Buying cheap tickets to the Vienna State Opera House

Posted in: Vienna

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Vienna Opera House cheap tickets
Cheap seats to the Vienna Opera House can be scored for as little as €3.

Vienna boasts a long list of cultural attractions, but for many opera and ballet lovers coming to the city, it’s a performance (or three) at the Vienna’s State Opera (“Wiener Staatsoper”) that really makes the trip.

Built in the 1860s in the Neo-Renaissance style, the building itself is a treat. It dominates the southern portion of the “Ring” with its ornate facade, statues and arched windows. And with 300 performances a year, it offers visitors a change to treat themselves to a different performance every night of their trip.

Advance Tickets

Ticket prices vary greatly depending on the performance, date of the show and, of course, seat location. Rates can range from €6 for a spot in the top balcony to €250 for prime seats on opening night.

The safest bet is to visit the Staatsoper Web site before your trip to check on the schedule of performances and ticket prices. And fear not, budget travelers can book the cheap seats through the site. However, there are cheaper options…

Click for a closer look at the Vienna Opera House's seating chart, including the standing places (called "Stehplatz").

Standing Room Tickets

Cheapos with a bit more flexibility and willingness to take a risk may opt for a €2-€4 standing room tickets, sold 80 minutes before the show starts from the western side of the Opera (the opposite side of the building from the gift shop).

You read that right: Standing in the back of the auditorium will only cost between €2 and €4, depending on the show and the location of your standing “spot.” Spots are available in the “Parterre” (ground floor), higher up in the “Balkon” and all the way up in the “Galerie.”

The number of tickets is limited and given out in order of those lined up. For an 8 p.m. show, for example, tickets will be sold at 6:40 p.m., but the line will most likely form well before that.

One final consideration: You do have to stand, although many spots offer a wall for leaning.

While these standing room tickets may sound risky or even exhausting, think about how exhilarating it will be to take in a world-class opera or ballet for less than you’d pay for a beer. Or coffee. Or würstchen.

And, as one local opera lover told us, “If you’re not into the show, you can leave at intermission. You only paid €3!”

More information

This post is part of a series sponsored by airberlin, which is highlighting its European destinations. On our recent trip, for example, we flew from Copenhagen to Vienna on airberlin’s low-cost partner airline, NIKI. More information is available on airberlin.com.

For suggestions on affordable places to sleep while visiting Vienna, be sure to check out our guide to Vienna’s best budget hotels, all inspected and approved by EuroCheapo’s editors.

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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4 thoughts on “Buying cheap tickets to the Vienna State Opera House”

  1. Pingback: Three Days in Vienna | Kara Findley

  2. One of our favorite stories from our year of wandering through Europe is about buying SRO tickets for the Vienna opera. The opera that night was “Ride of the Valkyries” — all 5 hours of it! We left during the intermission between acts one and two, had dinner, walked around much of the ring in central Vienna, and returned to the opera house just as act 3 was beginning! Moral of the story: pick you opera carefully if you want standing room tickets!

    Reply
    1. Hi Libbie

      I agree that a 5-hour opera is going to be a challenge if you are standing for the whole performance. However, I believe that some opera lovers might indeed be prepared to stand for so long in order to experience a whole opera such as Die Walküre at such a magnificent opera house. And, of course, some people might not be able to afford seats. If you decide to see another opera in the future, then perhaps you will not have such a full schedule next time (seeing a famous opera, having dinner, visiting the city, etc.), which will mean you have both the time and energy to be able to see the whole opera. A shorter opera and/or a more manageable itinerary would also mean, hopefully, that you don’t come and go during the performance – something which I believe should be avoided out of respect for the singers and musicians, who do their best to deliver a whole and continuous performance to an attentive audience. Whatever you decide, I wish you more successful opera visits in the future.

      Reply

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