All posts tagged Nutcracker in Budapest

The Russian Dance in Nutcracker puppet show Budapest

Nutcracker is one of the most awaited shows every year in Budapest, whether you wish to see the classical ballet of Nutcracker story in the Hungarian Opera House and National Ballet Institute (the Opera House is home of both the operas and ballets), or the more contemporary ballet and theatre shows in the Palace of Arts in Budapest (MUPA for short).

Nutcracker Budapest Szeged Contemporary Ballet Dance

Nutcracker Budapest Szeged Contemporary Ballet Dance

The Palace of Arts invites various companies to put up an annual Nutcracker Show, or stages an in house production. In recent years Budapest MUPA has presented a vast array of Nutcracker performances, e.g.  the renowned ballet company of Szeged town in Hungary visited MUPA to perform the ballet in a modern interpretation.

Tickets for Nutcracker shows are on purchase from about September / October onwards. Please check the upcoming shows for December on the official website of MUPA on

Dates: Dec 19, 2018 and Dec 20, 2018

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Nutcracker Puppet Show in the National Puppet Theater in Budapest: officially called the ‘Budapest Puppet Theater’ but it is a national institution with many of the best puppet performances in Hungary. The Nutcracker puppet show is a Christmas tradition, and has been running for many decades with great success. To boot, the ticket prices are ridiculously low for a foreign family (HUF 1,300 per ticket), so it is one of the best deals you can get at Xmas in Budapest if you are visiting the city with children in winter. Besides the Nutcracker, there are several more puppet shows running all through November, December and January, so do check the event calendar of the Puppet Theater for more shows, and details.

Nutcracker Puppet Show in Budapest Puppet Theater

Nutcracker Puppet Show in Budapest Puppet Theater

Venue: Puppet Theater (Budapest Bábszínház) at 69 Andrassy Avenue, Budapest, District VI (post code: 1062, Andrássy út 69.)

Dates of the Nutcracker Puppet Show

Friday, December 1 2017 10:00
Tuesday, December 12 2017 10:00 and 15:00
Wednesday, December 13 2017 10:00 and 15:00
Sunday, December 24 2017 10:30 and 14:00
Monday, December 25 2017 10:30

There will be puppet shows on Dec 26 too, although not the Nutcracker. The shows are in Hungarian language, which may not bother your little one at all, so it might be worth giving a try:
December 26
10:30 am Misi Mokus vandoruton at Budapest Bábszínház – Színházterem

Tickets to the Nutcracker Puppet Show

Tickets can be purchased online or on the premises at the Budapest Puppet Theater on Andrassy Avenue. You can book your tickets in advance for the puppet show online. The official ticket vendor of the Budapest Puppet Theater is



The Nutcracker Festival of the Budapest Opera House launches at the end of November or early December. There is a 30 meter majestic Christmas tree set up in front of the Hungarian State Opera House as well as a small wooden booth selling hot drinks in the afternoon. The Nutcracker Festival of the Budapest Opera will last until the end of December.

Nutcracker Festival Budapest Opera

Concerts by Budapest Opera

There are several open air concerts scheduled for the festival, which are free. In addition to the official chorus of the Budapest Opera, including its children’s choir, further 17 choirs (like the School Choir of St. Stephen’s High School, or the School Choir of the Bela Bartok Secondary School) lined up to perform Christmas concerts in front of the Budapest Opera House (until December 23).

Christmas at Budapest Opera

Christmas at Budapest Opera – Pal Csillag Photography

The choirs will sing in front of the theater, to the right of the word Sphinx statue.

The date of the official opening ceremony of the Budapest Nutcracker Festival changes from year to year. Please check on the site of the Opera House the exact date this year.

Hot Drink Booth by the Opera

In the elegant and stage prop like Christmas Booth of the Budapest Nutcracker Festival you can buy mulled wines, or hot tea. This is a charity booth. Besides the hot drinks, you can buy little gifts from Russia and France, the two outstanding countries of ballet. All the proceedings of the charity booth will be given to the Ecumenical Organization (Ökumenikus Segélyszervezet) to help families and children living in poverty and need.

The Nutcracker ballet has been performed in the Budapest Opera House for over 60 years now with great success, and international acclaim.


7 Nutcracker Installations by the Budapest Opera


Budapest Nutcracker Festival Installations

Budapest Nutcracker Festival Installations – source:

On Karoly korut (Karoly ring road) and by the Opera House you can see special installations. Old style cylindrical news posts turned into artsy displays: the decade old props and figures of the Nutcracker shows of past years have been included in the transparent posts to call attention to the Nutcracker Festival, like the Mouse King, the Nutcracker, the Ballerina, Drosselmayer, etc.

On some evenings of December , at the open air Christmas concert (dubbed the Kiskaracsony or Little Christmas concert) more than 1,600 people with disabilities have been invited to participate in the Budapest Christmas festivities and the Nutcracker Festival of the Hungarian State Opera House.

The concerts of the Nutcracker Festival are around 6 pm, and from 5 to 6pm, you can buy your hot drinks from some of the singers, artists and ballet dancers of the Opera House.

The Hungarian Opera House, which is also the home of the National Ballet Institute, will present its traditional Nutcracker ballet performances throughout December in its more contemporary building, the Erkel Theatre (the historical Opera House is going through architectural modernization works until 2019).

Nutcracker Ballet Budapest Opera

Nutcracker Ballet Budapest Opera

The spectacular ballet show is one of the highlights of classy Christmas holidays in Budapest. Not to be missed, if you love the most Christmasy ballet and story of all time.

