Sisi Ticket - skip line at Hofburg?

Jul 12th, 2017, 10:13 AM
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Sisi Ticket - skip line at Hofburg?

Can I buy multiple Sisi Tickets online for our group ahead of our trip to Vienna, then show the tickets on my phone at the front of the entry line for the Hofburg Imperial Apartments tour and skip waiting in line to enter the tour?

And then show the tickets again on my phone the next day at the front of the line at the Schonbrunn and skip that line?
bakerstreet is offline  
Jul 12th, 2017, 02:37 PM
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Hi Bakerstreet,

That's a really good question. There is conflicting advice about this on the web. Just reading the English Hofburg website it sounds as though you can only use the Sisi Ticket for admission to one of the attractions (Hofburg, Schönbrunn Palace, Imperial Furniture Collection) and that line-skipping is only available for one of those attractions, namely Schönbrunn Palace. However, I found a German-language website (Imperial Austria) where it says that
"Mit dem Sisi Ticket ist ein eigener Zugang (fast lane) zu allen inkludierten Attraktionen garantiert."
Transl.: With the Sisi Ticket a personal entry (fast lane) is guaranteed to all included attractions.
However, the English version of this website specifically says there is fast-track access to Schönbrunn Palace, and that you can visit all three attractions on the same ticket. You can visit the attractions any time within a year of purchase. Different rules for different tourists? I would tend to trust the Imperial Austria website.

For absolute clarity I would contact Imperial Austria (link below).

Check out the links:

The Imperial Austria website also mentions that you will need a printer to print your ticket, so I would think that keeping your tickets on your phone won't be possible.

lavandula is offline  
Jul 12th, 2017, 09:47 PM
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The Sisi Ticket allows one entry each into Schloss Schönbrunn, Hofburg (the Apartments and Silver Collection), and the Imperial Furniture Museum. You can use the tickets on multiple days up to one year from purchase; I have done this.

There is no "Fast-Track" entry option, per se, at Hofburg or the Furniture Museum. Buying your ticket online just saves time in the queue (and there is never a queue at the Furniture Museum); if you are doing a private tour at Hofburg, that is a separate ticket, otherwise, you just have the option of an audio guide. At Schloss Schönbrunn, there is timed-entry; having your tickets printed allows you to enter at any time.

I don't recall being able to scan the ticket on a phone, however.

I hope this is helpful.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jul 14th, 2017, 08:51 AM
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I ended up emailing the Vienna Pass people, using both the "contact us" form and a direct email. I received these two replies:

"Regarding your question I can confirm that with the Vienna PASS you are able to skip the line at the Hofburg Palace, including the imperial appartments tour, sisi museum and imperial treasury.
With kind regards from sunny Vienna,
Tamara Meier, Customer Service Center, VPG VIENNA PASS GMBH"


"For the Hofburg the Vienna PASS holders can use the special entry for groups. Kind regards, Andrea Pichler, Customer Service Center"

I also asked questions about "skip-the-line" entry at Vienna attractions of the woman who helped me plan my Vienna itinerary, and got this response:

"... about the Vienna PASS and the Hofburg Imperial Tour. First, with the Vienna PASS you will still need to get your free entry tickets from the visitor center, which may not have queues as long as for buying them. Second, if you want a guided tour on top of entry access, you will need to buy the tickets extra onsite.

With the Sisi Ticket you can buy it online here
Please print out all tickets after purchase and show them onsite.

The Sisi Ticket allows skip the line entrance at the Hofburug, and you will get an audio guide. If you want a guided tour (like with the Vienna PASS) you may need to queue onsite to get an upgrade on your free tickets for a couple of Euros.

Please note that the Vienna PASS grants free access, and fast track entry to the places you mentioned, to a range of attractions. Guided tours on site will have to be purchased separately."

I want to skip as much waiting in line as possible because my time in Vienna is so limited. Is the best bet then to buy both the Vienna Pass and the Sisi ticket, given that I want to include the Schonbrunn and it can have long lines? The Vienna Pass gives express entry to the zoo there, but it doesn't also list the palace.
bakerstreet is offline  
Jul 15th, 2017, 05:40 AM
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bakerstreet, there is no need for both the Vienna Pass and the Sisi ticket if you purchase your tickets online. The components of the Sisi ticket (Imperial Apartments, Sisi Apartment, and the Furniture Museum) are included in the Vienna Pass, so the purchase would be redundant. Plus, purchasing a 24 hour pass would require an awful lot of sightseeing to recoup the €59 cost. Trying to tour Schloss Schönbrunn and Hofburg in one day is a tall order, and one likely to leave you Imperial-ed out.

