Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace

Located on the outskirts of Vienna, Schönbrunn is a sprawling palace complex that was summer home to the Habsburgs. It’s on a truly impressive scale. Meaning ‘beautiful spring’, it started life as a hunting lodge in the 16th century, and the original mansion was greatly expanded upon by future generations. It owes much of its current appearance to Empress Maria Theresa, who remodelled it in the 18th Century.

Our Vienna Pass gave us access to the Grand Tour – 40 rooms out of the over 1400. Sadly no pics allowed but you can get something of a flavour of the rooms from my Albertina post. As with the Hofburg, there was a strong emphasis on the life of Empress ‘Sisi’, and Emperor Franz Josef who were the last imperial rulers to live (and die) there.

The bright yellow palace glistened in the May sunshine. When we arrived we were given a timed ticket for entrance to the main palace. This meant we had about an hour to explore the privy gardens and extensive grounds. There’s even a puffer train to take visitors to the gorgeous Gloriette, or more leisurely horse-drawn carriages.

The gardens seemed to be between seasons and gardeners were busy getting them shipshape for the summer months. So not much colour around, but wonderful views and sculpture as far as the eye could see.

With the Imperial Carriage Museum, bakery, restaurants and a zoo on site, a morning only really scratched the surface of this site. There’s so much to explore here!

Have you visited and what would you recommend that others shouldn’t miss?


  1. We were there last December and it had an entirely different vibe. Still magical but full of holiday tourists which made it difficult to enjoy. Thanks for the summer perspective b

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