My hostel in Vienna was pretty excellent, not only did it have all of the comforts of a hotel, along with the convenient backpacker amenities, but it had along one wall of their reception area all of the sights and activities of which you could partake, and all of the pricing, location, and timing information you could possibly need. This is where I found that I could see an opera for only 3 eruo at the Vienna State Opera! Granted it was standing room only, but that seemed fine with me. Carmen was playing the evening I wanted to attend, which is a show I have always wanted to see.
I had to arrive at the opera house just 1.5 hours early to stand in line for the tickets. The process was easy enough to follow and before I knew it I was starring down on the opening curtain from the 3rd mezzanine tier. The standing room area was actually quite comfortable. Everyone had a padded railing to lean on and a relatively clear view onto the stage. During intermissions there was a lip that we could sit on. Carmen was just a amazing as I thought it would be. The performers were fantastic, and the costumes and scenery were stunning. I also have to give a nod to the orchestra, who were superb.
I'm incredibly happy with my first European opera experience. Could not have been better, unless maybe I had paid over 100 euro for an orchestra seat, but I liked my 3 euro place just fine.