Hofburg Palace
Westend61/Getty Images

Details

Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Unlike Vienna's other royal residences, Hofburg is like a city within a city. Sitting on the southwestern edge of the Innere Stadt, the 13th-century palace shelters several individual attractions, and if you want the full royal experience, you'll need to spend at least half a day here.

Experienced travelers say it's best to start in the middle of this massive complex and work your way out. The oldest parts surround the Swiss Court, named for the Swiss guards who used to patrol the area. And from there you'll find the Kaiserappartements (Imperial Apartments), more than 2,000 rooms where the royal family lived. Only a dozen or so are open to the public. Take some time to explore the Kaiserappartements' Sisi Museum, which offers insight into the life and death of Vienna's beloved Empress Elizabeth. Then swing by the Imperial Silver Collection or the butterfly house. (For more information about the Kaiserappartements, click here.)

Next on the itinerary: the Burgkapelle (Royal Chapel). Visit on a Sunday to hear the Vienna Boy's Choir singing during Mass, then go check out the Spanische Reitschule (Spanish Riding School) where sugary-white Lipizzaner horses are raised and trained. Tickets are rather pricey, but you can sit in the bleachers and watch performances and training sessions for free (For more information, check out the school's website).

Don't tire out yet – you should also take a few minutes to see the sprawling Heldenplatz (Heroes' Square), and the huge statues of Archduke Karl (who defeated Napoleon's troops at the Battle of Aspern-Essling in 1809) and Prince Eugene of Savoy (who defended Austria from an Ottoman invasion in 1683).

The Hofburg Palace is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 or 6 p.m. depending on the season. Prices vary depending on which attractions you wish to see. Visit the palace's main website to plan your visit.

See all Hotels in Vienna »

More Best Things To Do in Vienna

St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)
Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorisches Museum)
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 10
#1 St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom)

Towering above the streets of theInnere Stadt, this massive cathedral is the true centerpiece of Vienna. St. Stephen's has stood in this very spot since the early 12th century, but little remains of the original aside from theRiesentor(Giant's Gate) and theHeidentuerme(Towers of the Heathens). The Gothic structure standing today was

Read more
Angel Villalba/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Vienna »

Explore More of Vienna

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019