Vienna is home to numerous world-class museums offering a unique experience and perspective on art, history, and culture. In this article I am presenting you the best museums to visit in Vienna. As I showed you in previous articles, I have a special place in my heart for Vienna and for some of its best attractions.
This article goes beyond those few museums I presented already and aims to help you select the best museums in Vienna based on your preferences.
I am including in this article Vienna’s best museums from various domains so that you can find what to include on your Vienna itinerary for each new visit to the city.
My guide to the best museums in Vienna for art, history, culture, and more
Pro tip: Make sure to check the official site of each museum to find out if there are days with free admission or if, at some point, they are closed for renovation.
Pro tip: try to plan your itinerary in advance depending on how much time you want to spend at each museum. Also, try to choose museums that are close to each other to spend less time between them.
Pro tip: read carefully the rules, at each museum. Some of them do now allow you to take photos, for instance (Liechtenstein Museum is just one example).
Another important note: you will see that some of the museums on this list are also palaces (some of them with more activities and attractions than just the museum.) I included them because of their museums and as they are famous attractions in Vienna too, as you will see. Some of them are already presented on this site, so you will see links to more detailed articles.
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Art History Museum in Vienna)
This museum is home to an extensive collection of art and artifacts from the Habsburg dynasty, including works by famous artists such as Caravaggio, Titian, Rubens, and Vermeer. This is one of my favourite places to visit in Vienna, and if you are an art lover, prepare to spend here at least half a day!
There is also a collection of coins and perhaps other temporary exhibitions. When I visited there was a huge gold coin exhibited.
Schönbrunn Palace + Children’s Musem + The Orangery Garden + The Privy Garden + The Imperial Carriage Museum + Sisi Museum
Schönbrunn Palace is a popular tourist destination in Vienna and it was the first palace I visited. There are so many things to see and do here that you will love!
The palace has many rooms open for the public – we booked a guided tour and didn’t regret it as we learned a lot!
There is a maze, the famous Privy Garden (amazing during the late spring, summer, and early autumn!) plus special museums here – Children’s Musem, The Imperial Carriage Museum, and The Orangery Garden. You can also take a more comprehensive pass that will include Sisi Museum as well! The Sisi Museum is dedicated to Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi, and it displays her personal belongings, portraits, clothing, and jewelry.
If I were to provide all the amazing things to see here, this will become a vast article, as I am telling you, this palace is a treasure in Vienna! Don’t miss it!
Vienna Technical Museum
Believe it or not, we spend MANY hours here – almost a day! Vienna Technical Museum showcases the history of technology, with exhibits on transportation, energy, and communication. The best part? There are many interactive pannels – we loved them! The museum also has a planetarium and an interactive children’s area.
The Belvedere Museum consists of two Baroque palaces and houses an impressive collection of Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day, including works by Gustav Klimt (the famous Kiss painting is here!, as well as Judith I) and Egon Schiele. We took an audio guide and learned so much!
The Liechtenstein Museum
The first thing I must tell you about the Liechtenstein Museum is that you cannot take pictures here. You will have what to admire (both the permanent exhibition and the temporary ones are amazing), but you cannot take pictures. But you can buy souvenirs – including some with many of the exhibits included.
The Liechtenstein Museum is an important art museum in Vienna, though I admit I didn’t see it as being as promoted as other art museums. But I am glad we visited it!
The museum showcases the art collections of the House of Liechtenstein, one of the oldest noble families in Europe, and has an extensive collection of Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical art, including works by famous artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Raphael, and Rembrandt. The museum also has a collection of decorative arts, including porcelain, glass, and silverware. The Liechtenstein Museum is a must-visit for art lovers and offers a unique insight into the history and culture of Austria.
Naturhistorisches Museum Wien – Natural History Museum in Vienna
Another museum where you can learn a lot is the Natural History Museum in Vienna. This museum has a vast collection of natural history specimens, including fossils, minerals, and taxidermy animals. Like many other museums with the same topic. the museum also has exhibits on human evolution and the history of the Earth.
Schmetterling Haus – Butterfly House
A special, interesting museum is the Schmetterling Haus – Butterfly House. Why is this a unique and popular museum in Vienna? Because here you can see live butterflies!
The museum is dedicated to butterflies and other exotic insects. It is located in the center of the city and provides a chance to observe hundreds of butterfly species from all over the world in a natural habitat. The museum has a tropical greenhouse, which is home to many different plant species that serve as the natural habitat of the butterflies.
Visiting Schmetterling Haus – Butterfly House will give you the opportunity to learn about the life cycle of butterflies and observe them in their different stages of development.
