Are you planning a trip to Vienna? Visit the Schönbrunn Palace. This magnificent castle located in the Viennese capital is a little wonder.
Schönbrunn Palace is a true architectural and historical jewel.
Former summer residence of the Habsburg imperial family, this sumptuous baroque palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Schönbrunn Palace was built in the 17th century at the request of Emperor Leopold I. Over the centuries, work has been done to enlarge and transform it, notably under the impetus of Empress Maria Theresa who gave it its current appearance.
The castle was the scene of many historical events, such as the signing of the Treaty of Schönbrunn in 1809 between Napoleon and Emperor Franz II.
This Austrian castle has no less than 1,441 rooms, some of which are only open to the public on guided tours.
Among the most famous are the Grand Gallery, where balls and receptions were held, the Ceremonial Hall, where official festivities were organized, and the Imperial Apartments, where you can admire the splendor of life at the Habsburg court.
As with all European castles, the exterior is also worth a visit. Schönbrunn Palace is surrounded by a vast 160-hectare park with magnificent formal gardens designed by the architect Jean Trehet in 1695.
You can admire fountains, statues and monuments. The highlight of the show is the famous Gloriette, a terrace topped by a belvedere offering a breathtaking view of the castle and Vienna.
Next to the castle is a zoo, the oldest in the world still in operation, created in 1752 for Empress Maria Theresa. However, to enter, you must buy a second ticket.
What can you see at Schönbrunn Palace?
At Schönbrunn Palace, a multitude of rooms and works of art bear witness to the wealth and refinement of the Habsburgs.
Here are some of the wonders to discover during your visit:
- The Chinese Breakfast Room (Chinesisches Kabinett): This room, decorated with Chinese lacquer panels and exotic motifs, was used by Empress Maria Theresa to have breakfast.
- Franz Joseph’s Study: This room is where Emperor Franz Joseph worked daily.
- The Hall of Mirrors (Spiegelsaal): This luxurious reception room is adorned with mirrors and gilding, and was used to welcome dignitaries and distinguished guests.
- The Billiard Room: This room is dedicated to the practice of billiards and features elegant furnishings and paintings depicting game scenes.
- The Imperial Chapel (Schlosskapelle): This baroque chapel was the private place of worship of the imperial family.
- The Great Greenhouse (Palmenhaus): This monumental greenhouse, located in the castle gardens, houses a wide variety of exotic and tropical plants.
- The apartments of Archduchess Sophie: These rooms were occupied by the mother of Emperor Franz Joseph and are decorated in a Biedermeier style, with mahogany furniture and tapestries with floral motifs.
- The Imperial Coach Collection (Wagenburg): Located in the former castle stables, this collection presents a series of coaches, sleighs and carriages used by the imperial family, including the coronation coach of Empress Maria Theresa.
The list is far from exhaustive! There are many other rooms and objects waiting for you at Schönbrunn Palace.
How much does Schönbrunn Palace cost to enter?
Schönbrunn Palace is one of Europe’s greatest castles. As with the Palace of Versailles in France, there are many different things to see and many different entrance tickets.
The prices depend on your wish to visit. Personally, I advise you to spend your whole day there to fully enjoy the place.
Here are the prices of the main visit formats:
- Classic Pass Plus: 69€ for an adult / 49€ for a child (for two days)
- Classic Pass: 34€ for an adult / 24€ for a child (for one day)
- Grand Tour: 29€ for an adult / 21€ for a child
- Imperial Tour: 24€ for an adult / 17€ for a child
- State Apartments: 20€ for an adult / 13€ for a child
- The Sisi ticket: 44€ for an adult / 30€ for a child
- Monument La Gloriette: 5€ for an adult / 5€ for a child
- Labyrinth and maze: 5€ for an adult / 5€ for a child
- Privy Garden: 5€ for an adult / 5€ for a child
- Orangery Garden: 5€ for an adult / 5€ for a child
- Children’s museum: 8.50€ for an adult / 8.50€ for a child
- Children’s museum + labyrinth + zoo: 32€ for an adult / 23€ for a child.
