Schonbrunn Palace

A Complete Guide to Schonbrunn Palace

The epitome of Viennese extravagance and luxury, the Schonbrunn Palace was once the home of the Austro-Hungarian emperors. The palace's history fascinates both tourists and locals, so much so that it has become Vienna's most prominent attraction. The palace and its vast grounds are considered the most important architectural and historical monuments in the country.

"The palace is magnificent, the furniture befitting of a queen and in the best of taste. The gardens have everything that art has ever created".= John Edler von Kurzbock
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Quick Jump links to Schonbrunn Palace

The Best Schonbrunn Palace Skip the Line Tours & Combo Tickets

The below table includes a brief description of various handpicked Schonbrunn Palace tickets & skip the line guided tours of the Schonbrunn Palace. They're based on users reviews, cost, customer experience as well as all the best ways to see the famous Schonbrunn Palace sight.

We've compared prices from a variety of skip the line Schonbrunn Palace guided tours & tickets, websites and have handpicked the most affordable Schonbrunn Palace combination tickets, but utterly enjoyable Schonbrunn Palace tours & tickets below:

Skip-the-Line Schonbrunn Palace Guided Tour and Vienna Historical City Tour

1. Skip-the-Line Schonbrunn Palace Guided Tour and Vienna Historical City Tour

clock Duration: 3 hours 30
  • A 3 hour 30 minute excursion to Schonbrun Palace with a sightseeing coach ride down the Ringstrasse boulevard.
  • A group tour with an experienced and knowledgeable guide.
  • An opportunity to learn about the Palace's history and former residence, the Hapsburg monarchs.
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Guided Walking Tour of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

2. Guided Walking Tour of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

clock Duration: 1 hour 30
  • Visiting a historic building without a certified and expert guide often, if not always, means wandering around many rooms without reference points. Observe wonderful paintings, furnishings and jewels without knowing why they are there and what relationship they have with the history and events of the people who lived in that place. In the case of...
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Vienna Family Tour to Schonbrunn Palace & ZOO with Transport

3. Vienna Family Tour to Schonbrunn Palace & ZOO with Transport

clock Duration: 2 to 6 hou
  • Unique Tour for Families:
    Make history fun on a family-friendly tour in Vienna in Top1 Attraction - Schonbrunn Palace. Let the kids discover history by touching and dressing up as monarchs from the past! Also explore Schonbrunn Labyrinth and Zoo.

    - Explore all Schonbrunn Palace Complex with 5-stars guide who loves...
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Best of Vienna 1-Day Tour by Car with Schonbrunn Tickets

4. Best of Vienna 1-Day Tour by Car with Schonbrunn Tickets

clock Duration: 7 to 8 hou
  • Enjoy full day tour around Vienna and see highlights as St. Stephen's Cathedral, Hofburg, Rathaus, Schonbrunn and Belvedere Palace with easy and cozy car transfers but also discover hidden gems of the city with incredible stories!

    Explore the highlights of Vienna during Full day tour led by a licensed guide and learn the history of Vienna...
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Skip-the-line Schonbrunn Palace & Gardens Exclusive Tour

5. Skip-the-line Schonbrunn Palace & Gardens Exclusive Tour

clock Duration: 3 to 4 hou
  • Choose one of our excellent tour options tailored to your needs and nterests:

    2-hour: Highlight Tour of Palace & Garden
    During a 2-hour Highlight Tour you will admire 24 amazing rooms inside Schonbrunn Palace and explore the Garden, Gloriette and surrounding areas.

