Immerse yourself in the daily life of the imperial family at Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace is Vienna's equivalent of the Palace of Versailles. In other words, it would be a crime to ignore this monument during a stay in the Austrian capital. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Schönbrunn, which means "beautiful fountain", is a Baroque hunting lodge built in the 17th century. It is one of Vienna's major attractions. The former hunting grounds, covering 2 square kilometres, are now a park alongside a large protected nature reserve covering 26 square kilometres. Transformed into a summer residence a century later for the Habsburg imperial family, it became the castle as we know it today, with its rococo "imperial yellow" façade. Its 1,400 rooms (of which only 40 can be visited) bear witness to the splendour of this past.

Le palais de Schönbrunn, la résidence d’été des Habsbourg.

- © canadastock / Shutterstock
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What can you see at Schönbrunn Palace?

Schönbrunn Palace is full of marvels. These include the Chinese cabinet with its ebony parquet floor, the porcelain room (actually painted wood, except for the candle holder and chandelier), the South American rosewood decorations, and not forgetting the great gallery, 45 metres long and 12 metres wide, lit by more than a thousand candles. Until recent years, the famous Viennese balls were still held here, but they were stopped so as not to damage the period paintings on the ceiling.

The adjuvants' room, rebuilt in 2004, features traditional Hungarian costumes, with grey feathered hats and red jackets, in memory of the privileged status of this country during the imperial era.

Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site, Schönbrunn, which means "beautiful fountain".

- © chaoss / 123RF

An interactive museum in the east wing invites children to immerse themselves in the daily life of yesteryear, through role-playing games.

The visit is rounded off by the carriage museum in the former vehicle park, which houses 90 imperial vehicles. Don't miss the "Milan coach" used at the coronation of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth, and Sissi's hearse pulled by eight black horses at her funeral. There are also children's carriages, snow sleighs and, upstairs, sketches of carriages and paintings depicting the Empress's horses.

The 158-hectare park is a must-see. As an extension of the princely French-style garden, visitors can discover two labyrinths (the Classic and the New), as well as the zoological garden, one of the oldest acclimatisation gardens in the world, which is home to over 300 species.

If you're feeling brave, you can take the winding staircase or path up the hill to La Gloriette, a triple triumphal arch in neoclassical style. The twenty-minute walk is rewarded with a sweeping panorama of the site and the city. The pavilion, now a restaurant, is lavishly decorated on the theme of hunting. Schönbrunn is the most visited site in Austria, with 2.8 million visitors every year.

The Gloriette at Schönbrunn Palace.

- © Triff / Shutterstock

How can you make the most of your visit to Schönbrunn Palace?

To make the most of the sights and sounds of Vienna, it's a good idea to plan your activities in advance. Booking tickets in advance will help you avoid long queues, as this is Vienna's most visited monument.

Where to stay near Schönbrunn Palace?

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Practical information for Schönbrunn Palace

👛 Prices for Schönbrunn Palace

Imperial Tour (22 rooms):

  • Full price: €24
  • Students: €20
  • Under 18s: €17
  • Under 6s: free

Grand Tour (40 screens) :

  • Full price: €29
  • Students: €24
  • Under 18s: €21
  • Under 6s: free

Classic Pass (Grand Tour + Crown Prince's Garden + Labyrinth + Orangery Garden + Gloriette) :

  • Full price: €34
  • Under 18s: €27
  • Under 6s: free
  • Vienna City Card: €32

For all prices and combined tickets, visit the Schönbrunn Palace website!

Good plan alert!

Before visiting the palace, be sure to download the free Schönbrunn app, which provides a wealth of information, including an interactive map of the estate and special promotions. Here are the links to theApple App store andGoogle play.

⏰ Schönbrunn Palace opening times

Schönbrunn Palace is open every day:

  • 09:00 to 17:00 from 1 September to 31 March
  • 8.30am to 5.30pm from 1 April to 2 November
  • 08:30 to 17:00 from 3 November 2023 to 31 March

👉 Opening times for the castle park, the Crown Prince's garden, the Labyrinth and the Gloriette vary according to the season. Full details can be found on the Schönbrunn Palace website.

🚌 How do I get to Schönbrunn Palace?

Schönbrunn Palace is easily accessible by public transport:

  • U4 underground: Schönbrunn station
  • trams 10 and 60: Schönbrunn station
  • bus 10A: Schönbrunn station

🍴 Where to eat at Schönbrunn Palace?

If gastronomy is one of your interests, you can stop off at the bakery in the courtyard of Schönbrunn Palace's Café Residenz (to the left of the main entrance). Here, an appetising show takes place every hour: the "Strudel Show". The programme includes a demonstration of how to make Viennese apple strudel, with a tasting session at the end of the show.

Another option for dining in the castle is the dinner and concert ticket. This is a great way to spend an unforgettable evening at the palace: it includes a self-guided tour of the palace, a 3-course dinner and a ticket for a classical music concert by the Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra, playing famous arias by Mozart and Strauss.

  • Price: from €99.
by Editorial Team
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