You can get some clue as to what awaits you in the Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury) when you pass through the entrance to reach the ticket office and gift shop. It looks like the kind of door you see in bank vaults. And for good reason.
- Relics, crown jewels, and treasures from hundreds of years of Imperial history
- Unique highlights include the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Habsburg Imperial crown
- Central location makes it easy to fit into your sightseeing
- Standard adult tickets* are €12 or use the Vienna Pass for free entry
- See also: Hofburg Palace | Imperial treasury highlights
Inside the Schatzkammer
The displays are split into a secular and ecclesiastical section, though they’re all part of one complex. What you get is a trip through over 1000 years of history in the form of imperial status symbols; crowns and ceremonial robes, swords and scepters, gems and jewelry, relics and rich altar tapestries.
The collection is a treasure trove for history aficionados, since the exhibits put you in touch with great moments of the past.
Imagine the coronation of a Holy Roman Emperor hundreds of years ago. The robes are here. And the crown. Or imagine Napoleon’s wife leaning over her son’s cot on a cold evening. The cot’s here.
For those of a religious leaning, some of the relics inspire awe. Since no records go back far enough, there can be no proof of authenticity, of course, but the relics’ stories, acquisition history (dating back as far as the 12th century and beyond) and presentation (in displays of exquisite workmanship) have value in their own right.
There are so many highlights in the Schatzkammer, I’ve given them their own article.
Tickets & visitor information
At the time of writing, the Schatzkammer normally opens daily from 9am to 5.30pm, Wednesday to Monday; a standard adult ticket* costs €12, with concessions available and free entry with a Vienna Pass (see my review).
A few tips:
- There’s a free cloakroom and lockers (which need a €1 or €2 coin to operate)
- An audio guide is good value, with extensive background information on many of the items on display. Exhibits carry a code which you punch into the audio unit to get information specific to that display.
- Benches dot the secular section, offering a place to sit and take it all in (or listen to your audio guide)
- Each room in the secular Imperial treasures has one or more useful summaries in English that explain the gallery’s theme and context, but also add specifics about some of the main items within. Display labels are also bilingual
- The ecclesiastical Imperial treasures are more or less German-only: an audio guide or guide book perhaps makes sense here. You might want either, anyway, to give more historical context to what you’re seeing
- Sometimes the Schatzkammer collection is almost too rich for its own good. If you’re not paying attention, you might miss something important: don’t always expect the best pieces to get the most prominent positions
- The shop inside the Schatzkammer entrance hall (before the ticketed area) has the usual souvenirs, but also a collection of jewellery
How to get to the Schatzkammer
The Schatzkammer sits in the middle of the Hofburg palace, near the National Library’s glorious State Hall, the Sisi Museum, and the Spanish Riding School, for example. You pretty much pass it as you walk through this central complex.
The area is pedestrianised, but not far from many central stations and stops:
Subway: A short walk from either Stephansplatz (U1 and U3 lines) or Herrengasse (U3 line)
Tram/bus: Take the D, 1, 2 or 71 tram to the Burgring stop. Or bus lines 1A or 2A to Michaelerplatz or Habsburgergasse
Address: Schweizerhof, Hofburg, 1010 Vienna | Website