This tour offers an opportunity to get to know historic Vienna, as you follow the Austrian rulers down the timeline. From margraves and dukes to the Habsburg imperial dynasty, charting the rise and eventual fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the end of World War I. As you walk the Ringstraße, breathtakingly beautiful buildings lining the boulevard bear witness to the dual monarchy’s grandeur and climactic collapse in 1918, until you reach the Stephansdom – St. Stephen’s Cathedral – and are transported back to the mediaeval heart of the city. This is one for lovers of fine architecture, as the mix of different styles tells the rich history of Vienna and reveals how the city’s special identity evolved. (Entry optional) The undoubted highlight of this tour package is your visit to the Habsburgs’ former summer residence, Schönbrunn Palace, when you will have the chance to experience the atmosphere of the royal apartments and much more. With its over 1,400 beautifully restored rooms and gardens, this Baroque palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site transports you back to Austria´s ‘golden age’ of imperial dynasties spanning some seven centuries. The Great Gallery and Chinese cabinets begin to give you an idea of just how frivolously the aristocracy would live and spend their money. Guests will also have the chance to revisit the tragic story of Empress Elisabeth – commonly referred to as ‘Sissi’ – on a tour of her private chambers, and experience how Emperor Franz Joseph would conduct his daily work ruling the dual monarchy.