Schonbrunn Palace was definitely the highlight of our trip to Vienna, Austria. If you’re heading to Vienna, you need to add this palace to your list!
The best part? You don’t even need to go inside the palace! I actually found the inside to be a little underwhelming. Plus, in the heat and busy-ness of summer, it was absolutely no fun to be stuck in small, hot rooms with giant tour groups. And when we got there, they were out of audio guides so we were given pamphlets instead. Lastly, you’re not allowed to take photos inside.
So I would suggest sticking to the outside of Schonbrunn Palace. The grounds are really what makes this place so amazing! And most of the grounds are totally free to walk around and explore. They are stunning – if you don’t believe me, just check out the 32 photos below!
I’ve also included some helpful tips and tricks for visiting Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria about halfway through the photos, so be sure to scroll down and check them out.
WIthout further ado, let’s get to the pictures!
When you first enter Schonbrunn Palace, you’re met with… the palace! It may look like that’s all there is but don’t be deceived. Head to the far right corner to get around to the back of the palace where the real fun starts.
As you head around to the back of the palace, you’ll see some beautiful manicured grounds and a rose garden. But keep going!
Now you’re at the back of the palace and you can see what all of the fuss is about. How magical does this look? I was beaming from ear to ear when we got here! We almost didn’t walk around to the back, which would’ve been such a shame.
After you take all of the photos, start walking down the main pathway, away from the castle and towards the Neptune Fountain.
From the fountain, turn around and wave goodbye to the palace as you’ll now be heading up the hill.
Tips & tricks for visiting Schonbrunn Palace
- If you do decide to tour the inside of the palace, buy your ticket online ahead of time. Entry into the palace is timed, meaning only so many people can enter at a time. When we showed up, the earliest tickets you could buy were not for another 2.5 hours! So definitely buy ahead online if you want to go in. If you’ve forgotten, you can kill time by exploring the grounds (the best part!).
- While most of the grounds are free, certain sections, like the maze and the zoo, are paid. You don’t need to buy these tickets at the main ticket building. You can simply buy them at the specific entrances once you’ve decided you want to go in.
- The Schonbrunn Palace grounds are HUGE! You did hear me when I said there was a maze and a zoo on the grounds, right? You could easily spend an entire day here, and I would recommend at least a couple of hours. Head off the beaten trail and discover some of the quieter paths. Colin found an amazing fountain (coming up below) that was totally abandoned just because it wasn’t on the main path.
- If you need to use the bathroom, go to the entrance to the palace, as if you were about to go through on your tour. Right before you would show your ticket and go on the tour, there is a bathroom and it’s free! The other bathrooms, including ones at the ticket building and the cafes, are paid.
- Bring your own water. If you’re visiting Schonbrunn Palace on a hot and sunny summer day like we did, you’ll want to bring your own water bottle. Certain parts of the ground offer no shade and you’ll want to stay hydrated to make it up the big hill. And while they do sell water, it’s expensive and not very cold.
- There are restaurants and cafes on the grounds where you can eat, but I think it would be more fun (and cheaper!) to pack a little picnic lunch and find a quiet place on the grounds to enjoy it.
You made it up the hill! Take a moment to catch your breath and admire the beautiful view of Schonbrunn Palace and the rest of Vienna behind you.
Face fowards again and you’ll see a beautiful building (that is now a cafe) at the very top of the hill. Go check it out!
After you’ve enjoyed all of your views from the top, it’s time to come back down the hill and keep exploring. We chose to head to the right and wander down that way. Which is how we stumbled upon this amazing fountain that we had all to oursevles!
We also found some ancient Roman ruins, that are actually not that ancient and just a modern art recreation. But they still looked very cool!
How beautiful is Schonbrunn Palace? And this isn’t even half of it. We didn’t go through the maze, the zoo or any of the paid gardens, which I’m sure are even more beautiful. And there was a lot of free ground we didn’t cover either. So clearly, there’s a lot to see at Schonbrunn!
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