Company Logo - Home Link

7 Things To Know About Visiting the Ryman Auditorium

View Cities

In this post, we will provide information about visiting the Ryman Auditorium, including details about how to get here, tour types, ticket prices, discounts, things to see and more.




7 Things To Know About the Ryman Auditorium

  1. The Ryman Auditorium was originally built as a church, the Union Gospel Tabernacle.
  2. It was the home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974
  3. This is where Johnny Cash and June Carter met.
  4. The first event to sell out was a lecture by Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.
  5. Bluegrass music began here
  6. It is missing a piece of the stage - a circle was cut out after the last performance and moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House.
  7. Today it hosts performances of all genres. The Wu Tang Clan played here in the summer of 2019, the first hip hop show at the venue.

Ryman Pano Nashville


 Visiting the "Mother Church of Country Music" is a must for any music lovers trip to Nashville, but its unique beginnings make it an enjoyable stop for any visitor. There are three different ways to tour the Ryman Auditorium.

There are three different tours you can take: a self-guided tour, a guided backstage tour, and a post-show Opry at the Ryman tour.

Self-Guided Tour

The self-guided tour lets you explore the auditorium and its exhibits at your own pace, as well as watch the introductory video. The auditorium is open, usually 9am-4pm, and you can enter at any time with a ticket.

  • Ticket Prices: Adults  (12+) $24.95 / Child (Under 5-11) $16.95 / Under 5 FREE
  • Availability: Most days 9am-4pm, some days end earlier due to performance set up.
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

The Ryman is also a stop on our self-guided audio tour of downtown Nashville.

Backstage Tour

This guided tour backstage brings you to the dressing rooms for even more stories about well known performers and members of the Opry like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

These tours are only available on select dates and times based on the performance schedule.

  • Ticket Prices: Adults  (12+) $34.95 / Child (Under 12) $26.95
  • Availability: Select dates
  • Duration: 40 minutes (plus approx. 45 minutes for the self guided portion inside the Auditorium)
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

PRO TIP: The intro video and self guided tour of the auditorium are included in this ticket, so you're really only paying an extra $10 for the guided backstage portion. When you get your ticket, try to time it to see the 7 minute video, Soul of Nashville, BEFORE joining the next timed guided tour.

Post Show Opry at the Ryman Tour

The Grand Ole Opry show returns home to the Ryman every winter. After these shows you can watch the introduction movie, Soul of Nashville, take a backstage tour to see behind the scenes and take a peek at the dressing rooms.

These tours are only available on only on nights with one Opry show scheduled. Tickets to the Opry are not included.

  • Ticket Prices: Adults  (12+) $29.95 / Child (Under 12) $21.95
  • Availability: Select dates
  • Duration: 40 minutes (plus approx. 45 minutes for the self guided portion
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Back to top



It can get confusing - the Opry show, the Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium.

Every winter the Grand Ole Opry show returns home to the Ryman for a few months residency. This is a great option if you're in town. (If you're visiting at other times of year, check out our guide to the Grand Ole Opry House.)

The show runs:

  • Tuesdays 7pm
  • Fridays 7pm & 930pm
  • Saturdays 7pm & 930pm

Ticket Prices: $40-$100

These shows are popular so we recommend getting tickets in advance, especially if you're aiming for the lower price tickets.


Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman


Back to top



This section will cover all of the best deals on tickets for visiting the Ryman, including Nashville tourist passes and ticket combo package discounts.

Combo Ticket Packages

If you’re planning to do a few other things while you’re in Nashville, there are several different combo packages you can purchase which include tickets.

Old Town Trolley

This is one of the big hop-on-hop-off bus services in Nashville, and they offer combo tickets which include their trolley tour along with other activities including both the self guided tour.

  • Trolley + Ryman Self Guided Tour

For more details about the services provided by Old Town Trolley, please read our post covering Nashville bus tours.

