Guided tour

Half-Day History Tour of Schönbrunn Palace

4.9 / 5

22 reviews

Half-Day History Tour of Schönbrunn Palace

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Likely to sell out
Likely to sell out

From US$ 85 per person

Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour of Schönbrunn Palace and its magnificent gardens with a historian as your guide. Admire the Rococo ambiance of the majestic palace and the Baroque landscape principles of interlaced nature and architecture in the gardens.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
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Duration 2.5 hours
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Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
Private or small groups available


  • Explore Schönbrunn's magnificent formal gardens designed on Baroque landscaping principles
  • See the Porcelain Room, which was the office of Maria Theresa
  • Marvel at the unique Rococo-era Millions Room
Full description
The astonishing High Baroque Schönbrunn Palace was built to rival Versailles. Begin your 2.5-hour guided tour with a walk through the magnificent formal gardens, based on the Baroque landscaping principle of interlaced nature and architecture. Approaching the Gloriette, a huge triumphal arch situated on a hilltop with panoramic views of Vienna’s woods, your guide will tell you about the military victories that made Empress Maria Theresa’s reign (1740-1780) a highpoint in the Hapsburg Dynasty’s political and cultural dominance in Europe. The park was opened to the general public in 1779, a populist gesture that reveals Maria Theresa’s canny charm offensive. Indeed, it was under Maria Theresa’s direction that Schönbrunn Palace became the focal point of Austria’s imperial policy and the center of court life, in addition to functioning as the summer residence of a reigning family with 16 children! You’ll see that next generation of Hapsburg rulers also put their stamp on Schönbrunn. The Franz-Joseph and Elisabeth Apartments tell the story of a couple torn apart by the burdens of state. In 1854, Emperor Franz Joseph married the Bavarian princess known better under the affectionate nickname Sisi, who despised the rituals of court life and the ornate environment of the summer palace. She commissioned a spiral staircase leading from her official rooms to a private entry from which she could flee from the palace to the gardens. Visiting one lavish room after another will give you a sense of the opulence that the country girl Sisi fled. Marvel at the unique Millions Room that owes its name to its price. It features antique Indo-Persian miniatures in Rococo frames and wall hangings of carved rosewood from the Antilles that make the Millions Room one of the most accomplished combinations of Oriental and European decorative art from the Rococo era.
  • Guided tour
  • Historian guide
  • Schönbrunn Palace and Park entrance fee (€26 per person or €19 for students between 19 and 25 years old)
Covid-19 precautions
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • All participants over 12 years old must present one of the following: proof of full vaccination, proof of first vaccination administered at least 22 days ago, proof of a Covid-19 infection in the past 6 months, or a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before the activity starts

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Meeting point

Meet your guide at the miniature scale model of the palace complex, situated by the main gates opposite the new Visitor Center.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • Your guide will help you purchase your tickets.
  • Tour guides are professors, doctoral students, historians, journalists, art critics, and published authors.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 22 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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We were lucky enough to take part in an extremely private - just the two of us - tour with Ilse. Ilse is by far the best tour guide I've ever seen in "Action". As far as the quality of the tour is concerned, Ilse is friendly and attentive beyond all measure, with a lot of detailed knowledge and "nice-to-know" information and acted well throughout the tour and answered questions very extensively. Extremely flexible, she has the rare ability to deviate from rigid constructs and customize the tour to suit her guests. With Ilse you like to walk through the imposing garden of Schönbrunn - even at 32 degrees Celsius - sweat in the rooms of the numerous Marias and Josephs and Ferdinands who lived there, and would even acclimate to a cold Heurigen in the beer garden afterwards. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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June 25, 2021

Suzanne was an excellent guide and educator, sharing her wealth of historical knowledge with us. My husband and I ended up being the only two guests, so we ultimately received a private tour. Even on a rainy day, Suzanne was upbeat and ready to share the beautiful palace and its history with us.

September 4, 2019

A terrific experience thanks to my knowledgeable guide George.

For some reason I was the only one booked on the "group " tour so I had my guide George all to myself. We talked for over 3 hours and I was given an incredible insight into the lives ,origins and histories of the Habsburgs. The gorgeous house and gardens came alive for me and I will enjoy happy memories of it when I am back in an often grey and damp U.K.!!

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March 30, 2017

Product ID: 62821