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Built originally to showcase the Habsburg family’s vast imperial art collection and treasure trove, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (KHM) is one of the world’s most important and grand museums.

Here are six reasons why it should be at the top of anyone’s must-see list:

1. Imposing and impressive architecture:

After 20 years of construction, the building finally opened with grand fanfare in 1891. The design for the façades features a complex art-historical program of sculptures and reliefs.  Once inside, make sure to look up and take in the elegant features of the circular opening in the ceiling into the cupola hall. Ascending the grand staircase, you’ll pass Antonio Canova’s “Theseus Slaying the Centaur”. Neo-baroque decorations line the central axis and create one of the most solemn and splendid interiors of late-nineteenth century Vienna.

2. Inspiring and wondrous elements: 

From the entrance hall take the staircase to your left and enter the »museum within the museum« to experience a world of beauty and wit, curiosities and wonder. The Kunstkammer Vienna is the most important collection of its kind in the world, and offers a unique view into the history of the Habsburg’s art collection, a unique status symbol throughout the ages. One goldsmithing masterpiece is not to be missed: the Saliera – a salt vessel made entirely out of gold and the only surviving, fully authenticated work in gold by Benvenuto Cellini, dating back to 1543.

3. A collection spanning millennia:

From the time of the Pharaohs’ and Greek and Roman Antiquities, to the picture gallery, spanning the great eras of European art, KHM has a wealth of variety. Highlights include 16th-century Venetian paintings from Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto; 17th-century Flemish paintings including works by Peter Paul Rubens, Sir Anthony Van Dyck; Early Dutch painting from Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden; and German Renaissance paintings by Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach. Other highlights include masterworks by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, as well as pieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Raphael, Caravaggio, but now we’re just name-dropping.

4. Break up the day with savory courses:

Many museums offer you something to eat, but the KHM takes it to another level altogether. The cafe, under the opulent domed ceiling, is perhaps one of the most lavish atmospheres in which to sip a cup of coffee. If you are around on a Sunday, plan your visit around a sumptuous brunch from 11 am - 2:30 pm. Thursday evenings are reserved for a gourmet dining experience from 6:30 to 10 pm.  Museum hours are extended exclusively for dining guests until 9 pm. Advanced reservations are a must for both Sunday brunch and Thursday dinner.

5. Because sometimes modern art looks best in a historic context.

Renowned international artists are invited to select an exhibition of works from the KHM collections. The familiar historical display of the museum will be temporarily disrupted, revealing unfamiliar aspects of familiar objects by altering their position and context. These exhibitions serve to illuminate the artist's own work, as well as the thinking and decisions that lie behind it.

6. Great savings

A regular ticket for 14 Euro will grant you access to the KHM at the Ringstrasse, as well as the collections of superb instruments played by famous musicians, and the intricate armor and arms documenting centuries of European history at the Neue Burg, the former imperial winter palace. For a full immersion in Habsburg history, buy the 20 Euro combi-ticket “Treasures of the Habsburgs”, which includes entry to the Imperial Treasury Vienna at a reduced price.

Opening Hours
June to August
Daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thu, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

September to May
Tue – Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thu, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.


Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Maria-Theresien-Platz 1
1010 Vienna

Telephone: +43 1 52524

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Maria-Theresien-Platz 1
1010 Vienna

Telephone: +43 1 52524

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