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Budapest Opera - we have tix, how formal should I dress?

Budapest Opera - we have tix, how formal should I dress?

Aug 31st, 2008, 07:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 192
Budapest Opera - we have tix, how formal should I dress?

I get to go to Budapest! Yay

We have tickets to the opera house to see "Bank ban" in late September and from the looks of the building it seems extremely formal. I've searched the boards here but can find nothing specific to appropriate attire for an actual opera show.

I try to be a minimalist when traveling, and usually only take a carry-on to Europe no matter how long the trip. I'm wondering what, specifically, is the appropriate dress code for this? I could probably find room for a (black) dress and heels, but not a gown or anything.

Thanks for any advice.
jumper22 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,652
Unfortunately, besides the rare opening night galas, there are no occasions for wearing gowns to theaters anymore, anywhere in the world. Your black dress will work.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,049
We will be in Budapest the first of October and plan to go to the opera. I emailed friends in Budapest to ask about dress for the opera. If they answer soon I will let you know. I plan on wearing nice slacks and a dressy sweater or blouse with perhaps a jacket - unless they object.

From what section did you buy your tickets? I didn't know if the opera house was so large you needed to be more up front or the cheap seats would be good.

We are staying close to the opera house and thought we would buy them while in Budapest.

bratsandbeer is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
My experience was that there was no dress code of any kind anywhere at the Budapest opera. Admittedly no-one was wearing shorts or scruffy T shirts when I was there, but otherwise everyone - throughout the house - wore what they felt comfortable with. As in everyday life, that meant suits for some, smart, pressed jeans for others.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
My experience has been that each group of attendees dresses to please each other. My wife insists that I wear a dark suit, a light shirt and necktie. My shoes need be shined. My wife wears a dark dress with pearls and often a fur shawl. If we bring guests they will dress the same. This attire will also be appropriate for our late dinner. I think jeans and t-shirts are great for the movies.
GSteed is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 07:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 192
Thanks very much, sounds like it's pretty much the same as what it is here in the States. I'll just pack something dressy & black and it sounds like that will work just fine.

Our Hungarian friend actually bought the tickets for us, so I've no idea what section we're in. We'll be going with him while we're there, I just wanted to get some other opinions as well. Thanks!
jumper22 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,521
No gown needed. I was there in May and wore a black dress and silk shawl (which came in handy when it got cooler). You might want to ask your Hungarian hosts---if there's female in the pair she'll likely be willing to tell you exactly what she's most comfortable wearing.

Note that it's very common to take the subway there, as there's a stop directly in front of the opera house. There's also a very nice outside balcony for intermission---buy your refreshments (I had sparkling wine and salmon and caviar canapes, having skipped dinner) inside and then head outside if the weather's nice.
Therese is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,404
In Budapest, men should plan on wearing a cape, a bowler, and carrying a walking stick to the opera. (Don't forget to pack some ointment to deal with the heavy chafing.) Don't be surprised to see women wearing a live fur around their necks, ie. a fox, rabbit, or feral cat. (Be careful about eating certain types of cheese around live fur.)

Following local traditions - If you leave your seat during intermissions, leave a plate of sardines on your seat to reserve it.

Hope this helps.
Bird is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
Went to the Opera for the opening of the ballet. They did a full evening ballet of - are you ready - "Gone with the Wind". Quite an experience.

Anyway, it was opening night. Some women were dressed in long gowns. But the majority, the vast majority, were not. I wore a nice sweater and black pants and leather boots. I had no fancy clothes and neither did my husband. We sat in the orchestra.

Look nice; don't worry about fussy.
kenav is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
My experience was the same as flan's. Saw a mixture of attire ranging from smart jeans to suits.
wombat7 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,521
"Following local traditions - If you leave your seat during intermissions, leave a plate of sardines on your seat to reserve it."

If only I'd thought to bring sardines...

I had loge seats, and as soon as the original occupants left about halfway through the opera they were filled in by "migrants" from the cheap seats. I got the definite impression that there was collusion with the usher (an older woman) in this practice. They didn't bother me, so I didn't make a fuss. One was actually a child, and she was clearly delighted to have such a nice seat even if it was only for the second half of the opera.
Therese is offline  

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