If you’re going to have a Mozart museum, then where better to put it than in the house he once lived in?
You can almost smell the history in Vienna’s Mozarthaus, which offers insights into the man, his music, and the city around him.
- Museum dedicated to Mozart’s Vienna years and his creative output
- Same building (and ticket) as the Mozart apartment
- €11 for an adult ticket (one-time free entry with the Vienna Pass, advance tickets available*)
- Entrance fee includes an excellent audioguide
- See also: Mozart location guide | Mozart apartment
What’s inside the Mozarthaus?
The Mozarthaus sits in a historic quarter largely untouched by the passage of time (if you ignore the parking signs), in a house restored to its 18th-century grandeur.
Once past the ticket counter, you begin on the third floor, which looks at Mozart and Vienna, then move down to the second floor, which focuses on his music, particularly the operas. The first floor is Mozart’s actual former apartment (squeal!).
The museum essentially takes you on a gentle stroll through late 18th-century Vienna, providing little vignettes of information and items from the past (inevitably, many of them copies).
So, on the top floor, you learn about the city in the 1780s, Mozart’s relationships with the aristocracy, his Freemasonry, and other topics.
The paintings and maps of Vienna offer an intriguing and beautiful contrast to today’s large metropolis. I also smiled at the copy of Mozart’s application to be a conductor at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Just can’t imagine that would have gone well.
This floor is also where you’ll find the current 2020-2022 exhibition, which covers the triad of Wiener Klassik: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
The second floor takes you to the music. Here you get the sense that Vienna was like a Hollywood for musicians, attracting talent from around the continent: various ambitious individuals seeking fame and fortune in the broiling musical air of the Habsburg city.
You discover some of Mozart’s contemporaries, including Christoph Willibald Gluck and the not-nearly-as-infamous-as-people-believe Salieri, and learn about the creation of some of Mozart’s famous operas, his cooperation with librettist du Ponte, and the stories and myths surrounding the Requiem.
This floor includes a delightful video installation displaying excerpts from seven different modern-day performances of The Marriage of Figaro, all running concurrently.
You won’t come out of it all an expert, but you will emerge with a better understanding of Mozart the man, businessman, and composer, his music, and the times he lived in. And – most importantly – you’re breathing the very air that Mozart breathed over 200 years ago.
Tickets & visitor tips
A single ticket gets you into the Mozarthaus and the Mozartwohnung. These are both parts of the same building but are technically run by two separate entities (you won’t notice, though).
Here a few visitor tips:
- Be sure to use the audioguide that comes free with your ticket.
The guide comes in various languages, features snippets of music, and includes quotes read out by voice actors. Look for the numbers to key into the handset up on the walls, where you’ll also find details of the pieces playing on the guide.
- As you go between floors, take time to admire the beautiful atrium
- The shop is chock full of Mozart-themed souvenirs, CDs, postcards, t-shirts etc. If you wish to learn more about Mozart in Vienna, there’s a nice book there usefully titled Mozart in Vienna (I bought a copy)
- The ground floor has a small self-service cafe area with snack and coffee machines and a few seats – a good source for a quick and cheap coffee, but it’s obviously not got the ambience of a typical coffee house
- The Mozarthaus puts on occasional concerts in the Bösendorfer-Saal, a vaulted chamber below the house itself.
- Many other venues put on classical concerts specifically designed for visitors to Vienna. These often incorporate historical locations, period costumes (and, sometimes, period instruments), and the music of Mozart and Strauss.
How to get to the Mozarthaus
The museum is tucked away just a street or two behind the cathedral that dominates the historic city centre.
Subway: It’s just a hop, skip and a short ride on a magic flute from the Stephansplatz station on the U1 and U3 lines
Bus: Take lines 1A, 2A or 3A to the Stephansplatz stop.
Address: Domgasse 5, 1010 Vienna | Website