What to do at Vienna Museumsquartier? Far from being just about museums, the Vienna museum quarter blends art spaces with performance venues, a spectacular roof terrace, great cafés and restaurants, and beautiful outdoor space. On top, the Vienna museum quarter is one of the largest cultural complexes in the world. Not least because of this vibrant mix, Viennese residents have chosen the MQ as their favourite cultural hangout.
Here are 8 ways to soak in the artistic and culinary atmosphere of this unique cultural space.
1. Visit The Leopold Museum
Known for its extensive collection of Austrian art from the late 19th century to the present, the Leopold Museum houses works by artists such as Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Because it houses the artist’s largest exhibition in the world, some call it the Egon Schiele Museum. Being a major figure in the expressionist movement, Schiele’s provocative sketches can be unsettling due to the artist’s deliberate subversion of conventional norms. This picture shows his portrait of Wally Neuzil, one of his lovers and muses.
Most importantly for fans of Gustav Klimt the Leopold Museum is home to his famous painting Death and Life. This iconic work is a masterpiece of symbolism and allegory, depicting the eternal cycle of life and death. It’s considered one of Klimt’s major achievements. To help visitors weave a narrative of Viennese Modernism while touring the museum they can book an expert historian as a private guide.
Essentially, the Vienna Museumsquartier’s most visited museum includes paintings, drawings, and other exhibits from the late 19th century to the present.
Opening Times:daily 10.00am–6.00pm; Tuesday closed; Thursdays 10.00am–9.00pm; June to August the museum opens on Tuesdays;
2. Enjoy Rooftop Vistas From MQ Libelle
Perched on top of Leopold Museum, the ‘dragon fly’ (Libelle) opens up spectacular rooftop vistas: across the Museumsquartier to the Museums of Fine Art and Natural History up to Ringstrasse, Hofburg Imperial Palace and the historic city centre behind. Up there you will find ample space for a walk. On windy days the glass fronts along the edges of the rooftop protect from hefty breezes. In one corner the kiosk Zur Libelle serves wines, lemonade and other hot and cold drinks while you relax in comfortable upholstered seats.
Opening Times: daily except Tuesday, including public holidays – 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
Between November and 1st April the rooftop and kiosk are closed.
3. Get Inspired At The Museum of Modern Art (Mumok)
Focused on modern and contemporary art, Mumok represents Middle Europe’s largest museum of its kind. Specifically it features a wide range of works by renowned artists, including paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations: Among the museums most prized pieces are paintings by like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Yoko Ono. Going beyond traditional paintings and sculptures, you can explore a diverse range of artistic mediums there, including multimedia installations, video art, photography, and conceptual art.
If you like transformative art that intervenes, raises awareness and open doors to fresh perspectives do put some time aside when at Museumsquartier.
Opening Times:Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 10.00am–7.00pm; Mondays 2.00pm to 7.00pm; Thursdays 10.00am–9.00pm.
4. Visit an Exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien
Kunsthalle Wien dedicates itself to contemporary art, showcasing temporary exhibitions of national and international contemporary artists. The program includes various forms of visual arts, including painting, sculpture, video art, and installations. Known for its innovative and thought-provoking programming Kunsthalle Wien supports emerging artists, offering them a space to exhibit their work and gain visibility in the art world.
Because Kunsthalle Wien engages with socially relevant themes, addressing contemporary issues through art, it’s a great place to feel the pulse of the city’s contemporary art scene.
Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00am–7.00pm; Thursdays 11.00am–9.00pm;
5. Explore Viennese Architecture at Az W (Architecture Center Vienna)
Where to learn about Austrian architecture in the 20th and 21st century? From Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos to the Wiener Werkbundsiedlung und the architecture of the Red Vienna: At the Architekturzentrum Wien, an impressive modern exhibition and events related to the built environment roll up the city’s more recent architectural heritage through models, drawings, furniture, textiles and documentaries.
