Everybody loves Vienna, except the person who wrote this post. That is the truth I must deal with. No matter how picturesque its buildings are, no matter how majestic its history is, Vienna is still not able to lure me. To reduce the impression I have towards this city, I even wrote a novel whose main character is from Vienna – a charming guy who speaks German and behaves like a gentleman. But, that is another story… If you ask me whether or not I will return to Vienna someday, I would think twice, three times, unless you buy me a return ticket + accommodation + transportation.
What makes me feel like that about Vienna? The reason is something that relates to the museums – museums that are actually really nice if only something hadn’t happened.
How good are the museums in Vienna?
To put it simply, I quite like the museums spread around the capital. They have very attractive buildings that you may like immediately if you are a real architecture aficionado. The one and only bad thing that will happen when you are in Vienna among these interesting museums is facing the problem of how to choose which one to visit. As a museumoholic, I want to visit them all. But, undoubtedly, it was impossible as the average time we spend in one museum is around 2 hours. We have only 24 hours per day. Logically, we could visit 12 museums in a day. However, don’t forget that museums usually open from 10 am to 6 pm. Moreover, we still need to eat, take a bath, be lazy, plan our routes, and so forth. So, it was enough to visit two museums in a day, especially if we were planning to visit something like the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, or, in case of Vienna — the Belvedere.
Talking about price, most of the museums in Vienna offer an affordable entrance fee that won’t make you skint – around 15 to 20 euros. By using the Vienna card, you can get a discount of up to 2 or 3 euros if it is available.
And when we talk about the rules of how to behave in their museums: make sure that you scan all the rooms – there should be a sign about where you can or cannot take a picture.
Sisi Museum, Hofburg
According to Bill Gates, patience is a key element of success. Now I know why I am not as successful as him – because I lack patience. As we arrived in Hofburg that day, without doing any more research, I dragged my husband into the first museum we passed by in Hofburg – the Sisi Museum. Who is Sisi?
Sisi is the nickname of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I. She was famed for her beauty and tragic life during the era of the Habsburg Dynasty. A beauty that, undoubtedly, required much effort and a really tragic life that makes her interesting to be misunderstood by people. Sisi was a complex personality. And, through this museum, you can have a glance to what kind of life she had before she was brutally assassinated in Geneva, Switzerland.
The collection is too complete. I can say so as the first level of the building is full of tableware and kitchen utensils used in that era. On the second floor you can find a thorough collection of the Empress’s accessories, clothes, suitcases, and so forth, along with the history behind them.
Note: Make sure that you read the sign when you enter a room. In some places, photography is not allowed (even with a smartphone). I accidentally missed one of them, took a picture, and was stopped by one of the guards who tapped me on the back and said in German that photography is forbidden here.
Location: 5 out of 5
Price: 4 out of 5
Attractiveness: 4 out of 5
Audio guide is available
Good for adults, but a bit much for kids
Or Museum of Art History – Museum of Fine Arts. From its name, we can guess what kind of collection this museum has. The history of the museum itself dates back to the year 1891, when Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary first inaugurated this museum as the Natural History Museum.
The interior of the museum is undoubtedly beautiful. Who would doubt Austria and the Habsburg Dynasty in this case? Tremendous pillars made of marble along with uncountable of statues in different poses are just the beginning, a warm greeting as you enter the building.
If you love art but hate dense crowds, then Kunsthistorisches Museum is the one for you. In spite of the quantity of tourists, this museum is still enjoyable thanks to its spacious gallery and corridors.
Every floor and every room has its own theme – for example Rome, Egypt, and so forth. They display not only statues and ceramics, but also some well known masterpieces for art aficionados, such as the Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel, the Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress by Velazques, and, of course, my favorite one: The Hunters in the Snow, also by Pieter Brueghel.