Musikverein (Vienna Philharmonic), Vienna

Musikverein (Vienna Philharmonic), Vienna

Two concert halls in one building, designed in the 1860s with dazzling gilding inside. The larger of the two, the Grosser Saal ("Great Hall"), has some of the best acoustics in the world – along with Berlin's Konzerthaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Boston's Symphony Hall – and is the unofficial home of the great Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which gives regular sell-out performances, while the other hall, the Brahms Saal, is used for smaller-scale chamber concerts.

The Musikverein's most prestigious event is the annual New Year's Day concert, a tradition started under the Nazis in 1939, and one which is now broadcast live around the world to an estimated 50 million viewers from 95 countries. If you are lucky to be in Vienna during the regular season (September-June), go for a real concert instead of a tourist-oriented one. While tickets for "proper" concerts may be sold out months in advance, other times they will be on sale up to the start of the performance. In any case, use the official box office on the left side of the building or the official website, as agencies are known to take a hefty commission.

The concert hall itself also has a rich musical history, as the place where Johann Strauss Jr. personally conducted the waltz "Freut Euch des Lebens" (Life Let Us Cherish – composed for the opening ball), and where Arnold Schönberg unleashed atonal music – or as Schönberg preferred to call it, "the emancipation of dissonance" – on an unsuspecting and unready Viennese public.

Why You Should Visit:
The building is intricately beautiful and the guided tour, fascinating.
The area itself is very happening so you should be checking it out.

Tip:
One must enter a computer lottery to win the chance to buy tickets for events, but it is well worth the effort.
One could also get a (cheaper) last-minute standing room ticket if one tries.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Vienna. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Musikverein (Vienna Philharmonic) on Map

Sight Name: Musikverein (Vienna Philharmonic)
Sight Location: Vienna, Austria (See walking tours in Vienna)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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