How to find theater, opera, and show tickets…

So you’re in Vienna, or as some call it, the cultural capital of Europe. The home of many great composers, a beautiful Opera house, and countless outlets for the arts.  Of course you’re going to want to see something … a play, the ballet, the opera, a concert – you name it. Chances are high that you will find exactly what you’re looking for.

The only tiny little problem is how to obtain those pesty little tickets. You see, it’s not necessarily a simple process. Sure, there are search engines that allow you to search the whole of Vienna by what you’re looking for (some even in English!) but we all know that booking charges can be outrageously high! So, I usually just search to see what’s out there with the handy search engines and then book directly from the venue (e.g., Spanish Riding School, Museum Quartier, Opera etc) to save Euros on booking fees. Sounds so simple, right?!

For most venues, it’s as simple as showing up at the box office with information in hand (what you want to see and when) and most staff will happily help you find the best tickets for your price range (the majority of staff speak near-to perfect English too!).

Note – that is definitely NOT the case for Opera tickets (State Opera and Volksoper). Nope, to secure those desired tickets you need to log on to their respective websites (State Opera; Volksoper), select the “buy tickets” option under your selected performance and then log on to yet another booking service called “Culturall.” Once on that site, you can choose tickets in your price range and the system will email you a confirmation of your request (which is not a confirmation but simply a copy of what you requested and it does not contain seat assignments); a few days might go by before you receive another email from them with your assigned seats and ticketing information (some shows only release their tickets a month or two before the actual performance so you might wait a while). You then have the option of picking up the tickets at the appropriate box office with your email confirmation or having it mailed for you (extra fee, you choose this option as you are filling out the initial request). Yes, not the easiest system to navigate and no, you simply cannot show up at the Opera House with tons of Euros on you and an idea of what you would like to see and when (trust me, I tried) – you will need to do everything online if you are booking in advance.

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