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News > March 2014 > A guide to Sigmund Freud's Vienna

A guide to Sigmund Freud's Vienna

As one of the most celebrated psychoanalysts in history, Sigmund Freud’s presence in Vienna, where he spent most of his life, is well documented. As the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud remains the most significant figure in the field, with as strong an interest in the neurologist’s life’s work now as there was at the time he was working.

This guide to Vienna suggests a number of things to see and do in relation to Freud’s life and work for those that are visiting the city during contemporary river cruises in Europe.

University of Vienna

Sigmund Freud started to study at the University of Vienna when he was 17. Located in the centre of Vienna, the university is easy to visit for those who would like to see where the great neurologist started out., Sigmund Freud changed his intention from studying law to medicine upon his enrolment at the institution, and went on to graduate from the university in 1881 with an master’s degree It was the completion of this degree that sparked his interest in medicine, which eventually led to his work on brain activity and what we now understand to be psychoanalysis.

Vienna General Hospital

The Vienna General Hospital is somewhere you might hope not to visit during a stay in Vienna but you may want to make seeing it from the outside part of your tour.

Sigmund Freud began a career in medicine at this hospital in 1882, before giving it up in 1886 to enter into private practice. Before this time Freud researched cerebral anatomy and worked in other departments, including work in a psychiatric clinic and local asylum, which could have further influenced his interest in psychoanalysis and neurology.

At the side of the river where popular Danube river cruises regularly pass by, and just around the corner of the University of Vienna, the hospital is one of the tallest medical centres in the world.

Sigmund Freud University

Now we move from the University of Vienna to a university created in Sigmund Freud’s memory. The Sigmund Freud University was the first institution to introduce the study of Psychotherapy Science as an academic degree, and is highly regarded for its study and research into the subject and is a great place to see Freud’s legacy in Vienna.

The university also includes an outpatient clinic where it provides psychotherapy services from 50 registered psychotherapists and around 100 supervised students.

Freud Museum

Finally, the Freud Museum in Vienna is a must-visit for anyone truly interested in Sigmund Freud and his work in Vienna. Founded in 1971, the museum covers Freud’s life story and work, as well as the history of psychoanalysis. Located in the Alsergrund district at Berggasse 19, where Freud lived for a significant proportion of his life, the museum includes many original items owned by Freud himself during his lifetime including his practice waiting room and an archive of images and documents that shed light on his life and work.

The museum is also recognised as the home of a number of Sigmund Freud organisations, such as the Sigmund Freud Society and the annual Sigmund Freud Lecture, which has taken place in Vienna on Freud's birthday – 6th May - every year.


Image Credit: Prince Roy (

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