A night at the Vienna State Opera is one of the best ways to spend an elegant evening in my hometown, while enjoying a piece of real Vienna. The Vienna State Opera powers world famous opera singers, the world’s best opera orchestra and the best opera choir.
However, you don’t need to be an opera buff, splash out on expensive tickets, or enrol on long waiting lists to enjoy the Vienna State Opera. As a native, I have gathered a few tips on spending a night at the opera, including booking tickets, dress code, taking your children to the opera, reading the lyrics, and more.
Book your trip between 1st September and 30th June. The opera house is closed during July and August. Access opera calendar to find out what is on stage during your trip.
If you visit Vienna over the New Year, book a night at the opera, and take part in a Viennese tradition to see the Johann Strauss opera Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Booking Vienna opera tickets is best done a few weeks or months before your visit, to ensure you get what you want.
Ticket prices for the Vienna State Opera range from under 10 to a couple of hundred Euros.
Tickets for children (until 14 years of age) are drawn from a pool of 25 to 100 for each performance, except premieres, New Year’s Eve performances and Wagner’s RING cycle operas. There is a single ticket price of around EUR 15 for all children, independent of the chosen ticket category.
All seats allow you to access English surtitles for each performance, as well as surtitles in Italian, French, Russian and Japanese. Before the performances and during the intervals, you can also read opera and ballet synopses, and information on the cast.
If you don’t get seats, consider a Vienna State Opera standing ticket. Be aware that operas can last more than two hours. Avoid a standing place without a view (yes, they exist!).
If you get a standing place, mark it with a scarf or something similar when you leave your place during the break.
Dress Code: Consider taking black tie dressing with you to celebrate the evening at the Vienna State Opera, though it is not required. (You will stick out less as a tourist in truly elegant attire during Christmas and New Year.) Smart casual does it very well.
Join a Vienna opera tour before to get the view from behind the curtain, or just see the house in case you don’t get a ticket. You can enter backstage on certain days, and the stories around the opera will complement your performance.
Take your camera with you and take photos from the interiors before and after the performances. It’s well worth it.
Loved the evening? Couldn’t get in? Take the Vienna State Opera home with you and watch performances through live streaming from your computer.