The Austrian Parliament Building, a Greek-revival style building completed in 1883, is where the two Houses of the Parliament of Austria conduct their sittings. It is located in Vienna’s city center, close to the Hofburg Imperial Palace and the Palace of Justice. Despite sustaining heavy damages during WWII, most of the building’s interior has been restored to its original impressive appearance.
The parliament building is one of the largest structures on the Ringstraße. It was originally built to house the two chambers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s Reichsrat (Austrian legislature). Today, it is the seat of both the Nationalrat (National Council) and the Bundesrat (Federal Council). The building contains over 100 rooms, including the chambers of the national and federal councils, the former imperial House of Representatives, committee rooms, libraries, lobbies, dining-rooms, bars, and gymnasiums. It is a working government building, and the site of state ceremonies – most notably the swearing-in ceremony of Austria’s president and the state speech given annually on National Day (October 26).
The Austrian parliament offers guided tours giving insights into day-to-day political work, historical details, and architectural features. The tours take about an hour, and are catered to different interests and age groups. Visitors wishing to access the parliament building on their own must have an appointment, and carry photo ID. Visitor Service staff is available for information and registration Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The visitor’s center is open for the public free of charge Monday – Saturday from 9:30 a.m – 4.30 p.m. The parliament building’s working hours are Monday – Friday from 6.30 a.m. – 7.00 p.m., and Saturdays from 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.