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Can you walk through the middle of the Hofburg Palace?

This may seem like a strange question, but I'm doing my itinerary, and I have to walk from St. Stephen's to Maria-Teresia Platz. Google maps shows that I walk through the palace. I don't know if that's possible. There looks like a road that goes through there, so I was wondering if I could walk through there about 6 or 7 at night. If not, I will have to walk around the palace.

Posted by
170 posts

The back of the Hofburg bumps up against a city neighborhood. That area is not far from the Grabben, one of the best streets in Vienna. Have a great visit!

Posted by
2269 posts

Yes, there's a big gate, with the entrance to the Spanish Riding School on one side, and an access to the royal apartments on the other. In the middle, there is a large square, with many statues (Hercules doing the 12 labors, etc) and many others. There is a small museum in there, where there is much about Empress Sisi.

Posted by
1490 posts

There are several ways to walk through the Hofburg.

The biggest is the one you are looking for: from Michaelerplatz (inner gate) through the main courtyard, passing Heldenplatz, and leaving through the outer gate at the Ring boulevard opposite Maria-Theresien Platz. This is roughly in east-west direction.

In north-south direction you may walk from Ballhausplatz (chancellor's office) into the Hofburg passing the president's office, across the main courtyard to the Treasury, and from there either to Josefsplatz (State Hall of the Austrian National Library [worth a visit]) or to Burggarten, the then-private park of the royals, now open to the public.

This is the general information about the Hofburg: https://www.hofburg-wien.at/en/

Posted by
12891 posts

Hi,

It is an extremely interesting and historical walk from the Stephansdom to the Maria-Theresien Platz, the statue where she is surrounded by her diplomats and generals, like Kaunitz and Daun, who is noted as the defensive general of the 18th century.

Continue to the Heldenplatz where you see on opposite ends the military commander most victorious under the Habsburgs, Prince Eugene. The "pocket battleship" (Prinz Eugen) in WW2 was named after him. Across from the him is the Archduke Charles (Karl), who imposed a set-back on Napoleon in 1809. Prinz Eugene is located in front of the Nationalbibliothek (library) housed in the Hofburg Palace.

If you're there at 6 or 7 pm in the summer, you certainly won't be the only one walking around there, tons of tourists in the Stephansplatz all the way to the Staatsoper, which you can walk to from the Hofburg.

Posted by
49 posts

It's not going to be summer. It's going to be in about a week and a half. It should be amazing walk with all of the Christmas lights.

Posted by
49 posts

I'm definitely going to the big one at the Rathaus, plus Schonbrunn, Maria-Teresia-Platz, Spittelberg, Stephensplatz, Am Hof, and Freuyung. Plus any others I happen to come across. It's going to be a busy four days. And this will be after one day in Munich, two days in Nuremberg, and two days in Salzburg. I'm going to see if it's possible to overdose on Christmas.

Posted by
4690 posts

I’ve been to them all, many times. Here’s my two cents:

Rathaus - look at it from the Burgtheater and move on. Do not enter. All items for sale are cheap, made in China stuff. Heaving with tourists - Viennese do not go here.

Schonbrunn - Best food of all the markets. Crafts are ok. Setting is nice. This is in my top five.

Maria-Theresa-Platz - Meh. Nothing really special about this one.

Spittelberg - Very nice market and also in my top five. Be sure to enter the shops and buildings behind the stalls for the best stuff. Spread over three quaint cobblestone streets, so very atmospheric.

Stephansplatz - I think this is the second year of this market. Total garbage. When one of the stalls is marketing the hop on hop off bus, you just move on.

Am Hof - Meh. Nothing really special.

Freyung - Kinda quaint, good crafts. Very small.

What you’ve missed - three of the absolute best including my number one!

Karlsplatz - Everyone’s favorite, including mine. High standards for crafts and food - all locally made. Setting is special.

Belvedere - This is all about the setting and one particular punsch stand. The grounds of the Belvedere usually close at dusk, so to be so close at night is magical.

