This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby to introduce you to Vienna’s amazing Museum Quarter, just a short stroll from your hotel. This terrific area of Vienna houses several of the most important museums.
You won’t want to miss one of the finest art museums in Europe, the Fine Arts Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) in the Museum quarter. Here you will find a vast array of paintings including Bruegel, Vermeer, Velazquez, Rubens and Rembrandt. Also in the collection you will find an important Egyptian collection and other items from antiquity. This museum houses the personal art collection of the Hapsburgs, built up over the centuries. Indeed, the building itself was constructed for the sole purpose of housing the ever-expanding collection.
In the same building, your guide will also take you into the reopened Kunstkammer (Treasure Chamber). The most important collection of its kind, this part of the museum had been closed for 10 years and reopened in early 2013. The collection consists of the Hapsburg’s treasures assembled during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque. The collection includes over 2,000 pieces of art, including gold, bronze, ivory, ostrich eggs, the horn of the (legendary!) unicorn and Cellini’s golden Saliera (salt cellar), often called the Mona Lisa of sculpture. The salt cellar alone is insured for over $60 million.
After exploring these collections with your guide, the remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. If more palaces are of interest, both Schönbrunn Palace (summer home of the Hapsburgs) and Belvedere Palace (fabulous Klimt collection) are both easily arranged as independent visits.
Note: All touring today is on foot.