Schönbrunn Palace: It’s A Full Day Experience!
When you think about Vienna, or at very least when you begin to research the many things to do here, at the top of almost every list you will find the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace. There is, of course, a reason for this – the palace and its surrounding gardens are nothing short of divine! A visit to the palace – referred to by the German speaking locals as a “Schloss” – is like stepping into a fairy tale, with magical beauty to been found in every direction you look.
However, when it comes to Schönbrunn Palace, most travellers don’t bother to look further than the palace itself, and the gardens in its immediate vicinity. Let me tell you, there is sooooo much more to this place than meets the eye, and you can literally spend an entire day here and not see it all, if you know what you’re looking for and if you come prepared!
The purpose of this blog is to draw your attention to the numerous other aspects of the palace – which are often overlooked – so you can not only make your trip to Schönbrunn a full-day experience to which you would probably never have known possible, but you can also leave Vienna knowing that you made the absolute most out of your trip, and you were able to squeeze every last drop of pleasure out of your journey.
So, without further a due, I bring to you, the ultimate itinerary to maximise your Schönbrunn Palace experience!
In such an historical city as Vienna, the use of the description “magnificent” becomes common. But when visiting the Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn), this description severely understates its beauty and significance. The architecture of this enormous, long, and symmetrical palace, will astound you, and as you tour the 40 rooms, each with their own story, you will be drawn into the power and opulence of more than three historic centuries.
SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE GARDENS
Once you have finished exploring the majestic interior of the palace, it will be time to turn your attention to the magnificent gardens in which it resides. The gardens were originally opened to the public around 1779, later being named a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1996, so it is no wonder they attract so many visitors from all corners of the earth, year after year. The grounds are a wonderful mix of manicured flowerbeds and pristine gardens, as well as wild and sprawling forests which are home to many native species; there is no doubt in my mind that you will be left awe-struck by its beauty!
Perched atop of Schönbrunn Hill in the centre of the magical and spectacular palace grounds, the commanding structure of the Gloriette stands watch, looking over the sprawling city of Vienna, as far as the eye can see. Originally built back in 1775, it is here where you will not only find one of the best views of Schönbrunn Palace, but also one of the best views of Vienna as a whole. It goes without saying, the Gloriette is a must-see for any visitor to these majestic palace gardens!
TIP: There is a small and quite nice café located at the base of the Gloriette. You may want to take advantage of this and grab a bite to eat while you rest your legs momentarily!
SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE MAZE & LABYRINTH
Challenge yourself and explore Schönbrunn Palace in a way that most visitors to Vienna don’t ever take advantage of, at the fun and exciting Schönbrunn Palace Maze & Labyrinth! Originally created for the exclusive entertainment of the Imperial Family, this amazing Maze & Labyrinth is now open to the public for all to enjoy! So come, take a break from exploring the palace grounds and get lost in the magic of this royal and historic game.
SCHÖNBRUNN ZOO (TIERGARTEN SCHÖNBRUNN)
Located in the grounds of Schonbrunn Palace, take some time to visit the Vienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schonbrunn). Here you can meet animals from around the world, including giraffes, orangutans, sea lions and penguins! Spread over 160-hectares, there is plenty of room to wander, or, you can ride in comfort on the Schonbrunn Panorama Train. The zoo has scheduled feeding times for many animals, so you will be able to see them up close and hear stories that explain their nature and lives. What a great way to spend a day!
SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE POOL (SCHÖNBRUNNERBAD)
Tucked away at the back of the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace Gardens is one of Vienna’s most tranquil and unknown swimming spots, the Schönbrunn Palace Pool, or the “Schönbrunnerbad” to the locals. Take a break at the end of a long summers’ day of exploring the palace grounds, and relax for a few hours in this quiet and hidden oasis. With plenty of grassed area to spread out, the Schönbrunn Palace Pool is the ideal way to end your visit to Schönbrunn Palace before returning to your hotel for the evening.
NASCHMARKT – THE PERFECT PLACE FOR DINNER BEFORE HEADING HOME
Foodies of Vienna – and anyone hungry – flock to the Nashmarkt, located along the Wienzeile, just south of the city’s Historic Centre. The market has served the locals since the sixteenth-century, so join them and stroll past the 170-stalls spread over a kilometre, and see and smell a myriad of foods from around the world. By the time you finish your exploration of Schönbrunn, you must be hungry – and of course, good food needs good wine!
The Naschmarkt is the perfect destination for dinner after a long day of exploring Schönbrunn Palace. Not only is the Naschmarkt one of Vienna’s most popular tourist spots – which at some point you will want to see anyway – but it is also only a short train ride back from Schönbrunn to the centre of Vienna, on the U4 Green Line. Basically, in most cases, you have to go past the Naschmarkt to get home anyway, so why not stop in on the way and finish the day with an amazing meal!
The Naschmarkt is located above the U4 Station (Green Line) of Kettenbrückengasse, and is home to some of the city’s most popular restaurants and bars, serving a full range of international cuisines as well as fantastic cold beverages!
I hope you enjoy my blog above, and I hope this will allow you to make the most of your trip to Schönbrunn Palace. Of course, with so much on offer, you obviously might not be able to take it all in over just one day. However, at least you can see that with a little bit of research you can really make the most out of your visit to these fascinating palace grounds, and you can take advantage of them in a way that most people never get the opportunity to do!!!
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