Visit the Spanish Riding School in the heart of Vienna and get to know the young Lipizzan horses. You will learn about the origins of these noble…
Enjoy a look behind the scenes of the Spanish Riding School on this guided tour. Admire the stunning architecture of the centuries-old institution.
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Top sights in Vienna
Vienna's Spanish Riding School allows you to relive the prestige and sophistication of centuries past. Here are five fascinating facts about its history, which render the Spanish Riding School the only remaining dressage institution of its kind in the world.
The majestic white stallions of the Spanish Riding School are all Lipizzaner, Europe's oldest domesticated breed of horse.
The Spanish Riding School is the only institution in the world where the prestigious, 400-year-old equestrian tradition of the haute école is still practiced in its original form.
Accompanied by classical music, the riders and horses perform highly intricate ballets, with such magnificent feats as pirouettes, passages and piaffes, as well as amazing jumps.
At the Spanish Riding School, in order to reach the required level of excellence, a horse must undergo 6 years of training, whereas riders train for 10 to 12 years.
The hall where the performances are held, widely regarded as the world's most beautiful riding hall, was built by eminent baroque architect Joseph Emanuel Fischer in the 1730s.
Note that there are different options for visiting the Spanish Riding School, including taking a tour of the stables, watching the morning exercises and, of course, witnessing one of the performances. The availability of each option is also dependent on schedule, so make sure to carefully consider the choices to avoid disappointment.
The horses and riders have their summer break in July and August. It's best to get informed about the exact dates of the break prior to your visit, as it's not possible to watch a performance during the school's summer holidays.
Cap your day of Viennese tradition by grabbing a slice of delicious Sachertorte at the café on your way out.
- When should I visit?
- The Visitor Center is open Monday through Sunday 9:00AM to 4:00PM. Performance times vary.
- Is it expensive?
- Adult tickets start at €14 and go up depending on performances and tours selected.
- Will I need a guide?
- A guide is not necessary.
- How to get there
- Take the U3 train to Herrengasse or trams 1, 2, D or J to Burgring.
- Additional information
- Children under three are not admitted.
- Each performance is about an hour, and you'll need to secure tickets well in advance.
What people are saying about Spanish Riding School
I was unable to get tickets for a performance concert with the Lippizane horses so I booked the Morning Exercise tour. I was very pleasantly surprised. Love it. About 20 minutes is long enough to watch them but they are so beautiful. Most of the time they are just walking around with their trainers but some of them will do a bit of jumping and it's so worth it to see them (the horses that is, not the trainers- lol!) A little tip - annoyingly, although you may have your booking confirmation printed or have it on your phone, you still have to get a ticket printed when you get there. However, you don't have to stand in the long queue - just walk into the hall and at the end of the reception desk there is a couple of staff who will print your ticket out for you. Enjoy!
The tour was excellent--Josh was knowledgeable, personable, and easy to hear. I knew we were going to get a tour of all of the facilities, and I had been disappointed to not be able to attend either a show or "morning exercises" because of our schedule, but when we got to see the Stallions up close in their stalls, I was touched and thrilled. And although we are not allowed to touch them or take pictures of them, just being able to look many of the horses in the eye and say a little something to them made me feel connected to them. I only wish the gift shop were open when the tour ended--perhaps extending the hours so that those who take the tour can visit the shop at the end would be good.
A lovely setting with an interior with elaborate decoration. Good viewing areas, both sitting and standing. A small amount of commentary to explain what we were viewing and its history. It was 36 degrees outside and a little cooler inside, so a fan may be useful. Our group consisted of adults and teenagers and all enjoyed 20 mins, but we stayed longer as there were "horse" fans among the group and they were thrilled. We were asked not to take photos, but pictures and brochures are on sale. The site said it may be smelly, but we didn't really notice any.
On the second tier we looked down on the horses from a higher level than anticipated. Also I had hoped there would be live music. Still, seeing these horses perform so elegantly was wonderful fulfillment of a childhood fantasy that began with a Walt Disney movie about the horses.
We especially loved seeing the Mother horses & their babies running free in the park. Our guide told us about this opportunity that takes place on nice days about 5-5:30 ish. What a perfect opportunity to see these beautiful horses up close.