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Dress at Vienna Opera

My traveling companion and I have tickets to the Magic Flute at the Vienna Opera (funny--she didn't like the idea of buying standing room only like Rick suggests!). This is the only fancy thing I'm doing in Europe. I'm worried about dress for the evening, however, because I'm only bringing one carry-on, and I'm bringing really casual clothes--jeans and knit "yoga" type pants, casual tops and two pairs of sneakers. No skirts. No plain shoes. Is this too casual for the opera? Now, here in Seattle I'll admit to wearing jeans and sneakers to the theatre (not all the time!), but can I get away with it for Vienna? My friend is staying in Europe longer and is packing several "nice" outfits, since she has a larger suitcase. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Posted by
2020 posts

I have not been to the opera in Vienna, but have in San Francisco, and would not dream of wearing the clothes you describe. You should try to find a way to work in a decent pair of black slacks, a nice top and some black sandals or other more reasonable shoes than sneakers -- why do you need 2 pair anyway?
Even though you are on vacation and packing lightly, you have to dress for the occasion. Or you can buy something to wear over there.

Posted by
69 posts

I'd say you can probably wear what you have described. Dress at the Staatsoper varies from ultra elegant to casual. Just try to do the best you can in not looking overly casual, a plain pair of black shoes might be nice...go over to Mariahilferstrasse and check out the many discount shoe places along the street. Buy a cheap pair and toss them after the opera if you want. I would suggest also a nice jacket and maybe some plain black or dark colored pants. If you have nice jeans they probably would do. Sneakers are a bit much. In the end it is up to you, if you won't feel out of place in the crowd then dress the way you want.

Posted by
517 posts

Hi, Laura. I also lean towards "that is a bit too casual." My wife and I try to make it to the Vienna Opera at least once a season. We definitely view it as a dress up evening. Which isn't to say that you need to wear a tiara and diamonds, :-) but tennis shoes would likely be out of place. The building is stunning (That wonderful stair case and all the marble and ceiling frescos!) and there will be people milling about with sekt (sparkling wine)glasses in hand at the intermission. It's great fun and is a living part of who the Viennese are. Have a great trip!

Posted by
16 posts

My friend and I went to the Vienna Opera a couple years ago and we thought it would be a dressy affair. We were surprised when we were in our tuxedo and ball gown to find that people were dressed in jeans. I thought that the Vienna opera would be ultra fancy...but it wasn't. People dress any way.