Vienna's imperial heritage

In many corners of Vienna you can still find traces of the once magnificent imperial city. Numerous castles and attractions not only bring you a little closer to the Habsburg dynasty, but also allow you to experience Austria's imperial heritage in an authentic way.

We show you which places in Vienna you should not miss under any circumstances if you want to follow in the footsteps of Empress Sisi and Co.

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace is probably one of the most important and popular sights in Vienna. Since December 1996, it has also been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List established in 1972.

In the former summer residence of the imperial family, the original imperial state rooms and living quarters can still be admired in all their splendour. Those who would like to learn more about the palace and life in it should not miss out on a guided tour.

After exploring the interiors, a stroll through the beautiful palace park is of course not to be missed. You should also plan a short visit to the Gloriette on the hilltop of the palace park, where you can not only enjoy a fantastic view over the entire park and large parts of Vienna, but also fine Viennese specialities in an imperial ambience at Café Gloriette.

More info here.

Hop On Hop Off: Yellow Line, Stop Nr. 30 „Schloss Schönbrunn“

Entry: Free entry with Vienna PASS and Vienna FLEXI Pass

Sisi Museum including Imperial Apartments and Silver Chamber

Empress Elisabeth, also known as "Sisi", was probably one of the most important personalities of the 19th century. Even years after her death, the story of the young empress fascinates many people far beyond Austria, which is not least due to her tragic end.

With the help of numerous personal objects of the empress, the Sisi Museum in the Vienna Hofburg shows the true personality of Sisi, who was often misunderstood. The individual rooms of the museum gradually present how the fascinating myth of "Sisi" came into being, which above all served as a model for the "Sissi" trilogies.

The Imperial Apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth are one of the most important sights in Vienna and provide an insight into the private living atmosphere of the imperial couple. In addition to the bed chamber, there is also the gymnasium and toilet room, as well as many other historically authentic rooms to discover.

The Silver Chamber is another highlight alongside the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments. Here the holdings of the Court Silver and Table Chamber are on display. The chamber contains over 7,000 exhibits that give an idea of what courtly table culture once looked like. Since the end of the monarchy in 1918, parts of the ornate silverware have been used at state banquets and official receptions.

! Please note that the Silver Chamber will be closed from 01 April 2023 until further notice.


More info here.

Hop On Hop Off: Red Line & Blue Line, Stop Nr. 2 „Kunsthistorisches Museum“

Entry: Free entry with Vienna PASS and Vienna FLEXI Pass

VR Schloss Schönbrunn

Would you like to experience the daily life of the emperor up close? Then we recommend our Virtual Reality Schönbrunn Palace Tour. 

In the Crown Prince's Apartment, VR glasses will take you on a multi-sensory adventure in which you will travel back in time to the Austrian Empire and become part of historical moments and eventful scenes from the 18th century. For example, be a special guest at the wedding of Sisi and her Franz Joseph, listen to the compositions of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or dine with the imperial family.

More info here.

Hop On Hop Off: Red Line & Blue Line, Stop Nr. 2 „Kunsthistorisches Museum“

Entry Fee: 19,90 €; Children (8-18) 14,50€

Imperial Treasury in the Vienna Hofburg

There is no way around the Vienna Hofburg on a visit to Vienna, special highlight: the Imperial Treasury!

The part of the Hofburg where the treasury is located dates back to the 13th century and houses, among other things, the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian imperial crown and priceless objects and treasures of the Habsburgs.

Other highlights include the treasure of the Order of the Golden Fleece and objects from the magnificent collection of the Duke of Burgundy from the 15th century. But also legendary treasures such as an agate bowl associated with the Holy Grail or the horn of the legendary "unicorn" can be discovered here.


More info here.

Hop On Hop Off: Red Line & Blue Line, Stop Nr. 2 „Kunsthistorisches Museum“

Eintritt: Free entry with Vienna PASS and Vienna FLEXI Pass

Belvedere Palace

Another baroque highlight that should be part of every visit to Vienna is the Belvedere Palace.

It is one of the most popular sights and one of the most visited museums in Vienna. This is probably mainly due to the fact that Belvedere Palace is home to the world's largest Klimt collection. A total of 24 works by the famous Austrian painter Gustav Klimt can be admired here, including the world-famous painting "The Kiss".

In the Upper Belvedere, a total of 420 works are on display in seven different themed rooms on three floors. A separate large area on the first floor is dedicated to Viennese modernism and art around 1900.

Incidentally, the two Belvedere palaces were built at the beginning of the 18th century by the famous Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy.

The Upper Belvedere was completed in 1723 and served primarily representative purposes. In addition, the Belvedere was one of the first public museums and also served as a place for the signing of the Austrian State Treaty. In 2023, the Belvedere will celebrate its 300th anniversary with the corresponding exhibition "The Belvedere. 300 Years a Place of Art.

More info here.

Hop On Hop Off: Yellow Line, Stop Nr. 34 „Belvedere“

Entry: Free entry with Vienna PASS and Vienna FLEXI Pass

Otto Wagner Hofpavillon Hietzing

Otto Wagner is today considered a pioneer of modern architecture and was commissioned around 1900 with the artistic design of the new means of mass transport, which still characterises the cityscape today. The construction of a separate pavilion for Emperor Franz Joseph and the "Allerhöchsten Hof" at the Hietzing stop also goes back to his initiative. In 1899 the building project was completed, which was particularly distinguished by its unmistakable, representative exterior as well as a sumptuous interior and was completely tailored to the needs of the Emperor.


In fact, Emperor Franz Joseph only used the pavilion twice for a trip on the tram. This circumstance, however, was inconsequential to Otto Wagner, as the imperial splendour that lay on the small building and was to help modern architecture to make its breakthrough was the primary focus.


More info here.

Hop On Hop Off: Yellow Line, Stop Nr. 30 „Schloss Schönbrunn“

Entry: Free entry with Vienna PASS

Opening time: 18.3.2023 – 29.10.2023

Museum of Natural History

The beginnings of the collection in the Natural History Museum go back to 1748, when Maria Theresa acquired one of the most important natural history collections in the world from the polymath Johann Ritter von Baillou for her husband, Emperor Franz I Stephan of Lorraine, which found its first home in the Vienna Hofburg.

In the years that followed, the collection was constantly expanded and supplemented on the basis of fundamental scientific research. After the death of her husband, Maria Theresa ordered that the collection, which had meanwhile become state property, be reorganised in two newly built halls in front of the Court Library on Augustinergang.

On 10 August 1889 the Imperial and Royal Natural History Court Museum was finally opened. Natural History Court Museum was finally opened on 10 August 1889, which in turn brought the collection into its own department in the magnificent building on the Ringstraße, which was erected by Gottfried Semper and Carl von Hasenauer between 1871 and 1881.

More info here.

Hop On Hop Off: Rote Linie & Blaue Linie, Station Nr. 2 „Kunsthistorisches Museum“

Entry: Free entry with Vienna PASS and Vienna FLEXI Pass

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