Please sign in to post.

Vienna Museums

What are your favorite museums in Vienna? Especially looking for ones that are not too big and overwhelming for first time visitors. Tips on avoiding long waits, saving on entrance fees and good cafes are welcome. My short list so far: Albertina, Belvedere, Leopold, Art History Museum.

Posted by
249 posts

Glad to know you are heading to Vienna! To help those who'd like to reply to your post, could you please clarify your interests (for example, art, history, etc.)?

Posted by
6869 posts

We love the Hofburg Palace--the Winter palace downtown and the Imperial Treasury. The Schoenbrunn Palace is the Summer palace, and it's absolutely incredible. Belvedere Palace is south of The Ring, and it's another fine museum. There are too many museums in Vienna to really note here. I suggest you pull the city up on Wikipedia to get an idea of what this very classy city has to offer.

Posted by
1109 posts

As stated.....Hofburg Palace and Treasury and Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens.

Posted by
2644 posts

I loved the Kunstkammer Wien collection within the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

"Among its highlights are examples of fabulous goldsmith work such as the celebrated Saliera by Benvenuto Cellini, outstanding sculptures such as the Krumau Madonna, magnificent bronze statuettes, delicate and bizarre ivories and precious stone vessels as well as valuable clocks, elaborate automatons, strange scientific instruments, sumptuous gameboards and much, much more."

https://www.khm.at/en/visit/collections/kunstkammer-wien/

With the exception of a special exhibition (which required some advance planning) it wasn't crowded at all when I was there in October.

Posted by
61 posts

Albertina is an incredible journey from impressionism to modern art. You'll be "museumed out" but it is well worth the time.

Treasury has Charlamange's crown and other impressive clothing, tapestries, jewels, unicorn horn (not really, it is a walrus tusk), lots of other neat stuff.

The Palace gardens were more impressive then touring the palace, IMO, and they are free to roam.

Don't forget to get the chocolate to help you recover from all the art you will seeing!!

Have a great trip!

Posted by
6481 posts

The Albertina was my favorite. Smaller and definitely not overwhelming, that's one of the things I liked about it. Loved the Belvedere too.

Posted by
668 posts

I love the Schiele and Klimt works in the Leopold, and the Art History Museum is just off-the-scale great. But one museum I would add is the Natural History Museum, which has the Venus of Willendorf!

Posted by
4690 posts

Do you mean good cafes in museums or just good cafes?

You seem to be interested in art. Is that correct? Any other interests?

When is your visit?

Posted by
169 posts

Scythian, I witnessed something really sad in the KHM and one other this past January. Two young ladies were taking turns to pose in front of one of those huge, floor-to-ceiling type paintings. Endless poses and photos. And then they switched. It was brazen.
Of course the whole selfie thing is nuts. Imagine going to a gallery to take a selfie of yourself and a work of art. Wish museums would stop this stuff. They have the employees there; it would give them something to do.

Posted by
2318 posts

You've already listed some great ones, though my order of importance/enjoyment would be: Leopold, Belvedere, Albertina, Kunsthistoriches. I'm a huge Secession era/Wien Werkstatte fan so Vienna was chock full of my favorite art, simply overwhelming--Schiele, Moll, Klimt and Kokoschka!

I am also not only a big fan of the iconic movie The Third Man but of WWII so I highly recommend touring the Third Man Museum, not just about the movie but life in post-war Vienna.

The Historiches Museum der Stadt Wien is another good one--history of the city of Vienna, more Klimt, furniture and the rooms of architect Adolf Loos--as well as the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK). The Lower Belvedere has special exhibits so check out what's on while you're there--I didn't tour the first time I went to the Upper (main collection, where I got to spend 5 minutes alone with The Kiss) but the second trip I was really happy to see a wonderful exhibit of Lawrence Alma-Tadema's works. Despite its name, the Secession museum is really only about a 20 minute visit--to see the fabulous exterior and Klimt's Beethoven frieze, not much else on display.

I visited the Hofmobiliendepot and was surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing the royal furnishings and other items, with a special exhibit on Maria Theresa--it's not a first visit museum, more of a filler on my second trip. Another little gem is the Akademie der bildenden on Schillerplatz, the highlight is a triptych by Hieronymous Bosch, The Last Judgement. I toured the Burgtheater to see the incredible Klimt ceiling paintings--I had to endure a German tour as it was my only chance to see them, but they do offer English guides. The excellent Café Landtmann is across the street.

Posted by
4690 posts

It should be noted that the Wien Museum is closed for renovations until 2022 or 2023.

I prefer to be outdoors instead of in a museum. That said, my favorites are the MAK and the Belvedere.

Posted by
1488 posts

Another little gem is the Akademie der bildenden on Schillerplatz

This building is also closed due to renovation. The picture gallery has been relocated to the Theater Museum, the copperplate prints to a building in the 11th borough, as far as I know.

Posted by
534 posts

Some of the finest and least visited museums are churches. Remember to leave a euro or two in the collection box on your way out.

Posted by
1488 posts

Some of the finest and least visited museums are churches.

E.g. the Roman mosaic artist Giacomo Raffaelli made a life-sized copy (1809–1814) of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" in the Viennese Minoritenkirche.

Posted by
2265 posts

We visited the Natural History Museum. One highlight - one of those VERY old figures of a female person, with the very large bosom and very large butt. This is the Venus of Willendorf, supposedly 25000 years old. Absolutely amazing.