How to make the best Vienna Museums and art collections manageable during your visit? Get the basics on 17 simple choices: from Kunsthistorisches Museum, Museums Quarter and Albertina to insider gems Vienna Clock Museum and Beethoven Museum.
How Many Museums Are There In Vienna?
Although the official number is more than 100 the Viennese Municipality lists more than 250 museums and collections in Vienna. This number includes palaces, small district museums, composers’ memorial rooms, historically valuable cemeteries and weird private collections such as the Lucky Pig museum.
Are Museums Free In Vienna?
In general, larger Viennese museums charge entrance fees, from a couple of Euros to up to EUR 22 for a grand tour of Schonbrunn Palace. In most cases you do not need to pay extra for special exhibitions. Many of these museums, such as Albertina, the Jewish Museum and the MAK offer free entry for young people until 19 years of age.
Among those museums granting completely free entry are the district museums (Bezirksmuseen), the Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance and the MUSA art gallery.
Which Vienna Museums Are Free On The First Sunday Of The Month?
Most museums run by Wien Museum, including the museum itself, offer free entry on the first Sunday of each month: among them are composers’ homes of Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert and Strauss. Definitely worth a visit are the Otto Wagner pavilions at Karlsplatz and in Hietzing, the Clock Museum and also the Prater Museum.
1. Museum of Fine Arts
To start with, Kunsthistorisches Museum is the most popular of all Vienna Museums. Although not of gigantic proportions, Kunsthistorisches is a treasure chest of classical art and one of the leading princely collections in Europe.
Most importantly, the museum has the largest Bruegel collection in the world. Major art exhibits include works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian, Vermeer, and Velazquez. To find out what to expect, read my compact review in Vienna Art Museum.
Location: 1, Maria-Theresien-Platz
Opening Hours: Paintings Collection and Antique Collection: daily except Mon, 10.00am to 6.00pm, Thu 10.00am to 9.00pm. Also open on Mondays from June to August and from 15th Oct. 2019 to 19th January 2020;
Public Transportation: Underground U2; Tramways 1, 2, D
Tickets: Skip the lines and book tickets online. (If you visit more museums, a Vienna Travel Card may be cheaper.)
Not only is the Museum Quarter Vienna’s largest museum complex, it is one of Europe’s ten largest cultural areas. To give you an idea, the ‘MQ’ spans more than 10 museums and cultural institutions. In fact, the elegant building itself once housed the Imperial Stables. Other than museums, you will find the Architekturzentrum Wien, a series of design restaurants, bars, shops there.
While Theater an der Wien is undergoing extensive refurbishment until 2024 Museumsquartier’s Hall E hosts a colourful spectrum of operas, theater plays and concerts.
Among the biggest visitor magnets is the ‘Egon Schiele Museum‘, as many call the Leopold Museum. If you love Art Nouveau you are halfway to paradise.
If you visit Vienna with kids, Museumsquartier is great, not least due to its ZOOM Children’s Museum, vast outdoor space and the Enzi lounge chairs.
Address: 7., Museumsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna
Opening Hours: Kunsthalle Wien: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00am–7.00pm; Thursdays 11.00am–9.00pm; Leopold Museum: daily 10.00am–6.00pm; Tuesday closed; Thursdays 10.00am–9.00pm; June to August the museum opens on Tuesdays; Museum of Modern Art: Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 10.00am–7.00pm; Mondays 2.00pm to 7.00pm; Thursdays 10.00am–9.00pm.
Tickets: from EUR 8; 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
3. Belvedere Vienna
If you love classical art, the Belvedere is a must for two reasons: First, the former summer residence of General Prince Eugene of Savoy houses the largest collection of Gustav Klimt artwork in the world.
Second, the Belvedere keeps the largest collection of national art. When you visit the Upper Belvedere, take some time to get to know our national treasures at the Austrian National Gallery. Just across the gardens, you will find the equally sumptuous Lower Belvedere, housing regular contemporary exhibitions.
