Old Town Palaces (Self Guided), Vienna

Among all of the amazing sites Vienna offers, none are more breathtaking than the palaces found around the city. All of them have maintained their great history, art collections, luxury interior and refinement through the last 4 centuries. Many of them were restored and became elite conventional centers. This tour will will guide you to some of Vienna's greatest royal homes in the Innere Stadt (Old Town).
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Old Town Palaces Map

Guide Name: Old Town Palaces
Guide Location: Austria » Vienna (See other walking tours in Vienna)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Stadtpalais Liechtenstein
  • Palais Harrach
  • Palais Schönborn-Batthyány
  • Palais Ferstel
  • Palais Niederösterreich
  • Hofburg
  • Neue Burg
  • Palais Pallavicini
  • Palais Dietrichstein-Lobkowitz
  • Stadtpalais des Prinzen Eugen
  • Palais Coburg
Stadtpalais Liechtenstein

1) Stadtpalais Liechtenstein (must see)

Stadtpalais Liechtenstein (City Palace), is one of two palaces in Vienna belonging to the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. The palace was built during the period of 1692 to 1705 by the Italian architect Domenico Martinelli and the Swiss architect Gabriel de Gabrieli. It luckily escaped destruction during WWII when bombs went down nearby. It is still used as a private residence by the princely family. After restoration in 2013, the palace houses the 19th-century section of the princely art collection, whereas 16th–18th-century artworks are shown in the Liechtenstein Garden Palace.

Why You Should Visit:
Following an extensive renovation with great attention to detail, the palace again appears in all of its former glory and can be viewed exclusively as part of an event or a guided tour.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palais Harrach

2) Palais Harrach

Palais Harrach has had a long and interesting history. Although it is no longer used as a palace it is easy to imagine the grandeur the building once had. The building is now home to high end shops and offices. The whole area in fact has some of the best shopping in Vienna.

The first palace to be built on this site was erected in 1435 by Jörg of Puchheim. Then in the early 17th century to home was bought by Karl of Harrach. Unfortunately, most of the original palace was destroyed by fire in 1683. The current building was then constructed with the architecture being design by Domenico Martinelli. Mozart and his sister performed at the palace in 1762 when they were children.

Count Harrach was a huge collector of fine art, and that was a tradition that was carried by the family throughout the centuries. The art collection finally outgrew the Palais and gradually the collection was moved to other family holdings. By the beginning of WWII, all of the art was no longer housed here.

It is fortunate that the art collection was not here during the war. The building suffered severe bomb damage that was repaired. But the damage to the gardens around the palace was not repaired. There is a patch of cobblestone that remains from the original Vienna street but otherwise, the building does not look or feel like it is centuries old.
Palais Schönborn-Batthyány

3) Palais Schönborn-Batthyány

Palais Schönborn was built at the beginning of 18th century. It includes the Museum für Volkskunde and is located in Josefstadt, the 8th district of Vienna. This beautiful Baroque palace houses excellent works of art from several of Europe's most significant artists.
Palais Ferstel

4) Palais Ferstel

Palais Ferstel was built in the 19th century and is a great representation of Wilhelminian-style architecture. The building housed the Stock Exchange, Austrian-Hungarian National Bank and the well-known Cafe Central, where Europe’s intellectual elite spent a great deal of time. It currently acts as a historic convention centre that can accommodate a crowd of 735 persons.
Palais Niederösterreich

5) Palais Niederösterreich

Palais Niederösterreich, historically known as the Niederösterreichisches Landeshaus (Estates House of Lower Austria), is a historical building in Vienna. The building housed the estates general of the state of Lower Austria until 1848. After 1861, the state assembly and some state government ministries occupied it until 1997, when St. Pölten fully took on the role of the new capital of Lower Austria. In the revolution of March 1848, the Niederösterreichisches Landeshaus played an important role as the focal point of the revolutionary forces. The uprising was subsequently crushed by the military. After the legislature and the ministries moved out of the building in 1997, the building underwent substantial renovations and restoration work, and is now used for exhibitions and for private functions and events. It was renamed the Palais Niederösterreich in 2004.
Sight description based on wikipedia

6) Hofburg (must see)

The Hofburg, for many centuries, was the official home of the Habsburg Empire. Each successive Emperor has added to the opulence of the place. The famous family used to make this their winter home. In more modern times, this is now the official home of the President of Austria. This place can trace its history all the way back to 1279, as the official seat of one government or another. The overall complex now includes official state rooms for the President, museums of various sorts that are all easily reached from here, and various living areas (called apartments by the locals). However, they are unlike most apartments anyone could ever imagine. There is also a chapel built into the complex, which is open to the public. If you come for Sunday Mass, you will also be able to listen to the famous Vienna Boys Choir, which performs here regularly.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Neue Burg

7) Neue Burg (must see)

Neue Burg, or New Château, was an incredible addition to the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Its construction began toward the end of 19th century and concluded at the beginning of the 20th. The Neue Hofburg palace was the residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Today it houses a number of museums (the Ephesos Museum, the Collection of Arms and Armour, the Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments, and the Museum of Ethnology) as well as some reading rooms of the national library. The Hofburg Congress Centre is also located here.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palais Pallavicini

8) Palais Pallavicini

The Palais Pallavicini is still occupied by the family for which it is named and who bought it in 1842. Built in the late 18th century, the palace was originally named for the first owners the Fries family. In fact, the building sometimes still known as the Palais Fries-Pallavicini, and it was the first neo-classical building in Vienna.

