If you go anywhere, go to Vienna. Vienna is beautiful. It’s full of culture, history, castles, amazing food and beer. A highlight of my time in Vienna was Schloβ Schönbrunn (Schoenbrunn Palace).
Schloβ Schönbrunn/Schoenbrunn Palace
I’ve talked about the Habsburg family in a previous blog about Trieste, and here they are popping up again. Of course, they’re going to turn up in Vienna, the old capital of the Austrian Empire, the Habsburgs once ruled.
Schloβ Schönbrunn was designed by Italian-trained Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach for the Habsburgs and built during the 17th century. Originally it was a hunting lodge with pheasants, ducks, deer and turkeys for recreational hunting. In the reign of Maria Theresia, it was fashioned as a summer palace for the Austrian royals. The Palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are over 1000 rooms in the palace, of these 45 are open to the public. Tickets can be bought at the palace, online or with a discount using the Vienna Pass. We didn’t actually go into the palace, but we have a fantastic day walking around the gardens and zoo.
Garden and Tiergarten/Zoo
Schloβ Schönbrunn has about 1.2km² of beautiful gardens. There are ponds, fountains, a hedge maze, along with a zoo. The Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Schoenbrunn Zoo/Vienna Zoo) is the oldest continuously operating zoo in the western world. It was opened to the Viennese public in 1779 (along with the Schoenbrunn gardens). Back in the day, it was free entry to both. Nowadays the gardens of the palace are free but you’ll pay to go to the zoo area. Also, there is a kea at this zoo. It was odd to see a New Zealand native bird in a foreign country and even weirder listening to the description of the kea in German.
The gardens are lovely, you can spend an hour or so walking around this amazing area. You don’t have to go inside the Palace to enjoy all its beauty. The palace is easily accessible by public transport.
Schloβ Schönbrunn was one of the highlights of our time in Vienna. It’s a definite must do when you go to Vienna.
Schloβ Schönbrunn/Schönbrunn Palace (official): https://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/
Schloβ Schönbrunn/Schönbrunn Palace (wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6nbrunn_Palace0