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Royal Castles and Palaces to Visit in Vienna

Visit the most astonishing palaces and castles in this ethernal city

Jan 6, 2018 | Travel guide

schönbrunn palace wien

Vienna has many castles and palaces, enough to satisfy every visitor’s taste. Regardless if you’re interested in music or love architecture, traveling as a couple, as a group of friends or with kids, the city offers a lot of things to do in summer, but many things to do in winter as well. Needless to say, a visit to Vienna’s castles and palaces should be part of every season, so we have composed a list of the best ones there are. We advise you to catch the Vienna airport bus on time and start your expedition through the best Vienna castles and palaces.

The Hofburg Palace

The Habsburg Empire ruled for centuries from the very center of Vienna and the magnificent Hofburg Palace was right at the heart of it. Today, the Palace has three museums under its roof: the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum (telling a sad tale) and the Silver Collection. You can visit the Palace while seeing the landmarks in the city center, so make sure to set some time aside.

The Belvedere Palace Museum

The Belvedere Palace Museum is composed of the Orangery and the Palace Stables. The Orangery is home of the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s artworks, including The Kiss, so this spot is ideal if you are traveling with someone who loves art. Many visitors simply stroll in the magnificent gardens and snap photos of the palace’s reflection in the pond in the front, so if you had your share of royal interiors, you can do the same.

belvedere wien

The Schönbrunn Palace

Standing tall on a 60-metre (200-feet) hill, the Schönbrunn Palace is a true Baroque jewel and one of the essential architectural monuments in all of Austria. If you are planning a visit, do note that you’ll need the whole day for this landmark. There are 1,411 rooms, while the garden houses 32 sculptures, all worth your time. On top of that, a set of Roman ruins built as follies in the late 1700s can be seen.

The Schwarzenberg Palace

Erected back to the late 1600s, this Baroque landmark is still owned by the known Shwarzenberg family. Parts of it are transformed into a five-star hotel available for booking, while the other areas host all kinds of concerts and events. If you are in luck, you might even get a peek inside the extravagant marble gallery when visiting.

The Burg Kreuzenstein Castle

The picturesque Kreuzenstein Castle rests on a wooded hilltop over the village of Leobendorf. It’s located a few kilometers north of Vienna, between the cities Korneuburg and Stockerau. The castle’s position is 266 meters above sea level in the very intersection of the Danube River and the Vienna Woods, making it a powerful strategic defense system back in the centuries and during the Middle Ages. It is truly a spectacular place, so make some time in your agenda to see it.

kreuzenstein castle wien vienna

The Schloss Hetzendorf Palace

This palace is the most ill-fated of all Vienna’s palaces, at least according to some. Archduke Franz Josef, the last Austrian emperor, resided here and during the Second World War the building was heavily bombed. It has risen from the ashes later on, and the gradual restoration of historical rooms has returned it to its days of glory. Today, it’s the site of Vienna’s fashion school, so it is fun to see how the old and the new managed to blend together.

The Harrach Palace

Originally, the Baroque palace was a seat of the famous Harrach family. It was later sold to the Viennese municipality in the late 20th century, today housing a variety of offices and shops. You can still simply walk through the old streets of the place and go back in time or hit the shops and get some souvenirs for yourself and your family.

The Esterházy Palace

One of the most distinguished families of Vienna, the Esterházy family, owned this palace, along with 14 other palaces across the city. However, this particular one is closed to the public, but it’s still luring visitors to gaze upon its neo-Classical and Baroque façade and walk through the courtyards to absorb the royal charm. It is fairly visited throughout the year, so try to stop by it.

esterházy castle vienna

Liechtenstein Castle

The Liechtenstein Castle is a family seat of the Prince of Liechtenstein, located on the southern edge of the Vienna Woods. This is not a museum in a traditional sense, but a very lively place, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year. The castle was actually built in the 19th century, serving nearly 200 years (from 1130 to 1295) as a temporary residence of the family, thus embodying a family history of 900 years. It is a remarkable piece of Austria’s history, so making a trip to the landmark is a time well spent.

Lobkowitz Palace

If you’re visiting the Kunsthistorisches Musem, you can simply add the grand Lobkowitz Palace on your agenda. The building actually houses the theatre museum of Vienna’s art gallery and is known for Beethoven’s frequent visits in the early 19th century. An interesting fact is that his Third Symphony is dedicated to the owner at the time.

Besides the typical tourist attractions in Vienna, the city has many historic palaces and castles to offer to its visitors. They hold big pieces of the history within, standing as silent monuments of the past. Hence, once you are done with Vienna’s most important spots, make sure to leave some space in your agenda for a visit to few. Have this in mind before calling a taxi company or limousine service to take you from the airport to the city. Happy exploring!

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