Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Review: A Travel Guide for Visiting

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The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is one of the most important museums in the world. It’s the Art History Museum of Vienna and is a top place to visit.

Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. It boasts stunning architecture and many interesting sights to see indoors and out.

While walking around the Austrian capital, you might feel as though you are on the set of a period drama. Magnificent and well-preserved historical buildings adorn this glorious city.

But Vienna has much more going on than these glorious old buildings. It’s brimming with adventure, rich history, culture, and an incredible art scene!

Among the best art museums to explore in Vienna is the Kunsthistorisches Museum. It’s one of the world’s largest fine arts museums, considered Vienna’s answer to The Louvre. It’s bursting with European art history exhibits to please the tastes of most visitors.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum displays precious artworks from antiquity art to the post-modern era. Paintings from Rembrandt, Renoir, Rodin, Monet, and Gustav Klimt call it home.

Within this immersive exploration, we’ll delve into the history of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. We’ll also provide practical advice for visiting its extensive collections for yourself.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna History

Closer Look of Kunsthistorisches Museum

In 1871, Vienna opened a new museum, the K.K. Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie, or “The Imperial Austrian Museum for Art and Industry.”

The space the museum first occupied was too small for the collection’s many works. As a result, a more suitable space was sought to ensure its exhibits’ longevity.

Under Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary’s direction, the new building of the Kunsthistorisches Museum opened its doors in 1891 at Maria-Theresian-Platz.

During World War II, the museum suffered Nazi looting and severe damage. But after the war, efforts went underway to restore its grandeur. Today, it stands as a magnificent testament to Austrian architecture.

One of my favorite features about this museum is its picture-perfect Baroque architecture. This makes for some excellent photography opportunities of its exterior. There are also some fantastic restaurants and cafes around the museum for refueling.

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Visiting the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna

Kunsthistorisches Museum

The Kunsthistorisches Museum, or Art History Museum, houses a fascinating art collection. It has numerous major artworks and is regarded as one of the world’s most important galleries.

Also known as the KHM, the museum sits in a colorful royal edifice on Ringstraße, with an octagonal dome. It’s easy to find in the heart of Vienna’s historic city center.

A visit to the museum is an invitation to admire some precious artworks. These fascinating treasures have been collected, compiled, and loved for centuries.

Many Hasburg monarchs gathered vast artistic treasures for the Imperial Palace. Most notable was Archduke Leopold William in the mid-17th Century.

He gathered 500 Kumstkammer objects, about 1400 paintings, 350 drawings, sculptures, and tapestries. Such efforts led to the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s establishment in the late 19th Century.

The museum housed the astonishing artifacts collected by the Habsburg imperial family. But it was also a great place for them to share such imperial collections with the people.

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How to get to the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Staircase and Interior
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna / Facebook

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is easily accessible from the city center. Opt for a bus, train, light rail, or a quick stroll to visit its fascinating treasures. As a point of reference, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to get to the Museum by foot from Stephansplatz.

It’s also a great jumping-off point for a day out in Vienna. The museum is in the MuseumQuartier, along with other great museums.

You have the Natural History Museum or the Museum of Modern Art, a mere stone’s throw away. Moreover, many of the city’s other major attractions are only a few minutes walk away.

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Kunsthistorisches Museum Collections

Egyptian Exhibit in Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna / Facebook

The Kunsthistorisches Museum boasts a significant and extensive collection of precious artworks. On display are countless paintings and impressive sculptures. There’s also an extensive coin collection and various other decorative arts.

Moreover, the exhibits on show adopt a great sense of diversity from pieces across the globe. You can enjoy the ancient and unique beauty of Egypt and Near Eastern for one minute. You can gaze at the Greek and Roman Antiquities Collection the next minute.

Classical artifacts displayed in a golden-lit gallery at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

But the beauty of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien extends beyond its exhibits. The interior of this museum features marble walls, gold accents, and ornate ceilings. Watch for the stunning glass sphere chandeliers hanging from the ceiling in some spots!

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Kunsthistorisches Museum Artworks

Kunsthistorisches Museum Artworks
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Kunsthistorische Museum Wien houses over 100,000 works of art. Walking around its 39 different exhibition rooms can easily take several hours. The museum is a full-blown buffet of some of the most iconic pieces of art housed in any art history museum worldwide.

The exhibits include historical items like medieval armor, weapons, and ancient tools. The museum houses many ancient Egyptian artifacts and ancient Greek art.

The Ephesos Museum and Collection of Sculptures features some stunning Lebanese art. Moreover, there’s also the Imperial Armoury and the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments.