Altes AKH - my other absolute favorite as the setting feels like you’re in a forest. Plus you can do curling. Crafts are good; excellent food choices.

Posted by
49 posts

I'm staying at the Sans Souci Wien so the markets I'm going to are ones that are mostly in walking distance and ones that I'm walking past going from place to another. The three you mention are like a 25-30 minute walk away, which is too far. I'd take a taxi to those, but I'd be afraid that I couldn't find a taxi back. And I don't use buses, trams, or subways.

Posted by
981 posts

Emily, thanks for your insights. I will be visiting some Christmas markets in Vienna the second week in December. Good to know which to focus on.

Posted by
4690 posts

If you don't use public transport in Vienna, then you'll be at a serious disadvantage. Couldn't be easier, honestly. You can get to the three markets I mention by tram in minutes. Oh well. I'd also re-evaluate your walking times as these seem high to me.

Posted by
49 posts

I only don't use public transport because I'm a big man (former American football player), and Europeans are generally smaller so your seats are small and tight for someone like me.

Posted by
4690 posts

Vienna actually has a great football team filled with huge American guys. I meet them from time to time on the train. Austrians can be pretty big too. Standing on a tram is no big deal. I do it all the time. Get outside your comfort zone a bit.

Posted by
49 posts

Okay, I've decided to take a taxi to Belvedere Palace on the first day, then walk about 20 minutes to Karlsplatz. Then walk back about 15-20 minutes to Sans Souci. Unless I come across a better transportation option, like a taxi. On another day, I've added Altes AKH since we'll be by the Rathaus that night, and it's only a 10 minute walk from there.

Posted by
12891 posts

Hi,

I assume you mean Schönbrunn. Sans Soucci is in Potsdam

Posted by
1490 posts

Sans Souci is in Potsdam

True, but he refers to the Sans Souci Hotel in Vienna.

Posted by
3 posts

Chris, I can't imagine doing Vienna without using the tram. Even standing, it saves so much time and walking. Do reconsider. It brings a lot of wonderful sights within your reach.

Posted by
3 posts

Emily, thank you for the rundown on the Markets. I've seem more than one person talk about the Rathaus market as too commercial, but that was my introduction to Vienna at Christmas, so it holds a place in my memories. ;) I'm headed back to Vienna mid-December and thanks to your rundown, have a much more nuanced list to visit. :)

Posted by
49 posts

Yeah, I just printed out 24 hour tickets for the tram for the one day that I'm going to Belvedere, then Karsplatz, then back to my hotel. The rest of the time I'm within easy walking distance, or I'll be in the center where the tram won't help me.

Posted by
4690 posts

For that day, you just need the D Tram only. Easy peasy. Wouldn’t be surprised if we crossed paths.

Posted by
49 posts

As long as I make sure I get on and off the right trams at the right stops!!!

Posted by
49 posts

If anyone has followed this thread you'll be happy to know that I'm coming to the end of my Germany and Austria Christmas trip, and it was amazing.

Emily, you'll be happy to know that I road the tram three times. I've also been to nine different markets in Vienna alone. And, by the way, I have one question- what is that awful smell at some of the markets? I assume it's cheese, but I don't know. But when I smell it, I run from the area because it's quite unpleasant!!

Posted by
4690 posts

Yes, probably cheese. Which markets were your favorites?

Posted by
49 posts

To be honest, I liked them all because we really don't have things like that in the US. They all have great atmosphere, even if they're all a little different. I can see why the one at the Karlsplatz was your favorite because it seemed the most authentic. The problem for outsiders, though, is that it's so authentic that I had no idea what the food and drink were because it wasn't written in English. But I'm glad I went there because it did seem to be a local favorite, and it was a beautiful setting. We got some really good food and drink at the Am Hof, but was there on Saturday night so it was pretty crowded. The night time crowds at these things can be pretty bad, but it was much worse in Munich where you sometimes couldn't move for a minute or so. Vienna is pretty amazing, even though I had a kasekrainer explode down my jacket twice.