Part of the Lainzer Tiergarten and surrounded by towering trees, the Hermesvilla was built by Karl von Hasenauer between 1882 and 1886 in late Romantic style. The palatial villa was a gift for Empress Elisabeth from Franz Joseph I, commissioned in the hope that she may be more inclined to stay in Vienna with a 'little' place of her own. Murals by Klimt and Makart grace the interior, including Makart's beautiful rendering of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Sisi's upstairs bedroom.

The fitness-obsessed empress's gym room has sporting motifs, if not her original exercise equipment, and her stables – she was also a keen equestrian – have been left almost as they were in her day.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Vienna attractions

1. Lainzer Tiergarten

0.56 MILES

At 25 sq km, the Lainzer ‘Zoo’ is the largest (and wildest) of Vienna’s city parks. The former hunting ground of Ferdinand I, over 80% of it is covered in…

2. Klimt Villa


The Klimt Villa immerses you in the sensual world of Vienna's most famous Secessionist. In a leafy corner of Hietzing, the 1920s neo-baroque villa was…

3. Hietzinger Friedhof

2.42 MILES

Aficionados of Vienna’s Secessionist movement will want to make the pilgrimage to the Hietzinger cemetery to pay homage to some of its greatest members…

4. Tiergarten

2.74 MILES

Founded in 1752 as a menagerie by Franz Stephan, the Schönbrunn Tiergarten is the world's oldest continually operating zoo. It's home to 712 species of…

5. Wüstenhaus

2.78 MILES

In the former Sonnenuhrhaus (Sundial House; 1904), the small Wüstenhaus re-creates arid desert scenes. There are four sections – Northern Africa and the…

6. Palmenhaus

2.78 MILES

Built in 1882 by Franz Segenschmid as a replica of the greenhouse in London’s Kew Gardens, the 2500-sq-m Palmenhaus was the world's largest of its kind…

7. Gloriette

2.94 MILES

From 1772 to 1780 Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf added some of the final touches to the Schloss Schönbrunn palace park under the instructions of Joseph II…

8. Neptunbrunnen

3.07 MILES

A riotous ensemble from Greek mythology, this extraordinary garden folly at Schloss Schönbrunn was commissioned by Maria Theresia in the 1770s. Neptune,…