Europe is famous for the best classical composers and some of the oldest and most beautifully elaborate opera houses you will ever see. You can experience the operas where they were originally performed and conducted by the likes of Mozart. Many travellers skip the opera because of the price but there is a way around that, and the grandeur and classic culture is unforgettable.
In Vienna’s national Opera House the best seats can cost you more than 200 Euro, but you could see the same performance for 2 Euro! You can go to the box office 80 minutes before the performance starts and buy a ticket for standing room only for between 2 and 4 Euros. The standing room closer to the stage, has no where to sneak a seat, and you should run in once you have your ticket and tie a scarf around the Bannister in front of where you want to stand, this “reserves” your standing place. Further back you could sneak into an empty seat once the lights are down. If you don’t want to stand you can get a seat in the heavens, way way back, for between 7 – 18 Euros. Bring opera glasses. You can also get last minute tickets at other theatres in Vienna, where you are allowed to sit on in the steps.
Similarly opera seats can be bought an hour before the show in Salzburg’s exquisite theatre.
When in Paris you can experience their grand Opéra Garnier for between 5 and 10 Euros a seat if you come an hour before the performance.
In Prague the cheap seats can also be found on-line. Try seeing the Estates Theater where Mozart conducted his Don Giovanni in 1787, or the National Theatre where you can book tickets for as little as $7.
Even at the New York Met you can now get last minute tickets on the cheap. From Monday to Thursday tickets are $20 if you come 2 hours before curtain. From 10am on the day of the performance you can get standing room tickets for $20, and $15 on a Saturday.
In New York and London, as you probably already know you can get cheap tickets at the last minute from the TKTS booth in Time Square, or Leicester Square respectively.
But the real classical opera houses are found in Europe and you should go to the opera if for no other reason, to see the interior and hear the resounding acoustics.
Students and seniors can always get discounts. Matinee shows are also usually cheaper than evenings. Make inquires but what ever you do don’t miss this unique European travel experience.