Vienna is the smallest and most populated city of all the nine state's in Austria. This town was an imperial city from 1558 to 1918 and served as a seat of the Holy Roman Empire until 1806. Now, Vienna is the capital of Austria. The city's extensive history can be seen everywhere, from the old architectural buildings, the food sold in the markets and the music played in the streets.
If you want to learn about the city's extensive past you will have to explore all of Vienna's museums. There are lots of places to see local contemporary art or study the town's history, from the middle ages to the world war. Before you go exploring the museum quarter and numerous art galleries around town, drop your things off at one of our partners for luggage storage in Vienna.
House of Music (Haus der Musik)
Near the train stop Wien Mitte, you'll find a fun and entertaining spot to check out. This Vienna museum will teach you all about Austria's musical history and the talented composers and institutions that have evolved the industry into what it is today. Some futuristic displays will give you a new insight into what sound is and how it works, and the museum has activities that are great for people of all ages.
You will be taught about the history of music, institutions and artists, followed by exhibits that break down the theory and all concepts of sound. Some of the top attractions include a staircase that doubles as a piano, and a virtual opportunity to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra yourself. Concerts are sometimes put on here, and the museum can be found on a street called Seilerstatte.
Wien Museum (Wein Museum Karlsplatz)
Wien Museum is one of the buildings found in the Museum Quarter. It first opened in the 19th century as a small exhibition in the Vienna City Hall and remained for 70 years, until its current building was completed in 1959. The exhibits here can now be seen at 22 different locations around Vienna and some of the popular attractions are centered around great composers like the Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn apartments.
The Vienna clock museum and some of the other locations that are part of the Wien Museum offer free entry for everyone on the first Sunday of each month, and teenagers and children can enter at no cost every day.
The Museum of Illusions (Museum der Illusionen)
The Museum of Illusions is one of the most entertaining Vienna museums. The building and its installations will play with your mind and your senses with displays with altered perspective, strategically placed mirrors or other mind tricks.
This activity can be found in the center of Vienna's Old Town and is a great place for kids to visit, or anyone who is a child at heart. Aside from experiencing the illusions you can participate in puzzles and other interactive activities.
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien)
The Kunsthistorisches Museum is home to some amazing Austrian art. The building holds some of the most important art collections by Peter Paul Rubens, Albrecht Durer, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez and more famous artists. The museum is rarely too busy which allows you to really take your time appreciating the artwork.
If you want to enhance your experience you can participate in some of the events hosted here, like cocktail and DJ nights or you can try to complete the mystery hunt that takes you through the Oriental and Egyptian collection. This museum is located in Maria-Theresien-Platz and is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, except Thursdays when you can visit until 9 pm.
Vienna Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum)
Found right across the plaza is the Vienna Natural History Museum. The building's exterior is made with different sculptures of people and mythological creatures and is an impressive sight to see itself. Inside the establishment, you will find a collection of about 30 million artifacts including the most extensive meteorite collection and exhibits featuring dinosaur skeletons.
One of the museum's famous artifacts is the Venus of Willendorf which was estimated to be from 30,000 BC. The museum and connected planetarium can be visited from 9 am to 6:30 pm on Thursday through Monday, is closed Tuesdays, and is open late until 9 pm on Wednesdays.
Sigmund Freud Museum (Museum - Sigmund Freud)
This is one of the museums in Vienna that is not dedicated to art but instead focuses on the work of Sigmund Freud. You can learn all about the life and labor of the famous father of psychoanalysis. As part of the museum, you can visit his old apartment and surgery along with original notes, documents, objects and photographs.
The apartment is where he worked with patients and is an amazing hidden gem in Vienna. As a bonus exhibit, you can learn about the history of his house and see a small exhibition of contemporary art. The museum is found on Berggasse and you will need to pay a fee to enter.
The Hofberg (Sisi Museum Hofburg Wien)
This building was the original location for the Habsburg court which was the living and working space for the Imperial family. The whole area is rich with historic buildings, parks and public gathering spaces. You can attend a palace and museum self-guided tour that will take you to three iconic areas; the Sisi museum specializing in the life of Empress Elisabeth, the Imperial Apartments where she and Emperor Franz Joseph lived, and the Imperial Silver Collection.
At the same place, you can visit the Spanish Riding School with its beautiful horses and history dating back from the 16th century, or see the crown jewels and other relics at the Imperial Treasury. Other tourist attractions and events go on nearby at Michaelersplatz Square.
The Technical Museum (Museo della Tecnica)
There are a lot of technological innovations to see at this museum and the whole building is full of hands-on exhibits that are both fun and educational. You will be brought through several sections with different themes relating to all kinds of technology like cars, trains, planes, TVs, electricity and more. Children and adults alike will enjoy exploring the museum and participating in the exhibits.
Temporary exhibitions often pop up so you never know what you might find and there will always be more to explore. There is so much to do here that it can be overwhelming, and general tickets to the museum are affordable. Visitors under the age of 19 can enter for free.
