Top 10 Culture Temples Of My Hometown
There are more than 100 Vienna museums, housing everything from world renown 16th century oil paintings to curious objects, watches and even fake art. Many of the museum buildings either form part of the Imperial Palace Vienna (Hofburg) or are housed in splendid town palaces. My personal shortlist below will help you pick and choose what you want to see. If you plan to visit more than one museum and stay in Vienna for at least three days, consider buying a Vienna travel card, which grants between 8 and 50 percent discounts on most museum visits.
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The Kunsthistorisches Museum is the most popular of all Vienna Museums. It is a treasure chest of classical art and one of the leading princely collections in Europe. Emperor Franz Joseph had the Kunsthistorisches Museum built 120 years ago as the Imperial art collection at the Upper Belvedere needed re-organising and re-structuring. My favourite collections there are the picture gallery, the Collection of Sculpture And Decorative Arts, and the Kunstkammer. This Vienna museum has the largest Brueghel collection in the world, and exhibits major art works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian, Vermeer, and Velazquez.
Location: 1, Maria-Theresien-Platz
Opening Hours: Paintings Collection and Antique Collection: daily except Mon, 10 am to 6 pm, Thu 10 am to 9 pm. Also open on Mondays from June to August
Public Transportation: Underground U2; Tramways 1, 2, D
Tickets: Skip the lines and book tickets online.
Say you wait an average of 20 min to buy tickets at each museum – that’s two hours for six museums. Instead of waiting, you can get museum tickets online here, including Albertina, Belvedere Palace, Museum of Fine Arts (Kunstkammer), Museumsquartier (Leopold Museum), Kunsthaus Wien, Haus der Musik, and Vienna’s Jewish Museum …
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: one of Europe’s ten largest cultural areas; Vienna museum complex of more than 10 museums and cultural institutions in baroque imperial building, housing a series of design restaurants, bars and shops. The Leopoldmuseum is a paradise for lovers of Art Nouveau (Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Wiener Werkstaette), and the most popular museum of the MQ. Great place if you visit Vienna with kids. Its vast outdoor space is populated with Enzi lounge chairs, a Vienna design success story.
Address: 7., Museumsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna
Opening Hours: Kunsthalle Wien – daily 10am – 7pm; Thursdays 10am – 9pm;Leopold Museum – daily 10am – 6pm; Tuesday closed; Thursdays 10am – 9pm; July/August the museum opens on Tuesdays; Museum of Modern Art: daily 10am to 6pm; Thursdays 10am to 9pm
Tickets: from EUR 7; skip the lines with online tickets for Leopoldmuseum; free admission for children and teens aged 19 and under and students aged 26 and under
Public Transportation: Underground U2 to Museumsquartier
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The Belvedere, former summer residence of General Prince Eugene of Savoy, houses the largest collection of Gustav Klimt artwork in the world. The Belvedere keeps the largest collection of national art, at the Austrian National Gallery (Upper Belvedere). The Lower Belvedere is popular for its contemporary exhibitions.
Learn more about the Belvedere Vienna.
Guided art tour: (private) tour through Belvedere Palace with art historian;
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The Albertina Vienna is another of the many Vienna museums located in splendid old buildings. The Albertina houses the restored Imperial Habsburg state rooms. I love the lavish authentic interior decoration which uses original vibrant colour schemes. You can see key pieces of international modern art there – French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, German Expressionism, Fauvism and the Russian avant-garde.
What to see and do at the Albertina Vienna.
Tickets: get your Albertina tickets online and avoid the queues;
Vienna Museum (Wien Museum)
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The Vienna Museum is probably the most underrated museum in this city. It rolls up all of Vienna’s history, exhibits world renown paintings by the likes of Peter Paul Rubens and Gustav Klimt, showcases Viennese urban life in the past 500 years, and has recently built a reputation of fascinating temprorary exhibitions.
Learn more about the highlights of the Vienna Museum.
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The Sigmund Freud Museum offers an unusual escapade into the World of Yesterday (Stefan Zweig). Located at his former practice and apartments in a bourgeois residential district, the museum exhibits Freud’s work and life. Do you want to unlock Vienna 1900 there and then? I can tell you how.
Learn more about the Sigmund Freud Museum and how to best enjoy it.
