Built to rival the opulence of Versailles, Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) was once a summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs. Today, this baroque palace is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in Austria.
Forty of the palace’s 1,441 rooms are open to the public, including the private apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth (Sisi), as well as the exquisite 18th-century rooms of Maria-Theresa—the only female ruler of the Habsburg dynasty. The vast palace gardens are also a must-see, with a spectacular palm house made from iron and glass, a hedge maze, and a labyrinth. Visit on a skip-the-line tour to beat the crowds and benefit from the knowledge of an expert guide, or opt for a private tour for a more personalized experience. For an evening of culture and music, attend a live concert in the Schönbrunn Palace Orangery and listen to famous works by Mozart and Strauss. Or, get an overview of the city and the palace on a Vienna city tour, stopping at other highlights such as the Vienna Opera House, the Danube River, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Filming and photography are not permitted inside the palace.
- The palace has nine onsite dining options, including outdoor cafés and formal sit-down restaurants.
- Three accessible parking spaces are available near the main gate, and wheelchairs can be rented free of charge. All display rooms are wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
Schönbrunn Palace is located on the outskirts of Vienna, roughly 15 minutes by road from the city’s historic center and 30 minutes by road from Vienna International Airport. Public transportation is the easiest option; the U4 underground line, the 10 and 16 trams, and the 10A bus run directly to the palace—just get off at the Schönbrunn stop.
When to Get There
The busiest time to visit Schönbrunn Palace is during the summer months of July and August, when it’s best to visit early or purchase a skip-the-line ticket to avoid crowds. Spring and fall bring mild weather and fewer crowds.
The Schönbrunn Palace Orangery
For lovers of music and culture, an evening visit to Schönbrunn Palace is a must. The Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra performs concerts in the fully renovated Palace Orangery, where Mozart himself often played. The orchestra is accompanied by ballet dancers and opera singers, and they perform various works from Mozart and Strauss.