Fodor's Expert Review Kunsthistorisches Museum

South of the Ringstrasse: the MuseumsQuartier Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

Even if you're planning on a short stay in Vienna, you'll want to come here to visit one of the greatest art collections in the world, standing in the same class as the Louvre, the Prado, and the Vatican. This is no dry-as-dust museum illustrating the history of art, as its name might imply, but rather the collections of Old Master paintings that reveal the royal taste and style of many members of the mighty House of Hapsburg, which ruled over the greater part of the Western world in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The museum is most famous for the largest collection of paintings under one roof by the Netherlandish 16th-century master Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Many art historians say that seeing his sublime Hunters in the Snow is itself worth the trip to Vienna. Brueghel's depictions of peasant scenes, often set in magnificent landscapes, distill the poetry and magic of the 16th century as few other paintings have done. The Flemish wing also includes masterful works by... READ MORE

Even if you're planning on a short stay in Vienna, you'll want to come here to visit one of the greatest art collections in the world, standing in the same class as the Louvre, the Prado, and the Vatican. This is no dry-as-dust museum illustrating the history of art, as its name might imply, but rather the collections of Old Master paintings that reveal the royal taste and style of many members of the mighty House of Hapsburg, which ruled over the greater part of the Western world in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The museum is most famous for the largest collection of paintings under one roof by the Netherlandish 16th-century master Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Many art historians say that seeing his sublime Hunters in the Snow is itself worth the trip to Vienna. Brueghel's depictions of peasant scenes, often set in magnificent landscapes, distill the poetry and magic of the 16th century as few other paintings have done. The Flemish wing also includes masterful works by Rogier van der Weyden, Holbein, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, while the Italian wing features Titian, Giorgione, Raphael, and Caravaggio. The large-scale works concentrated in the main galleries shouldn't distract you from the equal share of masterworks in the more intimate side wings.

There is also the remarkable but less-visited Kunstkammer, displaying priceless objects created for the Hapsburg emperors. These include curiosities made of gold, silver, and crystal (including Cellini's famous salt cellar "La Saliera"), and more exotic materials such as ivory, horn, and gemstones. In addition, there are rooms devoted to Egyptian antiquities, Greek and Roman art, sculpture, and numerous other collections.

One of the best times to visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum is on Thursday evenings, when you can enjoy a sumptuous gourmet dinner with a massive dessert buffet (€59) in the cupola rotunda. Just across from the seating area, take a leisurely stroll through the gallery chambers.

READ LESS
Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Maria-Theresien-Platz
Vienna, Vienna  A-1010, Austria

01-525–240

www.khm.at

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €16, Closed Mon. in Sept.–May

What’s Nearby