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Vienna State Opera: auditorium

Vienna State Opera Guide 2020: 5 Must Knows, 3 Good-To-Knows

How to book Vienna State Opera tickets and what is the dress code at Wiener Staatsoper?

For classical music fans like probably you (and me) a night at the opera is one of the best ways to spend an elegant evening in my hometown. As a matter of fact, the Vienna State Opera powers world famous opera singers, the world’s best opera orchestra and the best opera choir. Its repertoire comprises around 50 operas and 20 ballets per season (1st September to 30th June). However, performances at this venue sell fast and are typically 98 percent sold out. 

To enjoy the Vienna State Opera, you don’t need to be an opera buff, or get on waiting lists. As a native, I have gathered a few tips on spending a night at the opera. First and foremost, this includes booking tickets, but also dress code, taking your children to the opera, reading the lyrics, and more.

1. Corona Virus Update for Events:

Since 1st August 2020, the Austrian government allows up to 500, or even 1.000 spectators (subject to approval by local authorities), to cultural events, at a one-meter social distance or with one seat free in between. Up to 4 adults who visit in a group will be able to sit together, even though they don’t belong to the same household. Face masks will be required. From 1st September 2020, events with allocated seating will be allowed for up to 5,000 visitors.

2. Booking Tickets For The Vienna State Opera

Vienna State Opera: stair caseBook your trip between 1st September and 30th June. The opera house is closed during July and August. Find out which operas are on stage during your trip.

Once the season preview has started you can reserve tickets directly at the Wiener Staatsoper, though you won’t be able to choose your seats. However, as soon as sales start – 2 months before each performance – you can buy and choose your seats.

As for ticket prices for the Vienna State Opera these range from under 10 for standing places to a couple of hundred Euros. While the official ticket seller often puts you on a waiting list, find out in Booking Vienna Opera Tickets where to get tickets fast and with personal advice.

If you visit Vienna over the New Year, take part in a Viennese tradition to see the Johann Strauss opera Die Fledermaus (The Bat).

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!).

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.

3. What Is The Dress Code At The Opera And More

Vienna State Opera: foyer

Conveniently, 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 get a standing place, mark it with a scarf or something similar when you leave your place during the break.

What to wear? Actually, there is no formal dress code for the opera house in Vienna. Consider taking black tie dressing with you to celebrate the evening at the Vienna State Opera, though 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.

4. Is Photography And Filming Allowed At The Vienna Opera?

As with opera houses around the world, photographing or filming is not allowed during the performances. However, take your camera with you and take photos before and after the performances to capture the ambiance.

5. What To Do After A Vienna Opera Performance?

When the opera finishes and you are hungry follow the locals to a Vienna sausage stand? As odd as it seems to bite into a sausage in your smart outfit this is a cherished tradition. Alternatively, head for nearby Sacher Eck of Hotel Sacher for a Sacher sausage.

Vienna Opera House Tour

Vienna Opera House: Tea salonBefore or after watching an opera, join the Wiener Staatsoper’s inhouse tour. Why? In addition to each opera’s story, you will get the house’s own story behind the curtain. What’s more, on certain days you can even enter backstage.

Even if you don’t attend an opera you can tour the opera house without having to buy tickets for a performance. During one entertaining hour, the Vienna opera tour presents 19th and 20th century Viennese history through the operatic lense.

During the tour you will see rooms which are usually closed to the public such as the gorgeous Emperor’s tearoom.

What I equally enjoyed was learning about famous opera directors, from Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler to Herbert von Karajan. If you want to go backstage, make sure you pick the right tour.

Wiener Staatsoper Live Streaming

Loved the evening? Couldn’t get in? Take the Vienna State Opera home with you and watch performances through live streaming from your computer.

Vienna Opera Ball

Vienna State opera ball debutantesVienna Opera House. Once a year, the opera house rips off all seats in its stalls and replaces them with an elegant dance floor. The Vienna Opera Ball is a local cultural institution, attracting almost 6,000 visitors every year.

You can (actually must) dress up ultra glamorously, be happy to pony up a few hundred Euros, and be lucky enough to grab tickets in order to attend this top European socialite event. Learn about the Vienna Opera Ball and what it takes to get in.

How To Get To the Vienna State Opera


Address: Wiener Staatsoper, Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna

How to get there: either take Vienna metro U1, U2, or U4 to Karlsplatz; alternatively take tramways 1, 2, D, 62 or 71 to Opernring; or take bus 59A to Wien Oper

get ideas for the best Vienna Concerts during your stay

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