Information for visiting groups
You can request a visit by sending us a request form. Please note the following:
- Our visitors programme is very popular, therefore we advise you to book several months in advance, particularly for peak periods (university holidays).
- Regrettably only applications from universities, postgraduate or professional institutions can be accepted.
- Due to space limitations we can only accept groups of 30 participants or less.
- The programme includes an introduction to the OSCE and a visit to a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council (Thursdays at 10:00) or the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (Wednesdays at 10:00).
- Visits can only be organized on Wednesday and Thursday mornings when the Permanent Council and Forum for Security Co-operation are in session.
- Briefings from the Permanent Representations of the 57 participating States to the OSCE can be requested. On special request, briefings on specific areas of OSCE activity could be arranged.
Frequently asked questions
- Where are the visitor programmes held?
- Can we take public transport to get to the Hofburg Congress Centre?
- Whom do we contact to arrange a visit to the OSCE?
- How far in advance do we have to book?
- What does a visit to the OSCE usually include?
- What is the maximum number of visitors you can accommodate?
- In which languages can we receive presentations and briefings?
- What do we need to do to obtain access to the OSCE premises at the Hofburg?
- What OSCE meetings can visitors observe?
- Is there a dress code and any special rules for observing such OSCE meetings?
- Can we take photos or make recordings while observing the OSCE meetings?
Where are the visitor programmes held?
The programmes are held at the OSCE premises at the Hofburg Congress Centre. The entrance, which is located on Heldenplatz, is shown on the map below. You will find an OSCE flag and the words "Hofburg Kongresszentrum" above the door.
View OSCE in Vienna in a larger map
Can we take public transport to get to the Hofburg Congress Centre?
Trams 1, 2 and D all stop on the Ring, close to the Hofburg. The nearest stop is Burgring. The subway line U3 (the orange line) has a station close by at Herrengasse.
Whom do we contact to arrange a visit to the OSCE?
Send an e-mail to the Communication and Media Relations Section (COMMS) at firstname.lastname@example.org stating the preferred date of your visit (with alternatives if possible) and the composition and size of your group. Please also let us know which areas of the OSCE's work are likely to be of most interest. Due to limited resources, student groups must be at least at the advanced university level, or higher.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which is based in Warsaw, can also accept a limited number of visitors. For further information, please send an e-mail to email@example.com
How far in advance do we have to book?
Due to high demand, we advise you to book at least several months in advance, particularly for peak periods (university holidays, for example). In Vienna, we can only accommodate visits on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
What does a visit to the OSCE usually include?
A typical visit consists of an overview presentation explaining the OSCE, followed by one topical briefing. The briefings include question-and-answer sessions. There may also be the possibility to observe a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council or the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (see below for more details).
What is the maximum number of visitors you can accommodate?
Our capacity is a maximum of 60 people per day. The Neuer Saal has only 30 seats for visitors, so groups exceeding 30 people must be divided up if they are to observe a meeting.
In which languages can we receive presentations and briefings?
Introductory presentations can be given in English or Russian. Some briefings may be available in other OSCE languages.
What do we need to do to obtain access to the OSCE premises at the Hofburg?
A list of all group members' names must be sent by email at least a week in advance. Each group member will need to bring some form of photo ID, such as a passport, driving licence or national ID card. This has to be handed to the Hofburg security desk by the entrance in exchange for a temporary visitor's pass. All visitors must collect their ID documents when leaving the Hofburg.
What OSCE meetings can visitors observe?
The OSCE Permanent Council usually meets starting at 10:00 on Thursdays. The OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation usually meets starting at 10:00 on Wednesdays. Observation of these meetings can be arranged on request as part of the programme.
Is there a dress code and any special rules for observing such OSCE meetings?
Yes, please see the guidelines for visitors to the Permanent Council and the Forum for Security Co-operation. For example, mobile phones must be switched off during the meeting and photography is not permitted.
Can we take photos or make recordings while observing the OSCE meetings?
Photography, video and sound recordings are not permitted while the meetings are in session.