A classic city walk will be about two hours or less and will include all the most important sights of the historic centre of Vienna such as the State Opera, Hofburg palace, Graben und St. Stevens Cathedral. This can be combined with a guided tour of one of the many churches and museums. If you tell me what you are interested in I would be delighted to create a tour tailored to your specific preferences.
Please find a few suggestions below:
1a. Classic walk through the historic centre of Vienna (2h)
We start at the State Opera and the famous Sacher hotel across Albertina square and then walk through the various inner court yards of the Hofburg palace, the former imperial residence of the Habsburg family. On the way there is also the Augustiner church (the former court church) and the Stallburg where the famous white Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School are housed. Next we cross the Michaeler square with the archaeological remains of a Roman villa and come to the two most elegant and exclusive shopping streets in Vienna: the Kohlmarkt (where there is also one of the most famous Cafes of Vienna, the Demel) and then the Graben. All this will be accompanied by tales and stories about the imperial family and their funeral ceremonies, stories about the famous Viennese cafes and the people who visited them. Our tour ends right in the heart of Vienna and in front of her main landmark, the gothic St. Stevens Cathedral. If you wish, a guided tour of the cathedral can be included.
Price: € 160 ( 20 % VAT incl.), plus admission charges (if applicable).
Duration 2 h
2a. Romantic Inner City (2h)
This walk focuses on the more quiet side streets rather than the busy thoroughfares. Narrow and winding little lanes lead to romantic squares and picturesque inner courtyards, past traditional patrician family houses and baroque town houses, known in Vienna as ‘Stadtpalais’. I will take you to some of the oldest parts of Vienna that are steeped in history, legends and myths: the Griechenviertel (Greek quarter) with its mediaeval flair and the Heiligenkreuzerhof which goes back to the 12th century. Other highlights along the way are Vienna’s first university which dates back to 1365, the Jesuits’ and the Franciscan church. Nearby is another rather special location: The „kleine Kaffee“ which translates as ‘little Cafe’ and which is very little indeed! I will tell you the stories and anecdotes about the Beautiful Lantern after which the Schönlaterngasse was named, the spooky Basilisk house, St. Stevens Cathedral and the story of Dear Augustin (Der liebe Augustin), an unlikely local hero. We also pass places where famous composers such as Mozart and Brahms used to work and there even is a chess playing cow wearing glasses! If you wish we can follow this up with a visit to the lesser known treasury of the Deutschordenshauses or the frescoed Mozart hall, or maybe a guided tour of St. Stevens Cathedral or the recently opened up Stadtpalais of Prince Eugene.
Price: €160 (20 % VAT incl.), plus admission charges
Duration 2 h
3a. Imperial Vienna (2 h)
This guided tour includes a visit to the former residence of the imperial family, the Hofburg palace, and generally focuses on the Habsburg dynasty. The Hofburg has been the centre of the power of the Habsburg monarchy for over 600 years – home to the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, the palace with its 19 courtyards and 18 different sections and about 2600 rooms is the seat of the Austrian president. The guided tour will take you through various parts of the building and the courtyards of this rambling palace that has grown over the centuries, starting out as a mediaeval castle, with Renaissance additions such as the Amalienburg and Stallburg and opulent baroque aspects dating from the period of Karl VI and the imposing “new castle” built in the 19th and 20th century. Next we will take a tour of the Sissi museum and the splendid imperial apartments where Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Sissi used to live. Alternatively we could visit the Imperial crypt, the treasury or the court library. If desired we could also visit a performance at the Spanish Riding School.