All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances
So wrote Shakespeare. And the entrance to Vienna’s Theatermuseum is on Lobkowitzplatz. Inside has a few surprises…
- Located within a Baroque palace
- Exhibition(s) & small permanent displays
- Bonus treats for Beethoven & Klimt fans
- Buy your Theatre Museum ticket* online
- Purchase a Klimt ticket package* for Vienna (major locations with his works plus discounts)
- See also:
A museum of theatre
(The long front of the palais building)
If you’re going to open a theatre museum, then you need a suitable stage. Vienna’s Theatermuseum occupies Palais Lobkowitz, built in the late 1600s and a former home to one of Beethoven’s chief sponsors.
The main attractions within depend on the current exhibition(s): the museum offers one or two small permanent displays and an ever-changing repertoire of special exhibitions that draw on the extensive collections within the museum archives.
The Austropop exhibition, for example, took us through the idea of popular music in Austria.
Among the permanent highlights:
- A small exhibition around the masterful Nuda Veritas painting by Gustav Klimt, produced for an 1899 exhibition and purchased the following year by a strong supporter of the Vienna modernism movement (Hermann Bahr). Bahr’s estate bequeathed the painting to the museum
(Postcard published by the Wiener Werkstätte in 1911, featuring artwork by Richard Teschner, whose marionettes appear in the Theatermuseum; Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 311108; reproduced with permission under the terms of the CC0 licence)
- The Teschnerraum room with its collection of marionettes, many of which are works of art in their own right
- A small display of model stages, including a full model of the stage from the historical Hofburgtheater
They tore down that Hofburgtheater to complete the Michaelerplatz end of the Hofburg palace complex. You can see the old building on the right side of the photo below (taken at the end of the 19th century).
Look close to spot a stone eagle, wings outspread, up on the roof. The Theatermuseum has that very sculpted bird on display, too.
(The old Hoftheater; photo courtesy of the Rijksmuseum)
By the way…they replaced the Hofburgtheater with the Burgtheater, which you can tour. (And, like the Theatermuseum, it has its own unexpected Klimt surprise inside.)
The museum’s first floor has another particular jewel to offer up that you might not expect in an institution covering the theatrical arts: the Eroica Saal, where Beethoven’s third and fourth symphonies were performed before their public premieres. More on that here.
Tickets & visitor tips
An entrance ticket for or from the Theatermuseum includes access to any special exhibitions within.
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
- Instead of a normal entrance ticket, you can pay a little extra and buy a Palais Lobkowitz tour ticket on site. This includes museum entrance, but comes with an audio guide that explains more of the building’s history and architecture.
- Just opposite the ground-floor ticket counter is a small shop selling postcards, magnets, books etc. And the museum has a cloakroom and coin-operated lockers.
- Wednesdays to Sundays from spring to autumn (at the time of writing), the open courtyard inside Palais Lobkowitz has a café offering coffee, other drinks, and piazza-style snacks. You don’t need an entrance ticket just to visit the café
- Once you’re done in the palais, walk across the road for your next major site of interest: the Albertina staterooms and art museum.
How to get to the Theatermuseum
Put the Theatermuseum on a long list of Viennese sites located right in the centre of town. The tourist information centre is practically a neighbour, for example.
Subway: Stephansplatz (U1 and U3) and Karlsplatz (U1, U2 and U4) stations will get you close.
Tram/bus: the 2A bus that drives around the town centre stops close by (get off at Albertinaplatz or Plankengasse). The nearest tram stop is Oper/Karlsplatz, with stops for the 1, 2, D, 62, and 71 trams.
Address: Lobkowitzplatz 2, 1010 Vienna | Website