Dance, Theater, and Music

World-renowneded music hall, home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; encompasses about a dozen halls; the main hall—Gtosser Musikvereinssaal—accommodates 2,000 in lavish, red-velvet splendor. First district, Bösendorferstrasse 12; tel. 43 1 505 81 90.

Vienna State Opera
Extraordinary opera house with 350-year tradition; season runs September to June and includes about 70 opera and ballet performances. Tickets $3-300. First district, Opernring 2; tel. 43 1 514 44 22 50.

Contemporary music ensemble founded in 1985; the 24 members partner with conductors and composers to determine how to interpret the music they play; performances at Wiener Konzerthaus music hall.

Wiener Konzerthaus
Program includes classical music performed by, among others, the Viennese Radio Symphony Orchestra; contemporary music (Klangforum); jazz (Dianne Reeves & Band); as well as world music from the Balkans to Mali. Restored 1913 building is a rare blend of historicism, secessionism, and art nouveau styles. Third district, Lothringerstrasse 20; tel. 43 1 242 00 100.

Haus der Musik
“A place where music is not only an acoustic but also a physical experience.”—Thomas Rottenberg, local journalist. Interactive museum of music on four floors, the fifth housing a café and a restaurant; includes an archive of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and serves as a venue for concerts and cabarets (usually in German). First district, Seilerstätte 30; tel. 43 1 516 48.

Vienna Volksoper
Built in 1898 to stage plays, today Volksoper is a popular venue for a wide variety of live arts performances; monthly calendar typically features operas, classical operettas, musicals, and dance. Ninth district, Währinger Strasse 78; tel. 43 1 514 44 3670.

Theater an der Wien
Designed by Mozart’s librettist and renowned Viennese theater impresario, Emanuel Schikaneder; opened in 1801, but transformed into Vienna’s newest opera house as part of Mozart’s 250th birthday celebration in 2006; focuses on baroque and contemporary opera performances as well as Mozart’s works. Sixth district, Linke Wienzeile 6; tel. 43 1 588 30 660.


Elegant and spacious live music club; founded by late Austrian jazz legend, keyboardist Joe Zawinul, who played with Miles Davis and other jazz giants. Third district, Am Stadtpark 1; tel. 43 1 219 63 93.

Porgy & Bess
Nightly jazz and live music; also delicious Argentinean beef steaks and Spanish tapas—cebollas rojas en balsámico (red onions in balsamic vinegar marinade) and chorizo (Spanish sausage with garlic); located in the historic heart of Vienna. First district, Riemergasse 11; tel. 43 1 512 88 11.

Widely regarded as one of Europe’s best clubs; phenomenal sound system; each night features different genres such as alternative and indie sounds, drum and bass, and hip-hop; channel-side location on the Donaukanal; outdoor seating in summer. First district, Am Donaukanal, Schottenring stop of U2 and U4 underground lines; tel. 43 1 533 75 25.

Spacious, yet charming club with separate dance area and bar; potted palms create an indoor garden atmosphere; in warm weather enjoy the open-air dance floor and bar in the outdoor garden; adjacent to Vienna’s Volksgarten park in the city center. First district, Burgring; tel. 43 1 532 42 41.

Babenberger Passage
“The most elegant venue in town.”—Thomas Rottenberg, local journalist. Playlist spans house music and dance-floor classics to favorites from the ’80s and ’90s. First district, Burgring, corner with Babenbergerstrasse.

“A place for all sorts of tunes that go beyond the mainstream underground music.”—Johanna Jaufer, journalist, FM4. Alternative, electronic, and experimental music; hosts prominent Austrian DJs and entertainers such as Fritz Ostermayer and Drehli Robnik; tucked under the bridge of the U6 underground line. Eighth district, Gürtelbogen 37-38; tel. 43 1 409 25 05.

Gürtel Clubs
Colossal clubbing area stretching about two miles (three to four kilometers) under the bridge of the U6 subway line; several hot spots centered around Josefstädter Strasse, Volksoper, and Nussdorfer Strasse metro stations; includes cocktail bars, discos, and pubs. Gürtel Boulevard where the U6 line surfaces.


Mid-November through Christmas Eve. Christkindlmärkte (Christmas markets) spring up all over Vienna, selling cookies, mulled wine, hot punch, Christmas tree baubles, and souvenirs. The classic market on the square in front of Vienna City Hall features elaborately decorated trees in the park; Spittelberg market in the Seventh District has the best shopping, and Schönbrunn Palace market holds daily concerts.

Ball Season
November-June. Dozens of festive balls throughout the city, ranging from affordable to ostentatious. The Vienna State Opera Ball, attracting celebrities from around the world, is the most elaborate and expensive. The season officially starts with the Imperial Ball ( on December 31 and ends on Ash Wednesday, but balls take place from November until June. For current ball schedule check

Wiener Festwochen
May-June. Cultural festival offering classical and contemporary performances; theater, music, and dance by notable international artists, such as King Lear with Swiss director Luc Bondy and German actor Gert Voss, Tennessee Williams drama adaptations by German director Frank Castorf, and the Parisian avant-garde theater group Théâtre du Soleil.

Film Festival on Rathausplatz
July-August. Open-air film festival in front of the Vienna City Hall; free screenings of previously recorded live opera performances and concerts such as Placido Domingo’s 2006 concert in Berlin; also international food stalls.

October. Two-week annual international film festival offers an extensive selection of international features, documentaries, and short films in the original languages; more than 320 screenings attract 90,000 filmgoers.


About Vienna and Austria

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