Once the Habsburgs’ summer residence outside Vienna, the Schönbrunn palace and its gardens are today the most popular attractions of the city, with over 2.6 million visitors every year. The complex was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996.
The palace complex consists of several attractions: the magnificent baroque palace, the oldest zoo in the world, the café in the Gloriette with panoramic views of the estate, fountains, gardens, a palm house, a desert house, an orangerie and more.
The history of the palace and its vast gardens spans over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive monarchs.
The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in the country. Visitors can see everyday objects and facilities used by the monarchs and get a glimpse of their lives.
Not only is the Schönbrunn zoo one of the top attraction of Vienna on its own, it is also the oldest zoo in the world, and at the time also one of the most modern ones.
Gloriette and café
The Gloriette is a monument of its own, situated on a 60 meters high hill above the palace and providing fantastic views of the entire palace complex, as well as surrounding areas of the city.
It was built in 1775 to glorify Habsburg power and the Just War. During the Second World War it was destroyed, but had already been restored by 1947, and again in 1995.
The Gloriette today houses a café and an observation deck.
The gardens are open to the public and are among the favourite green areas of the Viennese. There are several kilometres of paths surrounded by carefully designed and maintained greenery, as well as many sculptures including the “Roman ruins” and the fountain of Neptune.
Website: Schloß Schönbrunn
Metro: U4 (Schönbrunn, Hietzing)