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Wien Museum - A Fantastic Modern Look into Vienna's History

After a multi-year renovation and extension project, the Wien Museum on Karlsplatz has been restored to its former glory and more. It is truly the museum of the future presenting Vienna and its future in a way that none of us has yet seen - and free of charge!

The Wien Museum is actually a group of museums highlighting the history of the city. In addition to the main building in Karlsplats and the Hermesvilla, the museum also includes a number of specialised museums (Otto Wagner Pavilion and Hofpavillon, Prater Museum and the Fashion Collection Library), musicians' residences (that we have already seen - check our earlier reviews of Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Strauss) and archaeological excavations.

The early Historical Museum of the City of Vienna was founded in 1887 and hosted at the City Hall. After some serious back and forth in planning and design, a new building was realised at Karlsplatz. The first version that opened in 1959 was designed by Oswald Haerdtl. During the past couple of years, the building has been completely revamped and a new upper floor was added doubling the usable space. The open space between the old and new buildings offers a spectacular view over Karlsplatz and hosts a café that is definitely worth visiting.

The new permanent exhibition, My History, takes you on a journey through the centuries in Vienna. You will see over 1700 objects from prehistoric to contemporary times across the three levels, highlighting how people lived in Vienna, how their lives was shaped by politics and religion, social structures and the environment around them, and all this in a chronological way winding around the great hall where you will see some iconic exhibits, such as the 5.5 m high Stephansdom and the huge Prater whale floating in the air.

All areas can be reached without steps. The main entrance goes via the forecourt where you will find a revolving door and an automatic swinging door that opens by pressing a button.

There are three elevators to go up to the exhibitions and down to the lockers and the loos in the basement. There are accessible loos on every floor, always to the right of the lifts. The basement “Restroom for All” has a nursing bench and a ceiling lift for the handicapped in need of one. Should you be in the vicinity and need access to a loo like this, you do not need an entrance ticket to access the Restroom for All!

There is a cloakroom in the foyer and lockers in the basement.

The museum shop is on the left of the entrance foyer. The comprehensive range of stuff on sale include a wide range of souvenirs related to the museum and Vienna - this is one of the places where you can find gifts even for the dearest nephew or niece and a book for the history mad uncle!

In addition to the terrace café, there is also an accessible restaurant, Trade & Töchter on the ground floor with an entrance from the museum foyer. However, this is a restaurant you might wish to check even without going to the museum - just enter directly from the terrace in front of the museum. You can also bring your own food to consume in the forecourt, in the entrance hall and on the terrace.

Wien Museum Karlplatz

Karlsplatz 8, 1040 Wien


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