When I take visiting friends and family to Schloss Schonbrunn, we purchase the tickets the morning of our visit (or the night before), and walk past the queues to purchase tickets and on toward the palace. The queues for Hofburg are people purchasing their tickets; those with tickets can also enter freely.

Just for reference, the "express" entry to the Zoo only means that you can skip the queue to purchase the ticket, which can be done with an online purchased ticket.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jul 17th, 2017, 01:55 PM
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fourfortravel, you sound like the exact source I've been looking for for answers! My main interest is in bypassing lines so we can enter attractions as quickly as possible. Also, we must do a lot in a short time and I didn't want to be "caught" if I predicted we'd be at a certain attraction at a certain time so bought a timed ticket for it then and it turned out we couldn't make it then...I thought a pass might give us the flexibility of showing up at any time and being able to bypass the lines.

If I have a Vienna Pass, does that mean I ALSO need to get a ticket that is separate from the pass? Or can I just show my Vienna pass at the door and walk in?

I was thinking of getting a 2-day Vienna Pass, plus the Sisi Ticket because although the Vienna Pass covers entrance to the Schonbrunn, it doesn't give "Express entry skip-the-line" privileges at the Schonbrunn, but from what I've read, the Sisi Ticket does.

The Vienna Pass website says pass holders get "skip-the-line" express entry at the following attractions in which we are interested (there are a few more we don't plan to see:

Belvedere (Upper and Lower Belvedere)
Imperial Treasury
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) & Neue Burg
Schönbrunn Zoo
Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel

We plan to go to all of these, and I thought having the Vienna Pass would allow us to just go right in and not have to buy a ticket first. Do you know if that is right? Or will we still need to get tickets anyway to these places?

Here is our (admittedly ambitious) plan:

Day 1 (we arrive in the afternoon):

Hofburg Treasury Tour using Vienna Pass
Buy Sisi ticket and get in Hofburg Imperial Apartments tour with skip-line entry

Day 2 (our only full day in Vienna so will be moving fast):

Schonbrunn Palace and Tiergarten (Sisi ticket for palace and Vienna Pass for Zoo, both should give us skip-line entry, right? Or do I need to buy a separate ticket for the zoo, negating to me the value of the Vienna pass?

Kunsthistorisches Museum -- again, will Vienna Pass still make me queue for a ticket? Or can I walk right in?

Belvedere Palace -- upper palace. (Same question here -- Vienna Pass website says it gives skip-the-line entry - can we just show the pass and walk in, or still need to queue for a ticket?)

Night time in Prater Park -- ride the Giant Ferris Wheel. (again, same issue -- Vienna Pass website says skip-the-line so can we show our pass and go straight to the front of the line? Or do we need a ticket and there's a line for that? If Passholders can really skip the line of people waiting to board the Ferris Wheel, do people in line get mad at Passholders going to the front of the line?)

Or is the Vienna Pass website's promotion of "skip-the-line" access not really what we think it is, such that timed tickets are really the only way to skip lines?

I haven't found answers at this level so I very much appreciate your wisdom here.
bakerstreet is offline  
Jul 17th, 2017, 11:13 PM
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I did a little on-site research yesterday at the Vienna Pass Office, as DD and I were taking in a new exhibit at the Winter Palace and were in the InnerStadt anyway. The Vienna Pass "skip the line" does not work quite that way at some of the attractions of main interest to you, namely Schloss Schönbrunn; you would still be required to queue for "free tickets" in order to gain entry into the attractions.

I am home waiting for a service appointment at the house this morning; so I put your itinerary into a spreadsheet and looked at pass/ticket options. All of these tickets can be purchased online, which means that you won't have to queue for "free tickets" and can enter the attractions either with the regular flow of entrants or through a "group/special" entry if one is available (the clerk was uncertain about which attractions offered which entry). For Schloss Schönbrunn you can bypass the ticket office and go straight to the palace entrance.

