Schonbrunn Palace is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions, and is a must-see for any clients visiting the Austrian capital. It was the summer residence of the Austrian royal family, and is replete with history as well as stunning gardens.
The easiest way to get to Schonbrunn is by train, with Vienna’s easy-to-use public transport system providing a station right next to the Palace. The “Vienna Card,” which provides 48 hours or 72 hours of train and tram travel in the city also includes discounts at lots of attractions, including Schonbrunn Palace. We did the “classic” tour which included access to four locations including the palace, maze, the “Gloriette” and the Orangery.
The spectacular gardens are free to enter, and this week hosted a spectacular outdoor concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Its an easy stroll through the gardens, but for a special treat you can also take a tour in these horse-drawn carriages.
Upon arrival you queue for your ticket, which has an entry time for your tour of the palace. On the day TD visited the waiting time was about an hour, which we spent pleasantly exploring the gardens which feature this stunning Neptune statue – perhaps indicating that the Habsburgs felt that they ruled the oceans as well as their massive European empire.
Tickets include an audio tour of the palace, detailing the intriguing history of the Habsburg dynasty which ruled much of Europe for centuries. A recent innovation is the introduction of a smartphone download of the commentary so you can listen on your own device. Like much of Vienna, Schonbrunn has free wireless internet access for visitors.
The gardens include a fabulous maze which is fun for young and old, with lots of activities as well as the challenge of making your way through the labyrinth.
Visitors can take a good hard look at themselves in this “kaleidoscope” which is part of the garden maze.
Our day at Schonbrunn concluded with a stroll through the Orangery – a private garden adjacent to the palace which features a stunning array of different citrus varieties.