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Which Vienna Palace?

If I need to pick between the Hofburg Palace or the Schönbrunn Palace, which should I select? To help you help me, I have been to many castles and palaces in my life, including Versailles, Windsor, Buckingham Palace, Prague Castle, Fontainbleau, Haut Königsburg, Highclere, blah blah blah. So here I am in Vienna and with the other things I want to do, I think I need to pick just one of the two. I'm leaning towards the Hofburg, since it is more centrally located, but I'd love to hear some opinions! On your mark, get set, advise!

Posted by
6355 posts

I've been to both and liked both but it's not the palaces themselves that draw and attract me, but rather the whole shebang - palace(s), grounds, gardens, settings, etc. For that reason only I would say Schönbrunn. Yes, it's a bit harder to get to but, like Versailles, it has much more going for it than just the palace. I loved the mazes, walking the grounds, going up to the gloriette. I don't think you'd be disappointed with either. Not sure if it's on your agenda but I also loved the Belvedere palace and art gallery, beautiful palace buildings, beautiful art displays, beautiful grounds. So much to choose from.

Posted by
3492 posts

We've been to both and liked both. But when considering one or the other, we'd consider the whole overall experience and would go for Schönbrunn. Well worth the extra effort to get there.

Posted by
3844 posts

Since you shared your list, I would recommend the Schonbrunn; otherwise, if you were short on time, I would recommend the Hofburg Treasury as a special section you would probably really enjoy.

Posted by
2102 posts

I too have been to both and would choose Schönbrunn. The grounds are beautiful and the Strudel show is worth the 45 minutes, if you like to bake.

Posted by
2317 posts

If you are staying in central Vienna, I think you could easily do parts of both. I would visit the Hofburg Treasury and skip the other parts - the Sisi Museum was crowded and "not so much" in my opinion. By the time we made it to Schonbrunn, my husband was mentally unable to step inside of another palace, so we toured the magnificent grounds and the zoo instead. But either way, you can't go wrong.

Posted by
178 posts

We preferred our visit to Schonbrunn over Versailles. The tour was better and not as busy. There was renovation work going on at Versailles when we were there in the hall of mirrors.For sure the grounds are beautiful but it was disappointing to not see the highlight of the palace.

Posted by
4383 posts

Schonbrunn and its gardens are vastly more beautiful than the Hofburg. Take the U4 subway line a few stops at you are at Schonbrunn - hardly out of the way. Walk the grounds, walk up to the Gloriette. The Hofburg exterior is easy to see as you will probably walk past it at some point. All of this said, the most beautiful palace, in my opinion, is the Belvedere, which is an art museum.

Posted by
12040 posts

If you've seen a bunch of these palaces previously, I don't think the interiors of either will offer much new. But as the others noted, Schönbrunn maintains much more elaborate and extensive gardens, not to mention a pretty impressive zoo.

Posted by
39 posts

Thanks, everyone! We somehow managed to visit Hofburg, Schönbrunn AND a bit of the Belvedere (great for the gardens and the Klimts). The early bird gets the worm - we arrived at Schönbrunn by 8:30 this morning and got right in.

Posted by
6355 posts

Joni, thanks for posting again. Good point about going to Schönbrunn early to avoid the crowds, so much nicer that way. Vienna is such a beautiful city with so much to see it can be hard to choose, so I'm glad that you got to see all three.

Posted by
3844 posts

Glad you were able to visit all of them. Vienna is a lovely city!