The East of the West

Expanded and free – Is the Wien Museum worth a visit?

The museum reopened on 6 December 2023. We checked it out.

The queue at the entrance is not too long. However, it is advisable to book a time slot on the museum’s website, as we did. Then you can enter the building without any hassle or delay.

Apparently, the reopened Wien Museum on Karlsplatz is popular with both tourists and locals.

Admission is absolutely free and you get a lot for your “money”. There are 3000 m2 on three floors, packed with objects, maps, models, artworks, maps, media stations, interactive and digital pieces and much more.

The exhibition is both conservative and progressive. Conservative because it is a stroll through the history of the Austrian capital in strict chronological order, from prehistoric stone axes to modern street signs. The objects are not really meant to engage you emotionally, but rather to teach, to educate and to make you think about the past.

At the same time, the perspective is progressive, open-minded and cosmopolitan, addressing sensitive issues such as immigration, anti-Semitism and gender roles.

Vienna, which has played an important role in Central and Eastern Europe for centuries, has a very complicated history, so you get a picture not only of the city but also of the complexity of the region.

The visit takes at least 2-3 hours, but it is worth going up to the 4th floor. It houses the contemporary exhibition, the coffee and, more importantly, a large terrace that overlooks the Kartsplazt, the spectacular Karlskirche and the city itself, and let you contemplate about what you have just seen in the building.

Museum’s website