the view from a car on the Pest side is not bad but you will get a pretty unobstructed view of Buda from the deck of your ship which is even better so what you want to do is drive the Buda side so you can see Pest and the Parliament and the Four Seasons and ….. Still if it were me, and it has been on a few occasions, I would drive up to Gellert Hill near the Citidel for the view; and I would just hire a taxi. Cheaper and just as good.
Look at this: http://fabiushotel.hu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/budapest_by_night.jpg This is not some impossible view that you have to hire a helicopter to see. This was taken from a small viewing park near the Citidel. If that idea interests you then call City Taxi http://www.citytaxi.hu/ and tell them you want to hire a taxi for an hour starting at the Opera and ending at the Viking ship dock. Then when you get into the taxi you show him that photo and maybe this to explain:
Erzsébet híd (Elizabeth Bridge)
Batthyány tér (Batthyany Square, a good place to see the Parliament from)
Széchenyi lánchíd (Széchenyi Chain Bridge)
I am a little iffy on this because I don’t drive in town and most of the streets are one-way in the wrong direction no matter where you are trying to go.
I hope it helps some.
Thanks again for the great information and the picture of the view from Gellert hill is amazing. Definitely will do that. I think I have all he details now planned out for Budapest. Now just have to survive the next 5 months of anticipation.
Wow, you are very planful! You got me thinking about events that weekend. We will be there
(at the END of a River Cruise), staying for a few days extra from 11/29-12/1. How did you get the
I must admit there is a part of me that enjoys the planning almost as much as the travel. My wife thinks I go a little over board at times but we rarely have negative surprises when we travel and if we do it is out of our control and adds to the memories instead of having things go wrong that wouldn't have if I had planned properly.
I purchased my tickets for the Nutcracker through www.budapestopera-tickets.com It may be a little more expensive but I was able to reserve tickets way in advance. They don't send the actual tickets till 3-4 months out from the event. You don't pick your exact seat but can reserve the level of tickets you want. Hope this helps
The obvious advantage of how bcstivers purchased his tickets is that he doesn't have to watch the website for the tickets to go on sale http://www.opera.hu/ The disadvantage is choice of seats; although I do understand you can select price range. As for the small extra cost, the Opera in Budapest is so reasonably priced that a small upcharge for convenience isn't a bad thing. If you buy them from the Opera ticket office you want a box if you can get one. The bar and the balcony that looks right over Andrassy ut will be at your convenience at the intermission. The idea is to mix and mingle with the best of Hungarian society. Other than the balcony and a few of the lower tier seats these aren't tourist venues. They are predominatley a part of Hungarian culture. The seats might cost you 18,000 forints. When the tickets go on sale the good seats will sell fast so check in on the website on a pretty regular basis. You might also call or email the theater and as for the day the tickets will go on sale. They have responded to my questions in the past. My guess is the new season will start selling sometime in July.
Another great venue that we enjoy is the Operett Theater. They will have their December shows on sale in July as well I believe. Again, buy the best box seats and they come with a "parlor experience" at intermission. Most all of the musicals and operettas come with English subtitles. Love the place. Amazing productions. http://www.operett.hu/operett.php?nyelv=2
Finally, some information that I hope you find helpful: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/austria/proper-attire-for-opera-35ac258a-acfa-47bd-8ba6-34ddd2b596c1
As for your planning. We travel to Budapest 2 or 3 times a year. Almost always with a side trip someplace. I still write a tour book for each trip where I work out all of the details and options. We rarely follow it but the organization is always a good place to start.
Thought I would update this post. I did receive my tickets via the budapestopera website where I reserved seats months ago. I did reserve seats in the best section but you cannot pick your seats. But as James said it was convenient and I didn't have to keep track of when they went on sale. I received my tickets by email last week and the seats were left centre row 7 seats 3 and 4. So it looks like excellent seats even though I didn't get to pick them.