The Hofburg Castle in Vienna, Austria was the residence of one of the most influential families in Europe, the Habsburgs. The French Queen Marie Antoinette was also born there. It dates back to 1275. The Castle had many expansions and rebuilding. It features different architectural styles such as Gothic, Art Nouveau, and Baroque. The Castle covers an area of 240,000 square meters and has 2600 rooms. Its oldest part is the Schweitzerhof. The complex exists in its present design since 1913. In 1938, Adolf Hitler seized the Hofburg palace and announced the annexation of Austria by Germany. Today, the Castle is the official residence of the Austrian president.
What to see?
The Heroes Square
It is right in front of the Castle. There are two huge sculptures on display. One of them is the statue of Jozeni Savoyski, who defeated the Turkish army in the eighteenth century. The other one is a sculpture of Archduke Karl, who defeated Napoleon at the battle of Asper.
The Imperial Apartments
The eleven apartments are authentic. Franz Joseph and Elizabeth lived there for some time. The couple was one of the most rumored royal families in Europe. In the apartments, you will see the original and lavish furnishings of the second half of the XIX century.
The Sisi Museum
It offers a deeper look into the life of Empress Elizabeth. You can see the Museum in the apartments of Archduke Stefan Victor. There is a great collection of more than 300 personal items that belonged to the Empress, including umbrellas, gloves, clothing, cosmetics, as well as her medical case. Even her baptismal clothes and milk teeth are among the objects in the Museum. They are in special cases. In the Museum, you will be able to learn a little more about her unusual life, her marriage to Franz Joseph and her death in Geneva.
The Silver Collection
It presents an incredible variety of silverware and cutlery used in the Castle decades ago. There you will get the fullest idea of the lush and bustling life of the Habsburgs. The tourists can see more than 7000 items on display, which are part of total 150,000 artifacts in the palace. In the past, regular feasts and fashionable events attracted many notorious guests to the Castle. The Silver Collection was an essential part of the soirees.
The Imperial Treasury
It is one of the richest treasuries in the world. You can find the entrance in the Swiss Courtyard, which is the oldest part of the palace. It houses valuable artifacts and some of them are more than 1000 years old. There is a secular and ecclesiastical collection. Among the most distinguishable items are the Bohemian, Austrian and Hungarian crowns, as well the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. You can see also many medals and personal belongings of the emperors and their relatives, and the most prominent being Napoleon Bonaparte. There is the famous “Spear of Destiny”, supposedly the weapon that pierced Jesus as he was on the cross.
From the Treasury, you can access the Art History Museum. Its collections from Egypt and the Middle East include 17,000 works and only 4,000 of them are on display. There are 3,000 exhibits of the ancient Greek and ancient Roman art, as well as more than 2,000 valuable artifacts of applied art. The collection of Renaissance-era objects is also impressive.
- You can benefit from a combination ticket for the Imperial Treasury and the Art History Museum.
- Children and young people under 19 enter for free.
- There are discounts for groups of more than 10 people and the Vienna City Card holders.
- Paid audio guide available in several languages, including English.
- Provided guide service every day except on Tuesdays. The duration of the tours is for about an hour.
- Accessible for visitors with mobility difficulties.
The Spanish Riding School
It is one of a kind in the world. It dates back more than 450 years ago and teaches high class riding in Renaissance traditions. You can enjoy the training of Lipizzaner stallions and their performances, which show the incredible harmony between the horses and the riders.
- Standard performance – a horseback ride, accompanied by a piece of classical Viennese music.
- Performance with the music of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
- Performance with the music of the Vienna Boys Choir.
- Morning horse training.
- Guided tour.
- Ticket Plus – includes morning horse training and a guided tour.
- Combined ticket for the Spanish Riding School and the Imperial Treasury
- Tour guide service is available.
- Children under 3 years and dogs are not allowed.
- There is a limited number of wheelchair spaces, so it is advisable to book in advance.
Cafes and Shops
The Hofburg Castle houses a number of shops, found at the beginning and end of the tourist route. There you can buy interesting souvenirs.
If you want to try a classic Viennese coffee in the heart of the Imperial Palace, visit the Hofburg Cafe.
What do you need to know before visiting the Hofburg Castle?
- Hofburg is located in the center of Vienna. You can easily get there by the Metro line U3, by trams 1, 2, D and 71 or by buses 1A and 2A.
- Required booking for a group of over 10 people.
- Visitors cannot enter the premises with bulky objects, bags or suitcases.
- Children under the age of 14 enter only with an adult.
- Purchased tickets from ticket machines or online at www.imperial-Austria.at cannot be returned.
- Visitors cannot touch the exhibits and collections in the Museum halls.
- Food and drinks consumption, as well as smoking in museums, is prohibited.
- Taking pictures in the Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum is prohibited.
- A free audio guide and description of tours in several languages, including English, is available in the castle.
- Standard Ticket – includes a visit to the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments, and the Silver Collection.
- Sisi Ticket – includes a tour of Schönbrunn Castle, a visit to the Sissy Museum, the Imperial Apartments, and the Silver Collection at Hofburg Castle, and the Imperial Furniture Collection. The ticket is valid for one year and guarantees quick access to all the attractions included, and you can tour them on different days.
- Sisi Museum and Imperial Apartments – 60 minutes.
- Private Tours:
– Sisi Museum and Imperial Apartments – 60 minutes
– Silver Collection – 50 minutes
- Evening tours in Hofburg – after regular business hours.
- Children between 6 and 18 years.
- Students between 19 and 25 years.
- Disadvantaged people, accompanied by one of their attendants.
- School groups of more than 10 people.
- Family ticket – for two adults and three children.
Hofburg Castle is accessible to disabled people and their companions.
Vienna – the city
Saint Stephen Cathedral
History of Art Museum
Natural History Museum
Imperial Butterfly House
Danube Cruise from Vienna