Here are some options for what is indeed an ambitious schedule.*

The Sisi Ticket will cover the Hapsburg Apartment, Sisi Apartment, and the Schloss Schönbrunn Grand Tour. If you want to visit the Gloriette, the Gardens, or the Maze you will have to purchase those tickets separately on-site (rarely is there a queue for any of these).

The SchönbrunnZoo/Riesenrad Combo Ticket allows you to enter the Zoo ahead of those waiting to purchase tickets; and to queue for a car with everyone who has purchased tickets (no jumping to the front). There are numerous entrance turnstiles at the Zoo.

The Upper/Lower Belvedere Ticket allows you to enter each ahead of those waiting to purchase tickets. The queue for purchasing tickets can be long, so this is a timesaver.

The KHM Combo Ticket offers the Hofburg Treasury, KHM (the Art History Museum) and Neue Burg entry. You can bypass the ticket-purchase queue at each, which can be extremely long at KHM; you can not jump to the front of the queue waiting to have the ticket scanned (no one can, but the wait is never long).

HOWEVER, you can’t use this ticket all in one day. I'll discuss this below.

*About the schedule. Day 1 seems entirely plausible, assuming you’ll have ~3 hours to visit Treasury and the Apartments. (The “Dish Rooms” can either take a small eternity, or you’ll blaze right through.) I would do the Apartments first; rarely is there a queue at Treasury.

Day 2, if I may be frank, is not something I would recommend. Even with an early start, the morning will be used for Schloss Schönbrunn and the Zoo (along with travel); trying to fit Belvedere, KHM, and Neue Burg (all three museums) into an afternoon is museum overload.

Is Neue Burg a definite “Must Do?” If not, then the KHM Combo Ticket works, for you can see Treasury on Day 1, and KHM on Day 2. If Neue Burg stays on the list, just purchase the KHM and Imperial Treasury tickets separately. The only time I have seen a queue at Neue Burg is on "Long Night at the Museum," because Arms and Armor has medieval reenactments. Ephesos and the Instruments are blissfully empty.

In the end cost for these tickets is comparable to the 2-day Vienna Pass (for what you want to see), and although you’ll have to keep track of the printed tickets, you are spared having to queue for the “free tickets.”

I truly hope this is helpful?
fourfortravel is offline  
Jul 19th, 2017, 01:10 PM
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fourfortravel you are AWESOME!! Such fabulous advice!

I ditched the thought of the Vienna Pass. Their website is misleading (and I suspect deliberately so) when they say things like "skip-the-line" entry, since you do still have to line up to GET a ticket, even if you don't have to pay again for that ticket.

I have now purchased, online and for our party of 7, the Sisi ticket, the KHM Combo ticket, the Zoo ticket and the Upper Belvedere ticket (we decided we'd have time only for the Upper and that's OK with us). We were never planning to see the Neue Burg, I had just copied and pasted the "skip-the-line" list from the Vienna pass website, and that was included in the list.

Here is our admittedly jam-packed plan for Vienna:

Day 1 afternoon arrival to Vienna (1 p.m.) (via train from Prague):
Hofburg Treasury (we're doing it first because it closes earlier than the Imperial Apartments);
Hofburg Imperial Apartments;
BREAK for coffee and cake at Cafe Sacher;
Haus der Musik;
Prater Park night with late dinner at Schweizerhaus and late ride on Giant Ferris Wheel (thought we could buy our tickets there in case Prater Park plans change).

Day 2:
Schonbrunn Palace around 9 a.m.
Tiergarten Zoo
Taxi back for lunch at Cafe Restaurant Griensteidl (do we need/can we get a reservation for that?)
Taxi to Kunsthistorisches Museum (hoping to arrive by 3)
Taxi to Upper Belvedere (hoping to arrive by 4:30)
Evening at Rathausplatz for the festival, maybe a late dinner at Cafe Landtman if we don't eat at the food stalls (is the food stall cuisine OK?)

