I love to start a new year by watching the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra from a comfy sofa. The lively and at the same time nostalgic music from the vast repertoire of the Strauss dynasty and their contemporaries seems just the perfect activity for the first morning of the year. But nothing beats listening this world famous orchestra performing live, in one of the most charming concert halls ever!
As this concert is so super famous worldwide, I don’t think it needs much introduction. Lots of TV channels and radio stations broadcast it live on the 1st of January, in over 70 countries, to the delight of all music lovers.
However, due to the extremely high popularity of the Vienna New Year’s Concert, now at the 74th edition, people have to preregister one year in advance in order to participate in the ticket drawing for the following year. The idea is for everybody to have equal chances to purchase the highly desired tickets to this absolutely fabulous event.
But while the concert is amazing, the tickets are sold at unbelievable high prices too. A ticket for the New Year’s Concert can cost you up to €940, regarding the seat you’ve chosen. Of course, even at this sky high prices, your participation is still conditioned by the outcome of the drawing. Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but just at the back of the Concert Hall there’s always a crowd standing. They are the lucky guys who won the lottery and payed only €30. Yep, that’s right! They even sell standing tickets for this concert. But again, you must win the lottery first. Now, what are the chances for you to win this lottery? Definitely higher than winning the National Lottery, but not rocket high.
Tip 1: In case your ultimate dream is to be part of the live audience of the New Year’s Concert, it’s good to know that the same program is actually played two more times:
– for the New Year’s Eve Concert (prices range between €25 and €720) and
– for the Preview Performance (for this concert no standing room tickets are available) (prices range between €130 and €380). The program is the same for all three concerts. Nevertheless, the only chance to receive tickets for these concerts is to participate in the drawing!
Year after year I am mesmerized both by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance, one of the finest orchestras in the world, and by the gorgeous Golden Hall, lavishly decorated with statues, paintings and out of this world chandeliers, and embellished by the flowers the city of Sanremo gives as a gift to the Vienna Philharmonic ever since 1980. Needless to say, I always wanted to at least visit the place if not to go to a concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s. I had little faith my dream could come true. But it did!
As I mostly travel on a budget, I prefer going for the more affordable and comfy home rentals, visit the museums, look for the doors open events and the free activities a city has to offer and skip the expensive fun. Therefore, I guess it will come as no surprise that I never planned on going to a concert in one of the most famous Concert Halls in the world while visiting Vienna.
But just by walking around the city center, people dressed up in themed costumes ambushed me offering me tickets to the much celebrated Vienna Musikverein in Karlsplatz.
Tip 2: Don’t buy concert tickets from the street salesmen. Not only that you risk buying a fake ticket but you will most likely pay more that if you bought it from the ticket office of the Vienna Musikverein.
So just because I was around, I decided to go to the ticket office and satisfy my curiosity on how much a ticket really cost.
Tip 3: You can take the guided tour of the Vienna Musikverein and marvel at the beautiful Golden Hall, listen the history of the place and go on the main stage for only €5.
Tip 4: BUT you can go to a performance of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and also pay €5 for a standing ticket. However, beware, standing tickets are sold only 90 minutes before the performance starts! Then, during the intermission, you can tour the fabulous Golden Hall and the Small Hall on your own and take all the photos you want. Though, truth being told, I kind of missed the flower arrangements a bit…
Tip 5: Now, not that I want to encourage bad manners, but after a day of sightseeing, the budget travelers who go for the standing tickets are tired. But nobody stops them from sitting down on the more or less comfortable carpet in the back of the Golden Hall