You simply cannot visit Vienna, the Austrian capital, without spending a day at the Schonbrunn Palace Vienna, one of the most beautiful and elegant palaces in the world. It became famous as princess’ Sissi summer residence, but it is more than that. Make sure you have an entire day to visit the palace, the gardens, the maze, the zoo, and everything around, and you won’t regret it.
Schonbrunn Palace Vienna attracts millions of tourists every year, from all corners of the world. People come to Vienna to discover the Imperial court, the Palace, and to admire the elegance of the city. Visiting the Schonbrunn Palace is a must for every person, and believe me, there are enough things to do in one day here.
There are two ways to visit the palace, according to your budget:
- First of all, the gardens are a public park, which means the entrance is free. If you don’t want to spend money on museums and attractions, you can enjoy a lovely day – if the sun is out, just visiting the gardens, admiring the flowers, alleys, and the statues.
- Second, you can pay to enter the palace, and all the other attractions in the area. There are several types of tickets, for every pocket, and for every type pf tourist. Just to enter the palace, you can choose between a short tour, for 11.50 Euro, or a grand tour, for 14.50 Euro. If you want to enter the maze, the Gloriette,and the Crown Prince Garden, you have to pay 18.50 Euro. You can also pay separate tickets for each attraction, which have prices between 3 and 5 Euro. However, I strongly recommend you to buy the Classic Pass, which allows you to visit everything, because you don’t see things like this every day!
Now that I’ve showed you the ways to enjoy the palace and the gardens, let’s see exactly what you can do at Schonbrunn Palace, and the best way to enjoy it.
Start your visit very early, around 9 or 10 in the morning, if you want to have time to see and admire everything. Once you arrive at the palace, you will be surprised about the big gates, and the great paths that lead tourists to the building. If you want to buy tickets for the attractions, got to left, and you will see the ticket office. If you prefer to visit the gardens for free, simply walk to the palace, and make left to the parks.
The tour of the palace takes around one – one and a half hours, and an audio guide is included. The tour is simply amazing, very useful, and I consider it a lesson of history that everybody should take. Unfortunately, taking pictures was not allowed in the palace, but I can guarantee you that the rooms and everything I’ve seen inside worth it.
Once you’ve finished with the palace, I recommend you to start enjoying the gardens. Simply walk to the left of the building, and you will understand what I am talking about: flowers everywhere, large and small paths, water fountains, gazebos, everything you’ve imagined about a royal garden is there. If you have time, get lost on the hidden paths and you will see squirrels and listen to beautiful bird songs.
The great green wall, the funny ways the three are styled, the classic statues, but most of all, the flower arrangements behind the palace will definitely impress you. If you have bought the full pass, you can visit now Sissi’s gardens, or the maze. Enjoy the labyrinth and the distortion mirrors, and forget the time notion while playing the games you’ll find there.
Continue your visit with the Fountain of Neptun, which can be admired at the base of the Gloriette hill. You can also go behind the fountain, which will give you a great view of the palace. After you take all the pictures you want, walk up the hill, to the Gloriette, the highest point of the property.
If you bought the pass, you can go up in the tower, and admire the spectacular views, but if you didn’t you can have a nice break here. I really enjoyed drinking a Viennese coffee here, and trying the famous Sachertorte, another Viennese delicious cake. You will also find Sissi or Mozart cake, and you will find it difficult to choose. If you arrive there in autumn, I recommend you to drink a glass of Sturm, which is the fresh grapes juice, just starting to turn into wine. It is simply delicious and refreshing!
The Gloriette offers the best views over the Schonbrunn Palace Vienna, but also over the city, so do not rush and enjoy the time spent there. Many Viennese people like to come up here and make a small picnic or drink a beer (in Austria you are allowed to drink beer and wine in public spaces), so follow their example for a real Austrian experience.
Most of the tourists finish their visit here, but if you still have time and energy, I recommend you to visit the Palm House, where you can admire different types of flower and plants. You can find it on the left of the palace, if you walk around 10 minutes.
Another attraction of the Schonbrunn Palace Vienna is the Tiergarden, or the Zoo, which is one of the largest and oldest zoological gardens in the world. It was opened in 1752, and you can spend here more than a day, so it is probably a good idea to come next day just for the gardens. Also, you will need a different ticket to visit the Zoo.
Planning you visit to Schonbrunn Palace Vienna
- Even if the palace is almost outside the city, you can reach it very easily, with the metro line U4, which has a stop called Schonbrunn.
- The opening hours are 8.30 – 5.30 for the palace, but the gardens are open until 6-8, depending of the season.
- If you visit Vienna in May, keep in mind that the Viennese Opera Orchestra give a free show at the end of the month, which is simply incredible!