About Barbara G
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Apr 2012
35-49 year old female
I am a native Viennese, frequent traveller to my hometown and run Vienna blog www.vienna-unwrapped.com. I also run the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations, which connect Vienna travellers with local Viennese 1:1 at traditional coffeehouses.
Art Museums, Speciality Museums
Historic Sites, Art Museums, Architectural Buildings
Art Museums, Speciality Museums
Speciality Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Art Museums
Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
Speciality Museums, Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks
If you love classical art, from Medieval works to Flemish painters to romantic artists, head for Vienna's Museum of Art History (also known as the Museum of Fine Arts). Housed in an enormous palace that belongs to the Imperial Palace's wider compound, the Kunsthistorisches Museum houses the largest Brueghel collection in the world, along with works by other world-famous artists such as Rembrandt, Tintoretto and Velazquez.
The Albertina is almost a boutique museum, exquisite and not overwhelmingly big. I love it because the palace itself is a treasure chest, per se. Formerly owned by the Habsburg Emperors, it has been beautifully restored, and the architect-designed metal roof gives it a real edge. Inside, you will see masterpieces of 19th- and 20th-century art, along with an impressive graphics collection, which includes Albrecht Duerer's "The Hare".
Vienna's second most pompous palace houses not only the Austrian National Gallery, but also the world's largest Gustav Klimt collection. Expect sumptuous baroque interiors, beautiful paintings, and breathtaking sculptures. I particularly like the fact that the Upper and Lower Belvedere are separated by the palace gardens - a stroll along here decelerates even the most rushed tourist.
If you love the spirit of Vienna circa 1900, circle this tip in red. The Leopold Museum, part of Museumsquartier, unites the best of Austrian expressionists, secessionists and other representatives of Viennese Art Nouveau ('Jugendstil'), and Wiener Werkstaette. It also houses the world's largest collection of Egon Schiele, an Austrian painter who has been rapidly gaining international recognition.
If you wondered what Austrian style looks like and how it evolved, visit the Museum of Applied Arts and Contemporary Art. Here you'll find exquisite furniture, textiles, carpets, glass, silverware, ceramics, jewellery, graphical sketches and more - a must for all lovers of applied Art Nouveau.
If you like Gaudi, a visit to Kunsthaus Wien is a must. The blobby colourful building is the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser and an Austrian response to organic art that knows no boundaries. Inside, you can trace the story of this exceptional artist and peace activist through paintings, drawings and architectural models. Best detail: Real trees grow out of some of its windows!
The Imperial Furniture collection is the largest collection of furniture and of Biedermeier objects in the world. Here, you'll get a very good idea of the personal styles of distinctive Emperors and Empresses, such as Francis Joseph, Maria Theresia and Elisabeth (Sissi). The furniture collection also provides insight into popular lifestyles from the early 20th century and post World War II.
A real insider tip, the Museum for Ethnology shows you the other side of the Habsburg Empire. It contains a beautiful collection from the multi-ethnic peoples of the former Habsburg Crownlands - from Hungarians and Bosnians to Ruthenians, Dalmatians and Galicians. The collection includes furniture, farm tools, ceramics, folkloric fashion, and more.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy a trip to the Haus der Musik. Located in the former home of Otto Nicolai, the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, this museum documents the history of Philharmonics and classical Austrian composers, but most fun of all, it allows you to explore their music. My favourite experience is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's musical name game 'NAMADEUS' in an excellent electronic version.