The permanent art exhibition
The Albertina staterooms
It’s hard to describe the Albertina.
Is it an art museum inside an Imperial palace? Or a palace inside an art museum?
Not that it matters. One part is a tour of the Albertina staterooms. The other is the modern galleries displaying permanent and temporary art exhibitions that draw strongly on the Albertina’s own collection.
And what a collection it has: over 1,000,000 items covering everything from Dürer to Degas, Raphael to Renoir, Michelangelo to Magritte, and (much) more. A treasure trove of delights from the graphic arts, photography and architecture.
All of which would take a lot of string and nails to put up, not to mention space.
Which is why most of the collection is inevitably and unfortunately not on show. Besides, many of the older, precious items are too fragile for permanent display. Dürer’s famous hare, for example, last popped out of its carefully-regulated storage in 2016 for just seven hours. It won’t be seen again until late 2019.
So what you see depends on when you go.
There is, however, a “permanent” exhibition, which features works from the Batliner collection of art (which includes, for example, around 40 works by Picasso). Other items from the Albertina’s collections (and guest works) then appear dependent on the current exhibitions. At the time of writing, for example, these were:
- “Chagall to Malevich” (Russian avant-garde art)
- “Provoke” (post-WWII Japanese photography)
- An Anselm Kiefer retrospective
- An exhibition of the works of Erwin Bohatsch
The Albertina website tells you what’s on and (perhaps more importantly) what’s coming.
The good news is that the permanent exhibition alone is a treat, as are the staterooms. So the temporary exhibitions are the icing on a particularly tasteful cake.
The museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm (9pm on Wednesdays). An adult ticket costs €12.90 with children free and various reductions available.
As ever, check the official website for current info on opening times and prices.
- Before you go in, walk along the raised front for views of the state opera house, Burggarten gates, the Neue Burg palace wing and the palm house.
- There’s a paid cloakroom at the entrance. If you go further in and down some stairs on the right, you’ll also find free lockers.
- The Albertina shop is accessible without a ticket. This is where to get your prints, posters and postcards, not to mention those Monet napkins you always wanted.
- When you’re inside, also look out the windows into the palace courtyards. Notice how the facades are very plain – as is usual with buildings of this nature. After all, you invest your money in the ornamentation that most people will actually see, namely your outside walls.
- Pick up an audioguide. This is particularly important when viewing the staterooms.
How to get to the Albertina
The museum is very central, behind the Hofburg palace complex.
Subway: nearest stations are around 4-6 minutes away on foot – Stephansdom (U1 and U3 lines) and Karlsplatz (U1, U2 and U4 lines).
Bus: take the 2A to Albertinaplatz.
Tram: the closest tram stops are on the nearby Ring boulevard, and just a few minutes walk away – Kärntner Ring/Oper (lines 1, 2, 62, 71 and D) and Burgring (lines 1, 2, 71 and D).