The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is one of the finest art Museums in the world.
It is home to the most extensive collection of paintings by 16th-century Dutch master Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
The Museum is beautiful both from inside and outside – the building’s impeccable architecture also draws a massive crowd.
Table of contents
- How to reach Kunsthistorisches Museum
- Kunsthistorisches Museum hours
- Best time to visit Kunsthistorisches Museum
- How long does Kunsthistorisches Museum take?
- Kunsthistorisches Museum tickets
- Kunsthistorisches Museum + Imperial treasury
- Visiting Kunsthistorisches Museum for free
- What to see at Kunsthistorisches Museum
- Kunsthistorisches Museum map
- Audio guide
How to reach Kunsthistorisches Museum
The stately Museum stands on the Ringstrasse, the Vienna Ring Road. Get Directions
Public transport is the best way to get to the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
You can get onto Line U2 or Line U3 of Vienna U-Bahn and get down at Volkstheater station.
From Volkstheater subway station, Kunsthistorisches Museum is less than ten minutes by walk.
You can also choose to ride the Tram D to Burgring/ Kunsthistorisches Museum stop.
In Vienna, trams are also known as Streetcars.
Many of the city’s tourist attractions such as Schonbrunn Palace, Belvedere Museum, Vienna Zoo, The Hofburg, Albertina Museum, Natural History Museum, etc., are around the Ringstrasse, so come prepared for a long day.
Kunsthistorisches Museum hours
Kunsthistorisches Museum opens at 10 am every day of the week except on Monday when it remains closed.
The art museum closes at 6 pm daily, except on Thursday when it remains open till 9 pm to cater to the late evening crowd.
The last entry is always 30 minutes before closing.
Best time to visit Kunsthistorisches Museum
The best time to visit Kunsthistorisches Museum is as soon as it opens at 10 am.
The crowd is yet to come in, which means you can waltz in and explore the artworks in peace.
If you can’t make it in the morning, we recommend Thursday evenings.
You can reach the Museum by 6 pm and stay on till 9 pm, making it seem like all that artwork in the Museum is your private collection.
Most crowded room
Room No. 12 on the first floor of the Museum, where the most famous Bruegels are hanging, is the most crowded.
That’s why it is best to check out this room as soon as you reach the Museum.
If the place is full of tourists, you can always come back later.
Tip: Kunsthistorisches Museum gets around 1.5 Million visitors annually, which is about 4000 visitors daily. Buying tickets in advance helps you save waiting time.
How long does Kunsthistorisches Museum take?
If you are an art lover, you need at least four hours to explore the breathtaking permanent and temporary collections at Kunsthistorisches Museum to satisfaction.
Some tourists focus only on the first floor, which displays some of the best paintings in the world, and finish their tour in only two hours.
We recommend at least one visit to the Museum’s cafe in between your tour. It helps you get back your energies and also beat art fatigue.
Kunsthistorisches Museum tickets
This Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien ticket gives you access to both the permanent Habsburg family collections as well as the temporary exhibitions.
With this skip-the-line Kunsthistorisches Vienna ticket, you can walk past the long queues at the ticketing counter, show your online ticket (on your mobile) at the entrance and walk in.
You don’t need to take printouts.
Visitors 18 years and below don’t need to buy entry tickets.
Adult ticket (19 to 64 years): 16 Euros
Seniors ticket (65+ years): 12 Euros
Student ticket (19 to 25 years, with ID): 12 Euros
Tourists who visit Kunsthistorisches Museum also try out Albertina Museum. Buy their tickets together to get a 5% discount!
Kunsthistorisches Museum + Imperial treasury
This ticket gets you access to two of Vienna’s premier sights –
Kunsthistorisches Museum and Imperial Treasury.
The Imperial Treasury of Hofburg Palace is just 450 meters (a quarter of a mile) from Kunsthistorisches Museum. See on Google Map
Visitors can walk this distance in less than five minutes.
Because of this proximity and the treasures at the Imperial Treasury (covering over a thousand years of European history), this combo ticket is quite popular among visitors.
You don’t have to visit both the Museums on the same day.
Kunsthistorisches Museum is closed on Monday and the Imperial Treasury on Tuesday.
Visitors 18 years and below get a free entry on showing their valid ID.
Adult ticket (19+ years): 22 Euros
Visiting Kunsthistorisches Museum for free
If you are holidaying in Vienna for more than three days, we highly recommend Vienna Pass.
