A beautiful Baroque complex which used to be the imperial summer residence today is the most important cultural and architectural object in Vienna and Austria overall. The object of the world's UNESCO heritage is also among the most visited tourist attractions frequented yearly by nearly 4 million people. Built in 1548 and named Katterburg, the mansion served as the ground for the court's recreational hunting. Since 1569 it has been owned by the Habsburgs. Maria Theresa received it as a wedding gift and remodelled it into the present form in the 1740–50s. Franz Josef redecorated the palace exterior in neoclassical style.
The palace has 1441 rooms, but only 45 of those are open to the public. You can explore 22 rooms in a 40-minute Imperial Tour which focuses on the private lodgings of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth or "Sisi". You may also choose to discover 40 rooms in an hour-long Grand Tour Apart from the imperial couple, it also features the 18th-century interiors of Maria Theresa.
A Classic Pass provides an access to five attractions including Schönbrunn Palace, Orangery Garden, Privy Garden, Maze, and Gloriette. This tour takes 3 to 4 hours to complete and is available only from mid-March to the beginning of November. If you are interested in particular locations, you may also visit them separately. Another option is visiting the Schönbrunn within a Vienna city tour.
The palace operates year-round including public holidays. The site opens daily at 8 am, and closing time varies throughout the seasons. The park opens at 6:30 am and offers free admission, but if you want to enter its attractions, you'll need to buy admission tickets. To bypass lining, you'd better buy your tickets online, or go on a guided tour.
Even though the palace itself is open to visitors all year round, we recommend visiting between mid-March and early November. During that time of year, you'll be able to also explore other landmarks at Schönbrunn with seasonal availability, such as Orangery Garden, the Privy Garden, and the Maze.