Sunday, August 4, 2013

Some Great Museums to Explore in Vienna

Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunsthistorisches Museum

As one of the most celebrated cities in Europe for its cultural and historical significance, the Austrian capital of Vienna is, unsurprisingly, a popular tourist destination. There is a wide variety of museums in the city, and it is not possible to visit all unless you’re in the city for a long while. I’ve made a list of some must-see museums that will hopefully enhance your experience of Vienna in a way that it did mine. 

Kunsthistorisches Museum or the Vienna Museum of Fine Arts is housed in an awe-inspiring palatial building in the heart of the inner district of the city. The museum has an interesting collection of fine art, as well as a substantial antiquities collection from the Egyptian and Greek Empires. This museum is ideal if you want to get a sense of European cultural grandeur, of which Vienna was an integral part. 

The Museum of Fine Arts was built around the same time as The Museum of Natural History or Naturhistorisches Museum Wien. Both were commissioned by Austrian-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph the first in the late 1800’s. The Naturhistorisches Museum Wien is one of the oldest and most significant natural history museums in the world, and, like the Kunsthistorisches Museum, is contained in a breathtakingly grand building.

Kunsthistorisches Museum
inside Kunsthistorisches Museum

Vienna is home to Europe’s second largest cemetery, and the sheer enormity of this fact compels you to visit it. The Central Cemetery or Zentralfriedhof is the final resting place of many important people such as famous Austrian musicians - including Brahms, Schubert and Beethoven. If you are into history and get inspired by stories of famous people, you may enjoy a visit to the Zentralfriedhof. 

If you are interested in European architecture, some places in Vienna should most definitely be on your ‘to-see’ list. These include The Imperial Palace or Hofberg, the Church of St. Leopold or Kirsch am Steinhof, The Belvedere Palace and The Museum of Military History, which also has a very interesting collection, sure to intrigue anyone interested in the military legacy of Austria.