Christmas in Vienna. 8 must-visit museums for the holidays

Vienna is undeliably THE place to be during the Christmas holidays. The combination of the breathtaking festive decorations, the grandeur of the buildings in the city center and the smells of coffee, hot chocolate and baked sweets makes it the Christmas capital of Europe. For the lucky ones who will spend the holidays in the Austrian capital we gathered the most exciting exhibitions you can see right now in eight major museums. Of course there are many many more to see, besides the ones we recommend, depending on your interests so browse through our Vienna city-page and make your own schedule. Have fun and the merriest of holidays!
 
MAK Wien
Stubenring 5, 1010 Wien

MAK (Museum für angewandte Kunst/Museum of Applied Arts) is a museum dedicated to decorative arts or as the museum states, aims «for the fruitful combination of the past with the future». It is located right in the heart of the city at Stubenring 5 and there are always at least 3-4 exhibitions on view at any time. Additionally you can always visit the permanent collection (on design & crafts, on Asian art or the carpets’ collection)
CURRENT EXHIBITIONS:
Josef Frank, Against Design until April 3
100 Best Posters 14, Germany Austria Switzerland until March 28
Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show until March 28
The private Josef Hoffmann: Apartment Tours until June 5
Marko Lulić & Sam Durant: Spomenici revolucije until March 5
 
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100 BEST POSTERS 14: Germany Austria Switzerland exhibition: Exhibition view, MAK Works on Paper Room © MAK/Aslan Kudrnofsky
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JOSEF FRANK: Against Design exhibition: Josef Frank, sofa, fabric covering Brazil, 1930s © Svenskt Tenn, Stockholm, Sweden
 
Belvedere Museum
Lower Belvedere - Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna
Upper Belvedere - Prinz Eugen-Straße 27
Winter Palace - Himmelpfortgasse 8
 
The Belvedere Complex consists of the two Belvedere Palaces (Upper & Lower), the Orangery, the Medieval treasury and the Winter Palace, located in the heart of Vienna. 21er Haus,  also a part of the complex, is featured in a separate entry. Today the Belvedere houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, complemented by the work of international artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Max Beckmann.
 
 
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The Women of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka exhibition: Egon Schiele, The Embrace (Lovers II), 1917 © Belvedere, Vienna. Oil on canvas 100 x 170 cm
 
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Olafur Eliasson: Baroque Baroque installation: Olafur Eliasson, Yellow corridor, 1997. The Juan & Patricia Vergez Collection, Buenos Aires, Photo: Anders Sune Berg © 1997 Olafur Eliasson. Installation view: BAROQUE BAROQUE, Winter Palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy, Vienna, 2015
 
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Gerhart Frankl: Restless exhibition: Gerhart Frankl, Vienna Revisited II, 1947/48 © Belvedere, Vienna. Oil and tempera on canvas 126.5 x 180 cm
 
Belvedere 21er Haus
Arsenalstraße 1
 
The 21er Haus is housed in the pavilion designed by Karl Schwanzer for the 1958 Brussels World Expo. Renovated and adapted by architect Adolf Krischanitz, it was opened in November 2011 as the Belvedere’s exhibition space for Austrian art in an international context, dating from 1945 to the present day.8 different exhibitions are currently on at the 21er Haus.
 
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Flirting with Strangers exhibition: Oskar Kokoschka, Tigerlöwe, 1926 © Belvedere, Vienna/© Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/Bildrecht, Vienna, 2015
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Fritz Wotruba exhibition: Exhibition view, Fritz Wotruba. Photo: Sophie Thun, © Fritz Wotruba Privatstiftung, Belvedere, Vienna
 
Leopold Museum
MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1

The Museum is a unique and active museum right in the heart of Vienna and the Museums Quartier. The Leopold Collection is one of the most important collections of modern Austrian art in the world. The more than 5,000 exhibits were collected by Rudolf and his wife Elisabeth Leopold over a period of five decades.
 
