It’s getting hotter and hotter, and one heat record chases the other. Especially in cities, it’s important to seek out cool spaces to avoid the heat. If you are also looking for art and culture, museums are a good place to go! Old, thick walls keep the heat out well, and many museums are also air-conditioned. We have put together a few highlights from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland!
City Vacation in Summer? Yes!
City trips are not exactly on the top of the list for many when it comes to the hotly anticipated summer vacation. But not everyone wants to go to the beach or the mountains: Cities promise versatility, art, culture, and culinary delights. Nevertheless, whoever spends summer in the city is guaranteed to be on the lookout for ways to cool off. Many museums control the temperature in order to preserve valuable exhibits in the best possible way. That’s why some museums and other cultural institutions attract a lot of visitors in summer!
In Vienna, a variety of museums invite you to spend the year’s hottest days in great exhibitions. Where should we start? The Kunsthistorische and Naturhistorische Museums (Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History) are classics: two museums facing each other on the Ringstrasse, in whose old walls you can easily spend a whole day. The museums in the MuseumsQuartier, such as the mumok and the Leopold Museum, are also air-conditioned – afterwards, you can relax in the cozy courtyard!
While St. Stephen’s Cathedral is not a museum, but an active church, we wouldn’t want to deprive you of the catacombs in this weather! At cool 16-20 degrees Celsius, you might even need to bring an extra layer.
The famous Kunsthaus Graz not only impresses from the outside with its unique architecture, but also with its exciting exhibitions of modern art inside. We can also recommend the lovely museum café!
The Graz Museum Schlossberg, on the other hand, is housed in a historic building. You can relax comfortably under trees in its “wonder garden”, or visit the cool casemate under the stable or the cannon bastion through its entrance. You can also cool off in the Schlossbergstollen, should you get a little too hot while museum hopping.
In Berlin, we are totally spoiled for choice. How about Museumsinsel, where you have a whole island of museums to choose from? The Museum für Naturkunde is also nice and cool, especially in the taxidermy room, where different taxidermy techniques are on display. That a low temperature is necessary here goes without saying…
No time-honored walls protect the Futurium, on the other hand, which opened in 2019. It was built as a low-energy building and has an impressive photovoltaic system. Here you can learn a lot about issues of the future – including climate change.
Where would you find a chilly hideout if not in the Berlin Underworld Museum? You actually descend into subterranean Berlin here and learn a lot about the city’s less visible stories on a guided tour.
The Alte Pinakothek is anyway an unmissable classic, with the bonus that the high-ceilinged rooms of the old building keep cool for a long time, even in summer. Right across the street is the State Museum of Egyptian Art – in a new underground building! So cooling down is certainly taken care of here.
Fittingly, the German Maritime Museum is currently showing the exhibition “Into the Ice,” where you can see pictures of arctic landscapes, snowy hills, and polar bears – the perfect program for a hot summer day!
In the Landesmuseum Zurich, you can walk through several permanent and special exhibitions and cool down within its old walls. Since July 22nd, an exhibition is running here that focuses on winter: Magnificent Sleighs from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Kunstmuseum Bern is also located in a beautiful historic building. Here you’ll find centuries of art – from the Italian Trecento to contemporary art.
…Or Visit Museums Digitally
If you prefer not to go outside when the temperatures are high, nowadays you can enjoy countless digital offerings from museums and cultural institutions. We’ve already presented the best online offers here and here. You’ll also find exciting audio guides on our platform – how about a virtual visit to the Hotel Sacher?