Location: Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Vienna (Upper Belvedere/National Gallery/Klimt) Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna (Lower Belvedere/contemporary exhibitions; state rooms)
Opening Hours:Upper Belvedere – daily 9.00 am to 6.00 pm; Friday 9.00 am to 9.00 pm; Lower Belvedere, Orangery – daily 10.00 am to 6.00 pm; Friday 10.00 am to 6.00 pm;
Guided Tours: book small group tour
Tickets: EUR 24 for Upper and Lower Belvedere (adults), EUR 19.50 with Vienna City Card;
Public Transportation: tramway D (Upper Belvedere); tramway 71 (Lower Belvedere)
Guided art tour: (private) tour through Belvedere Palace with art historian;
4. Albertina Vienna
On the surface, splendid Albertina is just another of the many Vienna museums located in palaces. Scratch beyond and you will discover the most stunning restored Habsburg state rooms. Unlike the larger art museums, Albertina is really small and perfect for a one hour visit.
What strikes most about Albertina is its lavish interior decoration using vibrant colour schemes. What’s more, you can see an amazing Drawings Collection and key pieces of international modern art there: from French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and German Expressionism to Fauvism and the Russian avant-garde.
Location: Albertinaplatz 1; 1010 Vienna; between Vienna State Opera and Burggarten.
Opening Hours: daily 10.00 am to 6.00 pm; Wednesdays 10.00 am to 9.00 pm On public holidays opening hours apply as for the respective week day
Tickets: EUR 16,90 (adults); EUR 14 with Vienna City Card; visitors under the age of 19 go free; get your Albertina tickets online and avoid the queues;
Public transportation: Underground U1, U2, U4 (Karlsplatz stop), U3 to Stephansplatz;Trams: 1, 2, D, 62, 65, City bus: 3A (Albertina station)
5. Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art
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 a bite at Salon Plafond onsite, which serves fantastic modern Viennese cuisine.)
Address: Museum für Angewandte/Zeitgenössische Kunst, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10.00am to 6.00pm, Monday closed; Tuesdays from 10.00am to 10.00pm (EUR 6 from 6.00 pm); 24th and 31st December: 10.00am to 3.00pm; Closed: 1st January, 25th December; Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday;
Tickets: EUR 14 (adults); EUR 11 with Vienna City Card; Family card (2 adults, one or more children until 18 years) EUR 16
Public transportation: Underground U3 to Stubenring; Ringtram or tramway 2 to Stubenring
6. Kunsthaus Wien
Unlike any other place in Vienna 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. In addition, 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 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Tickets: EUR 11 (adults); buy your tickets online;
Public Transportation: U1 or U4 to Schwedenplatz; tramways 0 or 1 to Radetzkyplatz; Underground U3 to Landstrasse Wien Mitte;
7. Wien Museum
In contrast to the art museums above, the Vienna Museum is probably the most underrated in this city. Specifically if you are interested in Viennese history, this place is a MUST. Rolling up 500 years of local history Wien Museum specifically excels at showcasing Viennese urban life.
On top of this, the museum exhibits world renown paintings by the likes of Peter Paul Rubens and Gustav Klimt and has recently built a reputation of fascinating temprorary exhibitions.
Location: Karlsplatz 8; 1010 Wien;
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays 10 am to 6 pm;
Tickets: EUR 10 (adults); visitors under the age of 19 go free; free entry for all each first Sunday of the month;
Public transportation: Underground U1, U2, U4 (Karlsplatz stop), U3 to Stephansplatz;Trams: 1, 2, D, 62, 65.
NOTE: Due to comprehensive extension and refurbishment, Wien Museum will be closed until 2022.
Tip for Museum Lovers
If you can’t get enough of museums and top attractions find out whether you can save money and jump the queues. To get clear on the numbers use my free decision maker tool in Vienna Travel Card.
8. Beethoven Museum
While in the outskirts of Vienna, the Beethoven Museum is well worth a visit for two reasons: First, expect a truly insightful exhibition with a few quirky installations, such as the bone resonator or a rack of paintings producing music. Second, the charming house itself is a gem of historic suburban architecture.
For wine fans, there is another added benefit to heading out to Heiligenstadt neighborhood: you can perfectly combine your visit with lunch or dinner at a Vienna winery. Find out more in Beethoven in Vienna.
