Story from Vienna
Vienna, of course, is famous for its music. So, catching a show at the world renowned Vienna Opera house seemed like a good thing to do in Vienna. And, my "Rick Steve's guide to Eastern Europe" reflected my thoughts exactly, when he said "For me, three hours of opera is a lot of opera, but a 30-45 minute taste is well worthwhile." He went on to advise that seats are sold out well ahead of time and are relatively expensive, while standing room only tickets are available the day of the performance for about $4 each.
We arrived in Vienna on June 30th, the day of the last performance of the season, an opera called Pique Dame. We arrived at the theatre quite late, and found that the standing room tickets were all gone. So, we fell back on more of Rick's advice...I stood outside the doors and waited for a standing room only patron to leave early. Sure enough, within a few minutes a couple of nice ladies left the performance and offered me their tickets.
As a result, we saw the dramatic conclusion of the opera for no cost. Rick definitely paid for himself on this trip.