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Prices & Opening Times
Child: 6 – 18
Reduced: students (<25) and disabled persons
Vienna Card holders: € 15.00
Vienna Pass holders: Free
9.30 am – 5 pm (last admission 4pm)
Highlights & Photos
- Historic Globes (National Library’s map collection)
- Portrait of Empress Elisabeth (“Sissi”) by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
- Austrian National Library Frescoes
- Imperial Silver Collection
- Swiss Gate
- The Kaiserappartements (private apartments)
How to get there
- Museum general entrance: below the great copper dome (called the Michaelerkuppel)
- Sisi Ticket or Vienna Pass holders entrance: inner palace courtyard
Underground: U3 (orange), Herrengasse stop
Trams: 1, 2, D and 71, Burgring stop
Bus: 1A and 2A, Hofburg stop
13th century: medieval fortified castle
15th Century: The Palace Chapel (Burgkapelle ) was built
16th century: The Amalia Residence (Amalienburg) and the Swiss Gate (Schweizertor) were built
17th century: The Connection between Swiss Wing and the Amalia Residence was built and called Leopoldine Wing (Leopoldinischer Trakt)
18th century: It was occupied by Empress Maria Theresa | The Court Library (now the Austrian National Library) was built
19th century: The St Michael Wing (Michaelertrakt) was completed
1918: end of the monarchy
20th century: The New Hofburg was erected facing Heldenplatz
Eat & Drink nearby
11.30 am to 11.30 pm (Daily)
Kitchen closes: 11.00 pm
Known for their traditional Viennese cuisine, particularly their Tafelspitz (boiled beef) and various kinds of Knödel (dumplings)
Zum Schwarzen Kameel
8.00 am to midnight (Daily)
A gourmet restaurant that serves traditional Viennese cuisine with a modern twist
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The Imperial Palace of Hofburg is once the centre of the Austrian Empire.
It now houses a treasure trove of historical and cultural treasures.
Hofburg was the Emperor’s winter palace back in the days of the empire. The royal family would flee to the Schönbrunn Palace during the warmer months.
Since 1946, the President of Austria now resides and works at this location.
It was initially constructed in the 13th century and has since experienced various expansions. Now, the “city within a city” is 240,000 m2 (59 acres) and has 18 wings, 19 courtyards, and more than 2,600 rooms.
There are many things to explore, like museums like the Imperial Treasury Vienna, art galleries, important collections, and many other attractions and landmarks.
Today, the palace is home to three museums that show the traditions and everyday life of the imperial court in a way that is true to history.
These museums are the Imperial Apartments, which have their original furniture and decorations, the Sisi Museum, which shows the Empress’s life in a sensitive way; and the Imperial Silver Collection, which has a wide range of silverware and other items used in the imperial court.
And many intriguing attractions are situated in Hofburg’s immediate surroundings and adjacent areas. The Spanish Riding School, the Austrian National Library, the Natural History Museum, and the Imperial Chapel are just a few landmarks.
The Sisi Museum
The Sisi Museum, part of the three-part Hofburg complex tour, aims to lighten Empress Elisabeth’s passions and interests.
Empress Elisabeth, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph from 1837 to 1898, was known as “Sisi.” Her face has been on a thousand mugs, books, postcards, and movies. However, Elisabeth is still a mystery. She is a strange mix of romantic naivete and sad misanthropy.
The Imperial apartments
The 3-part tour of the Sisi Museum and Hofburg only covers a small part of the whole complex. Still, it does include the apartments where Empress Elizabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph lived.
The Habsburg emperors and their court lived in the Imperial Palace in Vienna from the time it was built in the early 1700s until the end of the monarchy in 1918. Here, Emperor Franz Joseph and “Sisi” raised their family.
The Silver Collection (Silberkammer)
The impressive silver collection of the court was given to the Austrian Republic when the Habsburg monarchy ended. The museum’s displays of expensive crystal glasses, silverware, porcelain, and other items provide an idea of how the former imperial dynasty ate.
Short on money? Try a free walking tour!
Free walking tours are a budget-friendly and informative way to explore the city, led by local guides with deep knowledge about the city’s landmarks, hidden gems and culture. They also provide an opportunity to meet other travellers and make new friends in small groups.
As a component of the Hofburg palace complex, it houses the national library and Augustinerkirche church.