Address: Probusgasse 6, 1190 Vienna
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday and public holiday: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm; 24th and 31st December 10.00 am to 1.00 pm; closed on 1st January, 1st May, 25th December and all public holidays falling on a Monday;
Tickets: EUR 7 (adults); EUR 5 with Vienna City Card; visitors under the age of 19 go free; free entry for all each first Sunday of the month;
Public transportation: take tramway 37 from central Schottentor to Hohe Warte; or tramway D from Ringstrasse boulevard to Haltauergasse; alternatively take metro U6 to Heiligenstadt and then bus 38A;
9. Mozart House
Although many visitors search for the wow factor in this music genius’ house, real Mozart fans will sink into the Mozarthaus’s narrative.
Resisting the temptation to replace the missing original furniture with historic fakes the museum relies mostly on paintings, drawings and letters.
For me, the most striking element was the historic courtyard – a beautiful example of 17th and 18th century living in Vienna. Read my full review in Mozart House Vienna.
Location: Domgasse 5, 1010 Vienna
Opening hours: daily, 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
Admission fee: EUR 11; EUR 9 with Vienna City Card
In-house guided tours: 60-min tours can be booked individually for EUR 60 per group; I haven’t done one, therefore can’t say how good they are;
How to get there: take metro U1 or U3 to Stephansplatz and walk past St. Stephen’s Cathedral;
10. Sigmund Freud Museum
Apart from being THE pilgrimage site for Freud fans, the Freud Museum also connects you with Fin-de-Siecle Vienna and the World of Yesterday (Stefan Zweig).
Right in his former practice and apartments you will learn about Freud’s work and life. The museum lets you explore lots of photographs, some of Freud’s personal objects, and original furniture. Until May 2020, the exhibition takes place a few doors from the museum, due to refurbishments.
To capture the essence of Sigmund Freud and his time, I went there with a private guide. Learn more about the Sigmund Freud Museum and how to best enjoy it.
Address: Berggasse 19, 1090 Vienna [Between 1st March 2019 and May 2020 the exhibition will be at Berggasse 13, due to extension works at the museum.]
Opening hours: daily, 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Admission fees: EUR 9 (adults), EUR 3 (children of 12 to 18 years of age)
Public transportation: take tramway D from Ringstrasse to Schlickgasse;
11. Hapsburgs Museum of Furniture
Definitely, the Hofmobiliendepot (Imperial Furniture Collection) is one of the best traded museum insider tips. Notably, that off-the-beaten-track depot represents the 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 Sissi 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: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Tickets: EUR 10,50 (adults); EUR 6.50 with Vienna Card; EUR 4,50 (children)
Public Transportation: Underground U3 to Zieglergasse; Bus 13A to Mariahilfer Strasse/Neubaugasse
12. Museum of Military History
Since armed conflicts unfortunately shaped Vienna’s history, the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum focuses on 400 years of trouble spots.
Just a few minutes from Belvedere Palace, the Museum of Military History resides in the Habsburgs’ former central armoury. Far from glorifying war, the exhibitions roll up fateful conflicts in Central Europe. Starting from the Ottoman Wars in the 16th century until World War II and Adolf Hitler. A great place to trace our history, even if you aren’t a military fan.
Among the most spectacular exhibits are a 17th century Ottoman tent, a replica from the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Then the glittering military uniforms from Emperor Francis Joseph’s era in the 19th century. Quite dramatically, Archduke Francis Ferdinand’s car parks in the exhibition hall of World War I. It was in this car where he was shot in 1914, triggering the century’s first world war. In the hall about the Austrian civil war and World War II, shocking Nazi propaganda jumps at you. And finally a car from the Allied Forces occupying Austria until 1955.
Address: Arsenal, Objekt 1, Ghegastrasse; 1030 Vienna
Opening Hours: daily 9.00 am to 5.00 pm; closed on 1st January, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 1st November, 25th and 31st December; 24th December open until 2.00 pm; check website for updates;
Tickets: EUR 7; free entrance each first Sunday of the month and for children under 19 years of age;
Public Transportation: tramways 18, D and 0; busses 13A and 69A; and metro lines U1 (Südtirolerplatz) and U3 (Schlachthausgasse) get you within 5 to 10 min walking distance from the museum;
13. Post War Vienna And Third Man Museum
Known as the Dritter Mann Museum, the Third Man Museum fills a knowledge gap of post war Vienna. At first sight, this place pays tribute to Graham Greene’s cult film with Orson Welles. Though the narrative goes much deeper.
