Updated: Apr 2
Nothing to do for a week or so? This is the place to go: one of the best Natural History Museums in the World, the Vienna Naturhistorisches museum amaze you irrespective of if you want to see the moon stones, Sisi's Fifi or anything else telling us how things are in nature.
The Natural History Museum and its sister, the Museum of Fine Arts, on the opposite site of the Maria-Theresien-Plaz were commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph I. and the two museums facing each other have identical facades. On 10 August 1889 Emperor Franz Joseph I himself officially opened the museum, which is definitely one of the best of its kind - a phantasmagoric collection of evidence of life and death throughout millennia on earth and in the universe, an exquisite show from mammoths to man-made scientific innovations and, naturally, Empress Maria Theresia’s dog. The collection just couldn’t be better, although some visitors might, perhaps, enjoy texts on the walls in other languages than German. Give a bit of thought to your timing, too - you may easily come together with a thousand screaming kids.
The café gives the tired visitor a brilliant visual environment to enjoy the imperial splendour - do not forget to admire the walls and the ceiling, but, perhaps, pay less attention to the pretty mondaine Ikea furniture and instead, enjoy a lovely Mélange coffee with a slice of some true Viennese Apfelstrudel or Palatschinken. When we were there (February 2022), it was a busy moment and the service was a somewhat slow with many tables uncleaned after the previous patrons but heck - this is what may happen in many a great café with decent prices and some of the best ambiance in town!
Afterwards, wash your hands in one of the best loos in the centre - style, cleanliness and touch and feel to match the rest of the imperial atmosphere. Then you will be ready for one of the best museum shops in Vienna, a great collection of superb literature, gifts, mementos and the like for the most demanding customer. Pick up your coat from the secure free cloakroom in the basement (full accessibility for wheelchairs everywhere!) and you are ready for the rest of Vienna!