The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is one of the finest art Museums in the World.
It is home to the largest 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 itself draws a massive crowd.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before you visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
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.
If you are coming from Westbahnhof, get onto Subway train U3 and get down at the Volkstheater station.
If you are closer to Hauptbahnhof the best way to get there is by riding the streetcar D to Burgring/ Kunsthistorisches Museum stop.
If you have booked a Hop-on Hop-off tour, rest assured your bus has a drop at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Just ask the guide.
A lot of the city’s tourist attractions are around the Ringstrasse, so come prepared for a good dose of Vienna.
Kunsthistorisches Museum hours
Kunsthistorisches Museum opening and closing times change with the tourist season.
September to May (Lean season)
Tuesday: 10 am to 6 pm
Wednesday: 10 am to 6 pm
Thursday: 10 am to 9 pm
Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm
June to August (Peak season)
Since these are the peak months, Kunsthistorisches Museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
On Thursdays, the Museum closes down later than usual – at 9 pm – to cater to more tourists.
The last entry at the Museum is 30 minutes before closing.
Holiday opening hours
New Year’s day (1 Jan): 11 am to 6 pm
Epiphany (6 Jan): 10 am to 6 pm
The week before Easter (except Thursday): 10 am to 6 pm
Thursday before Easter: 10 am to 9 pm
Easter Sunday (21 April): 10 am to 6 pm
Easter Monday (22 April): 10 am to 6 pm
Tuesday after Easter (23 April): 10 am to 6 pm
May Day (May 1): 10 am to 6 pm
Best time to visit Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunsthistorisches Museum gets around 1.5 Million visitors annually, that is about 4000 visitors daily.
With so many landing up, it is always better to be at the Museum early – around 10 am when it opens.
If you love to explore art in silence, we recommend late evenings on Thursdays.
Since the Museum is open till late on Thursdays, you can arrive at 6 pm and in three hours have a peaceful exploration.
Most crowded room
Room No. 12 on the first floor of the Museum, where the most famous of the Bruegels are hanging, is the most crowded room.
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.
How long does Kunsthistorisches Museum take?
The breathtaking permanent and temporary collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum can keep you hooked for the whole day.
However, while planning your trip, you must keep aside around four hours to explore the Museum to your satisfaction.
Some tourists focus only on the first floor, which displays some of the best paintings in the world.
If you decide to focus on the first floor alone, you will need around two and a half hours.
Note: We recommend at least one visit to the Museum’s cafe in between your tour. Helps you get back your energies and also beat art fatigue.
Kunsthistorisches Museum tickets
This Museum ticket gives you access to both the permanent Habsburg family collections as well as the temporary exhibitions.
This is a ‘Skip the line’ ticket.
With this ticket, you can walk past the long queues at the ticketing counter, show your online ticket at the entrance and walk into the Museum.
Adult ticket (19 to 64 years):16 Euros
Seniors ticket (Age 65+):12 Euros
Student ticket (Age 19-25):12 Euros
All visitors 18 years and below can walk in for free.
Note: After the purchase, you will get the tickets in your email. On the day of your visit, show your ticket in your email and walk in. No need for printouts!
Kunsthistorisches Museum + Imperial treasury
The Imperial Treasury of Hofburg Palace is just 450 meters (a quarter of a Mile) from Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Tourists can walk this distance in less than five minutes.
Because of this proximity and because of the treasures at the Imperial Treasury (covering over a thousand years of European history), this combo ticket is quite popular among visitors.
Tourists who have time on their hands and those who love history can upgrade their Kunsthistorisches Museum experience.
You don’t have to visit both the Museums on the same day.
Be aware that the Kunsthistorisches Museum doesn’t allow visitors 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
Kunsthistorisches Museum with Vienna Pass
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)
In fact, if you buy this pass, you can visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum for free.
Some of the other attractions which 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.
To give you an idea, here is the cost of a 3-days Vienna Pass –
For adults (19+ years): 119 Euros
For kids (6 to 18 years): 59.50 Euros
For infants (0-5 years): Free entry
Kunsthistorisches Museum highlights
Every room of the Museum is capable of stirring you up.
However, here are some of the must-sees at Kunsthistorisches Museum.
1. The Bruegel collection
One of the most notable Flemish artist, Pieter Bruegel the Elder is famous for his detailed depiction of peasant life.
The 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.
2. Rest of the Paintings Gallery
In this gallery of Kunsthistorisches Museum, visitors get to 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.
3. Habsburg’s treasure chest
Step into the Kunstkammer (chamber of art), which displays 2,200 items from the Habsburg family’s treasure.
In this chamber, you can see coins, weapons, stone vessels, bronze sculptures, ivory carvings, clocks, tapestries, intricate goldsmiths work and numerous other artefacts of immeasurable value.
The blinding radiance of 10 inches solid gold salt cellar, “Saliera” by Cellini will leave you awestruck.
This gold and enamel cellar is one of the most famous highlights of the Museum.
4. 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 all this, don’t miss out on the Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection and the Greek and Roman antiquities.
Kunsthistorisches Museum map
The 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.
Or bookmark this page and get the Museum’s map to help you navigate.
Kunsthistorisches Museum audio guide
The 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 audio guide helps you experience the Museum at its best.
You can get the Kunsthistorisches Museum audio guide at the entrance by paying 5 Euros per person. Or 7 Euros for two.
Nine hundred of the pieces of art on display at the Museum are detailed in German, English, French and Italian.
Right now Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Korean support is available only for 120 of the Museum’s highlights.