The ornate Opera House is designed in the Neo-Renaissance style and is located on elegant Andrassy Avenue. The building was designed by Miklos Ybl for the Millennium celebrations of 1900. It took 9 years to build and was completed in 1884. The sumptuous design includes 7kg of gold used in the decoration and hundreds of statues. The façade is adorned with statues of famous composers as well as the first director of the Opera House who stands to one side of the entrance. On the upper level of the façade there are four niches graced with statues of the muses of opera. Sphinx statues guard either side of the entrance and there are wrought iron lamps.
Inside two sweeping staircases take the audience from the foyer to their seats. Grey marble columns support arches and the foyer is decorated with work by leading Hungarian artists. The opulence continues with murals and statues of mythological figures and the floor is covered with mosaic tiles. The auditorium is horseshoe shaped and can seat 1, 3000 people. Above the auditorium is a beautiful fresco by Karoly Lotz depicting the Gods on Mount Olympus. Plush red velvet and gold detail complete the vision of opulence.
The main season is from September to June, during this time there are regular performances of ballet and opera. The Opera House also hosts several festivals throughout the year. The best way to see the Opera House is by attending a performance but alternatively you could take a tour of the venue. Tours start at the main entrance and run daily at 15:00 and 16:00.