A trip to Vienna is literally incomplete without a stroll around the historic Schönbrunn Palace. While planning my visit to Austria, I wasn’t sure if I should include a visit to Schönbrunn Palace. Even standing in front of it after purchasing the hefty tickets didn’t convince me. But would you like to know what did? I’d love to share why you cannot miss out on Schönbrunn Palace & the Tiergarten Zoo.
The Grandeur of the Schonbrunn Palace
The 17th-century Baroque Palace is a vivid symbol of the dynamic interests of various Habsburg monarchs. The Schönbrunn Palace is a perfect example of how history evolves and leads by example.
The Schonbrunn Palace History
The Schönbrunn Palace’s history dates back to the 14th century when the current Palace area was just a mansion known as Katterburg. The Wein River is a name unknown to many and ultimately merges into the Danube. Maximillian II of the Holy Roman Empire purchased a large piece of land on the side of the same Wein River.
The emperor ordered the floodplain land to be fenced and used it as a quarry for hunting and also built some fishponds there. The area continued to be used as a hunting ground till the 16th century by a Holy Roman Empress – Eleonora Gonzaga. She acquired the area after the death of her husband, Ferdinand II. Eleonora Gonzaga built a palace by the name of Schonbrunn literally meaning “Beautiful Spring”.
The Palace was remodelled by the emperors of the future reigns in the 17th century and the Neoclassical style of architecture was adopted.
Franc Joseph the longest monarch of Austria was born & died at the Schönbrunn Palace in 1916. After WWI, the palace was acquired by the Austrian Republic and declared a museum.
The Schonbrunn Palace Architecture
The architecture of the Schönbrunn Palace is as intriguing as the entire Palace. The dull yellow exterior with a red rooftop is a unique one not seen in other European famous architecture. The architecture of the palace evolved through the different centuries & different reigns. Started from a mansion, a game and ultimately turned into a Baroque styled Palace with 1400 rooms.
The Schonbrunn Palace Architecture
The enormous gardens of the Schonbrunn Palace were a prime attraction for me with perfectly placed manicured plants. The perfect time to visit the palace is in the spring until fall when the flowers are in full bloom. The massive size roses decorated in the green hallway when exiting the palace towards the garden are perfect for Instagram-worthy shots.
The gigantic-sized gardens are perfectly trimmed and literally picture-perfect. The sculptures well placed throughout the garden add to the perfect view of the Gloriette.
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The Schonbrunn Palace Tours
The Schönbrunn Palace tours include 4 major tours among a few others. The tours are Imperial Tour, Sisi Ticket, Grand Tour, Classic Pass and a family pass as well. There are other tours also available for Gloriette & children focussed, you can check them out here. If you’re short on time and want to feel the grandeur of the Palace, choose the Imperial Tour as I did. It included a 30-40 minute tour of 22 rooms including the rooms, dining area, staterooms and Sisi & Fran Joseph’s private space as well.
If you’d like a full tour, choose a Grand Tour of 1 hour with glimpses of the 18th-century interiors which are dead-drop gorgeous. Sisi Ticket is the most beneficial out of all including a tour of Hofburg Palace with a validity of up to a year with options of visiting different days. Classic Pass is an amazing option for families who want to explore Maze & Labyrinth, Gardens & Gloriette as well. Choose a classic pass if you want to spend a full day with children here.
Tiergarten Zoo in the Schonbrunn Palace
Zoos are sort of places which are associated usually with kids & family people. When in the Schönbrunn premises, I was in the dilemma too whether I should visit the Tiergarten zoo or skip it altogether. Despite travelling solo, I thought hell why not? I wanted to go back to my childhood days and be a child once again. And, I cannot be happier that I didn’t miss it.
I used to be or in some way still am that I don’t actually morally support the concept of Zoos, preserving species against their will. But when I stepped foot in the Tiergarten Zoo I realised how the management at the zoo is maintaining almost a natural environment for the animals which seriously made my day. Well, the zeal to see Pandas too 😉 Did I mention Tiergarten Zoo is home to two Giant Pandas – Fu Long and Fu Hu? The Tiergarten Zoo is a big supporter of wildlife preservation, but isn’t preserving the very few left Giant Pandas are a great reason to visit the Zoo.
The Giant Pandas are definitely the highlight of the zoo, but the Tiergarten Zoo is the world’s oldest zoo which makes a visit here worthwhile.
Become a child at the Tiergarten Zoo
The entrance of the zoo is quaint and slightly quiet giving away the confused feeling. The paths are slightly unclear about where to start with no clear sign of pathways. If you have enough time, start from anywhere just like I did, there’s no right way!
I took the left path and wandered through the rhino house, the birdhouse, the swans, the aquarium and more.
I am a big penguin fan and watching the penguins roam freely. Trying to get a picture is difficult because the penguins literally swim speedily & so I opted for a video instead which came out just perfect.
I found the amazingly cute polar bears playing in the trees eating those little leaves. Another playing in the pool was one of the most amazing & playful things to witness.
I literally never saw leopards from this close with just a glass between us. It was a feeling I could never express in words. Two of them kissing was another best thing to see in the Tiergarten Zoo.
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Will I visit the Tiergarten Zoo Again?
Hell yeah! I have not been in Zoo since my childhood days and never even considered it a place to visit while travelling to another country. But visiting the Tiergarten Zoo opened a Pandora box for me.
Check out some of the best moments from Schönbrunn Palace & Tiergarten Zoo in this small video –
Would you visit Schonbrunn Palace? And include the Tiergarten Zoo as well? Share your thoughts with me.
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