Discover Vienna's Top 5 Independent Music Hotspots!

Written by Music Traveler

Published 11 Nov, 2022

As long-time Vienna residents, we’re proud of our city, which moves and shakes in a thousand ways that defy the opera house image that comes to most people’s minds when they think of Vienna’s music scene! Vienna offers top-quality rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop entertainment, and much more. In fact, its rich music scene punches well above its weight for a town of just under 2 million inhabitants.

But beyond the well-known stadium venues and larger clubs, we want to share with you some treasured spots with an independent flair that won't disappoint. Because, In case you haven't noticed yet, our post-Covid town is readier than ever to get in the groove! 

Chelsea and Rhiz

For those who like to live on the wild side, the grimey sublime but nightlife strip known as the Gürtel offers an irresistible line of late night venues nestled beneath the U6 subway. Two shining stars of this scene, Chelsea and Rhiz, are not to be missed!

Chelsea's crowd never tires!

Chelsea is a  favorite for local music lovers and performers. The storied venue’s three interconnected arches regularly host indie and folk music talents, record launches, club nights, and international acts. We recently caught Princess Chelsea at Chelsea and were not dissapointed, but generally we're on the lookout for Austrian indie talent in this hometown haunt, which has been a fixture of the scene for well over three decades. 

Pro tip: If you think you’ve got what it takes to listen to music and party for hours on end, try out Waves Festival in September! Waves showcases alternative pop music and making September the perfect time to head to Chelsea, alongside nearby WUK cultural center and other participating venues from the scene. 

Waves Festival is the spot to discover new talent from across Europe!

Rhiz, on the other hand, is miniature in size but massive in charm. DJs from around the world (including Fennesz and Raidan) have performed here, and countless talented musicians and avant-garde performers celebrate Rhiz as a home base for the sonically discerning. Gifted alternative rock bands are also often on the repertoire, but this is an undeniable go-to spot if you prefer electronic music events that stretch on into the early morning. 

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Hidden in plain sight next to Vienna's famed Naschmarkt, Celeste is an art gallery, a wine bar, a jazz club, and one of Vienna's hottest nightclubs. Album releases, DJ sets, and a friendly crowd as a contemporary music Mecca in the Austrian capital. The cozy but bohemian vibe and delightful little outdoor area create the perfect recipe for wild weekend encounters, and Monday night jazz improv sessions keep us coming back! 

Moses Records

For years, we’ve been buying vinyl at Moses Records! It is one of the most famous vinyl / CD shops in Vienna. It has almost every musical genre you could be interested in, but it mostly has records from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. If you are a lover of lost treasures from the past, then you should visit this place and brush up on your collection! 

Moses Records is a perfect place to play “musical lost and found!”

Needle Vinyl Bar

Where do those in the know come to chillax and discover great sounds? Needle Vinyl Bar, of course! One of the rare bastions of independent music culture in Vienna's first district, this ‘no tapes, no CD’s’ vinyl-only listening bar is the place to be seen after the party ends, but you still need to ride the waves of good tunes and great energy! 

Treat yourself to a professionally soundproofed studio with instruments! 

Is Vienna just about classical music?

The answer to this is - definitely not! There are rich options for lovers of all types of music, and we highly recommend visiting any of the places mentioned in this article. You will not regret it - we certainly haven’t!