The history of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna starts in 1569th year. It’s when Emperor Maximilian II buys the place where these days Schönbrunn Park is located. The ruler gets interested in the newly opened back in those days Zoo. Alongside with breeding wild animals, the start of growing exotic plants is settled. The place, though, was destroyed during the Turkish siege.
The building of the new palace starts in 1696th year by order of Emperor Leopold I. In the beginning, there was only a hut. Then, though, the place turned into a summer residence for the Hubsburgs. The construction lasted from 1696th to 1713th year. The golden age of the palace was during the time of Empress Maria Teresa. It was when the palace had been transformed in a Rococo-styled building. These days, the palace has 1441 rooms and 40 of them are opened for visits.
Schönbrunn Palace is one of the top significant cultural values based in Austria. It’s listed in UNESCO cultural heritage list and every year it’s visited by millions of tourists.
What are the mandatory things to see in Schönbrunn Palace?
The emperor flats
They are located on the West wing of the palace. The truth is that some of the most impressive rooms in the palace are actually the emperor apartments and to be more specific, their rooms. For instance, you can enjoy extremely splendidly adorned room owned by Maria Antoinette, as well as the Yellow room with the while marble clock and the Breakfast hall with its floral paintings.
Inside the palace there’s a rich gallery, as well as a mirror room and one very impressive space, too – Maria Antoinette’s private saloon. The saloon is paneled with palisander wood (specific rosewood) and decorated with golden-plated wood-carving elements, plus – it accommodates nearly 260 Indian and Persian miniatures.
The park and the gardens
The park in the Schönbrunn Palace was founded back in 1779th year. It spreads across a square of 500 decares. Here, you can see 44 mythological sculptures from XVIII century. One of the most impressive things in the gardens is Neptune’s fountain, which is, of course, inspired by the Greek mythology. The park doors open early at 6:00 o’clock and you can visit it within the official working time for free. It’s where you can also see:
- The Conservatory – Built back in 1883rd year, it used to be the biggest conservatory in Europe of its time. Here, even today, lots of exotic plants and different butterfly types have been still grown and bred.
- The Labyrinth – It was designed around 1720th year, but once it had been deprived of maintenance, it started disappearing with time. It was 9th of September 1999th year when the new labyrinth, based on the historical model and placed on a square of 1715 m², opened its doors for public visits. In its center there’s a platform for observation, as well as two stones for harmony positioned according to the feng shui philosophy. If place hands on the stones, it’s said that they increase the income of energy in your body.
- The theatre – It is the only preserved Baroque theatre in Vienna. The building was constructed back in 1747th year by Nikolaus Pacassi, who, by the way, used to be Maria Antoinette’s favorite architect. The theatre rich Rococo decoration had been added 20 years later. It’s where the empress, herself used to play in different plays, while a bit later Haydn and Mozart plays private concerts. Currently, the theatre space is used by Vienna’s chamber opera.
- Gloriette Arch – It’s placed on the top of the hill in Schönbrunn. The building was constructed back in 1775th year to honor the battle of Kolin from 1757th year, when the Austrian armies wins against the Prussian army lead by Friedrich The Great. From the top of the arch you can enjoy the wonderful views toward the city of Vienna.
The Secret garden
Also popular as the garden of heir to the crown, Rudolf, it’s placed right in front of the east palace façade. In summer you can see the precious collection of citrus trees in this garden.
Kid’s museum in Schönbrunn Palace
The Kid’s museum is of course, the top favorite place for a visit to the families. It’s placed in the 12 rooms of the palace ground floor. It’s where you and your kids can learn interesting facts about the emperor’s family’s lifestyle from XVIII century such as: what clothes they used to wear and what types of meals and foods used to be served on the table. A wheel with drawings shows the differences between the emperor’s kids and those from the ordinary families. You can play with toys from old times, as well as to learn one secret language. There’s a whole corner with costumes, where everyone, who wants to, can dress as a prince or as a princess.
Tip: Check out the Kid’s museum working time before a visit, because it’s different from the other attractions in the palace. I strongly recommend you to buy a ticket online and in advance in order to avoid the long queues at the entrance.
- Only for the Kid’s museum
Tip: You can take the benefits of the family ticket for one or two adults and three kids
- Family pass – includes the Kid’s museum, Schönbrunn palace and Hof Palace in Marchfeld.
