Hofburg Palace Vienna

Although the oldest sections of the Hofburg Palace date back to the 13th century, the last and possibly most famous occupants were Emperor Franz Josef and his wife Elizabeth (Sisi). Franz Josef died in 1916.

Elizabeth was the Empress of Austria, the Queen of Hungary and the Queen Consort of Croatia and Bohemia.

A visit to the palace includes (in one ticket) the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection. Tickets include a free audio guide. Unfortunately, none were available on the day we visited because they had “so many visitors”. The tickets you buy online are not for a specific day – perhaps they should be. We certainly recommend purchasing online in advance to skip the very long ticket buying queues.

Video and photos are prohibited in the Imperial apartments, but you can snap away at the silver collection as much as you want. The silver collection is actually all of the dinnerware – plates, cutlery, centre pieces, candelabra and so on. The social secretary must have kept a diary of what plates were used for each occasion to avoid guests suffering the same china pattern twice!

The Hofburg Palace and precinct is also home to some very large museums and the Lipizzaner stallions (Sisi was an equestrian). We didn’t have time to take in the museums and although we would have loved to see the horses, they actually close down during the summer and the horses go to the country.