- The Austrian National Library:
A contemporary, service-oriented knowledge centre and a popular gathering place for scholars and students.
The Austrian National Library is located in the Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg centre of Vienna.
The library is the most extensive in Austria, with more than 12 million items in its various collections.
This church has one of Vienna’s best-preserved Gothic interiors from the 14th century. The modern chandeliers are the only thing that seems out of place. Its Loreto Chapel, which dates back to 1724, is where the hearts of the Habsburg family are kept. Maria Christina, the queen mother’s favourite daughter, and King Leopold II are buried here.
Tips for visiting: The church is well-known for its musical performances, such as the Sunday Masses featuring the music of Schubert and Haydn.
Schweizertor (‘Swiss Gate’)
The Schweizertor was built in 1522 as part of Ferdinand I’s plan to improve the Hofburg. It was designed by Pietro Ferrabosco.
Steps lead from the Schweizerhof to the Burgkapelle, also called the Hofmusikkapelle. The Chapel or Burgkapelle is the only remaining part from the Medieval Times. It was initially built in 1296 but modified 150 years later.
Gothic decorations and statues in canopied niches give the church away as a relic from the Middle Ages. Also included is a beautiful bronze crucifix from 1720, made by royal jeweller Johanr Kiinischbauer.
Tips for visiting: The Wiener Ningerknaben, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, performs high mass every Sunday, making them a must-see for any tourists in town.
In the years between 1881 and 1913, the Hofburg Complex expanded with the addition of this large, curving building on Heldenplatz. In the palace’s Neue Burg wing, guests can find a wide variety of sights, such as:
- The Ephesos Museum:
The Ephesos Museum is part of Hofburg’s Imperial Palace complex until 1918. Most of the space here is now taken up by many small exhibits. The large palace, now the President’s official home, stands out as the only exception.
- The Weltmuseum:
The Weltmuseum Wien, located in the Hofburg Palace on Vienna’s Ringstrasse, is one of the world’s most prestigious ethnographic museums. In fourteen separate exhibition halls, the emphasis is on rare cultural artefacts from throughout the globe. Pencho, a one-of-a-kind Mexican feather headdress, was among the exhibits from the Cabinet of Curiosities of Emperor Rudolf II.
In front of the Neue Burg is the expansive Heldenplatz, home to the Burgtor gates and towering equestrian statues of Prinz Eugen von Savoyen and Archduke Karl. The plaza is often used for festivals like the Festival of Joy.
Spanish Riding School
This Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only place in the world where traditional horseback riding skills (called “Haute école”) are still taught and practised in their original form over 450 years. During gala performances, visitors see unique shows of the Lipizzans in the beautiful riding hall.
Spanish Riding School horsemanship has been recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage since December 2015.
After Napoleon’s army destroyed the defences, the Burggarten (court garden) was built. From the time it was built in 1818, when it was designed by the court gardener Franz Antoine, until the end of the Habsburg empire in 1918, it was a private royal garden for the Habsburg family. Arrangements of bedding plants in the shape of a musical clef honour Mozart in the garden’s southwestern corner.
The Palm House is located northeast of the park. It was designed by Friedrich Ohmann in the Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) style and is sometimes used as a butterfly house and an elegant café.
On the site of the Burgbastei, which Napoleon’s army destroyed, the People’s Garden (Volksgarten) opened in 1820. It was made to look like the Luxembourg garden in Paris.
The big protective railings here make people feel safe and calm.
The Hofburg, which dates back to the 13th century and was once a walled fortress, was expanded upon by following Emperors.
Since the 18th century, the Hofburg’s Alte Burg (Old Fortress) section has been referred to as the Schweizertrakt (Swiss Wing). This is because the palace watch was done by Swiss Guards. The central part of the mediaeval fortress has been kept. However, to make way for the improvements made to the palace over the years, the four corner towers, the majority of the moat, and the drawbridge have all been demolished. The facade was redone in the Renaissance style in the middle of the 16th century.
Swiss Gate (Schweizertor) was constructed in 1552. It is a rare example of Renaissance architecture in Vienna and was designed by Pietro Ferabosco.
Since the 18th century, the famous Lipizzan stallions have been kept in this part of the palace.
During the 18th century, the court architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach added several beautiful Baroque additions to the Hofburg. All of these additions were planned and started by Fischer von Erlach. After the architect died in 1723, his son, Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, was in charge of building the church.
