Take a walking tour of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and crossroads of central Europe. Medieval fortifications, Gothic cathedrals, a neoclassical palace and a vibrant coffee-house culture await you in this off-the-beaten-track visit to the city, just an hour from Vienna.
Vienna walking tour & Schönbrunn Palace
Vienna walking tour & Schönbrunn Palace, Austria
This walking-and-driving tour lets you spend half of a day exploring Vienna’s historical highlights, including national museums and the Hofburg Imperial Palace in the city’s old town, as well as the gargantuan Schönbrunn Palace with its UNESCO World Heritage-designated gardens. It’s also a good way to see the sights and orient yourself to the location of some of Vienna’s most important places so that you can go back and visit them at your leisure.
Wander through Vienna’s First District, the cultural headquarters of the city, where you’ll get a good understanding of the Renaissance revival architecture of the State Opera House, take in the baroque Burgtheater and glimpse the towering Gothic city hall building.
The guided tour is four hours, including a short drive to and tour of Schönbrunn Palace, the Habsburg family’s former summer home. The palace boasts more than 1,400 rooms and an extensive, manicured garden that features an ornately detailed fountain depicting the god Neptune.
Meet your guide at your hotel and head to Vienna’s First District, the geographical midpoint of the city that encompasses the historical district. Take off walking and see the State Opera House, Museum of Natural History, the Imperial Palace, the current-day parliament building and city hall, the Burgtheater and buildings belonging to the University of Vienna.
The Imperial Palace, or the Hofburg Palace, was the former principal palace of the Habsburg dynasty, and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the Austrian president. The Baroque architecture features columns, three large green copper domes and ornate statues that keep watch from the top of the building. Built in 1274, the palace is almost a city within a city and boasts numerous courtyards and gardens for you to explore.
In stark contrast to the more rounded features of the Imperial Palace, the Vienna City Hall has sharply pointed, Gothic architecture. With one large tower flanked by four smaller ones, the building looks every bit as important and authoritative as you’d expect from the seat of local government.
After the walking portion of the tour, your driver will take you to Schönbrunn Palace. Take in the colossal size of the building itself before heading inside to explore some of the 1,400 stately rooms with your guide. Start with the Herringbone Room, the first stop on the ground floor that features large painted portraits of Habsburg family members. It also boasts parquet flooring and an intricate frieze around the ceiling.
You’ll also get the chance to see the Billiard Room, one of Franz Joseph’s private rooms. It still has its original decor and furnishings from the late 19th century, including massive paintings that cover most of the walls they are hung on.
You’ll then head back into the city where you’ll end the tour at your hotel.
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Photos of Vienna walking tour & Schönbrunn Palace
Other experiences in Vienna
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
This three-hour guided coffeehouse tour around Vienna brings you to some of the most storied cafes in the city, and gives you a taste of the city’s renowned coffee and pastries — all in one morning.
Take a guided half-day walking tour of Vienna’s First District to the memorials and museums dedicated to Austria’s Jewish community and the 65,000 Austrian Jews killed in the Holocaust. Pay your respects at the Holocaust Memorial and see the ruins of a medieval synagogue.
Watch the Ballet of the White Stallions at the ornate Spanish Riding School inside of Hofburg Palace. You’ll get to see the world-renowned Lipizzaner horses as they perform flying changes and half pirouettes in the lavishly designed baroque-era arena.
Spend a morning on a brief walking tour of Vienna’s markets, tasting the city’s delicacies along the way. Then retire to your guide’s private apartment for instruction on cooking a two-course gourmet lunch. Sample Austria’s wines with the meal you’ve prepared in a chef’s kitchen.
This river boat tour of the Wachau Valley starts with the Baroque majesty of Melk Abbey, then takes you on a slow drift through the vineyards, orchards and villages along the Danube’s forested banks. A stop in the historic town of Dürnstein, with its storied history, completes the day.