Vienna is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. The heart of the city contains a plethora of museums in beautiful buildings that hold incredible treasures. It’s hard to know where to begin and how to see as much as possible while having enough Euros left over for a piece of sacher torte.
If you want to see a number of museums in one day, the easiest way to do so is to head to the Hofburg Imperial Palace or the Museum Quartier. Inside the gates of Vienna’s Museum Quartier you’ll find a number of art museums that are all fabulous – from the modern Leopold Museum to the children’s Zoom Kindermuseum. If you’re looking for something other than paintings, the Hofburg Palace is home to some fascinating museums. They include the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, the Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments, and more. The Spanish Riding School is also inside the gates of the palace, and watching a practice is fun for any horse lover. Right around the corner you’ll find the Albertina, which is perfect for Impressionist admirers.
The museums at the Hofburg and the Museum Quartier are incredible, but are also a bit pricey. To save some Euros, in addition to the usual student and senior discounts, some of Vienna’s museums have free days each month. The Wien (Vienna) Museum (a great place to learn all about the city, from its fashion, games, and more) is free on the first Sunday of every month. Additionally, on Tuesdays from six to nine p.m., the MAK Museum has free admission. MAK is a great place if you’re looking for something different: there are entire rooms filled with interesting chairs and rugs, in addition to collections about contemporary architecture.
For the regular “museumgoer”, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, which holds artwork from thousands of years ago up until the eighteenth century (make sure you admire the ceilings throughout the building), offers a fantastic deal. You can get a yearly pass for eighteen Euros. The pass will give you access to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Neue Burg, and Treasury. Or, for nineteen Euros you can get an annual pass for the Leopold and Kunsthistorisches Museums. A day pass for just the Kunsthistorisches Museum is twelve Euros, so this deal is amazing if you plan on going to more than one of these places.
My favorite of Vienna’s museums is a bit more expensive, but you’re welcome to enjoy the incredible gardens and architecture for free (it is one of my favorite places to bring lunch and read on warm days). The Belvedere is one of the city’s most notarized buildings, which made me feel a little better about spending a few extra Euros and giving up my weekly Viennese sausage. There are two parts of the Belvedere – the Upper and the Lower (each is a separate cost). The Klimt exhibit will be in the Upper Belvedere until January 27th and is a must-see. Klimt’s The Kiss is so beautiful in person, with passion radiating off the canvas, that it made me cry. Though the Belvedere is my favorite, it’s really hard to go wrong with any of Vienna’s fabulous museums.