The Court Library, now the Austrian National Library, was built between 1723 and 1735 to hold the valuable books that the Habsburgs owned. The Winter Riding School was done by Johann Emanuel Fischer von Erlach in 1735.
The New Hofburg was built facing Heldenplatz at the beginning of the 20th century, just before the end of the monarchy. Gottfried Semper and Karl Hasenauer planned it as part of a much bigger “imperial forum” with a sweeping curve on its impressive monumental facade.
Artistic Treasures in the Hofburg
Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire
This crown was used to crown the King of the Romans, which was the title the new Emperor took on as soon as he was chosen. Since the 15th century, the crown was kept in the free imperial city of Nuremberg. In 1796, it was moved to Vienna to keep it from falling into the hands of Napoleon. It is now housed at the Hofburg’s Imperial Treasury (Kaiserliche Schatzkammer) in Vienna, Austria.
Silverware And Porcelain
The Silberkammer, also known as the Imperial Silver Collection, is a public exhibition space at the Hofburg. Contains a wide variety of “priceless” Habsburg artefacts. Includes various articles of tableware, linens, silver, and gold.
Austrian Sceptre And Orb
A ceremony of homage was held when a new Habsburg ruler took the throne. The sovereign carried the sceptre and orb during the ceremony.
The Golden Fleece
One of the oldest stories about a hero’s quest is the Greek myth about Jason and the Golden Fleece. It is a classic story about betrayal and revenge, and like many Greek myths, it has a sad ending. It starts when Jason’s Uncle Pelias kills Jason’s father, the Greek King of Iolkos, and takes his throne.
Austrian National Library Frescoes
This must be one of the most stunning reading rooms in any library in the world. This is the State Hall of the Austrian National Library. Emperor Charles VI (1685–1740) asked for this beautiful piece of secular Baroque architecture to be built for his Court Library. Daniel Gran, an Austrian Baroque painter, is best known for the frescoes in the State Hall of the former Court Library.
Captain Cook Artifacts
The ethnological museum in Vienna has things like masks from North America that British explorer Captain James Cook found on his travels around the world.
The Cradle of the King of Rome
Napoleon was thrilled when an heir to the throne was born, and a large part of Europe celebrated with him. In honour of the event, the city of Paris gave Empress Marie Louise a throne cradle made of more than 280 kg of silver. On one side of the cradle is a picture of the Capitoline Wolf, representing the baby’s royal title. On the other side is a picture of Sequana, the goddess of the river Seine, representing Paris’s loyalty to Napoleon Francis Carl.
Aztec Feather Headpiece
The Penacho of Moctezuma II is another name for this headpiece. In 1596, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand II von Tyrol bought the headdress of Moctezuma II. This Aztec headdress is made of gold, gilt bronze, leather, paper, cotton, and fibres made from the feathers of a quetzal, cotinga, roseate spoonbill, squirrel cuckoo, kingfisher, and a few other birds.
Portrait of Empress Elisabeth
Franz Xaver Winterhalter painted a portrait of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1865. In Winterhalter’s 1865 portrait of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, also known as “Sissi,” she is wearing a white satin evening dress with thousands of silver foil stars shimmering under a layer of tulle. The dress, which is thought to have been designed by Worth, follows the fashions of the time, but it also has unique touches, like the stars, that fit her position as Empress. At the time the portrait was made, she was 28.
As part of the National Library’s map collection, the museum was first located in the Augustinian wing of the Hofburg in Vienna’s Josefsplatz. Since the end of 2005, the museum has been in the Herrengasse. This is the only public museum in the world that has a collection of globes, celestial globes, and other instruments like them. The Globe Museum has 300 globes and astrological tools. Two of the globes were made for Emperor Leopold I by the Venetian cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli at the end of the 17th century.
- Book your tickets early and avoid weekends when there are many people.
- Don’t expect to make quick work of exploring the Hofburg in Vienna. Plan on spending at least 3 to 4 hours visiting the palace.
- The palace is a work of art in and of itself, but you should take a walk around this area and see what nature offers.
- It is highly recommended that you take a guided tour of the palace if you want to learn as much as possible during your visit.
- You don’t have to buy a ticket to see the palace because you can get a full view of it from the outside.