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24 hours in Vienna

I will be in Vienna for 24 hours on a Cruise. Should we go to the Schonbrunn Palace or Hofburn Palace We are going to a concert the evening we arrive but these two optional excursions the following day have me perplexed. Are they worth the extra money? What else should we do? This is our third postponement so hopefully the third time is a charm
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Posted by
1264 posts

Schonbrunn- it's glorious, it was the summer palace. The gardens and grounds are huge, like having a palace in Central Park. I really enjoyed the various tours, and there a little "bus" that takes you around the grounds. The inside tour was also worthwhile.
Enjoy!

Posted by
2727 posts

Another vote for the Schönbrunn Palace. It is sublime, and yes- worth the extra money. The tour, the history, the baroque architecture, & gardens were one of our top highlights of lovely Vienna. Hope the 3rd time is the charm! We were there in 2019.

Posted by
18739 posts

I don't know where your cruise docks, but I'd think you could save a lot of money by going to Schonbrunn on your own rather than taking an excursion marketed by the cruise line. However, I've never taken any sort of cruise, so I'm just guessing.

Posted by
4841 posts

Hofburg is magnificent, has the Spanish Riding School/Lipizzaner horses adjacent, and is conveniently downtown, closest to other sights. That gives it high marks.

Between the two, though, if time and access weren’t any factor, Schonbrunn was my favorite, too.

Posted by
2727 posts

I will add to acraven’s post in regards to pricing of the Schönbrunn Palace. As a reference we purchased our tickets online and paid about €30.

Posted by
3861 posts

I loved them both, though Schoenbrunn, more. The Schoenbrunn gardens are extensive. It is very easy to get to by metro and the tickets include an audio tour so there really is no need to pay for an expensive tour.

You might look to see what is available at the Hofburg. If you are interested in glassware/china/silver, the imperial silver collection may be of interest. The treasury also has amazing pieces, crowns, robes, etc

Posted by
4285 posts

Definitely Schonbrunn - it is the #1 tourist site in Vienna for a reason. They are both palaces - Schonbrunn is the summer palace, so it has extensive grounds and is so beautiful. The interior is much for extravagant. Hofburg is the city palace and blends into the city center and the apartments focus on Sisi, a famous Austrian Empress.

There is absolutely no reason, however, to pay a ton of money to have the cruise line schlep you around to Schonbrunn. Just walk or take a taxi to the subway (depends on docking location) and exit at the Schonbrunn stop on the U4 line. It is probably best to buy your tickets to enter the palace in advance. There is nothing hard about any of this.

Posted by
2270 posts

You could possibly do both, maybe not with the cruise line, but on your own. You could spend as much time as you want at the Schonbrunn, and then spend whatever time you have left at the Hofburg complex.

Back in 2015, we spent 5 nights in Vienna and absolutely loved it. If I had to pick one palace to see in Vienna, it would be the Belvedere, home of "The Kiss".

https://www.belvedere.at/en/visit/upper-belvedere

Posted by
5 posts

I thank you all for your valuable information. Any restaurants or coffee houses to suggest? I love this site!

Posted by
3861 posts

Definitely get tickets in advance. Schoenbrunn ticket line can be long. You might be able to get a Schoenbrunn ticket at the Hofburg. When I’ve been to the Hof, the lines were short.

Posted by
1358 posts

I would encourage you to heed Emily's advice exploring the city on your own. Don't be afraid of public transport. It works pretty well.

Most cruise ships moor near Reichsbrücke (metro U1, stop Vorgartenstraße). Take the U1 (red line), go two stops to Schwedenplatz, change to U4 (green line) which goes right to Schönbrunn. It is a ride of about 20 minutes. Most likely you will arrive there earlier than the excursion busses have picked up all passengers.

Buy a 24-hours-ticket for public transport. It allows you to use any means of transportation for that period, i.e. subway aka metro (called U-Bahn), tram, bus, train, etc.