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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.
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…
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!”
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.