Over the past twenty years, passionate museum owner Gerhard Strassgschwandtner has collected dozens of photographs, personal interviews, letters and objects that illustrate life in post war Wien: a must for anyone tracing their ancestors, Hitler in Vienna, or simply 20th century Vienna.
Address: Pressgasse 25; 1040 Vienna
Opening Hours: Saturdays 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Tickets: EUR 9.50 (adults); EUR 7.50 with Vienna City Card
Public Transportation: metro U4 to Kettenbrückengasse (Naschmarkt), walk down Rechte Wienzeile to Pressgasse;
14. House of Music
When it comes to being interactive, 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 all adults and children in our family.
Above all, the many historic musical games in electronic animation are utterly thrilling. Perhaps the highlight of that place is the Virtual Opera Stage and conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra yourself! See my review of our visit to the House of Music.
Address: Haus der Musik, Seilerstätte 30, 1010 Vienna
Opening Hours: daily, 10am to 10pm
Tickets: EUR 14 (adults); get tickets
Public transportation: Underground U1, U2 or U4 to Karlsplatz; U1 or U3 to Stephansplatz; tramway 1, 2, D and J to Oper
15. Vienna Clock Museum
On quiet Schulhof square, about 1,000 historical clocks have been ticking away the last six centuries: from pendulum wall clocks to pocket watches, from stunning picture clocks to elaborate astronomical and church tower clocks. Among the museum’s highlights is the astronomical world clock, aka Cajetano Clock, that is set to run until 9999.
Because the Wiener Uhrenmuseum is one of Europe’s largest special collections it’s a must for all clock fans.
Address: Schulhof 2, 1010 Vienna
Opening Times: Tues to Sun and public holidays (ie Easter Sunday and Easter Monday) 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Tickets: EUR 7 for adults; free entry on the first Sunday of each month;
Public transportation: take metro U3 to Herrengasse; alternatively take city bus 2A to Brandstaette;
16. Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art
Unlike any other museum in Wien, the Volkskundemuseum at baroque Schönborn Palace displays folk life and art during the Habsburg Empire.
In fact, the more than 20 Habsburg Crownlands each celebrated their own cultures. Hence, expect a diverse collection of every day lives: from those in Austria’s Vorarlberg to Austrian Silesia, Galicia and Dalmatia. Among the highlights are richly painted cupboards and chests, hats in various styles, homeware, farm models, a marvellous tiled stove.
Apart from cultural objects the museum also grants insight into a multiethnic Empire, and why it was doomed to fail.
Address: Schönborn Palace; Laudongasse 15 to 19; A-1080 Vienna
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm; closed 1st Jan, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 1st November, 25th December;
Tickets: EUR 8,00 (adults); EUR 6 with Vienna Card
Public transportation: Underground U2 to Rathaus; tramways 5, 33 to Laudongasse; tramways 43, 44 to Lange Gasse; bus 13A to Laudongasse;
17. Vienna Chocolate Museum
At the latest since Sacher Torte Austria’s love affair with chocolate has become clear. To share their passion, siblings Bojan and Jovana Misaljevic show the history, culture and delights of the cocoa bean. Through history and art installations, games and workshops you will get to the bottom of Vienna’s sweet culture. Like, for example, Empress Maria Theresa’s obession with chocolate (see photo).
If you like, sign up for a chocolate workshop and craft your own rich chocolate bar. Read our story about the Vienna Chocolate Museum.
By the way, the museum is just opposite the Vienna Ferris Wheel at Prater park.
Location: Riesenradplatz 5, Wiener Prater, 1020 Vienna
Opening Hours: from October to April – daily, 10.00 am to 6.00 pm; from May to September – daily, 10.00am to 7.00pm
Tickets: EUR 15 (adults); EUR 8 for children 5-14 years;
Public Transportation: metro U1 or U2 to Praterstern; tramways 0 or 5 to Praterstern;
Vienna Museums Map
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