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 Schönbrunn 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 Schönbrunn Palace history
The Schönbrunn Palace 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, ultimately merges into the Danube. Maximillian II of the Holy Roman Empire purchased a large piece of land on the side to 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 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 Schönbrunn Palace Architecture
The architecture of the Schönbrunn Palace is as intriguing as the entire Palace. The dull yellow exteriors with red rooftop is a unique one not seen in other European famous architectures. The architecture of the palace evolved through the different centuries & different reigns. Starting from a mansion, a game and ultimately turned into a Baroque styled Palace with 1400 rooms.
The Schönbrunn Palace Gardens
The enormous gardens of the Schonbrunn Palace was 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 adds to the perfect view of the Gloriette.
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The Schönbrunn Palace Tours
The Schönbrunn Palace tours include 4 major tours among a few others. The tours being 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 like I did. It included a 30-40 minute tour of 22 rooms including the rooms, dining area, state-rooms and Sisi & Fran Joseph’s private space as well. If you’d like a full tour, choose a Grand Tour of 1 hour about 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 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 classic pass if you want to spend a full day with children here.
Tiergarten Zoo in the Schönbrunn 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.
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, isn’t preserving the very few left Giant Pandas is 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 wandering through the rhino house, the birdhouse, swans, aquarium and more.
I am a big penguin fan and watching the penguins roam freely. Tring 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 one 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 visiting 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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– The Wanderer