So how do you get to see the famous Lipizzaner horses in action?
Relatively easily it turns out, provided you can settle for less than a fully-fledged performance.
- Book well in advance for actual performances
- Buy tickets (€15 for an adult or use the Vienna pass*) on the day to watch morning training (most weeks, Tuesday to Friday)
- Guided tours are available most days
The formal performances take place most months usually on the weekend. Exceptions are when the school is touring and during some of the summer, when the horses are on their holidays in the country.
Tickets are in great demand so you need to book early, especially if you want a good seat at an evening gala. Performance schedules, pricing and booking links are available from the riding school’s website.
There are alternatives, though. The stallions are often trained in the winter riding hall in the mornings and this Morgenarbeit (morning training) is open to the public.
It’s not every day – Tuesday to Friday are your best bet – and not all year round, so check in advance.
Although it doesn’t have the glamour or comprehensiveness of the gala performances, the exercises are done to music and it’s a (relatively) cheap and easy way to see the horses doing thier (rather impressive) thing.
I say “relatively cheap” because you do need a ticket or pass to see the training.
You can’t book tickets for future training sessions – you simply buy a ticket on the day from the Spanish Riding School visitor center. Note that some days can be very busy, so get some advice from the center on when best to attend.
You can also take a guided tour round the riding school and stables most days.
If you want to see the stallions for free and you have plenty of patience, you can wait outside the stable areas for the horses to transfer from their accommodation to the training areas on days when there’s Morgenarbeit or a performance.
Stand outside the former Lipizzaner Museum (Address: Reitschulgasse 2), facing the wall. To your right is the entrance to the stables. If you’re there just before, during and after the times of a session or performance, you could see some stallions walked past by their riders.
How to get to the riding school
The visitor center and entrance to the Spanish Riding School is part of the Hofburg Palace area, underneath the giant dome (Michaelerkuppel).
You can best reach it on bus numbers 1A and 2A using the Michaelerplatz and Habsburggasse stops.
Alternatively, it’s a short(ish) walk from subways U1 (Stephansplatz), U2 (Volkstheater or Museumsquartier) and U3 (Herrengasse or Stephansplatz), and from any stop on the trams 1, 71, and D between the stops Dr.Karl-Renner-Ring and Oper/Karlsplatz.
Address: Spanish Riding School (visitor center and entrance), Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Vienna | Official website