- Combo ticket for the museum and the labyrinth in Schönbrunn gardens
This is the oldest zoo in the world. It’s placed right in the outdoor yard of Schönbrunn Palace. To reach it, just pass the entrance Hietzinger Tor. The zoo is located at 170 decares where you can, by the way, see more than 700 animal species from all around the world. The most popular inhabitants of the zoo are the giant pandas. This is the only zoo in Europe that, as a matter of fact, supports the threatened with extinction panda species to breed naturally. In the Zoo you can also learn lots of interesting facts about the different animals, as well as to see live how they are fed and how they live in an environment, which is very close to their natural habitats.
In Schönbrunn Zoo there are lots of restaurants and pavilions that offer a wide range of meals and snacks, including typical Austrian specialties. Some of them are Tirolergarten Tavern; Emperor’s Pavillion; Café Atelier Nonja; Café Hietzing; Jumbo Buffet and many more.
- The zoo works with no holidays or days-off. Though, check out its working time in advance
- Kids under 14 years old should be on mandatory accompanied by a relative
- Kids under 6 years old enter 100% for free
- Dogs, excluding guide dogs, are not allowed in the zoo
- Kids between 6 and 19 years old
- People with 50% invalidity
- Groups formed for at least 10 people
Types of tickets:
- Family block ticket – for 2 adults and 3 kids. It includes 5 1-day tickets that are valid up to 1 year starting from the purchase date. The ticket can be used individually, too.
- Annual ticket – valid for one year. There are discounts for kids between 6 and 19 years old
- Combo tickets with other attractions located on the territory of Schönbrunn or Vienna.
- Free entrance with Vienna Pass card
What should I know before a visit of Schönbrunn Palace?
- Book a ticket online in advance to avoid the long queues at the cash-desks.
- You will need at least 4 hours to see the palace, as well as the main area of the gardens
- It’s not allowed to enter the gardens or the palace with dogs
- You can see Schönbrunn gardens with Schönbrunn Panorama train, too.
- Schönbrunn Palace is opened every day, including on the official national holidays.
How to reach Schönbrunn Palace?
- The palace is 40 minutes on feet away from Vienna’s downtown. The address is: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47.
- If you use public transportation: choose between U4 subway line, tram number 10 / 58 or bus 10A
- If you are with a card, I strongly recommend you to find a parking space in Vienna’s suburbs, as well as to change your mind and opt for public mean of transportation
- Right next to the palace there are public parking spaces, as well as one for invalids
Where to have a bite?
- Residenz Café-restaurant
- Café Gloriette – at the top of Gloriette Arch
- There are many other amenities you can grab a cup of coffee or something for a bite on the territory of the palace
There discounts for:
- Kids between 6 and 18 years old
- Youths between 19 and 25 years old
- People with disabilities
- School groups
Types of tickets and tours:
- Emperor tour – includes 22 rooms and lasts around 30-40 minutes. Guides are not available for this tour. You can, though, see the emperor rooms with an audio guide device
- Grand tour – 40 rooms will be seen within 1 hour. You can see the emperor rooms with guide (you will be, though, charged with an extra fee) or on your own with an audio guide (for free)
- Ticket Sisi – 1 ticket for 3 emperor attractions within one calendar year staring from the purchase date. The visits can be arranged for different days.
- Classic pass – a long-lasting tour of the palace with audio guide for up to 4 hours. The tour includes a visit of the palace, the gardens, the labyrinth, the conservatory, as well as the Gloriette arch. The pass is valid during the summer season working time
- Classic pass plus – includes the same thing the Classic pass includes, as well as the Zoo. This pass is valid only 1 day and only during the summer season working time
- Family pass – includes the palace, the Kid’s museum and the Hof palace in Marchfeld. With this pass you literally saves 50% of the ticket prices per each of the included attractions
- Ticket only for:
– Gloriette Arch
– The labyrinth
– The Secret garden
– The Conservatory
- Combo ticket – Kid’s museum and the Labyrinth (or the Zoo) – the most suitable tour and ticket for a family visit
The palace is accessible for people with disabilities. There are platforms for faultless passage with a wheelchair.
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Saint Stephen Cathedral
History of Art Museum
Natural History Museum
Imperial Butterfly House
Danube Cruise from Vienna