If it’s museums that you’re after then you’re going to Vienna at the right time. The government has invested significant amounts of money in this area over the last decade with museums and galleries such as the Albertina being refurbished with no expense spared. In addition the museum scene received a welcome lift in 2001 when the amazing MuseumsQuartier was opened to the public. This vast complex houses art galleries, museums, performance spaces and various eating establishments and has become a favourite place to relax with the in-crowd.
Vienna Museums Travel Guide
The passageways and courtyards leading to and from the area are open 24 hours a day when the cafés are still bustling and crowded with the Viennese sipping their drinks. The Leopold Museum is the most famous of the sights, although all the buildings are worth seeing if you have time. Each site has its own opening time and entrance fee but you can get combined tickets like the Duo ticket (€16) that lets you into Leopold Museum and MUMOK or the Kombi ticket (€25) that lets you into the Leopold Museum, MUMOK, the Kunsthalle Wien and the Architeckturzentrum Wien. Remember that many museums in the city are closed on Tuesdays.
1. Sigmund Freud Museum
19, Berggasse Telephone – 3191596 Opening hours – daily July-Sep 9am-6pm
The founder of modern psychosis and, as a result, one of Vienna’s most famous residents, lived at this address until his family had to flee to London. The only original room left is the waiting room containing Freud’s hat, coat and walking stick that he used to don when he had his daily stroll around the Ringstrasse. There is home-video footage taken by a member of his family and information in English is available. Admission is €5.
2. MAK (Osterreichisches Museum fur Angewanate Kunst or the Austrian
Museum of Applied Art)
Stubenring 5 Telephone – 711 36-0, Opening hours – Tues, 10am-midnight, Wed-Sun, 10am-6pm
A large selection of artistic creations are on offer in this museum, including Klimt’s Stoclet Frieze. The real treat is the building’s interior design which is inspiring. Leaflets are available in English and admission is €7,90 and free on Saturdays.
3. Jewish Museum
11, Dorotheergasse Telephone – 5350451 Opening hours – Sun-Fri, 10am-6pm, Thurs, 10am-8pm.
Another eye-catching museum with a well-designed interior, the thought-provoking exhibitions details the Jewish history in Vienna and documents the terrible persecutions they endured during the war. Make sure you visit Rachel Whitehead’s famous holocaust memorial nearby. Admission is €5.
4. Leopold Museum/Gallery
MuseumsQuartier Telephone – 525 700 Opening hours – daily, except Tuesday, 9am-8pm
One of the new MuseumQuartier’s great successes, this museum houses numerous works of art including an impressive array of Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Richard Gerstl works. Admission is €9.
5. Liechtenstein Museum
Fürstengasse 1 Telephone – 319 57 67-252 Opening hours – daily except Tuesday, 9am-8pm.
You would be advised to visit this museum for the building alone, as it is the most beautiful summer palace in the city. Once owned by the fabulously wealthy Liechtenstein family, their art collection includes fine works by Rubens. The restaurant and gardens are also delightful. Admission is €10.
Hauptgebäude Maria Theresien-Platz Telephone -525 240 Opening hours – daily except Tuesday, 10am-6pm.
There are some excellent displays of medieval craftsmanship, jewellery and relics from the Roman Empire. The piece de resistance are the Hapsburg’s crown jewels that wink at you under the lights. Labelling is in German, so pick up an English leaflet for explanations. Admission is €8.