Slightly unhelpful travelling tips for Vienna (3) : Schönbrunn Palace

A former imperial summer palace for the Habsburg monarchs. The name Schönbrunn means beautiful spring which refers to the artesian underground water beneath the palace.

 

Despite having a rather 19th century art nouveau look from the inside, the complex started way before in the 14th century.

 

  • Visit in the early morning and you will find many people jogging in the garden. The garden is free for entry, so the private garden of the royal family is now back to the people’s.
  • Visit the palace in the early morning (7~8am) to avoid the queue.

 

  • Get the Classic pass ticket unless you just want to spend 2 hours here. Get the Sissi Ticket if you want to visit the main Hofburg palace and a big fan of either Sissi or the actress Romy Schneider.
  • There are 1441 rooms in the palace building, while there is also a big maze at the middle of the garden. You can pretty much imagine what the royalties do everyday in their residence.
  • No photographs in all display rooms of the palace gallery. The staff there will actually scold at you.
  • No air conditioning in most rooms. Congratulations when you visit in August during the heat wave. Due to global warming, last time when I visited it was 40 Celsius.
  • The interior can be very golden but also dusty, especially on those crystals from the Chandeliers. Don’t open your mouth when you look up.
  • At the souvenir shop, get something Sissi or Mozart.
  • There are quite a number of fountains in the grand garden. The most notable must be the Neptune Fountain at the back. There staring at the murky water, you will puzzle at how the hell this place earned the name beautiful spring.

 

  • The maze is not so easy. You may find forced path in the maze (broken branches or bald spots at the brushes). Exploit them. No one is looking. I will definitely take pictures of you stuck in the brushes. The entry to the Maze is included in the pass.

 

  • In the maze there is a telephone thing which you can yell at one end of the air tube and people at the other end will hear your echo. My experience with a boy:

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello. How are you doing?” I asked.

“Fuck you,” he whispered.

  • There is a playground for children near the maze. Godsend for family travellers?
  • Walking towards the Gloriette, and there is an observation deck up there. The entry to the deck is included in the classic pass.

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  • Do not eat at the cafe of Gloriette unless you are so hungry. It’s usually too packed with all the waiters so busy even to take your bill. I had to force my credit card into their machine after waiting for almost 35 minutes just for the bill. And the waiter very abruptly dismissed me with a goodbye (don’t think it was his fault though).
  • There is also a zoo in the Palace. Let’s go and see Pandas in Wien? 
  • There is also a very fancy greenhouse. Need to pay to get in though.

 

  • The classic pass also takes you into the Crown Prince Garden. Take a stroll at the shades. Very relaxing unless it is packed with tourists again.

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Hope you find the tips slightly unhelpful.

Cheers to traveller!

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