10 Must-See Vienna Museums

I’ve wanted to explore Vienna ever since I saw the movie Before Sunrise where two strangers meet on the train to Vienna and decide to explore the city together. They have only one day, so they make the most of this beautiful city by walking around. But of course they are a little broke, so they mostly choose places where there is no entrance fee. You on the other hand can add to the experience by visiting some of its most important museums. And keep in mind that holders of the Vienna card get discounts.

Sigmund Freud Museum

Vienna museums

Photo from Francisco Antunes via Creative Commons

Vienna wouldn’t have been complete without a museum dedicated to the famous Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud Museum is where Freud started his first practice and it is a tribute to his life, and of course, psycho analysis.

If you are in Vienna at the end of November, you might want to combine a visit to the museum with a visit to the movies, as A Dangerous Method will be coming to the theaters. The movie depicts the relationship between Carl Jung (played by Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (who’s played by Viggo Mortensen). The museum is open every day from 9am to 5 pm and admission costs 7€ (5.50€, if you own a Vienna card).

Vienna’s Museum of Art Fakes

Vienna museums

Photo Credit – Museum of Art Fakes

As much as art forgery might scare artists and genuine art lovers, where would the world of fiction be without it? So it’s only natural to have a museum filled with successful forgeries of the most famous artwork, and detailed information about both the artists and the forgers.

The entrance fee for Vienna’s Museum of Art Fakes is 4€ for adults and the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday (from 10 am to 5 pm).

Vienna Museum Karlsplatz

So far the museums listed contain important works about nature, art and important Austrian people such as Freud. However if you are interested in the history of the city of Vienna, Vienna Museum Karlsplatz is a great choice. Not only is history documented, but you can also find paintings and memorabilia about important Austrian playwright Franz Grill and architect Adolf Loos.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sundays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. It is closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25. Entrance is free for young people under the age of 19, and 6€ for adults (4€, if you have a Vienna card.) You can also enjoy free admission on the first Sunday of each month.

Vienna Museum of Natural History

Vienna museums

Photo from Martin Kalfatovic via Creative Commons

Vienna Museum of Natural History is a vast museum dedicated to animal life, including minerals, fossils and dinosaurs, and it consists of 39 exhibition halls. The museum offers varies events including guided tours, projections and lectures, though most of them are in German.

It is open from Thursday to Monday (from 9 am to 6.30 pm, and on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.). It’s closed on Tuesdays.

I can’t wait to see this museum to find out more about animals, regardless of their existence levels and size.

Technical Museum Vienna

Opened to public in 1918, The Technical Museum offers exhibits on industry, technology and engineering, astronomy, principals, physics, mining, iron, energy, transport, communications and more. You can also view several exciting experiments.

The entrance fee is €8,50 (%20 off with Vienna-Card) and free for the people under 19. The museum is open daily (from 9am to 6pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 10 to 6 on weekends and public holidays).

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum)

Vienna museums

Vienna’s Art History Museum from  Richard Gould via Creative Commons

Opened to public in 1891, The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) has quite an impressive collection including works of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Titian, Bruegel, Velazquez, Dürer, and more. The date of the paintings starts from the 18th century and go back thousands of years.

21er Haus Vienna

Vienna museums

21 we Haus by Alfred Weidinger via Creative Commons

The 21er Haus building was built in 1962 as a part of the Belvedere, to house Austrian artworks from 1945 to present. Now, the building will be opened as a museum on 16 November, 2011. The museums’ first exhibition “Schöne Aussichten” (Beautiful Views) will last until January 8, 2012.

MAK – Austrian Museum for Applied/ Contemporary Art

Founded in 1864, MAK is bound to please those who are interested in design, whether they prefer the Middle Ages, today or anything in between. Some of the collections include works on paper, metals,furniture and woodwork, textiles and carpets.

MAK is open from 10 am to 6 pm Wednesday through Sunday, and from 10:00 am to midnight on Tuesdays. Admission is 7.90€ for adults (6.30€ with a Vienna-Card) and free for people under the age of 19. Saturdays are also free of charge.

The Albertina

Vienna museums

Photo credit The Albertina Museum

The Albertina is the stop to catch extensive exhibitions of masters like Picasso, Monet, Albrecht Dürer,   Peter Paul Rubens, Gustav Klimt, Max Weiler and more. Date of some of the collections go back as far as to the 18th century. Some of these exhibitions are permanently on display, and The Albertina also includes architectural and photographic collections. The Museum is open every day, from 10am to 6pm (except for Wednesdays when it closes at 9).  The entrance fee is 9.50€ for adults, 8€ for seniors and Vienna-Card holders and €7 for students and no charge for the ones under 19.

 The Third Man Museum

Of all the museums I have covered, this one is the on the top off my to-visit list. From movie posters to movie programs, from movie stills to laser discs, this museums is dedicated to the movie The Third Man, a movie from 1949 set in Vienna and starring Orson Welles. The museum provides anything related to the film, including the first editions of the Graham Greene novel upon which the movie is based. The entrance fee is €7,50 (6 with a Vienna Card).  The museum is open from 2 pm to 6 pm on Saturdays, and from 6 pm to 8pm on Tuesdays (if arranged beforehand).

More Vienna Tips

We’ve lots more ideas on things to do in Vienna and for  the best places to stay in Vienna for all budgets.

Click here for the lowest prices on Vienna hotels

More on European Museums

Find out about more museums in Europe on Europe a la Carte.