The Museum of Art Fakes
If you’ve ever read an article or seen a movie about an art forgery, then this museum is an unmissable museum in Vienna.
The Museum of Art Fakes has a collection of fake artworks, including works that were once thought to be genuine.
The Lipizzaner Museum
Vienna (and Austria) is famous for the Lipizzaner horses. This museum is located in the stables of the Spanish Riding School and has exhibits on the history and breeding of the famous Lipizzaner horses.
The Globe Museum
Another unique museum in Vienna, but one definitely worth a visit! The Globe Museum has a collection of globes from around the world, including antique globes from the 16th century.
The Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art
I like to visit folk art museums when I travel (just as much as I like taking my friends who visit Romania to the museum on the same topic we have.)
As the name suggests, the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art showcases the traditional crafts and cultural traditions of Austria, with exhibits on folk costumes, music, and regional handicrafts.
Haus der Musik
Haus der Musik – House of Music – is an interactive museum dedicated to the world of music, with exhibits on the history of Viennese music and famous composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. It is one of the best places for kids in Vienna – but it is fun for adults alike.
The museum also has interactive exhibits where visitors can create their own music.
And speaking of music, Vienna is home to many memorial houses or museums dedicated to famous composers. Let’s discover them next and then more museums.
I remember having fun in high school when learning about the Surprise symphony (no. 94). There is so much to learn from those days!
This museum is located in the former home of the famous composer Joseph Haydn and features exhibits on his life and work. The composer spent here his last 12 years. The house was in a village next Vienna, now part of the city!
The Beethoven Museum and the Pasqualati House
Beethoven spent 35 years in Vienna – and this left a mark on the city. The Beethoven Museum, located at Probusgasse 6 in Heiligenstadt, in the 19th district, is one of the must-visit museums in Vienna for music lovers.
The museum has a small garden – great to spend a few minutes, at least, during the summer -, and many interesting items in the available rooms. You can see many special items here – including a system he used to amplify the sound of the piano. There is even a device that will allow you to see how he heard (and there is also the text of his letter to his brother when he learned that there is no cure for his deafness.)
There is also a house, the Pasqualati House, where Beethoven lived for 8 years, that can be visited.
Mozarthaus Wien – Mozart House Vienna
Mozart – another famous composer with links to Vienna. He also has a museum – the only
This museum is located in the former apartment of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – the only one that survived through time. The museum is a great experience for adults and children (there are free fun audio guides for them). You can see the apartment, but also rooms with important items related to the composer’s life and work that will allow you to learn more about him and the period he lived in.
Johann Strauss Apartment Museum
What can be more rewarding for a waltz/classic music lover than visiting the Johann Strauss Apartment Museum?
This is the place where he composed the famous Blue Danube waltz! Obviously, the museum goes deeper than that into the life of the composer!
Arnold Schönberg Center
This center is dedicated to the life and work of the composer Arnold Schönberg, who was a key figure in the development of modern music. He created the twelve-tone method (and one of his concerts ended up in a riot, being later known as the Slapping concert.)
If you want to learn more about this complex personality – he was not only a composer but also a painter, an inventor, and more – then a visit at this center is a must!
Sigmund Freud Museum
Next on this list of best museums to visit in Vienna is the one dedicated to Sigmund Freud, a name that needs no introduction!
The Sigmund Freud Museum is located in his former apartment and offers a glimpse into the life of the founder of psychoanalysis.
In fact, that is one of the great things that I love about museums dedicated to famous people (not only in Vienna but throughout the world): being able to see where they lived, how they lived, who they were beyond what made them famous, along with information and items that belonged to them and are related to their work.
Viktor Frankl Center
Viktor Frankl was a Viennese psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor who founded logotherapy. The museum displays his life story, his books, and his legacy.
The Albertina Museum and the Albertina Modern
According to the official website, the Albertina Modern “is Austria’s new art museum for world-class modern and contemporary art” with works of art post-1945.
One of the best art museums in Vienna is the Albertina Museum, home to a collection of over one million prints and drawings (the largest in the world), including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Albrecht Dürer.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibits on different aspects of art and culture. Paintings by famous painters can also be seen here. A must in Vienna!
The Imperial Treasury
I like jewelry and I don’t miss a chance to admire the royal jewels in museums (I saw those in Paris, at the Louvre too). The Imperial Treasury displays treasures from over a thousand years of European history, including the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria.
