We booked a tour for two with an English speaking guide. This Hungarian Stare Opera House ( ) is one of the "must" visit attractions in Budapest. Construction was funded by the city of Budapest and by Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary.
There were so many people for English language group that J.J. and I decided to join the Japanese group with 11 people plus us.
Our tour guide spoke flawless, educated Japanese with a slight Hungarian accent. She told me that she spent 4 years in Japan.
There were lots of aahs and ooohs including our quick stop in the royal box office. The seats are reserved for invited royals and dignitaries. One may stand but sitting on the thickly cushioned seats is not permitted.
Due to the rivalry between Austria and Hungary at the time of construction, this opera house had to be smaller in scale than the Vienna Opera House. To overcome this limitation, the builders made sure that it is superior in beauty and quality. Bonus of our tour was catching an earlier performance of "O mio babbino caro."
Aloha -- Cathi