Arguably one of Vienna's most beautiful landmarks, the Opera is a cultural treasure. Not only has it hosted many outstanding works since its origin as the Wiener Hofoper in 1863, it's associated with one of the world's greatest philharmonics. The detailed interior, including marble staircase, serves as an elegant reminder of Vienna's imperial history.
Cheap (usually a few Euro), standing-room-only tickets are sold before each performance, which often brings out some of the most vocal audience members, for better or worse, depending on the performance.
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State Opera: behind the scenes
The Vienna State Opera is one of the more impressive sights you will get to see in Austria. If you cannot make it to one of the performances (or even if you can), you should definitely get a ticket to the behind the scenes tour. The operas and ballets staged here are impressive enough on their own, but you will truly marvel once you see the opulent setting in which they are conceived, rehearsed and performed. Get a glimpse behind the curtain, fall in love with the rich history of the building and know that you are standing in one of the greatest cultural epicenters of the world.