Budapest Opera House
The story goes that Budapest wanted to build a grand opera house for the 1896 millennium celebrations but the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef would only fund it if it was less grand than that of his native Vienna. Well, the architect built an opera house a little smaller but with more opulence and glamor than the Viennese opera house. Apparently, the emperor was so displeased that he walked out of the opera house on opening day and never entered the building again.
His loss, right? Because this is the sort of place that I'd want to keep enjoying.
We didn't plan early enough to get tickets to the gorgeous Budapest Parliament (you need to book early in the morning or days before via the Internet) so we decided to hop over to the Hungarian State Opera House for their daily tour instead. As with most of Budapest's majestic structures, the Opera House was built at the turn of the 19th century in time for the grand millennial celebrations. There are daily tours at 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in a wide variety of languages. Of course, you could also buy tickets to a performance. The cheapest tickets start at around $4 USD for a seat so it's a great deal and considered one of the best value opera houses in all of Europe.