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8 Under-the-Radar Music History Sites in Vienna

Travel back in time at these top Vienna musical history attractions.
Hi, I'm Claire!

Claire Bullen is an award-winning food, drinks, and travel writer and editor who has lived and worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, and London. She is the author of The Beer Lover's Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings, and the editor at Her writing has also appeared in Time Out New York, The Daily Meal, Pellicle Magazine, and beyond.

Vienna is internationally celebrated for its musical reputation, and composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, and Haydn all once called the Austrian capital home. On your next trip, follow in their footsteps, bypass the crowds, and discover the city’s under-the-radar musical landmarks—here are eight you won’t want to miss.

1. Johann Strauss Museum

A statue of Johann Strauss, one of Vienna's most famous musical sons.
Johann Strauss is one of Vienna's most famous musical sons.Bildquelle: Vicki L. Miller / Shutterstock

Waltz your way to this musical landmark.

Strauss’s Waltz of the Blue Danube is considered Austria’s unofficial national anthem, and you can see where the 19th-century composer wrote his most famous work when you visit the Johann Strauss Museum. The period interiors and ballroom memorabilia only add to the enchantment.

Don’t miss: On display are musical instruments once owned by Strauss himself, including an organ and an early 17th-century Amati violin.

2. Haydn House

Exterior of the Hadyn House in Vienna.
Explore the life of the pioneering composer at Hadyn House.Bildquelle: Stefan Rotter / Shutterstock

Learn about the life of the “Father of the Symphony.”

Discover the charming residence where Haydn—the pioneering composer known for his work in symphonies, string quartets, and other then-revolutionary musical forms—spent the final years of his life. In addition to his restored rooms, you can admire objects such as Haydn’s clavichord and exhibitions dedicated to 18th-century Vienna.

Don’t miss: The 2-in-1 Haydn House also includes a room dedicated to Brahms.

3. The Secession Building

Exterior of The Secession Building in Vienna.
Vienna's Secession building combines music and architecture.Bildquelle: Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock

A must-visit for music geeks and architecture lovers.

The Vienna Secession is an art movement that transformed Vienna in the early–20th century, and nowhere can its aesthetic influence be admired more clearly than at the Secession Building. Designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich, the building is an architectural marvel and it’s also host to Gustav Klimt’s world-renowned Beethoven Frieze, painted in 1902 to celebrate the composer’s life.

Don’t miss: Guided tours of the building and its frieze—which was inspired by Wagner’s interpretation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—are held on Saturdays.

4. House of Music

A visitor interacts with an exhibit at the House of Music in Vienna.
Enjoy the interactive exhibits at the House of Music.Bildquelle: Courtesy of the House of Music

Where music history meets modernity.

The House of Music may be a newer landmark in Vienna terms—it was inaugurated in 2000—but it’s housed in the historical building where the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was established in the 19th century. Today, the “interactive sound museum” showcases historical objects alongside a range of multimedia installations that allow visitors to compose their own waltzes, virtually attend concerts, and more.

Don’t miss: Head to the fourth floor to discover the museum’s highlight—“Virtual Conductor,” an installation that allows you to lead the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

5. Collection of Historical Musical Instruments

Flutes sit in a display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Flutes on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum.Bildquelle: Photo Oz / Shutterstock

See the world’s top collection of Renaissance and baroque instruments.

Part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Collection of Historical Musical Instruments is housed in a wing of the Hofburg Palace (which itself is a musical icon—Strauss was the musical director for the palace’s balls, and the Vienna Boys Choir also sings at Sunday Mass in its Imperial Court Chapel). Instruments on display range from violins and harps to clavichords and beyond, many of which are lavishly decorated.

Don’t miss: Collection highlights include instruments owned by composers and musicians such as Mozart, Mahler, Clara Schumann, and Liszt.

6. Schubertkirche

A statue at the Schubertkirche in Vienna.
A statue stands tall in the Schubertkirche, Vienna.Bildquelle: Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock

Follow in the footsteps of one Vienna’s most prolific composers.

Officially known as the Lichtentaler Pfarrkirche, the Schubertkirche—or Schubert Church—is nicknamed for the composer, who was baptized in the church, sang in its choir, and conducted and composed many works here. A sculptural bust of Schubert by Gustinus Ambrosi stands outside the baroque church’s entryway.

Don’t miss: The church hosts the annual Schubert Festival in the spring, as well as a concert series throughout the summer months.

7. Zentralfriedhof

Exterior of Zentralfriedhof, the central cemetery, in Vienna.
Take a stroll through the lovely Central Cemetery, Vienna.Bildquelle: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

Pay tribute to Vienna’s musical legends.

In addition to being one of the largest cemeteries in the world, the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) is also the final resting place for many of the city’s greatest musical minds. The pretty, park-like cemetery is a popular place to stroll during fine weather, and visitors can keep a sharp eye out for the graves of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Strauss, Salieri, and other composers.

Don’t miss: Though Mozart is buried in Vienna’s smaller St. Marx Cemetery, a Zentralfriedhof memorial pays tribute to the musical genius.

8. Café Landtmann

Exterior of Café Landtmann in Vienna.
Café Landtmann is a Vienna staple, and with good reason.Bildquelle: 4kclips / Shutterstock

Immerse yourself in Vienna’s timeless café culture.

Vienna is a city of cafés, and there are few better places to enjoy a coffee and apfelstrudel than the legendary Café Landtmann. Open since 1873, the Viennese icon also enjoys a place in the city’s musical history. Famous regulars included Gustav Mahler, and storied visitors such as Marlene Dietrich and Paul McCartney have come to enjoy its regular piano performances.

Don’t miss: Piano performances are still held in the evening on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

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