Tag Archives: Vienna

The Thrifty Traveler’s Guide to Attending the Vienna Opera

I’m taking on the Indie Travel Challenge sponsored by BootsnAll!

Week 10: Planning a Europe Trip

The highlight of my visit to Austria was attending the Vienna Opera. E&I did not even consider it an option within our budget until our Couchsurfing host informed us it would only cost 3 EUR. Yes, 3 EUR or 4 USD. We navigated the system to attend Arabella and can now attest that this experience is a must for any traveler.

Here is the run down:

1. Check any Vienna Opera ticket website to find the Vienna Opera schedule. Look at the price and feel good that you will not be paying that price.

2. Bring a scarf (this is important) and some form of entertainment (deck of cards, magazine, ipod…).

3. Go to the back entrance of the Vienna Opera House 90 minutes prior to the scheduled performance.

4. Wait. Buy ticket (Note: 1 ticket per person. You cannot buy for a friend. You cannot send your friend to wait for you). Wait. Hand ticket to ticket collector.

5. Run! – This is where chaos ensues. Forget everything you know about etiquette. Find a spot you want and beat the person behind you, next to you, and in front of you to get there first. Wrap your scarf (remember when I said this would be important) around as much railing as you can to mark your spot. Do not touch another guest’s scarf.

6. Relax. You have 45 minutes. Explore the historic Vienna Opera House and buy a drink with all that money you saved.





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A Lesson On Trust

I was raised to be weary of strangers. I was taught to be cautious in receiving help from others  and trained to be overly paranoid that this somehow placed me at a disadvantage in a relationship. All this became irrelevant when I chose to enter into a couchsurfing relationship.

CouchSurfing International‘s mission is to “Create Inspiring Experiences” by – you guessed it – facilitating your stay on a stranger’s couch (or other sleeping arrangement).

My first couchsurfing experience occurred in Vienna, Austria. E&I knew this trip would be on the expensive end of our budget so we  sought to find ways to cut costs. I set up a couchsurfing account and messaged a few hosts but because my profile was new, I was turned down more than once. Running out of time, I posted a blurb on CS Group: Last Minute Couch Search – Vienna. Our host responded with a request for us to check out his profile and ‘policy’ for hosting. After some short introductions, we set and confirmed a time and place to meet.

This is where the little voices from my childhood jumped in – You don’t know this person. He could be dangerous. He could rob you. Haven’t you heard of travelers getting murdered? Etc…

And, I imagine our host may have had some small voices as well – You don’t know them. They could be dangerous. They could rob you. Haven’t you heard of travelers coming to stay with their hosts and murdering them? Etc…

Thank goodness we all ignored those voices. We stayed at our host’s home for several days. We cooked together, explored the city, attended the Opera and had an overall amazing time. So much so that when we came back through Vienna after our two weeks traveling, we stayed with him again.

That is what is so amazing about CouchSurfing and other travel hosting organizations. They facilitate the meaningful interactions that we all look for in our travels and reaffirm the truth that “strangers are just people who are not yet friends”.

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