If you love classical music and opera, Vienna is an ideal destination to visit.
Vienna has been dubbed the “International Capital of Music” for many good reasons.
Quite a few of Europe’s greatest composers were born or spent time in Vienna, including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, and Schoenberg.
The city takes pride in its rich musical heritage and celebrates it with a wonderful selection of concerts, opera performances, exhibitions, tours, and historic houses.
It’s very easy to add a classical concert to your Vienna itinerary.
I’ve been to Vienna twice and got to see an opera performance and a couple of live classical concerts.
For me, it was the perfect choice of evening entertainment in Vienna and definitely made my trips more memorable.
The most popular classical music concerts in Vienna
There are many classical concerts in Vienna every day of the week.
The most popular tourist-friendly concerts are held in Vienna’s top music venues, performed by musical virtuosos, and feature well-known classical pieces.
It’s best to book in advance for any of these concerts, especially in high season, because they’re very popular and may sell out.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concert in Vienna
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is a timeless gem of classical music. In this concert, you’ll hear the entire piece played by a period instrument string quartet, plus one or two other pieces by well-known composers, such as Bach or Mozart.
The venue: Karlskirche, or St. Charles’s Church, is a beautiful Baroque church in the heart of the city.
You can find tickets to this concert on most days of the week. Check availability here:
Mozart concert at the Golden Hall
This concert is quite an experience. You’ll see the Vienna Mozart Orchestra in period costumes, set against the iconic backdrop of a magnificent Viennese music hall.
The concert includes masterpieces and well-known pieces by Mozart and Strauss.
The venue: Musikverein is considered one of the best concert halls in the world, known for its impeccable acoustics.
You can find tickets to this concert 2-4 times a week. Check availability here:
Vienna Hofburg Orchestra
The Vienna Hofburg Orchestra performs classical concerts alongside opera singers. This is a good option if you want to hear both instrumental pieces and arias and duets from operas.
The programme typically includes opera music by Mozart and famous Waltz music by Strauss.
The venue: Hofburg Palace is one of the most famous landmarks in Vienna. The gorgeous palace served as the imperial residence of the Habsburg dynasty.
These days it’s a cultural complex, where you can visit museums, the Imperial Apartments, and excellent concert halls.
You can find tickets to this concert several times a week, but dates vary. Check availability here:
Romantic chamber music concert
This is a great option if you want to hear a small ensemble playing music by a wide range of famous composers.
The Mozart Ensemble performs music by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Haydn, and other classical composers.
The venue: Mozarthaus, or Mozart’s House, is the place where Mozart lived in Vienna’s Old Town. These days it serves as a museum and has a concert hall with excellent acoustics.
This concert is held twice a week. Check availability here:
Opera in Vienna
The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) in the heart of the city is a gorgeous building and one of the most distinguished opera houses in Europe.
It’s in a very central location and you’re more than likely to pass by it when you walk around the city.
See an opera performance at the Vienna State Opera
You can get tickets to the opera on the official site. If you’re on a budget, there are standing tickets with a decent view of the stage at a discount.
I got a standing ticket myself on my last trip to Vienna, by showing up about an hour before the show.
There was a long line of people waiting for those last-minute opera tickets, but it didn’t take too long and the line moved quite quickly once the box office opened.
Take an opera house tour
The opera house is magnificent and you can see the interior and learn a bit more about the building on a guided tour.
Listen to a concert at the opera house
You can also enjoy a classical music concert in the opera house and listen to popular Mozart and Strauss repertoire pieces.
Vienna’s concert cafes
Vienna’s concert cafes (Konzertcafe) run live music shows several times a week that are open to the public.
These are traditional or historic coffee houses, so you can also enjoy the typical Viennese decor and get to know the city’s unique coffee culture.
To find a concert, look at the events schedules at these concert cafes:
- Café Bräunerhof
- Café Schwarzenberg
- Café Weimar
- Café Prückel
- Café Museum
- Café Central
- Café Sperl
- Café Schopenhauer
- Konzert-Café Schmid Hansl
- Café Schopenhauer
- Café Ritter
Vienna’s music history museum: House of Music
The House of Music (Haus der Musik) will give you an excellent introduction to the great Viennese composers and the city’s musical history.
It’s a rather large museum, with several floors, various interactive displays, some advanced music technology, and a lot of fascinating information about Hyden, Mozart, Strauss and the other great composers.
I really felt like a lot of effort was put into teaching us about music in a fun and engaging way.
I booked my ticket online in advance, so I didn’t have to wait in line to enter. The House of Music is open daily. Check availability here:
Mozart in Vienna
Most of the popular classical concerts in Vienna feature famous pieces by Mozart.
You’ll also learn a lot about Mozart at the House of Music.
To dive even deeper, you can visit places around the city related to his life on a private tour with a music history expert (it wasn’t available when I visited, but it has great reviews).
Check availability here:
Mozart’s House in Vienna
Mozart’s Vienna apartment was preserved and is now Mozarthaus – a museum that lets you see where he worked and learn a bit more about his life in the city through historical documents.
There’s a free audio guide (included in the ticket price) to help you get around the apartment and the exhibition.
Get tickets here:
Music tours in Vienna
You can explore the city with a guide on one of these highly-rated music tours in Vienna
Vienna: Mozart, Beethoven, & Strauss Private Tour
Vienna: Private Music Tour