Whether you’ve come to Vienna for business, school trip, partying or a romantic getaway – seeing an opera in Vienna is a must. It was on my bucket list for many years and on June 2015, I finally had the chance to do it. However, with tickets costing £200 per person, my friend and I simply could not afford it – especially as we were half-way through our interrailing trip and our funds were getting pretty low. But guess what? You can go and see an opera or ballet performance at the Vienna State Opera House for just €3. How?
1. Choose your show/date
First go over to the Vienna State Opera website and choose the date you are interested in. Hannah and I knew in advance of our trip that The Tempest will be shown on the day we are going, and so fit our itinerary around it. If a day doesn’t have what you are interested in, just keep clicking around to find something you like on a day you will be in Vienna.
2. Get there early
If you want to grab these cheap tickets, you will have to get there early. Standing room tickets are sold 90 minutes before the performance start. It is recommended to get there 2 hours before show time. As our performance started at 7:30pm, we got there around 5:30pm. If you want a good ticket, or a ticket at all – arrive early! The Staatsoper building can be reached from metro U1, U2, U4 at Karlsplatx station.
3. Dress nicely
I am always the one who dress way over the top, but for once, I fitted right in. There are going to be ladies there dressed like they are going to the ball. The men are going to be in tuxes. If you went during your interrailing trip, try to wear the best and fanciest outfit you brought.
4. Bring food
Pick up food and eat it while you are in the line. There are not many options inside the Opera House to buy food and there probably wont be enough time for you to run out and hunt for it. Hannah and I actually ate dinner before we jumped on the line and just bought snacks with us. We had plenty of time to nibble.
5. Choose your seating
You are now at the front of the queue and you need to decide which kind of standing ticket you want. There are three different kinds of standing ticket.
- Parterre – €4 – closest you will get to the performance and right behind the orchestra.
- Galerie – €3 – This is in the highest level and furthest away from the stage.
- Balkon – €3 – This is loated in the balcony, one level down from this balcony.
Before I went, I did a lot of internet research and everyone appeared to agree the the BALKON ticket is the best view. Another advantage of this ticket is that you can sit down whenever your feet are getting tired.
6. Don’t forget cash
Don’t make the same mistake as many tourists did on the line – they wait for more than an hour to see an opera in Vienna only to find that they don’t take credit cards. Standing room tickets are only sold in cash. There are plenty of ATMS close to the theatre that allows you to pull out €10.
7. Get in line again
So you’ve chosen which section you want to sit in and you’ve purchased your ticket. Now you are going to have to get in line again! Take your ticket and follow the usher’s instructions and queue outside the door they tell you. Even if your ticket gives you a place number, the ushers will put you wherever you are in line. This is another reason to go as early as possible – the closer you are to the front of this line – the nearer you will be to the stage.
8. Sit down
Once you find your standing place – it is tradition to mark your place by tying a scarf around the rail in front of you, or placing an object where you are. Hannah and I placed our scarves around the rail and walked around the Opera House, admiring the Viennese art and architecture.
9. Enjoy the show!
You are now watching a Viennese Opera for €3, where the person in front of you is paying €200. Win.