Johann Strauss Museum
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.
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.
The Secession Building
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.
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.
Collection of Historical Musical Instruments
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.
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.
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.
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.