The arts in Vienna are not just for tourists. Locals enthusiastically partake of their city’s rich cultural offerings, and there are many tantalizing choices, so it's probably good sense to do some planning ahead.
Do you want to time warp back to the 18th century at Mozart concerts featuring bewigged musicians in the opulent surroundings at Schönbrunn Palace? Or perhaps you'd like to cheer the divas at the grandest of grand opera at the Staatsoper, dive into the splendor of an evening concert of Strauss waltzes, or enjoy a trombone troupe at a Jazzkeller? Maybe a baroque opera in a stunning avant-garde setting at the Theater an der Wien (where Beethoven's Fidelio premiered in 1805)? The choices are endless during the regular season, which runs from September to June.
But Austria is not only about the classics, as it proudly proved to the world when Austrian singer Conchita Wurst won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. In summer, Vienna turns into a festival town. ImPulsTanz for modern dance enthusiasts has a rich variety of performances and venues, and for some the chamber music festival, held amid 18th-century frescoes at the Laudon Water Palace, is too enticing to pass up. The abundance of choices will leave you feeling spoiled. While the upper crust discuss opera singer Anna Netrebko’s most recent performance, hipsters will flock to Flex for some of the city’s best live acts.
One word of caution: the city’s culture vultures dress for the occasion. Never take your coat inside the theater or the opera. (Vienna’s performance halls do have coat checks.)