Round and colonnaded in front and square in back, Hungary's massive, preeminent national theatrical venue is a spectacular blend of modern and classical, flanked by an even grander neighbor, the Palace of the Arts. There are nightly performances on at least one of two stages inside the theater.
The spacious square out front and to the side is something to behold—though, admittedly, different folks behold it differently. The large reflecting pool contains a toppled-over, life-size ancient theater facade and three eternal flames. The bow of a ship, which you can walk on, overlooks the pool. Elsewhere scattered about the square—some on benches, others standing–are eight metal statues of late, great Hungarian thespians of the 20th century, each performing a legendary role.
Nearby the theater is a compellingly round structure that's aptly nicknamed the Tower of Babel and that houses a small exhibit gallery. In no time you can walk up the path that winds around its outer perimeter to the top for a modest view of the Buda hills and of the surrounding new architecture on the Pest side. Kids love to get lost in the fascinating little labyrinth of hedges at the foot of the tower.