The Vienna Museum of Science and Technology is a must for all boys and girls and a bit for mummy and daddy, too with heaps of brilliant technical and scientific stuff to explore!
In the aftermath of the Vienna World Exhibition in 1873, a founding committee decided to build a Technisches Museum on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s accession to the throne in 1908. The emperor laid the foundation stone on 20 June 1909, and interestingly, a technical museum was opened in the Habsburgs’ other capital, Prague the same year!
Today, the Museum of Technology is one of the most interesting museums in Vienna, and for all the family. The permanent exhibition includes many areas from industries to luxury goods; from space to everyday life; from communications to music, and much more.
The museum invites us to understand technical processes - how things work. To make it even more fascinating, the collection also shows the development of industrial products starting from the early industrialisation period of the Austrian monarchy up to day.
The main building was opened on 6 May 1918 and it was the first based on reinforced concrete with the inner yards covered with glass domes, making the building worth seeing on its own right. In the 1999 renovation, a glass porch was added to house the cloakrooms, the cash desks and the museum shop.
During the Nazi era, the Technical Museum came into possession of objects and materials that had been stolen from Jews. Following the Art Restitution Act of 1998 restitution is still ongoing and stolen goods are being handed over to their rightful owners.
The most known member of the Habsburg Dynasty, Empress Sisi was fond of travelling by train and in 1873 the Austrian railway companies had a set of coaches made as a gift to the empress. The sleeping car has been preserved and is on display at the Technisches Museum: you can view the interior through the windows! (For the rest of Sisi's history, visit Sisi's summer cottage review at the Schönbrunn Palace and her private quarters in the Hofburg. - and, eventually, the sharpened needle file that the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni killed her with on show at the Viennese Museum of Medicine Josephinum.)
For us as visitors of today, the notion of sustainability is ever so important and the museum is keeping abreast of it not only with a future oriented but also a socially acceptable approach. To this end, the museum tells the story of gender balance in science and technology and does not forget what is pink, either, when promoting the deconstruction of stereotypes. Well worth checking on the spot!
When preparing your visit, check the museum's web. It may not be the best in the world, but you’ll find enough information to get to the museum and e.g. how to get a discount coupon for the garage at a nearby hotel if you come by car!
There are two public disabled parking places in front of the main entrance. When you come in, you will agree with us in that the museum is pretty well equipped for handicapped visitors with large lifts everywhere and automatic entrance doors. You can also find disable loos on each floor.
Follow us in your exploratory journey and go directly to the 3rd floor. If you stroll down from there, you will end directly at the café towards your visit. Also, take the red stairs in the middle to descent to the next floor downwards, there is interesting stuff to see in the middle! As a curiosity, the most known Austrian Empress, Sisi was fond of travelling by train. In 1873 the Austrian railway companies made a set of coaches made as a gift and the sleeping car has been preserved and is on display at the Technisches Museum.
There is a large museum shop sporting a lot of gadgets that would make great birthday gifts to you underage kids, but the stuff on sale may not really be of much interest to adults.
The lovely Joules Bistro offers a nice choice of snacks and lunches in the unique historical ambience of the building, check it and you won't be disappointed. Interestingly, there is a special menu for old people, Senioren Special or Speisekarte für Senioren, which might be interesting to check if you meet the age threshold!
Technisches Museum Wien
Mariahilfer Straße 212, 1140 Vienna