Budapest’s cultural heart also beats in Ferencváros, a former industrial district of Budapest. Well at least it’s true for the Pest side of the Rákóczi bridge, where lots of things are happening since the opening of MUPA in 2005, and right in front of it, of the National Theatre (in 2000).
The district is often overlooked by visitors as it is not exactly in the centre but you should consider going, it’s not that far (tram 2 goes from Jászai Mari tér up to Millenniumi Kulturális Központ, it’s a 15′ ride). Architecturally the two buildings belong to the modern – not to say hypermodern – genre but forget about the aesthetics and have a look at the programs instead!
MUPA (MŰVÉSZETEK PALOTÁJA) means “the palace of arts” and indeed, that’s what it is. This enormous cultural complex is home to two concert-halls and to the Ludwig múzeum – Hungarian contemporary arts museum (highly recommended).
MUPA has a broad musical offering. Not only does it host operas and classical musical concerts led by world-famous conductors, it also features folk, world and jazz concerts and even dance performances. Big stars such as Bregovic, Adam Fischer, Natacha Atlas… have been seen on stage at MUPA. But in the summer, it’s the off season!
With your student card you can get in for Ft 500 an hour before (for concerts played in Béla Bartók National concert hall and at the Festival Theatre). A bargain but you may not get a proper seat!