Vienna is an extraordinary city of art. With fine architecture, music venues and many museums and galleries from which to choose, you will never run out of options. We encourage first-time visitors to begin by visiting these top museums in Vienna. Many of the museums are covered by the Vienna Pass – read our post on whether the pass is worth it or not here.
And, after your tour of Vienna’s museums, you may be ready for exploring Vienna through coffee, another favorite pass-time while in this art-filled city.
The Albertina occupies the southern tip of the Imperial Palace in Vienna. So, not only are you privileged to see the outstanding art collections, you can visit the 21 Habsburg Staterooms, which are spread out over two floors. The lavish period interiors evoke Neoclassicism and offer a glimpse of the private and ceremonial lives of the Habsburgs who lived in the palace.
The permanent collection on permanent loan from the Herbert and Rita Batliner Art Foundation, includes outstanding works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Modigliani, Matisse, Picasso, Giacometti and more. the Graphic Arts collection includes 50,000 drawings and watercolors, along with 900,000 prints ranging from the late Gothic period to contemporary art. The museum is also enhanced by its extensive architectural and photographic collections.
Open: Daily 10 am to 6 pm. Wednesday 10 am to 9 pm
Another grand museum housed in a palace, The Belvedere, is actually a complex of buildings comprised of the following: The Upper Belvedere, the Lower Belvedere, the Orangery, the Palace Stables and the luscious gardens. The Upper Belvedere is the main art museum, where you will find Austrian art and the famous Klimt paintings, The Kiss and Judith. The lower Belvedere houses Prince Eugene’s apartments and staterooms. A visit will give you a look into the lives of the aristocracy. Special exhibitions are staged in the Lower Belvedere and the Orangery. The Stables house a collection of Medieval art.
Upper Belvedere and Palace Stables
Open: Daily 10 am to 6 pm
Lower Belvedere, Orangery
Open: Daily 10 am to 6 pm and Wednesday 10 am to 9 pm
The Museum of Modern Art
Set in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, The Museum of Modern Art (Mumok), favors pop art and photorealism, along with Fluxus and Nouveau Realisime. You will find works by Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, and Marcel Duchamp at the Mumok. Classical modern is represented by Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso and more. Austria’s most important contribution to the international development of the Avant-garde movement, is represented in works by Günter Brus, and Otto Muehl.
Open: Thursday: 2:00 to 7:00pm, Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00-7:00pm and Saturday: 10.00-9:00 pm
Another one of Vienna’s top museums located in the Museums Quartier, is the Leopold Museum which showcases the collection of Viennese art nouveau by Dr. Rudolf Leopold. It also houses the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world as well as masterpieces by Gustav Klimt. Another focus of the museum is on the Austrian interwar period, such artists as Albin Egger-Lienz, Anton Kolig and Herbert Boeckl are presented, introducing us to the second half of the twentieth century. The Leopold is the most visited museum in the MuseumsQuartier.
Open: Daily: 10am to 6pm*, Thursdays: 10am to 9pm*
*Last entry: the cash desk closes half an hour before the closing of the museum.
Kunst Haus Wien
Opened in 1991, Kunst Haus Wien houses a permanent Hundertwasser exhibition on two floors and two additional floors are devoted to changing exhibitions. On the ground floor, there is a café-restaurant and a shop. Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist (1928–2000) whose commitment to ecology is evidenced in his architectural designs, paintings, graphic works, and applied art. The museum is easy to find; it has been transformed by Hunterwasser himself from a former furniture factory to a building decorated with colorful ceramic tiles, bricks and wood.
Open: daily, 10:00 – 19:00
Free tours are available
No trip to Vienna is complete without a visit to Vienna’s art treasures.
Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com