    3-hour: Highlight Tour of Palace & Garden with Transport
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Half-Day Vienna City Tour with Entrance to Schonbrunn Palace

6. Half-Day Vienna City Tour with Entrance to Schonbrunn Palace

clock Duration: 3 hours 30
  • Enjoy a 3.5-hour imperial heritage tour in Vienna. Drive along the Ringstrasse, Vienna’s most famous boulevard. Amaze yourself with famous Hundertwasser House, the Giant Ferris Wheel, Danube River and Belvedere Palace. Visit the number one attraction in Vienna – Schönbrunn Palace and get free time to stroll the gardens and Zoo on your...
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Entrance to Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

7. Entrance to Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

clock Duration: 3 to 8 hou
  • Explore the beautiful Schronbunn Palace from the inside! Admire its rooms, learn about its history, see its beautiful gardens! Audioguide are also included for most of the languages to have an amazing...
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Skip the Line: Schonbrunn Palace & Gardens Guided Tour in Vienna

8. Skip the Line: Schonbrunn Palace & Gardens Guided Tour in Vienna

clock Duration: 2 hours
  • Visit the magnificent summer residence and the gardens of the imperial family in this 2 hour tour. Travel back in time as you are guided through the impressive showrooms, explore the beautiful baroque gardens, and feel like a prince or princess for a few hours. Skip the long line with your guide as you enter the palace, listed as a World Heritage...
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Why is the Schonbrunn Palace So Famous?

The Schonbrunn Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular attractions in Austria. For centuries the palace served as the summer home of the monarchs and to this day, it reflects the tastes and interests of the Hapsburg Royals. The palace is considered as the most impressive Baroque palace complex in Europe and is also the country's most significant cultural monument.
A lot of people who have visited the palace can't help but compare it to the Palace of Versailles in France. It is even referred to as the "mini Versailles.” Although noticeable less extravagant, it has various interesting rooms and spaces.

What to Expect at the Schonbrunn Palace?

Expect beauty, elegance and luxury when visiting the palace. There are many rooms to explore and secrets to discover. There are also magnificent gardens which make for Instagram-worthy pictures. As with any tourist destination, you can also expect a lot of tourists.
There are various ways to explore the palace and there are different packages offering accessibility. There are various tours to choose from, so you can decide how close you want to get to the palace and all that lies within.

Schonbrunn Palace Facts

  1. The palace is the former imperial summer residence and is one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria.
  2. Schonbrunn literally means "beautiful spring”. According to local legends, the estate was named after a local water source discovered by Emperor Mathias while he was hunting on the property in 1612.
  3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed for Empress Maria Theresa at Schonbrunn in 1772. He was only six years old when he performed duets with his older sister in the Hall of Mirrors.
  4. The palace was designed by the architects Nicolaus Pacassi and Johann Bernard Fischer.
  5. The palace is one of Europe's most impressive Baroque palace complexes.
  6. The first construction phase began in 1743 and ended in 1749
  7. There are 1441 rooms in the palace, but only 40 are open for public viewing.
  8. When it was first constructed in the 14th century, the property was called Katterburg.
  9. The palace was the residence of the Hapsburg emperors from the 18th century until 1918.
  10. When the imperial family vacated the palace during the First World War, the palace staff retained the rights to remain home. They made great efforts to recreate the palace as a home for children and as a training facility for nursery school teachers.
  11. Other post First World War plans gave way to opening the Schonbrunn palace as a monument and a museum, and by the end of the 1920s there was already a steady stream of tourists.
  12. After the Second World War, the British forces used parts of the palace for its administrative offices, and the military held parades in the palace grounds.
  13. There are numerous gardens which were designed centuries ago. There is even an intricate maze in the French garden.
  14. The Austrian 10-euro coin minted in 2013 shows the central part of the palace façade, behind one of the great fountains. Nowadays, the coins sell for prices upwards of €40.
  15. The Grand Gallery was used as a banqueting hall for balls and receptions. It is over forty meters long and almost ten meters wide.
Schonbrunn Palace Gardens

