Featured Photo: Vienna State Opera
The Wien Staatsoper or Vienna State Opera is one of the highest regarded opera houses in the world. The company produces 50 to 60 shows every calendar season with over 300 performances. Every day of the week a different production can be seen from musical, opera, or ballet.
The building itself began construction in 1861 and opened to the public eight years later. Until the founding of the republic of Austria, the building was the personal opera to the Court of Hamburg. During World War II, the auditorium was destroyed after it was burned by the Allies and didn’t reopen until 1955 when Beethoven’s Fidelio was performed for a sold-out audience.
There are two ways to see the historic building — attend a show, or take the official tour. I took the tour as I didn’t have a lot of time to spare, and they are offered nearly every day. Check the State Opera website for the current tour times as they change daily.
On the other hand, seeing a show in person isn’t nearly as expensive as you’d think… with a catch. The seats themselves ARE pricey, but the original plans called for 576 standing room spots that are still sold to this day. They start at €4 for the lower level spots and €3 for the upper deck! If you don’t really like the show you’ve selected, feel free to leave anytime as you’ve spent less than the cost of a pint on a ticket!
Where Vienna, Austria
Cost €7.50 for the tour or €3+ for standing room tickets to a show.
Stay Wombats Vienna — I enjoyed my stay at one of two Vienna outposts for global hostel group Wombats. The rooms are well-appointed, clean, and spacious. This location is a 3 minute walk from the Westbahnhof, the western transit hub in the city and an easy starting point for journeys anywhere.
Notes If you are going to try for standing room tickets, be sure to line up outside the ticket office at least two hours before the performance start time. If any world famous singers are headlining a performance, you may have to arrive as early as mid day!