Old Town Palaces, Vienna (Self Guided)

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).
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

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
Author: leticia
1
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
2
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.
3
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.
4
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.
5
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

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
7
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
8
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
9
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
10
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
11
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.
Old Town Museums Tour

Old Town Museums Tour

Thanks to its glorious past, Vienna is home to almost one hundred museums. This wonderful city offers a wide range of local history and culture museums exhibiting Vienna’s unique history and culture. This tour will guide you to most famous museums located in the Old Town of Vienna.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Old Town Center Walking Tour

Old Town Center Walking Tour

The Innere Stadt, first district of Vienna, is part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of the city. Originally the inner city was divided into four quarters, which were designated after important town gates. Take this tour to explore the beautiful landmarks, famous museums and specialty shops in the Central area of the Innere Stadt.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Vienna's Modern and Art Deco Architecture Walking Tour

Vienna's Modern and Art Deco Architecture Walking Tour

Vienna’s architectural displays represent a wide array of time periods and styles. The popular Art Deco style, or Jugendstil, impresses visitors with its bold design and façade. This walking tour will introduce you to some of Vienna’s modern buildings of the 20th century.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Old Town Souvenir Shops

Old Town Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Vienna without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Vienna, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
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
Old Town East Walking Tour

Old Town East Walking Tour

The Innere Stadt, first district of Vienna, is part of the World Heritage Site Historic Centre of the city. Originally the inner city was divided into four quarters, which were designated after important town gates. Take this tour to explore the beautiful landmarks, art galleries and shops in the East area of the Innere Stadt.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Top 16 Austrian Things to Buy in Vienna

Top 16 Austrian Things to Buy in Vienna

Vienna stool, Viennese schnitzel, Viennese waltz, Vienna sausage, Viennese apple strudel... There's so much Vienna to it, that you might think you've heard it all. Luckily, chances are that you haven't and there's much more in store left to be discovered about this fascinating...
7 Ultimately Austrian Foods to Taste in Vienna

7 Ultimately Austrian Foods to Taste in Vienna

Once the center of the vast Hapsburg Empire, stretched from France in the West to Russia in the East, Austria has embraced many ethnic influences in its cuisine over the course of centuries. Many of the country's distinctive dishes reflect its multinational heritage. Coffee culture, for...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Vienna for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Vienna has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Vienna's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Vienna PASS, Vienna City Card, or Vienna Card. A city pass combines all or multiple Vienna's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Vienna hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth, Hotel Royal, DO&CO Hotel Vienna.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Vienna, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Vienna typically costs somewhere between US$20 and US$100 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to admire Vienna's best-known landmarks in comfort from the open top of the bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able to get on and off at any of the stops along the route. The tickets are valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

- Pedal your way around Vienna on a 3-hour bike tour to see the city's most spectacular highlights stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions along the way from a knowledgeable group leader.

- Follow an expert guide on a 2.5-hour walking tour of classic Vienna to see the city's greatest landmarks such as the Imperial Palace, Sacher cafe, and St Stephen's Cathedral, plus a number of hidden gems only the locals know about!

- Travel back in time for a glimpse of what the life of the Austrian monarchs was like on a 2-hour tour of their fabulous summer residence and the matching beauty baroque gardens. Feel yourself like a royal, if only for a few hours!

- Follow the trail of Graham Greene's “The Third Man” novel made into a movie in 1949 by Orson Welles, depicting post-WWII spy-ridden Vienna. Explore this fascinating city as it was more than 60 years ago.

- Give yourself away to the sounds of music on a memorable Mozart-filled evening in Vienna attending a combo of the world-renowned Vienna Mozart Orchestra concert and a lavish 3-course dinner at the elegant Bristol restaurant visited, back in the day, by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and other historic figures.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Vienna, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Salzburg, Melk Abbey and Danube Valley, Wachau Valley, Mauthausen, or Vienna Woods and Mayerling. For as little as circa US$60+ to US$160+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites - harmonious blend of natural and cultural beauty manifested in Austria's medieval towns and countryside, visit Mozart's birthplace and original filming locations of "The Sound of Music" movie, admire picturesque Danube valley with ancient castles, grand monasteries and cute little villages, explore historic locations bearing sometimes grim memories of the past (e.g. the horrors perpetuated by the Nazis) and pay tribute to the Holocaust victims at one of the largest Nazi labor camps during World War II, take a boat trip along the Danube or down to the largest subterranean lake in Europe, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Vienna and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.