Discover Vienna Art Scene
Tips for Art and Culture Lovers
While wandering through the city centre of Vienna and discovering its vibrant art scene, I couldn’t help but wonder if this city could actually beat Paris from a cultural and art point of view. While I leave the answer up for discussion here, I do consider that the Austrian capital deserves a place very high up on the list of European cities to visit, if you in any way are interested in art and culture. Because really, in Vienna art is everywhere and in all different sorts and shapes.
To start with Vienna has its own ‘museum quarter’, or Museumquartier as they locally say, where you can find some of the best museums in town. It is easy to spend a day and more in between all museums, galleries, the local bars and restaurants or – weather permitting – out on the artsy square.
One of our personal favorites in the Museumquartier is the Leopold Museum, which has the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world and many more masterpieces of Viennese art nouveau. Yet, there is much more to be found.
If there was one thing we did not expect to find in Vienna, it was the amazing street art throughout town. You will come across a lot: for instance works of the Belgian street artist ROA, a little street art alley with among others work of Invader, and the most amazing pieces along the Donau Kanal, some of which really blew us away.
For more information how and where to find street art in Vienna, make sure to check out our separate street art post on Vienna’s street art.
Likely one of the most famous artists linked to Vienna is Friedenreichs Hundertwasser. We have had a great fascination for this artist and his ideas for a long time and after having visited the exhibition at the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen here in The Netherlands in the recent past, we couldn’t wait to follow Hundertwasser’s steps in Vienna.
Among the highlights is for sure the Kunsthaus aka the Hundertwasser Museum, in which no corner is the same as the other. Also the Hundertwasser village is fun to walk through and good for some Hundertwasser souvenirs.
These are not the only Hundertwasser buildings in town though. Hundertwasser designed several more buildings spread out in the capital and even throughout Austria. Soon we will share our tips where to find more Hundertwasser buildings in Vienna and elsewhere in Austria.
Vienna basically has so many museums, that whatever art form you like, you’ll find it here. However, if we would need to recommend one museum to go to – apart from the Hundertwasser Museum and the Leopold Museum -, it would be for sure the Albertina museum. Apart from being an amazing piece of architecture from the in- and outside, this building contains a fantastic selection of art of different centuries, among which works of for example Michelangelo and Warhol. Further, you can shortly feel as if you’re centuries back in time in some of its rooms, which are fully styled as they must have looked like back when the museum was founded in the 18th century.
Throughout town you’ll find many different galleries, offering all different types of art, from contemporary art to classical Austrian art works, you name it. Thus, if you’re ready for some more intimate art viewing, there is more than enough to choose from.
Art in public spaces
We could start a whole debate about the function of art in public spaces, but for us it is very simple: art in public spaces gives so much more joy than boring, empty streets. And also in this aspect Vienna is doing a great job. Public art is an important characteristic, that has been high up on the city’s priority list for several centuries now. In Vienna art is obviously appreciated and welcomed not only for those who venture into the museums and galleries, but also for those who just pass by. Apart from the well-maintained historical art nouveau structures there’s plenty of more modern art around as well.
With this much art around in town a weekend Vienna hardly is enough to see everything. So if you have any chance to stay a bit longer, do take your chance. Otherwise just cherry-pick those exhibitions or art venues that match your taste best.