Grand Tour of Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace31 July, 2009
Vienna Schönbrunn Palace
The Schloss Schonbrunn is a royal residence in Vienna. It had served as one of the major tourist attractions and cultural monuments in Vienna. The palace and gardens illustrate the tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Hapsburg monarchs. The name Schönbrunn means “beautiful well”, comes from an artesian well (groundwater flow upward through a well without the need for pumping) which the royal court draws it water from.
The highlights of Schonbrunn is of course the Rococo style Palace…
… and Gloriette (a good lookout place ~~ you will get a good view of vienna here + classy cafe situated here – see above picture) and the Irrgarten (maze and labyrinth). See map below for an idea of how much the palace ground covers.
We purchased a Schönbrunn Classic Pass Light for €14.90. This pass gives us access to the following attractions:
- Grand Tour with audioguide
- Privy Garden
- Maze & Labyrinth
- Gloriette with viewing terrace
Compared to buying individual tickets for each of these attractions, we can save up to 30%. Included in the Classic Pass is a Schönbrunn book of coupons offering discounts in restaurants and cafés on the grounds, discounts on tickets for the “Schönbrunn Concerts” and the “Schönbrunn Puppet Theatre”, discounts for the “Schönbrunn Panorma Train”
You get an audio guide which you can forward or rewind to hear stories about each room in the Palace. Choose the Grand Tour (40-room) rather than the Imperial Tour (22-room) not just because it covers more rooms but also some of the most beautiful rooms in the palace.
Your ticket will indicate a time to enter (in our case: 12.25 pm). The ushers are very strict about this timing and will not let you in even 1 minute before the pre-assigned timing. The entrance looks like an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry.
No photography is allowed in the palace and there are minders to ensure you don’t do that. The tour will take you through the history of each of these rooms and who’s who of Austrian history e.g. Emperor Franz Joseph and Maria Theresa
All the rooms in the palace have their own stories to tell, stories on the margins of great historical events which are indicative of the lifestyle, atmosphere and world view of the imperial era. The tour took about 40 minutes and ends at a souvenir shop.
Here you will find lots of Mirabell Mozart Chocolate – a good souvenir for colleagues, relatives, friends who hound you for gifts when you return home BUT Wait! Don’t buy them here or anywhere else in Vienna except for Manner shops. You will get the best deal for various Viennese chocolate, sweets in Manner shops which I will elaborate in a later post.
Why is the face of Mozart adoring so many Schonbrunn Palace’s souvenir? That’s because when he was six, Mozart played his first royal concert in the presence of Austria’s ruler, Maria Theresa and the royal family in 1762. Afterwards, he even leapt onto the lap of the empress and kissed her!
After the tour and souvenir shopping, we proceeded uphill to Cafe Gloriette for lunch. Just a word of warning, the uphill climb while short, is quite steep. You might want to consider taking the Schönbrunn Panorma Train which goes around the Schonbrunn palace grounds, including the Gloriette.
A video showcasing some of the rooms in Schloss Schonbrunn and the palace grounds with some classical music in the background (Mozart? Sorry don’t know enough to appreciate :-p)