For members


The Vienna museums you can go to for free

Vienna is lucky to have a plethora of museums and, happily, it doesn't always have to cost a fortune to dive into some culture. Many are free to enter on the first Sunday of each month, some are free to children under 19 and others are completely free for everyone all year round. Find out when and where to go without having to fork out a cent.

natural history museum vienna
Vienna's Natural History Museum, one of the many museums you can go to for free in the city if you're under 19. Photo: Joachim Pressl on Unsplash

As tickets for major historical sites and museums in Austria can cost upwards of €10 per person, there are big savings to be made if you go at the right time (or if you happen to be the right age!). 

Free entry on the first Sunday of the month

Vienna has a permanent scheme whereby you can visit certain museums for free on the first Sunday of each month – it’s understandably a hit with both tourists and residents.

It includes over 15 museums that otherwise charge entry, including some of The Local’s favourites.

There’s the Hermes Villa, dubbed the ‘Palace of Dreams’ by Sisi, aka Empress Elisabeth, who received it as a gift from her husband. The romantic 19th century mansion takes its name from the statue of Hermes in its idyllic gardens. The entry fee is usually €7. 

The Beethoven Museum where the German composer wrote some of his most famous music is also on the list. The small apartment-turned-museum (where the composer lived and worked) on the outskirts of the city offers insights into his work and the impact of his growing deafness. The lock of hair, which helped uncover the cause of his death, is also on show. It usually costs €8 per person to visit.

Free entry for those under the age of 19

And if you’re lucky enough to be under 19, there’s an even longer list (more than 20 museums) to choose from where you’ll be guaranteed free entry.

The huge collection of works by major names in the art world and an immense graphic art collection (think Leonardo Da Vinci to Klimt and Schiele), means a visit to the Albertina is always worth it. General admission is €18.90.

READ ALSO: Rarely seen Klimt painting returns to Austria after 60 years

Vienna’s Natural History Museum, founded 270 years ago, is also on the list. There are plenty of interactive displays in the ornate building, helping you learn more about dinosaurs – there’s an animatronic allosaurus – meteorites, prehistoric times and zoology. It’s also home to the 29,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf statue – the faceless 11cm-tall figurine is thought to be one of the oldest surviving works of art. The History of Art Museum on the other side of the square is also on the list. Those over 19 pay €16 to get in.

Free entry for all, all year round

There are over 25 museums, galleries and monuments in Vienna, including the interactive fun of the Circus and Clown Museum and experimental art studio Das Weisse Haus, where everyone can go in for free all year round. 

What else should I know?

You can find a full list of the sites included and links to further information for each on the City of Vienna’s website here (in German only).

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Vienna museum tilts paintings to illustrate climate change threat

Gustav Klimt's well-known Attersee lake painting, among other works of art, tilted by Vienna's Leopold Museum to draw attention to how unchecked climate change could affect landscapes.

Vienna museum tilts paintings to illustrate climate change threat

Gustav Klimt’s well-known Attersee lake painting tilted by two degrees, Egon Schiele’s painting of a tree in late autumn rotated by five degrees. As part of the initiative “A Few Degrees More”, Vienna’s Leopold Museum has tilted 15 paintings by the number of degrees unchecked climate change could affect the landscapes depicted.

The initiative, launched on Wednesday, comes after climate activists poured black liquid over a glass screen protecting a Klimt piece at the museum. “We want to contribute to raise awareness of the dramatic consequences of the climate crisis,” museum director Hans-Peter Wipplinger said.

Developed together with the research network Climate Change Center Austria, the action runs until late June.

Wipplinger dismissed the November “attack” — one of a string of similar protests by activists in London, Rome and other cities to highlight the climate emergency — as “absolutely the wrong way” to raise awareness.

READ ALSO: Is Austria doing enough to protect children from the climate crisis?

Following the protest, the museum put more works behind glass screens, increased watches and introduced stricter controls at the entrance, he said. “But in the end, we can’t exclude this” from happening again, Wipplinger said, regretting the increased costs incurred by the measures — and the higher insurance premiums.

Sofie Skoven, an 18-year-old student from Denmark visiting Vienna with her class, said the sight of the tilted paintings “of beautiful places” made her sad.

“It makes you want to do something about it — it reminds you of what’s going to be lost,” she told AFP.

Another visitor, Joachim Burdack, was less impressed. “I think it trivialises climate change,” the 71-year-old German retiree told AFP. 

READ ALSO: What are the biggest threats facing Austria this year?

It was too easy to get used to the tilted works, he added.

The Leopold Museum, with its 6,000 artworks, houses one of the world’s most important collections of Austrian art, focusing on the second half of the nineteenth century and subsequent Modernism.