Event: The Nutcracker – Tchaikovsky, Vainonen
Date: many days in November and December 2018, please see on the official website of the Opera House
Venue: Erkel Theater (the Opera House Budapest is under reconstruction until 2019)


This is a short Video of the Nutcracker Ballet at the Hungarian Opera House

Dates of the Nutcracker Ballet Show in Budapest

The Nutcracker is so popular amongst locals and foreign tourists alike, that it rules the stage of the Opera House in December. Definitely one of the best things to do in Advent in Budapest! The performances start at 7 pm and finish at 9:45 pm on weekdays, while at weekends and on public holidays, the Nutcracker show starts at 11 am, and ends at 1:45 pm (but there are some evening performances on certain Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 6pm, so please check on the website of the opera house)


Photos of the Nutcracker Ballet Show in Budapest

Story of Nutcracker

What is the story of the Nutcracker Ballet? What makes it a Christmas ballet?

The story of the Nutcracker is about a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince. The story focuses on the battle against a frightening Mouse King who has 7 heads. The opening Party Scene is actually Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house where the Stahlbaums are hosting their annual Christmas party. The children, Clara and Fritz, are happily dancing as they welcome their friends on Xmas Eve. The Christmas party is about merriment with music and dances. Then comes the turn,  Drosselmeyer, the toy maker godfather arrives. He is always full of surprises. This evening he presents two dolls, two life-size dolls. Drosselmeyer also gives his gifts to Clara and Fritz. Clara gets a beautiful Nutcracker gift, which everyone adores at the Christmas party, and as it would happen with children, Fritz gets so jealous that he forcefully grabs the nutcracker from Clara, and the Nutcracker gets broken. So does Clara’s heart.  But Drosselmeyer hastily repairs the Nutcracker with a handkerchief. When the guests are gone, Clara and Fritz are put into bed, but she sneaks back to the Christmas tree to check on the beautiful Nutcracker, then she falls asleep with him in her arms. At magical hour of midnight, just as the clock strikes 12 am, the world gets strange. Clara, just like Alice with her potions, begins to shrink, while the toys around the Christmas tree come to life. The room gets flooded with an army of mice, led by the fierce Mouse King. The Mouse King turns the room into a battle scene. His army is challenged by the army of toys, led by the Nutcracker himself. Alas, the Nutcracker cannot withstand the attack and is captured by the Mouse King. Here comes, Clara who wants to protect the Nutcracker and throws her slipper at the Mouse King. Bang! The Mouse King is hit, the Nutcracker is freed, and the army of mice retreat. As if kissed by Clara, the Nutcracker turns into a charming Prince. Clara, with her Prince takes a stroll in the enchanted Land of Snow, then they visit the (what else), The Land of Sweets where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy who presents them a series of beautiful dances: Spanish, Arabia, Russian, Chinese, etc. The Nutcracker ballet reaches its zenith when the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier dance a beautiful Pas De Deux, which also ends Clara’s dream. Clara awakens, and realizes that all the battle and magic land was a dream. And she fondly hugs her beloved Nutcracker.

The dates of Budapest Christmas are published in autumn. Booking tickets in advance cannot be more than 2 months in advance, so just mark the days for in your calendar, and then book at the end of October, or in early November (depending how the online ticket system of the Budapest Opera House allows you).

Nutcracker puppet show Budapest

The Nutcracker Puppet Show may be one of the programs of your Budapest Christmas holiday, if you love theater performances and visit Budapest with children: puppets and actors will perform the classic Nutcracker story, the dreamy Christmas party, the excitements of the big battle of the Mouse King and the Nutcracker, the enchanted Snow Land, etc. Christmas with children – no language barrier when it comes to live performances of the best kind.

Nutcracker puppet show Budapest

Nutcracker puppet show Budapest

Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is also performed as a ballet at the wonderful Opera House in Budapest. The Nutcracker show with puppets will be at the Palace of Arts (MUPA or Muveszetek Palotaja).

Dates: 3 pm and 7 pm on Dec 19, 2018 and 10.30 am and 3 pm on 20 Dec, 2018

Venue: Palace of Arts, Festival Theatre
Prices: HUF 1500, 2000

Booking Puppet Show

Nutcracker Puppet Show with Actors and Puppets

Maria, Drosselmeyer, the Mouse King, Stahlbaum, and of course the nutcracker himself, The Land of Sweets, the Christmas tree and the boxes of presents. In other words, that Christmas theatrical essential, the wonderful Nutcracker. The traditional work appears here on an extended stage, where the entire Tchaikovsky score and the essential concept remain the same, but the performance is adapted for the greatest visual impact.
One or two of the characters will be played by actors, while others will also be represented by giant puppets. In accordance with the set design of Klaudia Orosz, the Christmas tree, with an unlit decoration at its peak, will stand to the right of the stage. The tree will grow and be lit from within as events unfold, while it becomes white again when the snow falls. When the top is pushed, it transforms into the castle of the Land of Sweets, and then back into a Christmas tree. There is a giant clock face that grows wings and turns into an owl as the image of the actor Drosselmeyer is projected on it. Masks, oversized puppets and 3D animated images – all genuine marvels that breathe new life into this classic Christmas story. (source: Muveszetek Palotaja Budapest,

The Russian Dance in Nutcracker puppet show Budapest

The Russian Dance in Nutcracker puppet show Budapest

Budapest December 2018 events: one of the options is to go to the Palace of Arts on December 19 and 20

Presented by: Nemzeti Filharmonikusok (National Philharmonic Orchestra), Művészetek Palotája

Tamas Juronics
Andrea Toth, Attila Etele Kiss
Julia Horanyi
Zazzy Design
head ornament
Ferenc Stadler