Nightlife & the Arts in Budapest
For the latest on arts events, consult the entertainment listings of the English-language press. Their entertainment calendars map out all that's happening in Budapest's arts and culture world—from thrash bands in wild clubs to performances at the Opera House. Hotels and tourist offices will provide you with a copy of the monthly publication Programme, which contains details of all cultural events.
Tickets can be bought at the venues themselves, but many ticket offices sell them without an extra charge. Prices are still very low, so mark-ups of even 30% shouldn't dent your wallet if you book through your hotel. Inquire at Tourinform if you're not sure where to go. Ticket availability depends on the performance and season—it's usually possible to get tickets a few days before a show, but performances by major international artists sell out early. Tickets to Budapest Festival Orchestra concerts and festival events also go particularly quickly.
Budapest is filled with sörözős (beer bars), but the way to go is to head for one of the rom kerts ("ruin bars," which are housed in the courtyards of abandoned buildings). There you will meet a cross section of artists, professionals, students, and tourists enjoying a DJ or Hungarian microbrew. If wine is more your thing, don’t miss spending a few hours in a wine bar (more upscale than the divey borozós). Wine bars have lengthy wine lists comprising excellent Hungarian wines, and most servers speak reasonable enough English to recommend a wine and explain what you are getting.
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