When it comes to describing all of the incredible wonders of the world, one location that you would not be able to leave off of your list would definitely be the Vienna State Opera (Staatsoper). It has without a doubt been at the centre of musical life in Vienna for over a century now and continues to bring in masses from all over the world who revel in this incredible experience.
That being said, discovering how to secure tickets for the Vienna State Opera has been quite the tall ask – just bring it up with anyone who has tried to get tickets before.
The process of getting tickets to one of these magical performances can seemed daunting, but it’s actually quite easy if you’re content with buying standing room tickets on the day of the performance.
Standing room tickets are cheap (€ 4-6) and relatively comfortable for shorter performances. So, keep this in mind when you are travelling to Vienna and wish to visit this opera house!
Here’s how to get those tickets
How many standing room tickets are available?
The first thing that you need to know is that standing room ticket availabilities vary all of the time, depending on the performance and the time of the year. People can subscribe to buy standing room tickets before the day of the performance, and if they do so, fewer standing room tickets will be available on the day of the performance.
Now, before you sulk that you may miss out on this opportunity to visit the Vienna State Opera, it should also be said that there are a lot of standing room space in the opera house, so for a non-premiere performance you should be able to get tickets easily.
What do I need to get tickets?
You will need 4-6 Euros per ticket and a scarf, but more on the scarf later. It is also recommended that you bring along opera glasses or binoculars if you have them handy, so you get a better view of the stage and performance. You will also want to remember that it’s one ticket per person, so all the members of your party must be in line with you.
You can also book tickets for a guided tour of the Vienna State Opera below:
Ok! I’m ready! How do I get tickets?
Standing room tickets have their own box office at the Staatsoper building (U1, U2, U4 Karlsplatz). This box office is located on the Operngasse side of the building, located under the arcade. Look for the sign that says “Stehplatz-Kasse | Standing Area” and you know you’ve found it.
If you are looking to get tickets for the Vienna State Opera, you will need to keep tabs on the fact that the tickets go on sale 80 minutes before each performance. They are general admission tickets (i.e. there are no assigned places) so your position in line to some extent determines where you will be standing throughout the performance (more on this later).
To help with this, I would recommend getting in line 2 hours before the start of the performance. If you are queuing inside the building or are one of the first twenty or so people queuing outside, you have a good chance of getting tickets. They try to fit as many people into standing room as possible (e.g. they even let you stand in the aisles).
Parterre, balcony or gallery—which should I choose?
Parterre standing room (4E):
If you are looking to get as close to the performance as possible then you will want to get tickets for this section of the opera house. This specific section is located behind the last row of orchestra seats. Keep in mind that the opera house isn’t that big, so this is quite close. This section is a good choice for shorter (around 110-minute) performances. I wouldn’t recommend it for longer performances!
Balcony and Gallery standing room (3E):
When it comes to the Vienna State Opera, you should be made aware that the Gallery level is the highest level, and thus the furthest from the stage. The balcony is one level down. These sections are a good choice for longer performances, because the rows are staggered steeply enough that you can sit on the edge of the row behind you and rest your legs. Some people also feel these sections have better acoustics than the Parterre.
You also have a nice view of the huge chandelier as it slowly dims before the performance, and a view of the spectators. If you get a ticket to this section, try to get a place in the centre section. This is because the areas to the far left and right have particularly poor visibility.
Got my ticket! What now?
This is the important part, so pay extra attention!
When you have your ticket, go straight to an usher and ask for guidance to your section. You will have to queue there again while waiting for the theatre doors to open. Your place in this queue determines where you will stand, so as mentioned earlier, the sooner you arrive, the better. When the doors open, go in and pick your place.
You are entitled to the whole space in front of a monitor, i.e. you don’t have to share monitors (the monitor will show the text of the opera in your choice of English or German during the show).
Do you remember that scarf that I was talking about earlier? Well, here is where it comes in handy. Wind that scarf that you brought around the railing and tie it — this is how you hereby mark your place. You can now go and check your coat and bags (this is compulsory for standing room ticket holders, but it’s free and very efficient), go to the washroom, grab a coffee or snack, or explore the opera house (staff seem very happy to let you explore, just keep your ticket with you) without losing your place.
That’s it! Enjoy the opera!
If you decide you like standing room, the Burgtheater and Akademietheater offer reserved standing room seats (i.e. you can buy them online before the performance date like a regular ticket) for around €4.
If you’re not too keen on standing room tickets, then you can book the below tickets online beforehand:
Check out as well: Top Things to Do in Vienna, Austria