Schonbrunn Palace Gardens

Opened to the public in 1779, the park and gardens have been a popular recreational area for the Viennese population. It extends approximately 1.2 km from the east to the west and approximately one kilometer from north to south. Arranged in the French style, the garden is a symphony of colors in the summer and a combination of browns and greys in the winter.
The sculptured garden space is located between the palace and the Neptune Fountain and is called the Great Parterre. A big part of the area is occupied by the French Garden which was planned by Jean Trehet, a disciple of Andre Le Notre. It contains among other things, a maze. The entire complex has many other attractions, such as an orangerie and a palm house. At the outmost western edge is a botanical garden.
Like most of its predecessors, the baroque garden at Schonbrunn was created as a demonstration of power and ambition to outshine Versailles. Located directly next to the palace on the east side is the Crown Prince Garden. It got its name from the apartment created for the use of Crown Prince Rudolf.
Petite and low-cut boxwood hedges surround the neatly placed flower beds, as well as fields of colored stones. Surrounded by a pergola, the garden is also overgrown with wild vines. There is a modern viewing platform which allows visitors to admire the flowers. Open every day from March to early November, there is admission fee for the gardens.

Schonbrunn Palace Zoo

Schonbrunn Palace Zoo

The zoo inside the vast palace complex dates as far back as Francis I's rule. It was founded in 1752, making it the oldest zoo in the world. it is home to more than 750 species such as pandas, orangutans, African elephants, Siberian tigers, koalas, penguins, cheetahs, and arctic wolves. The erstwhile 13 walled animal enclosures have been replaced by modern facilities and more natural habitats over time.
The zoo is open daily, even on public holidays, from 9 am until 4:30 or 6:30 pm, depending on the season. The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time, which is also the latest entry time for the zoo. Tickets can be bought online or at the ticket office.

Zoo Day Tickets
  • Adults - €20
  • Children and adolescents - €10
  • Disabled persons - €10
  • Children under 6 years – free entry

Schonbrunn Palace Concert

The Schonbrunn Palace Orchestra awaits visitors daily at 8:30 pm at the Palace Orangery where Mozartand Salierihimself once performed in 1786. Visitors can look forward to a fine selection of masterful music by Strauss and Mozart, with vocal and dance performances.
The first part of the concert is made up of arias, marvelous overtures, and duets from the operas created by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, such as "Die Zauberflote” and "Le Nozze di Figaro.” The second part, on the other hand, is mostly comprised of operetta arias, polkas and waltzes from "Donauwalzer” and "Radetskymarsch.”
The orchestra is accompanied by two opera singers, a baritone and a soprano, and tweo ballet dancers. The daily concert plays a pivotal role in the musical and cultural life of the Viennese people. Ticket prices are as below:

  • VIP - €105
  • Deluxe - €75
  • Grand - €65
  • Imperial - €45

Schonbrunn Palace Opening Times

Schonbrunn Palace is open daily, even on public holidays. If you would like to avoid queues at the ticket office, pre-book an online ticket.

  • 1 April to 30 June – 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • 1 July to 31 August – 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
  • 1 September to 31 October – 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • 1 November to 31 March – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Ticket sales start at 8:00 am and admission to the display room starts at 8:00 am. Last admission to all attractions is 45 minutes before closing time. We regret that dogs cannot be taken into either the Palace or the Park.

Getting to the Schonbrunn Palace

There are several ways to get to the Schonbrunn Palace. For those who would like to take public transport, there are three options:

  • Bus – 10A and get off at Schonbrunn
  • Trams – 10 and 60 and get off at Schonbrunn
  • Underground – U4 and get off at Schonbrunn
  • Train – Westbahnhof, take the westbound tram line No.60 and alight at Schonbrunn

Station Meidling, take the northbound U6 underground line and alight at Langenfeldgasse, then change to Westbound U4 underground at alight at Schonbrunn

Map of Schonbrunn Palace

Architectural Details of the Schonbrunn Palace

The first construction phase started in 1743 and ended in 1749 and it was carried out in close collaboration with Nikolaus Pacassi. He led the project and was eventually appointed as court architect in 1749. Work started on the imperial apartments in the East Wing with audience rooms, as well as residential suites for Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan. Although there are 1441 rooms in the palace, only 40 are open to the public for viewing.

