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The Art of Austria - 8 Ways to Get Cultured in Vienna

Calling all culture club members! While Austria might be better known to some of you for its alpine ski slopes, decadent desserts, and a tale of a certain melodic family, its metropolis capital city is where the intersection between history and art collide. Vienna is simply oozing with culture boasting a plethora of museums and galleries to explore. The hardest part is deciding where to visit first!

Calling all culture club members! While Austria might be better known to some of you for its alpine ski slopes, decadent desserts, and a tale of a certain melodic family, its metropolis capital city is where the intersection between history and art collide. Vienna is simply oozing with culture boasting a plethora of museums and galleries to explore. The hardest part is deciding where to visit first!

Oh, Vienna! Get your wishlist ready to be updated because we’ve whittled the list down to eight must-visit locations for when you next visit.

1. ALBERTINA Modern

ALBERTINA modern ©Rupert Steiner

Contemporary art lovers will be delighted to hear about Vienna’s newest kid on the block. The ALBERTINA Modern is a brand new museum for contemporary Austrian and international art.

The perfect location for works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Gottfried Helnwein, this new museum is housed inside the iconic Viennese landmark, the “Künstlerverein” palace on Karlsplatz Square. It’s safe to say the ALBERTINA Modern will be the new meeting place for contemporary art across the globe.

2. Schloss Hof and Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace Vienna

Turn back time and hold court with one of the most prominent royal families in Europe, the House of Habsburg. Located in the heart of Vienna, a visit to the Imperial Palace will give you a glimpse of life as a Habsburg and its prosperous history. Wander through the Imperial apartments and get an intimate look at royal life.

Schloss Hof ©Severin Wurnig

Edging the border of Austria and Slovakia is the baroque country estate of Schloss Hof. The butter-yellow building is surrounded by immaculately kept gardens. Wander through the perfected manicured lawns, make furry friends at the petting zoo and treat yourself to traditional Austrian pastries at the bakery.

3. Leopold Museum

Leopold Museum

Located in Vienna’s cultural hub of Museumsquartier, the Leopold Museum is a treasure trove of Austrian modern art. Boasting the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world, as well as iconic pieces from Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, a visit to the Leopold Museum will leave you with a whole new appreciation for Austria’s influence on the global modern art scene.

4. MAK Vienna

Klimt's magic garden at the MAK
Klimt’s magic garden at the MAK

Obsessed with architecture? Dazzled by design? You’d better add MAK Vienna to your Austrian art bucket list. At the core of MAK is the ever-evolving connection between past and present of design, architecture, and contemporary art.

Its permanent collection comprises priceless works from a variety of stylistic eras. Don’t miss a visit to Klimt’s Magic Garden, a 3D interactive world of Gustav Klimt’s masterpieces.

5. Belvedere Palace

While technically not a palace, the Belevedere is one of the most significant baroque complexes in the world. Consisting of two individually constructed buildings, the Belvedere not only offers an insight into Austria’s fascinating history but is also one of the world’s leading museums with its famous art collection ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. 

6. Liechtenstein Palaces

Liechtenstein Garden Palace Golden Carriage
Liechtenstein Garden Palace Golden Carriage

Home to one of Europe’s oldest noble families, the Liechtenstein Palaces are some of Vienna’s best examples of baroque architecture. Indulge in daydreams of nobility as you stroll through the Garden and City Palace with their opulent staterooms and be swept away by the luxury.

Fun fact: Approximately 150,000 pieces of gold leaf were used to refurbish the City Palace’s gilding!

7. Haus der Musik and Mozarthaus

Haus der Musik (House of Music)
Haus der Musik (House of Music)

Classical music lovers, we haven’t forgotten you! A visit to the Haus der Musik and Mozarthaus is an absolute must. See where Mozart lived and was inspired during the peak of his masterful compositions and then become a composer yourself at the interactive sound museum. 

8. Kunsthistorisches Museum 

If you prefer the finer things in life, you’ll appreciate the vast array of extravagant works displayed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. You can even dine amongst the museum’s rich history each Thursday with a gourmet dinner and after-hours museum visit. Because who doesn’t love a side of Klimt with your knödel!

But where to stay?

Vienna has an incredible selection of accommodation to choose from. Whether its luxury, contemporary or boutique, theres a place for every taste!

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