In the exhibition Hot Questions – Cold Storage you can explore the intersection of post-war modernity, resource scarcity, child-friendly architecture, and socially sustainable design. Among the around 400 captivating objects are the imaginative architectural models by Viennese artist Harald Gach, who constructs iconic and lesser-known Viennese buildings using Lego bricks.
Specifically for architecturally interested groups the AzW offers group evening tours and city excursions. For individual architectural city tours look into quality small group or private tours such as the Vienna Art Nouveau tour, or a walk along the enormous mid 19th century construction project around Ringstrasse.
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 10.00 am to 7.00pm
6. ZOOM Kindermuseum
At ZOOM Kindermuseum, children from 8 months to 14 years will have well deserved fun. Through questioning, touching, investigating, and playing they can explore four distinct areas: ZOOM Exhibition, ZOOM Studio, ZOOM Animated Film Studio, and ZOOM Ocean.
In the ZOOM Exhibition, children from 6 to 12 years explore science, art, everyday culture, and architecture in a way that is both understandable and tangible. Slightly younger children can try the ZOOM Studio, too, collaborating with artists in activities such as painting, cutting out, building, spraying, felting, pasting, sticking, and modeling. In the ZOOM Animated Film Studio, a multimedia lab, children and young people aged 8 to 14 take on various roles, including scriptwriter, director, camera operator, photographer, and sound technician. Meanwhile, the ZOOM Ocean, a permanent feature, provides a diverse play and adventure space for children aged 8 months to 6 years.
Explore more tips what to do in Vienna with kids.
Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday 1.15pm to 4.15pm; Saturday and Sunday 9.15 am to 4.15 pm; closed on Mondays
7. Cafés and Restaurants at Vienna Museumsquartier
The MuseumsQuartier also offers a variety of cafés and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Without doubt, my favourite place there is Glacis Beisl (photo), especially in the summer. Imagine sitting among its shady trees while spooning fritatta soup and digging into Wiener Tafelspitz! In fact, the typical Viennese Beisl (inn) is one of the best places to enjoy Viennese cuisine.
In contrast to Glacis Beisl, but no less appealing, is Café Kaan: Underneath a ceiling of beautifully patterned Ottoman tiles the café’s Turkish chefs create a wonderful mix of Mediterranean/Turkish and Viennese dishes. For me it’s a conciliatory nod to Vienna’s troublesome history with the Ottomans, and a lovely reminder of today’s vibrant local Turkish community.
Other great food places at Museumsquartier are Café Restaurant Halle, where before Emperor Franz-Josef I observed his horses train in the winter riding arena from the Imperial box; food d’Amour, Café Leopold, Dschungel Café and the snack bar Biosk.
8. Relax In Museumsquartier’s Green Outdoor Space
To enhance the greenery of the outdoor areas with their iconic Enzi seats the Vienna Museumsquartier has been implementing distinct green themes. With a strong emphasis on climate and heat resilience, the main courtyard of MQ will boast a Mediterranean ambiance: silk acacias and zelkovas, accompanied by plants such as willow-leaved sunflowers, dewdrop grass, torch lilies, and monbretia.
On a different note, the Fürstenhof court will evoke a jungle feeling through large-leaved trees, poppies, climbing hop sticks, large-leaf hostas, and ornamental grasses.
Between March and September, the annual MQ Amore transforms the courtyard and MQ forecourt into a sculpture park featuring playable works of art in the form of mini-golf courses. The contoured courses, reminiscent of beach landscapes shaped by waves, form the core of the installation. Gravel and turf areas swirl around the ensemble, providing inviting spaces for leisurely pauses. A quaint kiosk, serving as the primary point for issuing playing equipment, drinks, and snacks, completes the installation.
How To Get To Vienna Museumsquartier
Address: 7., Museumsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna
Public Transportation:Underground U2 toMuseumsquartier;alternatively you can take the underground U2 and U3 to Volkstheater station and enter from the Eastern wing; Tramway 49 to Volkstheater; or busses 48A to Volkstheater, or City Bus 2B to Museumsquartier