Hungary promotes cultural scene to lure Mideast visitors

El Greco

Hungary is looking to position and promote its cultural pedigree in 2023 to become the European must-visit hub for Middle Eastern travellers interested in theatre, concerts, festivals, museums, and art galleries.

The vibrant and varied culture of Hungary is a dialogue of ages and fates, captivating tourists with its folkloric tales, classical exuberance and modern expressions. Art and culture are a cornerstone of daily life for many Hungarians where originality, artistic expression and virtuosity are highly regarded. Indeed, Hungarian intellectual and cultural heritage is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

For the first three months of 2023 a number of key exhibitions and events will be highlighted, including the first complete exhibition of El Greco's work at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, which will be held until February 19, 2023. The exhibition seeks to provide a broad overview of the life’s work of one of the foremost masters of European art, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, most widely known as El Greco, by presenting the complexity of his visual world and sweeping stylistic development. For more information, click here.

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and music has for decades been an essential part of life for many Budapest residents with many families experiencing the opera as part of their annual festive season traditions. Playing at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest until January 15, 2023, the opera house itself has recently undergone extensive renovations, making this year a particularly poignant time to visit. For more information on performance dates, click here.

A lot more is on offer too, including:

Museums and Galleries:

•    Explore the National Gallery in Buda Castle in Budapest, home to the largest public collection of fine art in Hungary.
•    Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle) on HŐSÖK TERE hosts exhibitions of contemporary arts, while the Museum of Fine Arts features exhibitions of international and Hungarian artists.
•    Fans of photography should visit the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre. The Csontváry Museum – a must-see museum in Pécs – showcases the life’s work of the lonely genius of Hungarian painting, while in Szentendre, the largest open-air museum in the country is not to be missed.


•    The National Theatre, located on the bank of the Danube, is an exceptional sight in a beautiful environment. Standing right next to it is MÜPA, where classical and popular music, jazz, world music, dance, new circus and fine arts take centre stage.
•    Witness the Renaissance Revival-style building of the Hungarian State Opera that hosts concerts by national and international stars of the opera world.

Hungarian Folk Tradition:
The folklore of Hungary is exceptionally rich, and it is worthwhile to learn more about it when visiting. Hungary is rich in preserved and vibrant folk customs, which are unquestionably significant aspects of the tourist cultural attractions of the countryside. To name a few, visitors can explore the Busó festivities, delve into falconry, discover Matyó Embroidery and be charmed by Hungary’s amazing folk dance and music.

Glamorous TikToks and Instagram posts, along with wanderlust-filled travel blogs can sometimes set high expectations for tourist destinations. Sometimes they can set the wrong expectations, with many visitors then having the city not live up to the image created in their own minds, resulting in great disappointment, and even resulting in the visitor becoming greatly upset. This psychological response has been termed the ‘Paris Syndrome Effect’.    

In a recent study conducted by Radical Storage, over 826,000 TripAdvisor reviews were analysed, across 100 of the most visited cities in the world, to find out which city is most guilty of not meeting tourists’ expectations and creating the ultimate ‘Paris Syndrome Effect’. Budapest is the city that reversed the Paris Syndrome Effect more than any other city in the whole survey, where 96.17% of visitor ratings included positive praises, with travellers pleasantly surprised by their experience. – TradeArabia News Service