popular tours - austria
Baroque palace with opulent interiors
Schönbrunn Palace was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, located in Hietzing, Vienna. The 1,441-room Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in the country. Since the mid-1950s it has been a major tourist attraction. The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.
Baroque palace complex with museums
The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It is located in the center of Vienna and was built in the 13th century and expanded several times afterwards. It also served as the imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence. Since 1279 the Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government. The Hofburg has been expanded over the centuries to include various residences, the imperial chapel, the imperial library, the treasury, the Burgtheater, the Spanish Riding School, the imperial mews. The palace faces the Heldenplatz ordered under the reign of Emperor Francis Joseph I, as part of what was planned to become the Kaiserforum but which was never completed. Numerous architects have executed work at the Hofburg as it expanded, notably the Italian architect-engineer Filiberto Luchese, Lodovico Burnacini and Martino and Domenico Carlone, the Baroque architects Lukas von Hildebrandt and Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, Johann Fischer von Erlach, and the architects of the Neue Burg built between 1881 and 1913
Medieval place of worship & city icon
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, OP. The current Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147. The most important religious building in Vienna, St. Stephen’s Cathedral has borne witness to many important events in Habsburg and Austrian history and has, with its multi-coloured tile roof, become one of the city’s most recognizable symbols.
18th-century palaces with art collection
The Belvedere is a historic building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the third district of the city, on the south-eastern edge of its centre. It houses the Belvedere museum. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Belvedere was built during a period of extensive construction in Vienna, which at the time was both the imperial capital and home to the ruling Habsburg dynasty. This period of prosperity followed on from the commander-in-chief Prince Eugene of Savoy’s successful conclusion of a series of wars against the Ottoman Empire
11th-century fortress on a city hilltop
Hohensalzburg Fortress sits atop the Festungsberg, a small hill in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Erected at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg with a length of 250 m and a width of 150 m, it is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. Hohensalzburg Fortress is situated at an altitude of 506 m
Opulent 17th-century palace & gardens
Mirabell Palace is a historic building in the city of Salzburg, Austria. The palace with its gardens is a listed cultural heritage monument and part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site
Public park with iconic giant wheel
The Prater is a large public park in Vienna’s 2nd district. The Wurstelprater, an amusement park that is often simply called “Prater”, lies in one corner of the Wiener Prater and includes the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel
Vienna State Opera with museum & tours
The Vienna State Opera is an opera house and opera company based in Vienna, Austria. The 1,709-seat Renaissance Revival venue was the first major building on the Vienna Ring Road. It was built from 1861 to 1869 following plans by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, and designs by Josef Hlávka. The opera house was inaugurated as the “Vienna Court Opera” in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. It became known by its current name after the establishment of the First Austrian Republic in 1921. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the Vienna State Opera’s orchestra. The building is also the home of the Vienna State Ballet, and it hosts the annual Vienna Opera Ball during the carnival season
Fine arts museum in palatial building
The Kunsthistorisches Museum is an art museum in Vienna, Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome. The term Kunsthistorisches Museum applies to both the institution and the main building. It is the largest art museum in the country and one of the most important museums worldwide. It was opened around 1891 at the same time as the Natural History Museum, Vienna, by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The two museums have similar exteriors and face each other across Maria-Theresien-Platz. Both buildings were built between 1871 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by Gottfried Semper and Baron Karl von Hasenauer. The two Ringstraße museums were commissioned by the emperor in order to find a suitable shelter for the Habsburgs’ formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The buildings are rectangular in shape, and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The façade was built of sandstone. The inside of the museums is lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentations, gold-leaf and paintings.
Renaissance palace & landscaped parkland
Hellbrunn Palace is an early Baroque villa of palatial size, near Morzg, a southern district of the city of Salzburg, Austria. It was built in 1613–19 by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, and named for the “clear spring” that supplied it. Hellbrunn was only meant for use as a day residence in summer, as the Archbishop usually returned to Salzburg in the evening; therefore, there is no bedroom in Hellbrunn.