Its beauty was not appreciated at the time, and a large Baroque gate was added to appease the neighbors. The design was marvelous and has withstood the test of time well. The neo-classical interior has been renovated and little remains. However, the parquet floors are exquisite and the chandeliers are absolutely lovely.

The palace is also home to a museum dedicated to Salvador Dali. Concerts and other public attractions are held at this venue. Lovers of older films will remember the house from the Orson Wells movie, “The Third Man” as the apartment of Harry Lime. The palace was designed with a section that was divided into apartments for rent. It’s a rather ingenious way to help pay for the upkeep of the large building. The Palais is located at Josefsplatz 5 across from the Austrian National Library.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palais Dietrichstein-Lobkowitz

9) Palais Dietrichstein-Lobkowitz

The Palais Lobkowitz, or Palais Dietrichstein-Lobkowitz is a baroque palace in the first Viennese municipality district of the inner city. It is located on the Lobkowitzplatz, a square named after it which previously had been called the "pig market", at which time it was a less distinguished address. The Lobkowitz Palace ranks among the oldest palace buildings of Vienna. The palace is the first important baroque city palace built after the Battle of Vienna, when the aristocracy no longer had to invest its money only for military purposes. The palace facade, unlike its interior, is still to a large extent in its original condition from the time of its construction. After end of the Second World War, the house was used as seat of the Institut Français de Vienne. In the year 1980, the palace became government property, and since the year 1991, after a comprehensive renovation, it has served as the theater museum of the Austrian National Library.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Stadtpalais des Prinzen Eugen

10) Stadtpalais des Prinzen Eugen

The Stadtpalais des Prinzen Eugen is the winter Palace of Prince Eugene. The Prince was born in France, but moved to Austria as a young man and switched his allegiance to that country. He had a very successful career in the Imperial service of Austria. It was this success that and rise to power that allowed the Prince to afford several large palaces. His winter palace in Vienna broke ground for construction in 1697.

Prince Eugen died in 1736 with no male heirs to inherit his possessions. A niece, Princess Maria Anna Victoria of Savoy, inherited his vast land holdings and immediately put the Stadtpalais up for sale. This palace along with several other land holdings was purchased by the Habsburgs. The building was renovated and finally became the ministry of finance building in 1848.

The palace has just recently been renovated again and the Austrian Ministry of Finance has returned home after a brief move while the refurbishing was taking place. Although the building was updated to accommodate this austere group, the building is still worth seeing. The grand staircase remains and it is easy to imagine what it must have been like to draw up to the castle and climb the stairs to enter into the large ballroom.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palais Coburg

11) Palais Coburg

Palais Coburg was built in the mid-19th century for Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It remained in the family until 1970 at which time it was sold. The palace is built upon the wall that was part of the defensive system for the city of Vienna.

The palace has now been turned into a luxury all-suite hotel. Extensive renovations were required to make the palace worthy of being a luxury hotel, so don’t expect to be staying in a old drafty castle type building. The suites are very modern and extremely well appointed. There is a choice of suites all on one floor, or two floor suites in addition to choosing view and how much space is needed. The rooms are all named after famous rulers in the Coburg and Gotha lineage.

For the wine aficionado traveling to Vienna, a tour of the wine cellar here is a must. The sommelier guides visitors through the extensive wine collection. One of the cellars has the feel of the inside of a ship complete with port holes in the doors. The Champagne cellar is the old ice storage portion of the palace, which makes the temperature just perfect. A wine tasting is a must after seeing all those rare and vintage wines.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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 I

Vienna Introduction Walk I

Vienna is one of the most beautiful and important cities in Europe. It contains some of the richest examples of Austrian history. Vienna attracts a large amount of tourists because of its wonderful parks, beautiful architecture and historic sites. This Vienna City Orientation Tour will show you the most interesting places the city has to offer.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Music Venues Walking Tour

Music Venues Walking Tour

To call Vienna the "Music Capital of the World" would not be an exaggeration. It is home to a vast range of magnificent music venues where you can enjoy the sounds of Mozart’s arias, fabulous compositions by the "King of Waltz" Johann Strauss, famous Viennese Waltzes and other superb works of world-known musicians. Come enjoy the majestic sounds you will hear in some of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Neubau Sights Walking Tour

Neubau Sights Walking Tour

Neubau district of Vienna is an important shopping area, especially in the Mariahilfer Straße and Neubaugasse. The Volkstheater Wien, one of Vienna's large mainstream theatres, as well as the Museumsquartier, a centre dedicated to modern art, housing the Leopold Collection are located in Neubau.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Nightlife Walking Tour

Nightlife Walking Tour

Vienna has a reputation for history, classical music and elegance, but don't forget about its hot nightlife. The city is full of trendy bars, cafes, disco and clubs, where you can spend a fantastic evening dancing the night away. You can't visit Vienna without stopping at some of the following after-hours hot spots.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Donau City Walking Tour

Donau City Walking Tour

Donau City is the 22nd district of Vienna and is located on the North bank of the Danube River. This previously undeveloped district is now the most modern part of Vienna, with contemporary office and apartment buildings, skyscrapers, international centers and the Vienna Islamic Centre. Take the following tour to catch some of these incredible sights!

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Old Town Churches Walking Tour

Old Town Churches Walking Tour

Sacred buildings in Vienna impress visitors with their historic architecture and magnificent interiors. The remarkable Gothic Stephansdom, charming Baroque St Peter’s church, and other sacred buildings of Vienna provide not only a history of the city, but a refreshing look at truly beautiful architecture, as you will see in this tour.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 Km or 3.6 Miles

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