White-and-Gold Rooms
White-and-Gold Rooms

These rooms are the perfect venue for special events. These four rooms can be hired for special events such as concerts, cocktail receptions, dinners, or presentations. The largest of the four event rooms on the ground floor boasts the widest variety of uses. It is also a popular venue for civil marriage ceremonies. Decorated in the 1760s until the 1770s, it is an outstanding example of Rococo craftsmanship.

Millions Room
Millions Room

The Millions Room got its name because of the precious paneling made from an exotic type of tropical rosewood that was called ‘Vicatin' or ‘Fekatin'. It served as Maria Theresa's private reception room and before that it has been a small cabinet of mirrors, created when the hunting lodge was rebuilt as a summer residence. Set into the paneling are sixty collages made from seventh-century Indo-Persian miniatures in cartouche-like frames. From the Millions Room, visitors may view the Miniatures Cabinet, hung with small watercolours and gouaches which were executed by Maria Theresa's children and husband, Franz Stephan.

Gobelin Salon
Gobelin Salon

This room belonged to the apartments occupied from 1837 to 1873 by Franz Joseph's parents. Hung with a few formal family portraits, the room is furnished in the Biedemeierstyle. Made to designs by David Teniers the Younger, they had been transferred to Vienna from the royal palace in 1850. The room has remarkable tapestry-upholstered chairs which displays a representation of the twelve different months of the year, as well as signs of the zodiac, which were added to the room's furnishings at the same time.

Archduchess Sophie's Study
Archduchess Sophie's Study

This room was furnished for Franz Joseph's mother and it is typical of the post-1840 period. The interior is decorated in the Rococo Revival and contains several mementos and portraits. The only original furniture still contained in the room today is a lady's secretaire with elaborate mother-of-pearl inlay, a great example of the superb quality of Viennese craftsmanship in the nineteenth century.

Red Salon
Red Salon

The Red Salon contains portraits of various Hapsburg emperors, including that of Leopold II, who reigned briefly. Currently decorated with white and gold paneling and red court damask wall hangings, the room served as a clothes cabinet during Maria Theresa's time.

Rich Room
Rich Room

This north-facing room was occupied by Crown Prince Ferdinand and his wife Maria Anna until 1835. Exhibited in the room today is the only surviving bed of state from the Viennese court.

Study and Salon of Franz Karl
Study and Salon of Franz Karl

Once occupied by Archduke Franz Karl, the father of Emperor Franz Joseph, from 1835 to 1878, the rooms were refurbished in the white, gold, and red scheme typical of the Viennese court. From then until the end of the Monarchy, the rooms served as official reception rooms. There are several paintings in this room, including those of Maria Anna, Alexander of Lorraine, Elisabeth Christine, Franz Stephan, and Countess Fuchs.

Hunting Room
Hunting Room

Designed as a hunting lodge, it has paintings and exhibits in the display cases illustrating the subject of hunting and the imperial family.

Palace Chapel
Palace Chapel

The palace still retains the original spatial structure and architectural arrangement given to it by architecture Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. Maria Theresa refurbished the palace chapel and during their reign, participation services was an indispensable part of daily life in the court, as per Hapsburg tradition.

Bergl Rooms
Bergl Rooms

As Maria Theresa grew older, she suffered increasingly from the heat during summer months. In the last decade of her life, she has a suite furnished for herself on the ground floor of the palace, facing the gardens. She engaged the Bohemian artist Johann Wenzel Bergl to decorate the rooms.

Franz Joseph's Bedroom
Franz Joseph's Bedroom

A highlight in the tour, the bedroom has a simple soldier's bed in which the Emperor himself died on the 21st of November 1916, after a reign of 68 years.

Marie Antoinette's Room
Marie Antoinette's Room

The room got its name because Napoleon famously stayed there. It has a celebrated portrait of Francis I displaying the insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece. It also served as the dining room of the royal family.

Plan Your Visit to the Schonbrunn Palace

The Schonbrunn Palace is one of the most important structures in Austria and millions of people visit it annually. Any visit to Vienna is incomplete without at least getting a glimpse of the world-renowned palace. It is important that you take some time to plan your trip so that you can make the most of it, enjoy it, and do not spend more than what you need to.