Day 3:
Private van and guide for a day in Wachau Valley - includes short ride on the Danube, lunch at vineyard in Spitz, tour of Melk Abbey, Steiner Tor, Old Town, etc., dinner at another winery

Day 4:
St. Stephen's -- not planning to buy advance tickets, do you think that will be OK? I wasn't sure if everyone in the group would be on this tour -- there's a possibility we'll drop by the church the night before after our Wachau Valley day. Is there usually a line to get into St. Stephen's?

I'd love to hear any thoughts you may have! Thank you so much for your fabulous ticket advice.
bakerstreet is offline  
Jul 19th, 2017, 01:19 PM
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lavendula, I meant to thank YOU as well! The website to which you sent me was what I used to get our Sisi and Upper Belvedere tickets. Thank you so much! I note for future people reading this that there was one small glitch -- I ordered one Sisi "family ticket" and after the purchase, got an "error" message and a request to email them; my credit card was charged anyway. I have sent the email and am waiting to hear back.) My tickets for the adults not part of the Sisi family ticket, and my Upper Belvedere tickets, came through fine. Thank you!

I agree, the information is not clear and in some cases it is contradictory. I believe I have it sorted out now.
bakerstreet is offline  
Jul 19th, 2017, 01:58 PM
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Wow, full program! Sounds like a great trip. The food options at the film / jazz festival are good in my experience (multicultural offerings), and start at lunchtime. It adds to the atmosphere to eat there although by evening you might be fighting for a table. As for other eating, there is quite a good cafe right at the Hofburg, called, not surprisingly, Café Hofburg, and Demel is also nearby (Demel has must-see display windows), but obviously is not on the way to Haus der Musik. I have not had to queue for entry to the Stefansdom and it's definitely worth a look - but def. day 4 and not as an add-on to day 3.

I would probably not try to fit in anything else - you have planned in more than enough, especially for day 2, where I would pare down a little - one activity before lunch, one activity after lunch. Maybe one of those activities from day 2 could be shuffled round to day 4, as I don't think it takes that long to see the Stefansdom if you just go in and have a look around, and you would probably want to allow more time for viewing say the art museum. Otherwise you will not do your attractions justice and that would be a shame. But hey, enjoy the trip, it's a wonderful opportunity!

lavandula is offline  
Jul 19th, 2017, 02:01 PM
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HI, I think we were cross-posting - a pleasure to help you shape your plans!

lavandula is offline  
Jul 19th, 2017, 08:57 PM
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"Day 1. BREAK for coffee and cake at Cafe Sacher." If you mean the cafe at Hotel Sacher, you will be disappointed. They are currently closed for renovation. There is Cafe Hofburg in the courtyard, as lavandula mentioned. Demel is also near, though you're likely not to find an available table easily (they are few in number); ditto for Julius Meinl. I would make a reservation at Schweizerhaus.

Day 2. I am sorry also to write that you will not need a reservation at Greinsteidl; the restaurant permanently closed a few weeks ago. (And, the food was just "fair" anyway.) Personally I would always take the Rathaus Film Festival over anything at Landtman's (which serves the same pastries as Cafe Hofburg); in fact, a recent survey of locals revealed that the food is the reason they drop in at the film festival (60%). This year we have enjoyed food from Saigon and the Greek stall; I had the "NY-style Pastrami" sandwich from Die Schwemme and it wasn't quite NY-style and a little too peppery, though.

With such limited time at KHM, perhaps pick up the guide to the "highlights" at the information desk? You could fit that into your allotted time.

Day 4. DS and I dropped in on Stephansdom late last month because the lighting was just right for photos, and we walked right in without a queue. There did not seem to be a long line for those buying tickets (to gain full access of the church). If it is at all possible, drop into Peterskirche when you're near Hofburg. While Stephansdom is grand, Peterskirche is prettier, I think.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jul 20th, 2017, 08:10 AM
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fourfortravel and lavanduula, I have clearly come to the right place!

I will just plan on our eating dinner at the Rathaus Film Festival, then, and not stop anywhere first for the meal. That sounds fun!

Where would you suggest for lunch on day 2? We'll be at Schonbrunn and Zoo before lunch, then KHM after lunch. Is there somewhere good for lunch at the Schonbrunn (from which we could get a taxi after), or is there somewhere good around the KHM for lunch so we could head into the museum right after lunch? Cafe Greinsteidl was recommended to me for a traditional Viennese experience, but I was having to go somewhat out of our way to be there between the zoo and KHM. It will help our schedule if there's a great place to have lunch near one or the other.