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: Hofmobiliendepot (Imperial Furniture Collection) is the best traded Vienna museum insider tip; largest collection of furniture and of Biedermeier interiors in the world; watch Imperial-style living up until Austrian 20th century interiors in 6,000+ objects; get behind Empress Elisabeth’s (Sisi’s) lifestyle through series of displays of world famous Sisi films matching those collections of furniture borrowed from the Imperial Furniture Collection for these films;
Location: Andreasgasse 7, A-1070 Vienna
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Tickets: EUR 6,90 (adults) EUR 4,50 (children)
Public Transport: Underground U3 to Zieglergasse; Bus 13A to Mariahilfer Strasse/Neubaugasse
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The MAK is totally inspiring if you love 19th/ 20th century home interiors. It has a large collection of the famous Thonet chairs, which are typical for many Viennese coffeehouses. (Thonet was probably the first IKEA-style success story of the late 19th century.) There are also dozens of Empire and Biedermeier interiors. (Make sure you get into the Österreicher im MAK, design restaurant of acclaimed Austrian Chef Helmut Österreicher, which serves fantastic modern Viennese cuisine.)
Address: Museum fuer Angewandte/Zeitgenössische Kunst, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna
Opening Hours: Tue (MAK NITE©) 10am to 12 midnight; Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 6pm, Monday closed; Tuesdays from 6pm to 10pm FREE entry; 24th and 31st December: 10am to 3pm; Closed: 1st January, 25th December
Tickets: EUR 7,90 (adults) Family Card (2 adult; one or more children until age of 18) EUR 11; 26th October (Austrian National Day) are free
Public transportation: Underground U3 to Stubenring; Ringtram or tramway 2 to Stubenring
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: Vienna museums don’t get more exciting than this: The Haus der Musik (House of Music) is an extraordinarily brilliant and interactive museum of sound and music that has been fascinating alladults and children in our family.
See my review of our visit to the House of Music.
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The Kunsthaus Wien shows off Gaudí-style hippie-Vienna in both art and architecture at its best. Learn why “the straight line is godless” (Friedensreich Hundertwasser) and other inspiring art concepts. The Kunsthaus Wien is also the only Vienna Museum (and building in general) with tree-tenants growing out of the windows. Don’t miss the Hundertwasser-style mosaiqued toilets there (one of the 10 best ranked public toilets worldwide), and have coffee in the lovely garden of the cafe/restaurant in the summer.
Location: Untere Weissgerberstrasse 13, 1030 Vienna
Opening Hours: daily 10 am to 7 pm
Tickets: buy your tickets online;
Public Transportation: U1 or U4 to Schwedenplatz; tramways 0 or 1 to Radetzkyplatz; Underground U3 to Landstrasse Wien Mitte;
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The refurbished former Museum of the 20th Century, called20er Haus provides a good answer to what Austrian artists have been doing between 1945 and now. For all who want to look beyond the National Gallery and Hundertwasser Vienna museums. The 21er Haus is run by the Belvedere Vienna, which is known for blowing fresh wind into Vienna’s museum management.
Location: Arsenalstrasse 1, A-1030 Vienna (located at Schweizergarten)
Opening Hours: daily 10 am to 7 pm
Tickets: EUR 5 (adults) EUR 12; young people unter 19 years go free
Public Transportation: underground U1 to Suedtirolerplatz; tramways D toSchloss Belvedere, 18 or 0 to Hauptbahnhof (central train station).
Why it ranks among top Vienna museums: The Volkskundemuseum (Museum of Ethnology) shows the multiethnic Habsburg Empire as you have never seen it before. See popular culture from the former Habsburg Crownlands, which stretched from Austria’s Vorarlberg to Austrian Silesia, Galicia and Dalmatia): richly painted cupboards and chests, hats in various styles, homeware, farm models, a richly decorated typical tiled stove. The museum’s collection is housed in a baroque garden palace. It is small but hugely interesting as it shows you the flipside of Imperial Vienna.
Address: Schönborn Palace; Laudongasse 15 to 19; A-1080 Vienna
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm; closed 1st Jan, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 1st November, 25th December;
Tickets: EUR 5,00
Vienna Card discount: none
Public transportation: Underground U2 to Rathaus; tramways 5, 33 to Laudongasse; tramways 43, 44 to Lange Gasse; bus 13A to Laudongasse;
Vienna Museums Map
On this map you can find the museums of my shortlist above.
View Best Vienna museums in a larger map