National Theatre

National Theatre

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The construction of the National Theatre, on the basis of plans by architect Mária Siklós, began on 14 September 2000, and, after a construction process of record-breaking speed, was completed in a little over 15 months. The artists were able to take possession of the building on 2 January 2002, when rehearsals began for the inaugural performance on 15 March. In functional terms, the theatre is divided into three parts. The central part comprises the auditorium, with an almost circular ground-plan, and the studio theatre. This part is surrounded by the areas for audience members, and the U-shaped technical wing bordering the main stage. The theatre is surrounded by areas for parking. Together with the open-air stage, the area of the theatre is 20,844 square metres.

National Theater Budapest

To the left and right of the theatre’s longitudinal axis, stairs lead up to the various floors, following the curve of the ambulatory’s outside wall. Passage by foot is accompanied by two panoramic lifts in front of the pylons at both sides of the lobby’s panoramic window. The centrally located cloakroom is on the ground floor, underneath the auditorium. The refreshments bar is on the first floor, while the space on the second and third floors acts as a gallery from which to take in the view of the Danube and the Buda hills.

The main stage has a capacity of 619, and the entrances to the auditorium are along the ambulatories on the first, second and third floors. The boxes are on the second floor, with three royal boxes in the centre. The gallery is on the third floor, where there are technical rooms between the entrances.


In every sense, the National Thatre has all the given conditions to be site and home of a representative international theatre festival, which at present is missing from Hungarian cultural life. One goal of the festival would be to bring the most exciting current productions to the Hungarian public. Another goal, whenever possible, would be to work for a theme that would provide harmony for the performances: a given theme arranged around a certain regional area, or a theatre's artistic program, or a foreign director working at the theatre. This would create a context for all the pieces, so artists taking part in the festival would remain in Budapest for a couple of extra nights. We could arrange for their participation in encounters with other theatre professional or audience members. Importantly though, our festival would connect partner institutions at home and abroad. As a realistic estimate, the first such festival could be arranged in 2010. We believe it is natural and necessary for the National Theatre to cooperate with the outstanding and justly famous festivals in Budapest (the Budapest Spring Festival and Budapest Autumn Festival). We would strive to form a cooperation with thinking together at its core, considering the partners' requirements while bringing into harmony their opportunities and their assets.

National theater

The theatre has initiated a play-reading series, selections including he freshest work from contemporary international drama literature. Play-readings, with their own particular tools, can display the worthy features of a work, drawing attention to the author's craft and perhaps drawing followers to modern theatre literature. The speciality of today's National Theatre could lie partly its integrating role and partly in its quality. The cultural administration recognizes this quality and makes it possible for the National Theatre to enjoy such distinguished opportunities. (source)

The National Theatre stands in the area between the Danube and Soroksári Street, by the Pest end of the Lágymányos bridge. The artists’ entrance is at the side of the building closer to the river, while the main entrance is on the side facing the Gellért Hill.

By tram
Take tram 2 which runs from Jászai Mari tér to Vágóhíd, or tram 24 which runs from Baross tér. The Vágóhíd utca stop is right next to the theatre. Or take tram 1 from the direction of Bécsi út to its terminus at the Lágymányos bridge.

By local train (HÉV) or bus
There are many lines to the theatre from Boráros tér: the Csepel local train has a stop nearby, as do buses 23 (both black and red) and 54.

Parking is provided for those arriving by car, and is free for those in possession of a theatre ticket. The National Theatre’s guarded car park holds 250 cars, and is reached from the service road parallel to Soroksári út.

From the north, turn off the junction at Boráros tér and take the service road to the car park. This can also be done by taking a U-turn at the crossing of Soroksári útand Vágóhíd utca.

From the south, or if coming over the Lágymányos bridge, turn off the junction ofSoroksári út and Vágóhíd utca and follow the signs to the car park.

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