One of the great landmarks of Vienna, is the State Opera House (map). It is a world renowned institution that has been the pilar of the Austrian culture for over a century. The building is literally across the street from the DeutschAkademie. The classroom for my German A1.2 class happens to look out right at the Opera House, a very lovely view.
Unfortunately, if one wants to experience the phenomenal talent presented in this iconic building, one must spend rather large amount of money. Unless, you are okay with standing! The Opera house offers standing tickets for the people that want to experience the Opera, yet do not want to spend tremendous amount of money. The prices for standing tickets are fixed at 3 euros for balcony and gallery (left and right) and 4 euros for the orchestra level area. The prices are fixed regardless of the performance.
The tickets go on sale about 1 hour 20 minutes before the performance. The standing tickets entrance is a separate entrance on the side of the building. You can not order them online and you have to be in a special line to get them. You can only buy a ticket for yourself (aka no buying tickets other people). The line starts a few hours before the ticket office even opens, so come early and be ready to wait. You can’t leave the queue or you will lose your place. There are people who make sure you can’t get back in line. There is a dress code, ladies must have skirts to the knee and gentlemen must have trousers. No flip flops, T-shirts are allowed, but you will be surrounded by people dressed in very nice attire, so be warned.
Once you buy your ticket, head to the gallery side (probably the best area for viewing). Make sure you bring some sort of extra piece of clothing, usually a scarf. You use it to claim your standing spot, so you can explore the building and do not have to guard your spot the whole time.
The interior of the building is gorgeous and warrants exploration. Prior to the beginning of the performance, I recommend going to the top floor. There is access to the top terrance with a beautiful view of Vienna. For less than a price of a coffee (1st district), one can enjoy one of the best Opera experiences in the world. Do not let this opportunity pass, even if you are in Vienna for a few days.