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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

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Vienna, Austria within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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
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.
Mozart Walking Tour

Mozart Walking Tour

Back in 1781, Mozart was summoned to Vienna, where his patron – the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg – was attending celebrations. He got into a big argument with the Archbishop until ultimately getting fired. The young man decided to stay in the city as a freelance composer, musician, and music teacher, and so a legendary partnership began: Mozart and Vienna. Follow our self-guided walk for a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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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
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...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Old Town Churches Walking Tour

Old Town Churches Walking Tour

Sacred buildings in Vienna impress visitors with their historic architecture and magnificent interiors. The remarkable Gothic Stephansdom, charming Baroque St Peter’s church, and other sacred buildings of Vienna provide not only a history of the city, but a refreshing look with truly beautiful architecture, as you will see on this self guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Vienna's Art Nouveau Architecture Tour I

Vienna's Art Nouveau Architecture Tour I

To see some of Vienna’s most architecturally intriguing buildings, take this self-guided walking tour that will introduce you to the city's 20th-century landmarks, most of which revolve around the Viennese Secession movement, or the Austrian Art Nouveau. From Otto Wagner's massive Postsparkasse to the towering Urania Observatory, these then unconventional buildings brought an...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Vienna Introduction Walk II

Vienna Introduction Walk II

The former capital of the once mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire and the second largest city in the German-speaking world after Berlin, today's Vienna is still much revered for its great historic and cultural past, as well as present. The abundance of imperial palaces, diverse museums and historic churches attracts millions of international guests to Vienna each year. This introduction walk,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

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