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24 HRS IN VIENNA? HEAD TO THE HOFBURG

IF YOU HAVE ONE DAY IN VIENNA

Visit the Hofburg Palace: The entire city revolves around this vast complex comprising statues, figurines, museums, equestrian school, Treasury, National Theatre,  chapels, halls and courtyards. It’s the seat of all things cultural and key to understanding the history of European and Austrian monarchy. Architecture, art and history merge in the former winter residence of the Habsburg dynasty (former rulers of Austro-Hungarian empire.)

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Iconic green & gold domes of Hofburg Palace complex

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Statues in Burg garten, gardens outside Hofburg Palace complex and Austria National Library

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Dome-shaped ceiling inside Hofburg Palace complex hallway

The Kaiser apartments, Sisi Museum & Silver Collection is one series of exhibitions all under one roof:

I purchase a ticket for all three and wander in.

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‘Silverware museum, Hofburg, Vienna

INSIDER TIP: Pick up the audio guides in each as they provide an in-depth understanding of the scale of luxuries held by the Habsburg monarchy and the rooms of the palace. The Sisi museum is fascinating and I really enjoy feeling completely immersed in her palace rooms and tragic histoires.

Ride in a horse-drawn carriage to take in Vienna’s sights:

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Traditional horse-drawn carriage, mode of transport to sightsee in ViennaThe glamorous and gleaming wooden carriages are ‘parked’ in Michaelerplatz. A 40 minute city tour costs approx 80E. I’m whisked past museums, Parliament, City Hall and down narrow streets into the Old Town past Churches, monuments and, of course, Café’s. Wrap up warm in winter as the biting breeze is piercing but still feels wonderfully refreshing!

Osterreichische’ Prunksaal or National Library State Hall:

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Beautiful frescoes on ceiling of Osterreichisches Prunksaal Wien, National Library State Hall

Within the Palace grounds, this Baroque State Hall is one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. The ceiling is painted in elaborate frescoes, depicting warfare on one side and heaven and peace on the opposite.

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More than 200K books in process of being digiticised at Osterreichisches Prunksaal Wien, National Library State Hall

It holds more than 200,000 original books in tall nutwood bookcases. These are currently in the process of being digitised to become the world’s oldest largest digital collection. www.onb.ac.at 

Vienna’s much-loved Churches: Augustinerkirche, Peterskirche & St Michael’s:

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St Michael’s Church, Michaelerplatz, Vienna

St Michael’s is in Michaelerplatz, opposite the horse carriages. Easily identified: Winged angels & a tower that can be seen for miles.

Augustinerkirche is just around the corner, off Josefplatz, featuring a varied programme of music for evening performances. www.hochamt.at

Peterskirche, in Petersplatz, is one of Vienna’s most lavish and locally-loved churches.

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One of several beautifully adorned and decorated churches in Vienna

Known for its Baroque architecture & artistic qualities, don’t miss the painting above the High Altar depicting the Immaculate Conception

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St Michael’s Church, Michaelerplatz, Vienna

‘Kapuzinerkirche’ or ‘Church of the Capuchin Friars’:

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Kapuzinerkirche Wien or Capuchin Church, where Habsburg rulers are laid to rest, Vienna

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this 1620s Church as it holds the burial vaults of all the Habsburg rulers. The surrounding historical area consists of the glamorous Donner Fountain (Goddess of Providence surrounded by laughing cherubs) and Chancellery building where key decisions were made in the lead-up to World War I.

Ride the subway to Prater for the romantic Ferris Wheel at sunset:

If you still find time in the day, head here just before sunset for stunning views from the top. More than 100 years old, the wheel stands testament to time, having survived natural disasters and war. 15 marvellously old-fashioned cabins turn at 2.7km/hr; slow enough to appreciate the views from all angles.

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Prater Ferris Wheel, 6th district, Vienna

It’ll also give you a chance to ride the subway. Being a Londoner more accustomed to dark, polluted Victorian underground lines, I’m impressed with the cleanliness & efficiency here.  With artwork and installations , the subway feels modern, artistic and safe.

Vienna is crammed full of sights and history. But in a day, the above are just some of my personal favourites. For more, see my ‘For Every Sight, A Coffee House’ post.

NEXT POST: IF TIME IS SHORT BUT YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE TRADITIONAL VIENNESE COFFEE HOUSES, I’LL SHOW YOU TWO OF MY FAVOURITES BY THE HOFBURG, FOR THE BEST!

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2 thoughts on “24 HRS IN VIENNA? HEAD TO THE HOFBURG

  1. Pingback: Next stop…Vienna with someone else’s luggage | Fabulous 50's

  2. Pingback: Europe Vacation: Vienna, Austria – Schönbrunn Palace and Hofburg Palace « MASCrapping

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