Updated: Apr 2
Luxury galore, rare woods, Chinese wallpapers, gold, silver, design furniture, a world collection of family portraits - who wouldn’t want a summer house like that. Visit the Schönnbrun palace with me!
The imperial summer palace is one of the best sights for a summer holiday in Vienna: a fantastic museum, a large beautiful garden (and a zoo should your kids be interested) and several cafés.
However, I would recommend a visit in the winter with fewer tourists and hence a far better access to both the museum itself and when inside, to actually see the items. The Imperial Tour is pretty limited and frankly, you will feel a bit fooled. The Grand Tour takes you through the main quarters of the imperial family and gives you a lovely insight into how to spend time at your summer chalet. The nice thing about these kinds of museum in Austria is that unlike those in France, Germany and Russian (just to name a few) they have not been looted but they have actually genuine stuff on show that has been there during the imperial times: the floors, furniture, wall paintings and wallpapers are genuine and just fabulous. Sadly, though, Sisi’s bed, original though that it is, was brought from Hofburg.
If you want to know more about Sisi, check our blog entry on her private quarters in the Hofburg in Vienna. Sisi was fond of travelling by train and in 1873 the Austrian railway companies had a set of coaches made as a gift to the empress. The sleeping car has been preserved and is on display at the Vienna Technisches Museum - see our review! If you are further interested, the sharpened needle file that the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni killed her with is on show at the Viennese Museum of Medicine Josephinum.
There is a large and very clean loo at the entrance, on your left, immediately after you enter the Palace. Not quite the imperial style, but still well done, clean, large enough and provides you with the relief you seek.
The museum shop is just phantasmagoric - look at my photos. Irrespective of if you need a Sisi dress for your drag party, true books about the historical grandeur or cheap stuff to bring to the unpleasant cousin, this is the place to shop!
There is a great choice of cafés to tank after your tour - look at my photo of the café selection. The prices are a bit high for my taste and also compared to the general Vienna levels but what wouldn’t one pay for the genuine Sisi experience. Their Mozart cake was just fabulous.
Buy a net ticket in advance and just walk in - you will save a lot of nerves and time! The ticket comes with a 15 minute entrance slot which makes it extremely convenient to just walk in. The parking slot is hugely expensive, almost twice the regular rates in Vienna so you might wish to check parking in the streets in the vicinity and walk a bit of come by public transport that services Schönbrunn actually pretty well.
There is a barrier-free access to loos only at the ticket shop but the museum provides easy access to the tour thanks to lifts and ramps next to the main stairs at the entrance, so worth a visit in a wheelchair or with kid’s pram, too! At the cafés they give you a loo ticket - otherwise they charge you, no free pee at Schönnbrunn cafés!
Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47 1130 Vienna +43 1 811 13-0 info[at]schoenbrunn.at