Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum), Vienna

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum), Vienna (must see)

Fuel up with a cup of coffee or tea and head to one of the world-class museums along the Ring. The Kunsthistorisches Museum's galleries house vast collections of fine art and antiquities, based largely on those accumulated over the centuries by generations of Habsburg monarchs. Lavishly decorated interiors, ornate cupolas and sweeping Neo-Classical stairways create a fitting setting for the treasures housed here, with many of the works on display – particularly the Old Masters (Bruegel, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Titian, etc.) – being considered among the most spectacular in the world. Not only that, but the museum is among the most visitor-friendly you're likely to visit, with comfortable sofas available in most exhibition rooms and long closing hours on Thursdays.

The galleries occupy the top three floors (although the uppermost is not nearly as extensive), with an entrance hall, shop and cloakroom below. The ground floor contains ancient objects on one side – starting with the age of the Pharaohs in Egypt, then proceeding through ancient Greece and Rome while touching on other cultures along the way – which are joined by rare Renaissance and Baroque treasures collected by and/or made for the Hapsburg monarchs on the other side. The quality and quantity of the material presented is simply astounding, but items are generally labeled simply in German, so you'll want to spring for the audio guide (available in English) to get a more detailed commentary on highlighted objects. The second gallery floor (or "1" level) houses the Picture Gallery, which is again a huge collection of just plain amazing works by every famous artist from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The top floor (or "2" level) only houses a coin and medal gallery along with what are listed as the "Vermeyen Cartoons" – a series of impressive life-sized tapestries that portray Charles V's Tunis campaign of 1535.

The museum's grand central staircase is adorned with murals by the Klimt brothers and others, which depict the history of art from ancient Egypt to Florence. Gustav Klimt's especially ornate gilded frescoes are probably his best works, although they are illustrative, which in the critical art world loses you points (indeed, they were criticized for being "too erotic"). Diagrams point out which mural was painted by which artist, and sometimes a viewing scope is provided for visitors to see them up close.

Tip:
An adult ticket entitles you to a one-time pass to the museum, as well as, the Neue Burg located at Heldenplatz, which has amazing collections of imperial armoury, historic musical instruments, etc. – well worth a visit.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am–6pm; Thu: 10am–9pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Vienna. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) on Map

Sight Name: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum)
Sight Location: Vienna, Austria (See walking tours in Vienna)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Vienna, Austria

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vienna is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Klimt Paintings Tour

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Gustav Klimt's name is indelibly linked with Vienna and its art. He was a public figure in the city and a founding member of the Vienna Secession who resisted the conventions of the national art establishment to become a wildly influential figure in the Jugendstil (or Art Nouveau) style. While he lived a rather secluded life, his paintings snatched such critical accolades as first prize at...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Johann Strauss Walking Tour

Johann Strauss Walking Tour

Strauss Jr. succeeded his father (Johann Strauss Sr.) as Vienna's "Waltz King", and surpassed him at it. Strauss Jr.'s waltz compositions are widely considered the most famous of the Viennese waltzes, so how can you visit Vienna and not pay homage to the iconic composer? From the family home to the gold-plated statue in the Stadtpark to the theater where the musician introduced...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Old Town Chocolate Stores

Old Town Chocolate Stores

Vienna is famous for its mouth-watering confections. In its specialty shops and boutiques, usually located on the ground floors of historic buildings, you will find the best roasted coffee, high quality chocolates, sweets, wafers, cocoa and, of course, Mozartkugels. Don’t hesitate to visit the wonderful chocolate stores in the Old Town featured in this guide.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Vienna Introduction Walking Tour I

Vienna Introduction Walking Tour I

A city of green parks, opulent architecture and elegant shopping, crowded theatres and boulevards for leisurely sauntering—Vienna is rightfully regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The etymology of its name is subject to a debate in which some say it comes from vedunia ("forest stream"), which subsequently produced the Old High German “uuenia” (“wenia”), the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Vienna Old Town Walking Tour

Vienna Old Town Walking Tour

Encircled by the grand Ringstrasse, the historic Old Town of Vienna, known as Innere Stadt, is a designated World Heritage Site. Today, the “inner city” abounds in upscale shops and cafes lining pedestrianized Kärntner Strasse and Graben, with art galleries and restaurants dotting the surrounding streets. This self guided tour offers you a chance to visit Stephansplatz dominated by Gothic St....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Vienna's Historical Music Venues

Vienna's Historical Music Venues

Austria is synonymous with classical music almost to the point of obsession, and to call Vienna the "Music Capital of the World" would not be an exaggeration. It was the home and workplace of some of the greatest ever musicians such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert and many others. Follow this self guided walk to visit some of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

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