Music City Total Access Pass

This discount pass includes admission to four different attractions of your choice in addition to tickets for both the Parthenon and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

They also offer a discount of 25% off select Gray Line sightseeing tours.

As you may have guessed, one of the four attractions you can choose from is the Ryman Auditorium self guided Tour.

In total, they have over 30 different activities to choose from, including popular destinations like the Grand Ole Opry House, Historic RCA Studio B, Country Music Hall of Fame and more.

The Music City Total Access Pass is $75. If you consider that the Ryman Tour alone pays for almost half of that, it’s not hard to see how you could save money with this service.

For more details, make sure to read our post covering Nashville tourist attraction discount passes.



Discount Sites

If you’re looking for an easy way to save money on tickets that doesn’t require you to pay for other activities, make sure to check sites like Groupon and Living Social.

Both of these services will sometimes offer discounts on either the tours or a live show.

On top of that, each company also offers discounts of between 10-20% off local activities like this when you use a coupon code.

Make sure to check for additional coupons before making your purchase in order to get the best possible deal

Military Discount

Members of the military can receive a discount on self guided and backstage tours.

Make sure to present your military ID when purchasing tickets in order to receive this deal.

AAA Discount

If you’re a AAA member, you are eligible for a discount on self guided and backstage tours.

All you have to do is present your AAA card when purchasing your tickets to take advantage of this opportunity.

Back to top



The following section will cover what you will see while taking a tour at the Ryman.

The self-guided tour is included with backstage tour tickets as well. You can do it before or after your timed backstage tour. We recommend trying to watch the intro video first before taking the backstage tour.

Soul of Nashville Introduction Video

This 100 seat theatre welcomes you to the Ryman with a state of the art movie experience. With surrounding screens, you will feel like you are in the center of the shows. It is recommended to visit this first but you is easy to skip if you'd rather (though we don't recommend doing that)

Hatch Print Gallery

See a collection of historic Hatch Print posters.

Hatch Print Nashville


Exhibits on the Sefl Guided Tour

  • “Workin’ on a Building”
  • “Showplace of the South”
  • “Mother Church of Country Music”
  • “Ryman Stage to Screen”
  • “Ryman Renaissance”

Ryman Exhibits


They suggest you start on the upper level of the auditorium. There is an elevator if needed. You can walk around at your own pace and there is a docent or two who can handle questions.

The exhibits are at the back of the auditorium but you can also go down and sit in the seats or take a closer look at the controls for the lights and sounds.

You also get the chance to go down to the bottom level and even stand on stage behind a historic Ryman labelled mic for a professional souvenir photo.

Souvenir Photo

These are FREE! You will need your ticket to pick them up, however.

Ryman Photo Nashville


Make a Record

By far the coolest souvenir gift ... you have a chance to record a song in the recording studio! They'll even give you a copy to take home. Choose from a set list of songs or bring your own sheet music for their accompanist. It is an extra $15 but well worth it.

A couple things to note...

  • This is a working concert venue so things may be closed depending on the needs of a performance.
  • Photographs are welcome on the self guided tour but not on the backstage tour.
  • Both tours are wheelchair and stroller friendly.

Back to top



The Ryman Auditorium is located downtown, just off Broadway (Honky Tonk Highway) at 116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219

It is a stop on our self guided downtown Nashville walking tour and easily accessible by foot or public transportation.


Best Times to Visit

There really isn’t a bad time to visit the Ryman and the self guided tour option is available most days.

If you're a big fan of the history of Grand Ole Opry, then try to visit November-January during Opry at the Ryman so you can take in the show and do the Post Show Backstage Tour.

If you're just planning on taking the self guided tour, try to go in the morning. It tends to get busy after noon even on weekdays.


Popular Times to Visit Nashville

Ryman Auditorium Security

All visitors go through a metal detector upon entering and may be subject to secondary screening if they set off the alarm or cannot pass through the metal detector.

Back to top



About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the producer of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 28 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 4) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.
Updated: September 29th, 2021
Back to Top