Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Spanish Riding School, Vienna

Spanish Riding School, Vienna (must see)

The Spanish Riding School (Spanische Reitschule) of Vienna is famous all over the world as the only place to have preserved and practiced classic equestrian skills for over 450 years. While the exact origins of the school are obscure, it is believed to have been founded by the Habsburgs in 1572 to cultivate haute école horsemanship by way of breeding and training horses from Spain, hence the name. The original location of the school – the former residence of the Emperor Maximilian – dates back to 1729 and has not changed much since.

Among other things, this school is particularly famous for its Lipizzaner horses. These noble creatures are perhaps the only horses in the world to live in an emperor’s palace. As a formal dressage school, the Reitschule provides instruction in the military tactics that the Lipizzaners have been famous for since the time of Napoleon, and whose performances are a timeless delight for visitors to this day.

The school offers regular 70-90-minute public demonstrations in the opulent Winter Riding School, commissioned in 1729 by Emperor Karl VI. Ranging across three levels of complexity and formality, these performances of outstanding horsemanship are accompanied by music, and have not changed a bit for decades, still thrilling the crowds. The stallions performing athletic feats on the sawdust of the school arena take their name from the stud farm at Lipizza near Trieste in Slovenia, founded by Archduke Karl in 1580. Originally, they were produced by crossing Arab, Berber and Spanish horses renowned for their grace and stamina. The horses begin learning the complex sequences of steps at the age of three.

The gracious interior of the school is lined with 46 columns and adorned with elaborate plasterwork, chandeliers and a coffered ceiling. At the head of the arena is the royal box along with the galleries for spectators. Riders entering the arena traditionally doff their hats to the portrait of Karl VI as a token of respect. The equestrian statue of another emperor, Josef II, adorns the school courtyard.

Why You Should Visit:
If you're a horse lover, watching these incredible creatures is a must when in Vienna. But even you are not fond of horse shows, a guided tour (English/German) through the stabling and the riding arena with background information & details about the complex history and breeding system is worth a visit anytime.

Tip:
If you like horses, it is great to see them train in the morning.
If you want to see them jump, go for the actual show. Make sure to book tickets online in advance to skip the long queues.
If you drop into the (not too expensive) on-site cafe for a coffee, drink or snack, you can go out to the terrace, adjacent to which is a wooden enclosure where you can see the horses and their riders practice before the show - and that actually won't cost you anything.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am-4pm (Jan-Feb); Mon-Sun: 9am-4pm (Mar-Dec)
Fridays, in case of an evening show: 9am-7pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Vienna, Austria within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Spanish Riding School on Map

Sight Name: Spanish Riding School
Sight Location: Vienna, Austria
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Vienna, Austria

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Create Your Own Walk in Vienna

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vienna is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vienna Introduction Walk II

Vienna Introduction Walk II

The former capital of the once mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire and the second largest city in the German-speaking world after Berlin, today's Vienna is still much revered for its great historic and cultural past, as well as present. The abundance of imperial palaces, diverse museums and historic churches attracts millions of international guests to Vienna each year. This introduction walk,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Mozart Walking Tour

Mozart Walking Tour

Back in 1781, Mozart was summoned to Vienna, where his patron – the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg – was attending celebrations. He got into a big argument with the Archbishop until ultimately getting fired. The young man decided to stay in the city as a freelance composer, musician, and music teacher, and so a legendary partnership began: Mozart and Vienna. Follow our self-guided walk for a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Johann Strauss Walking Tour

Johann Strauss Walking Tour

Strauss Jr. succeeded his father (Johann Strauss Sr.) as Vienna's "Waltz King", and surpassed him at it. Strauss Jr.'s waltz compositions are widely considered the most famous of the Viennese waltzes, so how can you visit Vienna and not pay homage to the iconic composer? From the family home to the gold-plated statue in the Stadtpark to the theater where the musician...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Vienna's Art Nouveau Architecture Tour I

Vienna's Art Nouveau Architecture Tour I

To see some of Vienna’s most architecturally intriguing buildings, take this self-guided walking tour that will introduce you to the city's 20th-century landmarks, most of which revolve around the Viennese Secession movement, or the Austrian Art Nouveau. From Otto Wagner's massive Postsparkasse to the towering Urania Observatory, these then unconventional buildings brought an...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Vienna Old Town Walking Tour

Vienna Old Town Walking Tour

Encircled by the grand Ringstrasse, the historic Old Town of Vienna, known as Innere Stadt, is a designated World Heritage Site. Today, the “inner city” abounds in upscale shops and cafes lining pedestrianized Kärntner Strasse and Graben, with art galleries and restaurants dotting the surrounding streets. This self guided tour offers you a chance to visit Stephansplatz dominated by Gothic St....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Klimt Paintings Tour

Klimt Paintings Tour

Gustav Klimt's name is indelibly linked with Vienna and its art. He was a public figure in the city and a founding member of the Vienna Secession who resisted the conventions of the national art establishment to become a wildly influential figure in the Jugendstil (or Art Nouveau) style. While he lived a rather secluded life, his paintings snatched such critical accolades as first prize at...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles

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