Albertina Museum Wien (Albertina Museum Vienna)
This establishment houses several thousand drawings, books, posters, special objects and watercolor paintings. Some of its most popular displays are photographs, architectural drawings and graphic prints as well as works from Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya and Edvard Munch.
Although many of the displays are replicas instead of real artifacts, there are still some amazing things to see and do here. You can see big international exhibitions and the permanent collection most days from 10 am to 6 pm.
ZOOM Children's Museum (ZOOM Kindermuseum)
Another one of the great museums in Vienna is the ZOOM Children's Museum which you can find in the Museum Quarter. It was originally the location of the Imperial Stables but has since transformed into a fun and educational area for children and families to explore.
There are lots of interactive displays here, like an art studio and video animation room for kids to experiment in, an ocean-themed room and a hall of mirrors. You'll have to book your tickets in advance and be sure to arrive on time since the programs run at fixed times.
Belvedere Museum (Österreichische Galerie Belvedere)
Several buildings make up the Belvedere Museum, including two baroque palaces from the 18th century. Found in between are landscapes of gardens with paths that make great places to walk, bike or jog. Inside the museum, you will see some amazing modern art and fine art, like the Messerschmidt heads.
One of the most famous paintings in the world called The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, can be seen here at the beautiful Belvedere Palace. The Upper Belvedere is open from Monday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm, whereas you can visit the Belvedere 21 on Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.
Vienna Succession Association of Visual Artists (Wiener Secession- Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs)
The Vienne Succession of the Association of Visual Artists was founded by some local artists, one of which was Gustav Klimt, who chose to leave the Association of Austrian Artists that they were part of at the time. They constructed their own building in 1898 which is the one you see today with its white dome and golden plated laurel leaves.
Today, guests visiting Vienna can see contemporary art exhibitions and some permanent displays, like Klimt's Beethoven Frieze. There is an interesting mix of modern and traditional artwork that can be seen here every day except Mondays from 10 am to 6 pm. The museum is located on Friedrichstrasse.
Madame Tussauds (Madame Tussauds Vienna)
You can take pictures with some of your favorite national and international celebrities at Madame Tussauds wax museum. This museum has several locations around the world and at the Vienna site, you can find some local stars like Beethoven and Sigmund Freud alongside famous names like Barack Obama, Beyoncé and Madonna.
Some personalities like Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth have detailed displays that allow you to dress up before you take photos. The museum is located nearby the gorgeous Prater Park, which can be a great destination to head to next when you are done exploring Madame Tussauds. Pick up delicious Vienna street food and have a picnic!
Leopold Museum (Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung)
The Leopold Museum is found in the same area as the Belvedere Museum. Its collection is composed of all types of applied arts and media like sculptures, paintings, illustrations and graphic art. Egon Schiele, the prodigy of Gustav Klimt, has several works of art displayed here. Other collections include works by Schledmayer and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
The museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, with the exception of Tuesdays when it is closed. This attraction is best suited to anyone who loves modern and contemporary art or graphic material.
Museum of Art Fakes (Falschermuseum)
The Falschermuseum is unique, as instead of showing real works of art the museum focuses on forgery and fake art. There are some replicated famous works by artists like Henri Matisse, Rembrandt Van Rijn and Marc Chagall. One of the most interesting exhibits is the diaries that were supposedly written by Hitler and published in the 1980s. In reality, Konrad Kujau wrote the books and made $4.8 million by selling them to a magazine.
You can visit the world of counterfeits from 10 am to 4 pm on Tuesday to Saturday and until 5 pm on Sundays. You can find the building at Lowengasse in Vienna.
What are the Best Free Museums in Vienna?
Museum of Bohemian Forest
If you want to explore museums that are completely free, take a look at the Museum of Bohemian Forest. This small museum teaches its guests about the forest located in the mountains between Bohemia, Austria and Bavaria. The museum is built near the Bahnhof Wien Mitte railways station and is free to enter, although they do accept donations.
MUSA Art Library
The MUSA Art Library follows a unique policy where local residents are allowed to borrow works of art for up to twelve months to display in their homes. Even if you don't live in the city this museum is worth visiting and offers the chance for you to see art collections for free, since you don't have to pay to get in.
What are the Best Museums in Downtown Vienna?
The Museums Quartier is by far the best place to find museums in downtown Vienna. With attractions like the Wien Museum, ZOOM Children's Museum, Leopold Museum and more fun attractions and activities, there is so much to do in this one area.
Are there any Cheap Museums in Vienna?
If you want to visit a museum with a group or family, tickets can get expensive. The Kunsthistorisches Museum is one of the more affordable places in Vienna with tickets averaging under $20, making it a great choice for reasonably priced family activities.
Haus der Musik
The Haus der Musik museum costs a bit over $15 per ticket, making it another good choice for those traveling on a budget. You can learn all about music and Austrian songwriters and composers for less than some of the other museums in the city.
Exploring Vienna's Best Museums
Whether you want to learn about art history, military history or Roman antiquities, there are a number of art museums and natural history museums to go to when visiting Vienna. In most of the buildings, you can catch one of the guided tours showing the extensive collection of Austrian art and artifacts.