There are two distinct advantages –
1. You get to save up to 45% of your entry tickets cost
2. In most of the places, you can skip the line and walk in (thus saving a lot of your time)
If you buy this pass, you can visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum for free.
The attractions that this discount card can help you access for free are Schönbrunn Palace, Schönbrunn Zoo, the Giant Ferris Wheel, the Spanish Riding School, the Albertina Museum, etc.
The Vienna Pass is available in 1-day, 2-days, 3-days, and 6-days options, and the price varies accordingly.
What to see at Kunsthistorisches Museum
Every room of the Museum is capable of stirring you up.
However, here are some of the Kunsthistorisches Museum highlights.
1. Paintings Gallery
In this gallery of Kunsthistorisches Museum, visitors enjoy the work of famous painters from the 17th century.
Some of the popular painters on display here are Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Van Eyck, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Dürer, Velázquez, Raphael, Caravaggio etc.
However, the most important of all the paintings in the Kunsthistorisches Museum are those of Bruegel.
The Bruegel collection
One of the most notable Flemish artists, Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, is famous for his detailed depiction of peasant life.
The art museum houses the most extensive collection of his works, including masterpieces like ‘The Tower of Babel.’
You are sure to spend most of your time at this Museum staring at the paintings of this 16th-century painter.
Kunstkammer is also known as the arts and natural wonders section.
Some even call it the Habsburg’s treasure chest because the exhibits here are rare, curious, and unusual objects – 2,200 items in all.
In this chamber, you can see coins, weapons, stone vessels, bronze sculptures, ivory carvings, clocks, tapestries, intricate goldsmiths work, and numerous other artifacts of immeasurable value.
3. Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection
At Kunsthistorisches Museum’s Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection, you get to see some of the world’s most important collections of Egyptian antiquities.
This section hosts 17 000+ exhibits from over almost four thousand years.
Don’t miss out on the richly decorated Offering Chapel of Ka-ni-nisut from the Old Kingdom, intricately designed coffins, animal mummies, divine figures, objects of daily life such as clothing and cosmetic articles, etc.
4. Greek and Roman Antiquities
This section of the Kunsthistorisches Museum has around 2500 Roman and Greek exhibits, some of which are as old as three thousand years.
Habsburgs of the Vienna Court collected the first of these antiques, and in recent times the Museum has been acquiring them.
The highlights of this section include The Gemma Augustea, golden treasure of Nagyszentmiklós, Brygos Cup, Votive Statue of a Man from Cyprus, Amazonian Sarcophagus, etc.
5. The Coin Collection
Kunsthistorisches Museum’s Coin Collection is one of the five most extensive globally and is displayed over three large halls.
In this section, besides the coins, you will also find paper money, medallions, orders, etc.
The first hall takes you through the history and development of the medal from how it originated in Italy in 1400 to date.
This hall also has Austrian and European orders and medals of honor.
The second hall narrates the history of money.
You get to see the journey starting from the pre-monetary forms of payment to the invention of the coin in the 7th century BC.
In the third hall, visitors see special exhibitions based on unique themes.
6. The Cupola Hall
Cupola Hall is the heart of Kunsthistorisches Museum and is the architectural highlight of the building.
This hall is home to a restaurant, where tourists can catch up with the locals.
When in Cupola Hall, don’t forget to look up at the beautiful domed ceiling.
Besides these, you must not miss the Imperial Armoury, the Ephesos Museum, and the collection of ancient Musical Instruments.
Kunsthistorisches Museum map
Kunsthistorisches Museum can be a maze to a first time visitor.
Being aware of the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s floor plan can be a tremendous asset during your visit.
At the entrance, pick up the ‘Welcome leaflet’ which has a floor map marked with museum highlights.
Besides the exhibits, a map also helps you identify visitor services such as restaurants, restrooms, gift shop, etc.
Kunsthistorisches Museum has a fantastic art collection, and it will be criminal to go around staring at the artwork not know the stories behind them.
The museum’s audio guide helps you experience the Museum at its best.
You can get the Kunsthistorisches Museum audio guide at the entrance by paying 6 Euros per person. Or 8 Euros for two.
Nine hundred of the art pieces on display at the museum are detailed in German, English, French and Italian.
Support for Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Korean is available only for 120 museum highlights.