Regarding famous works of art, the Kunsthistorisches Museum doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find paintings from the Renaissance, including the world’s largest Bruegel collection. Its walls also house works from the Baroque era, including Italy, Germany, and Spain.

There are also well-known artists like Dürer, Titian, and Velázquez paintings. Other notable artworks, like Cellini’s centuries-old Salieri, are housed at the museum.

Sculptures at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Some of the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s exhibitions are also displayed outside the museum. You can also enjoy the nearby Imperial Treasury and Imperial Carriage Museum and the Ambras Castle in the beautiful city of Innsbruck.

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Amenities and Guided Tours

Art History Museum of Vienna
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The museum has more to offer beyond its lineup of world-famous exhibits. Many activities are available at the museum for all ages.

You could opt for guided tours (public and private), art seminars, and workshops. This incredible museum also hosts various events, including weddings and receptions.

You can’t go wrong with a guided tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Gain a deeper understanding of the eminent works of the museum to adore their beauty better. Learn more about the old masters behind the many displays of precious artworks and the stories behind each piece.

For hungry visitors, there’s an on-site café and restaurant where you can have some time to grab a bite and unwind. You can also find many super souvenirs at the museum shop.

Take home jewelry inspired by the museum’s collections or tiny sculpture replicas. If you want to learn more post-visit, the shop also sells updated literature on the exhibits.

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Where to Stay Near the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Hotel Sans Souci Wien building
Hotel Sans Souci Wien / Facebook

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is in the MuseumQuartier area of Vienna. The MuseumQuartier makes for a great base when visiting the city.

For optimal accessibility to some of the most eminent museums in the city, it’s a good shout to stay nearby. For this, you have quite a few great options.

Luxury Option

Opposite the MuseumQuartier is the Hotel Sans Souci Wien. With a large indoor pool and an elegant interior design, it’s a luxurious stay right in the center of the city. It’s also one of the best options, with easy access to the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Mid-Range Option

Within a 15-minute walk to the MuseumQuartier is HeyMi Apartments Mondschein. Enjoy all the comforts of home while you enjoy the view from your balcony. HeyMi Apartments offers the perfect way to refresh after a day exploring Vienna.

Budget Option

A short walk away from the Kunsthistorisches Museum is the Feel at Home – Self Check-In apartment. Feel at Home is a great option for those on a budget and an especially good shout for families. It’s also within great reach of many of the top spots to visit in the city.

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Is the Art History Museum of Vienna Worth Visiting?

Top of the Kunsthistorisches Museum

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is most deserving of its shining reputation. I would agree with the claim that it is one of the most beautiful museums in the world. Its extensive and important collections and distinctive characteristics create a memorable visit.

A visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum will take you through the ages. Learn about the artistic treasures and marvel at true masterpieces. It’s one of the most visually enthralling experiences in Vienna.

Fun for all the family, the museum is a great beginning to your journey through Vienna. Embrace Vienna’s creative side before casting your net wider to other attractions nearby.

Close by is the Natural History Museum and Maria Theresien Square. You could manage quite well by combining all three spots into one grand day.

FAQs

Where is the Kunsthistorisches Museum?

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is in Maria Theresien Platz. It’s in a great central location near Vienna’s top activities and transport links. Its extensive collections of works are actually divided into many different galleries. The museum’s most important galleries are in the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Other galleries include Hofburg Palace, Ambras Palace, and the Austrian Theatre Museum. The Hofburg Palace’s stunning architecture is enough reason for a visit.

The Hofburg was an imperial palace once home to emperors and presidents of the Habsburg monarchy. Now, it houses over 800 years of Austrian history.

How many museums are in Vienna?

The city of Vienna is a global center for history and culture, with over 100 museums waiting for you to explore. The Kunsthistorisches Museum is among the most popular.

But the many other museums in Vienna are also worth a visit. Consider popping by the Museum of Fine Arts for more artistic indulgence.

You might also enjoy the exhibits at The Leopold Museum or The Jewish Historical Museum. If you’re traveling with kids, kid-friendly options include the ZOOM Children’s Museum.

Most of the best museums in Vienna sit near the MuseumsQuartier. So, if history and art are your cup of tea, you should swing by for an unforgettable experience.

What is the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s address and phone number?

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is in Maria Theresien Platz, Vienna, Austria. If you want to contact the Kunsthistorisches Museum via phone, the correct number is (+43 1) 525 24 0.

Where can I buy tickets for the Kunsthistorisches Museum?

You can buy your tickets online in advance for a seamless visit. Another good option is to buy your tickets at the Kunsthistorisches Museum on the day of your visit.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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