So happy to hear about the "highlights" at KHM - sound perfect for our group. Thanks!

It sounds like we can have our "coffee and cake" break after the Hofburg either at Cafe Hofburg or go to Demel, based on everyone's mood at the time. I'm thinking Demel would be a it easy walking distance? Down a good strolling street? The girls in the group love to window (and other) shop. Since Haus der Musik is open so late, it doesn't really matter when we arrive there. Does one make a reservation at Demel or is it first-come, first-served?

Thanks for the tip on looking into Peterskirche -- will try if at all possible.

I was told Schweizerhaus doesn't take reservations after 7 p.m. and I think we'll be eating later than that, but I'll doublecheck. Maybe it's worth it to eat earlier just because of the reservation. I thought briefly about having dinner aboard the Giant Ferris Wheel itself -- I contacted them and they said we could have our party of 7 for a dinner there and I thought it would be unique but realized my group would rather have a little more freedom/flexibility and not spend quite so much money on dinner.

Unfortunately we can't transfer other activities to Day 4 as we must leave for the airport to catch our flight. At that time of day, what time would we need to leave our hotel by taxi (the Sofitel by the Canal) to catch a 2 p.m. flight at the airport?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
bakerstreet is offline  
Jul 20th, 2017, 10:12 AM
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bakerstreet, I was so hoping you would not ask about your Day 2 lunch plans. ��The restaurant at Schönbrunn is ho-hum ordinary (and a little expensive for what it is), and the area around KHM is equally so. When circumstances find us in the area for lunch, we usually bail and go Italian at Al Caminetto on Krugerstrasse, near Opera for superb pizza and Carpaccio di Polpi; or to Beim Hofmeister for Austrian fare that resembles what it would be like to eat at an elderly Austrian Oma's weekend house. The food is fabulous, but it, and the setting, is not glamourous.

I really can not speak to a dinner at Prater. We have enjoyed quite good Austrian fare at some of the places in the park, but we live in Vienna and have learned how to set our expectations.

Demel is near to Hofburg, most certainly; but I advise caution with finding a table for a party your size. I am not certain that Demel takes reservations, sorry. Graben, the street that extends from Hofburg to its intersection with Kärtnerstraße, is "okay" as a strolling street, with a few high end names and so forth. Vienna is not a shopping city; the Graben intersection with Kärtnerstraße is lively; though, you will find quite a few familiar brands.

Heading to Schwecat (the airport), give yourself at least 30-45 minutes to reach the airport from Sofitel/Schwedenplatz. There is currently construction on the autobahn nearing the airport that may cause some delay.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jul 21st, 2017, 05:43 AM
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Thank you; this is very helpful. I have learned that there is an open-to-the-public cafeteria at the top of the Palace of Justice not far from the KHM that supposedly offers a splendid view of the city and probably mediocre food; and I like the idea of the Beim Hofmeister with fabulous typical Austrian food. So, a choice between a great view or great food. I think I'll let my traveling companions decide! I'm so glad to know about Beim Hofmeister -- thanks! Can't WAIT to visit your city -- haven't been there since college days.
bakerstreet is offline  
Jul 21st, 2017, 06:05 AM
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Tough call for the reasons you mention. Justizcafe (the Austrian Supreme Court, adjacent-ish to Parliament) is nice for the views; the service is more canteen-style. I like the interior views of the building more than the cafe, personally.

Adjacent to Stallburg/Hofburg is the former royal and imperial pharmacy turned lunch spot; the menu is limited but the setting more than makes up for it.

Also near to KHM is Glacis Beisl, tucked into the MQ (Museum Quartier) across the street from the museum. Shady and pretty setting, fresh Austrian cuisine.

If Austrian food isn't working for the group, Beaulieu in the Instagrammable Palais Ferstel is a treat for French fare and wines (and their apple tart). Make a reservation, though.

Enjoy your time in Vienna. I think I'll be heading for our annual week in the Salzkammergut at about the time of your visit, leaving the city in the capable hands of visitors.
fourfortravel is offline  
Jul 21st, 2017, 06:14 AM
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We will take good care of it for you.
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