The prices mentioned are those in effect at the time of writing. They may have changed since then.
How long does a visit to Schönbrunn Palace last?
As I wrote in the previous paragraph, you have many types of tickets available. So the time of the visit depends on the ticket you choose.
For example, for the “Classic Pass” which allows you to visit the 5 most important places of the estate (Schönbrunn Palace, Crown Prince’s Garden, Orangery Garden, Labyrinth and Gloriette), the visit lasts between 3 and 5 hours.
But, for a simple “Grand Tour” (essentially the private apartments and the reception rooms), the visit lasts 1 hour.
Where is Schönbrunn Palace located?
The exact address of the castle is Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria.
How to get to Schönbrunn Palace?
If you come to Schönbrunn Palace by car, there are several paid parking lots near the castle.
However, when staying in a European capital, public transportation is often more convenient and less expensive. In Vienna, the ones that take you to Schönbrunn Palace are;
- Subway: line U4, station Schönbrunn
- Streetcar: lines 10 and 60, station Schönbrunn
- Bus: line 10A, station Schönbrunn.
What are the opening hours of Schönbrunn Palace?
The opening hours of Schönbrunn Palace are:
- During the fall and winter: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- During spring and summer: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The castle is open every day of the year, including public holidays.
The hours of the castle park are more extensive:
- January and February: 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- March: 6h30 to 19h00
- April: 6h30 to 20h00
- May to July: 6h30 to 21h00
- August and September: 6h30 to 20h00
- October: 6h30 to 19h00
- November and December: 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
My opinion on Schönbrunn Palace: I loved it!
My visit to Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna was truly enchanting. Surprisingly, I have never visited the Palace of Versailles in France, but I quickly understood why the two castles were often compared.
This palace, once the summer residence of the Habsburgs, is an ode to grandeur and history. The palace itself is a real marathon with an impressive number of rooms. The richness of detail, from the ceiling frescoes to the wall tapestries, makes you walk without even realizing it. Amélie has a pedometer watch and she was very surprised when she realized at the end of the day that we were approaching 10 km of visits between the castle and the outside!
I was able to improve my knowledge of the Habsburgs. As I have read many history books, they were not unknown to me, but I remained ignorant of many anecdotes related to them.
We opted for the Classic Pass which gives access to all the main attractions of the palace and gardens. This seems to me to be the best value of all the offers. Of course, if you plan to observe everything in detail, the Classic Pass Plus (two days instead of one) seems to me a good alternative.
The gardens are also excellent. From the fountains to the statues and the flowers, everything is maintained to perfection. I don’t know how much time we spent in these exteriors, but it was probably longer than the interior of the castle!
I don’t always recommend buying tickets in advance. But, for Schönbrunn Palace, it is a must. Otherwise, you might have to wait several hours between the purchase of the ticket and your entry time into the castle.
In conclusion, Schönbrunn Palace is a real treasure in Vienna. It is undeniably one of the most beautiful castles I have seen in my life!
What else can I do near Schönbrunn Palace?
Vienna is not lacking in charm and activities. Here are some ideas:
- The Museum of Technology (Technisches Museum Wien): This interactive museum presents the history of technological and industrial innovations in Austria.
- The Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna: This botanical garden exhibits a wide variety of plants from around the world, as well as tropical and alpine greenhouses.
- The House of the Sea (Haus des Meeres): This place houses a large aquarium and a terrarium, with rare marine and terrestrial species.
- Schloss Hietzing: This small baroque palace is another example of Habsburg architecture and history in Austria.
- Austrian gastronomy: Take advantage of your visit to try Austrian specialties in the restaurants and cafés near the castle, including the famous Viennese pastries and the Wiener Schnitzel.