If you want to see more of the Habsburg dynasty’s impressive collection of jewels, crowns, and other regalia, this is one of the best museums in Vienna to go to. You will also see (one of) the largest emerald(s) in the world.
Kunst Haus Wien. Museum Hundertwasser
You may already be familiarised with the exterior of the building – as it is famous and can be seen in many flyers with the best places to see in Vienna. This museum is dedicated to the work of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, known for his colorful and imaginative paintings and architecture.
Here you can see examples of Hundertwasser’s art and architecture (paintings, graphics, tapestries and architectural models), as well as temporary exhibits of other contemporary artists (ground floor.)
MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art
The MAK is a museum that explores the relationship between art, design, architecture, and society and it is considered one of the best of its kind.
The museum showcases a unique collection of applied arts – furniture, glassware, textiles, ceramics, and contemporary art and it is definitely one of the most interesting museums in Vienna for contemporary art lovers.
Ernst Fuchs Museum
The Ernst Fuchs Museum is a museum that showcases the works of Ernst Fuchs, one of the founders of Fantastic Realism. The founders opened a school about Fantastic Realism in 1948 when Fuchs was 18.
The museum is located in a former villa that was designed by Otto Wagner and decorated by Fuchs himself.
Dom Museum Wien
If you are into sacred and historic artefacts in the world, then this is an unmissable museum for you. The Dom Museum Wien displays religious art from different eras and regions. From the Gothic period to contemporary art, this museum has a vast collection. It also offers views of St. Stephen’s Cathedral from its rooftop terrace.
According to the official website, “Kunsthalle Wien is dedicated to art and its relations to social change.” This contemporary art museum focuses on showcasing innovative and experimental works by emerging and established artists from around the world.
The museum often hosts thought-provoking exhibitions so if you want to keep up to date with contemporary art and the use of creativity in the public space, then you should not miss it.
Museum of Military History
My son loves military museums – and we don’t miss a chance to tell him more about the history of a country/continent/world when visiting such museums.
The Museum of Military History in Vienna, as the name suggests, is dedicated to the military history of Austria, with exhibits on everything from ancient warfare to modern conflicts. The museum also features a large collection of weapons, armor, and vehicles.
The Vienna Porcelain Museum
Perhaps not many people have nowadays porcelain items in their homes (except from kitchen items). But there was a time when porcelan was famous – and this museum is dedicated to showcasing the history and art of porcelain-making in Vienna.
The Vienna Porcelain Museum’s collection includes thousands of pieces of porcelain, ranging from everyday tableware to ornate figurines.
The Leopold Museum
Another famous art museum in Vienna, The Leopold Museum is the place to go if you want to admire an impressive collection of Austrian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum’s most famous pieces include works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.
The House of Austrian History
If you want to learn more about Austria’s history, then this is the best museum to visit in Vienna.
It is dedicated to the history of Austria, with exhibits on everything from prehistoric times to modern-day politics. The museum also features a special exhibit on Austria’s role in World War II.
The Museum of Illusions
This is one of the most fun museums in Vienna – and a great place to take many photos! This museum offers a fun and interactive experience for visitors of all ages.
It features exhibits of optical illusions, puzzles, and brain teasers, and you are invited to try to solve various challenges.
The Weltmuseum Wien (former Museum of Ethnology)
This museum offers a fascinating look at different cultures and traditions from around the world. The Weltmuseum Wien (former Museum of Ethnology) in Vienna is the largest anthropological museum in Austria and each room is dedicated to a specific theme.
The name of the museum translates to World Museum, so it is no surprise that you can find here a number of items from across the globe (all continents) and civilisations – from African masks to Asian textiles and Middle Eastern crafts.
The Literature Museum
Austria has numerous writers that became part of the international literature and are studied in schools in many countries (I studied some of them in high school), so it is only natural to have a museum dedicated to Austrian literature. Who hasn’t heard about Kafka’s Process?
Here you will find exhibits dedicated famous writers and poets like Franz Kafka, Arthur Schnitzler, and Stefan Zweig.
The Austrian Theatre Museum
A more niched museum, this is a special location to visit if you like the theatre. It offers a glimpse into the world of theatre in Austria, with exhibits on everything from stage design to costumes and props. There are also various temporary exhibits on different aspects of theatre history and practice.
Wien Museum Karlsplatz
The Wien Museum Karlsplatz is a museum that covers the history and culture of Vienna from its origins to today. It includes collections of paintings, sculptures, photographs, maps, and artifacts related to Vienna’s urban development, social life, and artistic movements. As a note, it is closed from 2019 – but it is said that this is a temporary situation.