A huge complex full of reminders of a glorious past.
Once upon a time this was the winter residence of the Hapsburg family, the rulers of a huge multi-national empire that, literally, fell apart in 1918. The palace is home to a number of museums containing a multitude of exhibits, reflecting the illustrious past of the former empire, crowned leaders and its peoples. Those collections I feel are worthy of individual mention I have listed separately.
The oldest part of the Hofburg complex dates back to Medieval times and now houses the Schatzkammer (www.khm.at) and the chapel where the Vienna Boys Choir performs during Sunday mass (www.wsk.at). The youngest wing Neue Burg houses a marvelous collection of historic musical instruments, an armory and an ethnological, predominantly non-European, collection (www.khm.at). A whole ground floor wing houses the kitchen ware and silver collection and the apartments, where Emperor Franz Joseph and his beloved Sisi resided, are open to public viewing. Elisabeth – Sisi was her nick-name – was murdered by an anarchist in Geneva, a number of rooms dedicated to her life and death (the murder weapon is on show) are almost shrine-like.
Whether you decide to visit any interior part of the Hofburg or not, do make a point of strolling through the whole area. The many squares, gardens, monuments and facades are well worth seeing. Particularly in the evening, when the Hofburg is expertly illuminated, it's like something from a fairy tale. For refreshments Cafe Hofburg in the Innerer Burghof is easy to find.