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Museumsquartier, Vienna

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Austria's insider take:

What was once the imperial stable is now a local hangout bustling with museums, galleries, restaurants, and clubs at the head of Mariahilferstrasse (Austria's largest shopping street) and behind the Natural History and Art History museums. The Leopold Museum of modern Austrian art, the Kunsthalle contemporary art museum, and Vienna's Museum of Modern Art (Mumok), encircle a courtyard where students, art fans, and music lovers stretch out on lawn-chair sculptures that are rearranged daily in the warmer months. Mumok reopened in the fall of 2011 after a renovation, helping to revitalize the surrounding MuseumsQuartier. Most of the obvious refurbishment is visible on the ground floor, where an expanded gift shop sits below a terrace balcony café. A mural by Cindy Sherman (Sherman in triplicate: as nude Amazonian, auntie in a shawl, and tie-dyed hipster) anchors the café and hints at director Karola Kraus's taste for contemporary art stars, as do exhibits featuring pop and new realist regulars like Warhol, Hockney, and Lichtenstein.—Update by Raphael Kadushin

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The Museumquartier is a must-see. The Leopold was one of our favorites. The breadth of works by Schiele, Klimt, Moser and others is remarkable and gives a much... more