CURRENT EXHIBITIONS:
A rush of color until January 11
Fleeting Beauty until February 29
Sengl Paints: A retrospective until February 28

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A RUSH OF COLOR exhibition: Emil Nolde, Flower Garden. Woman in White Dress en face, 1908 © Courtesy of Osthaus Museum Hagen & Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen/Nolde Stiftung Seebüll
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SENGL PAINTS. A retrospective: Peter Sengl, Die 2 FridasFridaPuppenhaltung, 1994 © Essl Museum Klosterneuburg/Wien
 
Secession Building
Friedrichstrasse 12
 
Named after the group of rebel artists that formed the Austrian branch of Art Nouveau, the Secession building is a historical landmark as well as an important exhibition hall of contemporary art. The world famous Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt is the main attraction of the venue and it is exhibited in a specially built hall.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS:
Two exhibitions by Vija Celmins and Julia Haller: Smile from the Streets You Hold are currently on view, both ending on January 31.
 
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Vija Celmins exhibition: Iinstallation view, Secession 2015, Foto: Stephan Wyckoff
 
Albertina Museum
Albertinaplatz 1
 
The Albertina Museum, which houses one of the most important and extensive graphic art collections in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, was significantly enriched in spring 2007, when one of the greatest European private collections of classical modern art came to the Albertina as a permanent loan from the Rita und Herbert Batliner Foundation. Additionally, the photographic and architectural collections are both very important. The Museum has an impressive year-round exhibition program that, currently, features the following shows:
 
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EDVARD MUNCH, LOVE, DEATH, AND LONELINESS exhibition: Edvard Munch, Vampire II, 1895/1902-1914, Woodcut and lithograph. Private collection Courtesy Galleri K, Oslo © Reto Rodolfo Pedrini, Zürich

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EDVARD MUNCH, LOVE, DEATH, AND LONELINESS exhibition: Exhibition view
 
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LYONEL FEININGER AND ALFRED KUBIN, A Friendship of Artists exhibition: Lyonel Feininger, Angler with Blue Fish 2, 1912. Oil on canvas, Geneva, Galerie Artvera's © Bildrecht, Vienna, 2015
 
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010

This impressive building, crowned by an octagonal dome, houses the collections of members of the House of Habsburg, such as Archduke Ferdinand II (1529–1595), Emperor Rudolf II (1552–1612) and Archduke Leopold Wilhelm (1614–1662). Works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens and Caravaggio are exhibited in the Picture Gallery while Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities occupy the Ground Floor.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS:
Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust until January 10
Coinage and Power in Ancient Israel until February 24
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Hans de Jode, View of the Tip of the Seraglio with Topkapı Palace, 1659, canvas, 135 x 221 cm © KHM-Museumsverband
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Joseph Cornell-Wanderlust exhibition: Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Medici Princess), c. 1948. Box construction, 44.8 x 28.3 x 11.1 cm. Private Collection, New York. Photo courtesy Private collection, New York © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Bildrecht, Wien, 2015
 
Mumok
Museumsplatz 1

The museum, part of the Museumsquartier, houses a collection of 10,000 modern and contemporary art works, including major works from Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Gerhard Richter, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. Over 230 art works were given to the museum by the German industrialist and art collector Peter Ludwig and his wife Irene in 1981. Four exhibitions of contemporary art are currently on view at mumok.

To expose, to show, to demonstrate, to inform, to offer until February 14
Ulrike Müller until January 31
Always, Always, Others until May 08
Prosperous Poison until April 24
 
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to expose, to show, to demonstrate, to inform, to offer exhibition: Felix Gonzalez-Torres "Untitled" (Go-Go Dancing Platform), 1991. Holz Glühbirnen, Acrylfarbe und Go-Go-Tänzer in silberner Badehose, Turnschuhen und privatem Abspielgerät/Wood, lightbulbs, acrylic paint and Go-Go dancer in silver lamé bathing suit, sneakers and personal listening device. Dimensionen variabel / Overall dimensions vary with installation. Plattform / platform: 54,6 x 182, 9 x 182,9 cm.Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation
 
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Ulrike Müller exhibition: Ulrike Müller, Rug (gato chico), 2015 (Detail). Wolle, gewebt von Jerónimo Hernández in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico/ Wool, woven by Jerónimo
Hernández in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico, 218,4 x 163,5 cm. Edition 1/3, 1. Courtesy of the artist and Callicoon Fine Arts, NY
 
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