Book your Schonbrunn Palace Tickets in Advance

Book your tickets in advance. Although you can purchase your tickets at the gate, the last thing you want is to spend a long time in the queue, time you could have used exploring the palace to your heart's content. Avoid the crowds by keeping an eye on major events and festivals taking place in Vienna so that you don't have to share your time with them.

Are Skip-the-Line Schonbrunn Palace Tickets Worth it?

Yes, skip-the-line tickets are worth the price. They may cost you more money in the end, but you will find that they are excellent deals. Not having to queue and getting instant access to the palace will save you the time and headache. Take advantage of Vienna attractions tickets and the Vienna pass.

The Best Times to Visit Schonbrunn Palace

Peak season is from April to September and there is a particular spike between July and August. Try to avoid these busy months as the Schonbrunn Palace is always overcrowded, being the top destination in the capital. January and February see the lowest number of visitors and your visit will be much more intimate during this period. March and November could be a good compromise because there is mild weather and thin crowds. Vienna is also a popular destination during the holiday season, so it is not a good decision to come during the second half of December.

Fully Exploring the Schonbrunn Palace with Guided Tours

The Schobrunn Palace is massive and if you really want to get a style of its history, it is best that you opt for guided tours. By joining a guided tour, you get access to the rooms, as well as get their background story from an expert guide or an audio guide. There are various tours to choose from and they are:

  • Imperial Tour (22 rooms / 35 minutes)

Adult - €11.50
Children - €8.50

  • Grand Tour (40 rooms / 50 minutes)

Adult - €14.50 (with audio guide) or €16.50 (in a group with a guide)
Children - €9.50 (with audio guide) or €11.00 (in a group with a guide)

  • Sisi tickets

Adult - €25.50
Children - €15.00

Tips for Visiting the Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace is massive and its sheer size means you have to do a lot of walking.

  • Wear comfortable shoes if you do not want to suffer from blisters, as well as comfortable clothes appropriate for the season. It is important that you decide where to begin your visit so that you can also select the right metro station. Doing so really makes a lot of difference and helps you save your energy for exploration. Also keep in mind that on public transportation is your best friend and on Sundays, children 15 years old and below bus, metro and tram for free.
  • If you really want to see the inside of the palace but have a limited budget, the Imperial tour is recommended. The rooms included in this tour are more interesting compared to the others.
  • There is virtually no signage within the palace, so take advantage of the audio guides. They can be rented easily.

You've Visited the Schonbrunn Palace, What Now?

The Schonbrunn Palace, although the most popular attraction in Vienna, is just one of its many tourist spots. There is still a lot to discover in the city and with the help of Vienna tourist maps and a little search on the Internet, you will be able to find all these other gems that the city boasts of. Other attractions worth seeing are the following:

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

This is the same church where Mozart was married in 1782 and has played an important role in the spiritual and worldly affairs of the Viennese. The cathedral has stood watch over the city for more than 700 years and it is one of the most revered landmarks of the country.

The Belvedere Palace

Built in the early 18th century by the famous Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, it is one of Eruope’s most stunning landmarks.

The Vienna State Opera House

One of the leading opera houses in the world, the Vienna State Opera House has a past that is steeped in history. Each season features more than 300 performances from 60 different operas and ballets.

Natural History Museum

One of the largest museums and non-university research institutions in the country, the Natural History Museum is also an important center of excellence for matters relating to natural sciences.

The Imperial Crypt and the Capuchin Church

The Imperial Crypt is located below the Capuchin Church and was only intended to hold only the remains of Empress Anna and Emperor Matthias. It has been expanded many times over to accommodate more royal remains.

The Hofburg

The Hofburg is the former principal palace of the Habsburg dynasty and currently serves as the official residence and office of the President of Austria. Located in the center of Vienna, it was built in the 13th century and has been expanded several times.

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