Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna

I will be on a Viking river cruise which docks/am in Vienna. After bkfst, there is an included 1/2 day coach and walking tour of the city. This includes the Ringstrasse, Hofburg Palace, St Stephan's Cathedral and the State Opera House. Lunch is offered on board this day. Question is: either, enjoy free leisure time (on own) in the afternoon or partake of an optional Schonbrunn Palace Tour (see opulent rms and period furniture and formal gardens) The cost is 49 euros pp. Can you just walk thru the gardens? Is it free to do? If anyone has done this tour - is it good and worth the cost or is it nicer to sit at a cafe and sample some Vieneese pastry & coffee & watch the world go by. The ship departs late the same evening.... So undecided :( what to do??
carole

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2685 posts

Hi, No ticket is required if you just want to walk around the open areas of Schönbrunn. You walk from Schönbrunn gardens up to Gloriette. "Vienna is just about my favourite city in Europe." How true. One of my top 4 too, never get tired of going there.

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

Here's my take, for what it's worth: you can have a pastry & coffee and watch the world go by in Chelmsford, MA - but you can't see the Schonbrunn Palace.

Posted by George
Canada
817 posts

Depends on how many ornate rooms with period furniture surrounded by the ubiquitous manicured gardens you need to see in your lifetime - for me - seen one, seen 'em all.

Posted by Carole
Chelmsford, Ma
19 posts

I hear you but... Do you know if you can just walk around the gardens of the Schonbrunn Palace? or is a tkt needed for that? Carole

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
961 posts

George provided a good link to the admission prices. Also, you can get there on your own by underground, tram, or bus (routes are listed on the palace website) with a little advance planning. All together will cost way less than 49 euro/pp. I always hated the optional tours offered because mostly what you pay for is a chartered bus to get you there, can almost always do it more cheaply yourself.

Posted by Andrea
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
434 posts

SChonbrunn is wonderful, but I couldn't do it the same day as Hofburg. There's a lot to see in Vienna so two palaces in a day will be overkill. Agree with previous poster - if you do decide to go, just take the underground. It is cheap and easy to use. It allows you to go and return on your schedule, so if you feel like lingering in the gardens, you can, and if you find your interest flagging, you can hop back to Vienna city centre in a jiff. How late does the ship leave? You could consider a show. We went to the opera in Vienna (our first) and enjoyed it. Even better was a musical called Tanz der Vampire. That was the best show I've ever seen! Vienna is just about my favourite city in Europe. Whatever you choose will be wonderful.

Posted by Debi
Sherman Oaks, CA, USA
257 posts

Agree, just love Vienna!! One palace a day is plenty. Loved both and cannot wait to return to this beautiful, history filled city. Happy Travels!

Posted by Debi
Sherman Oaks, CA, USA
257 posts

Agree, just love Vienna!! One palace a day is plenty. Loved both and cannot wait to return to this beautiful, history filled city. Happy Travels!

Posted by mike
shingle springs, CA, USA
70 posts

If you go to Schonbrunn Palace,go to the Carriage Museum on your visit.

Posted by LaRae
spokane
472 posts

The palace and carriage museum are not to be missed. Vienna is an awesome city.

Posted by Carole
Chelmsford, Ma
19 posts

Edina ~ I was delighted to hear from you regarding the Vienna Schonbrunn Palace. I agree - the one day spent in Vienna doesn't seem long enough. How much time is devoted to the coach (drive by)portion - and then to the walking portion? Do you recall? My itinerary features the Ringstrasse, Hofburg Palace, St Stephan's Cathedral and the State Opera House. What I am now thinking is that you do not go inside any of these bldgs - or do you? I think that we just drive by. What part is walking? My brochure says that after lunch onboard, you have free time to explore on your own. OR join an optional tour of the S Palace (49euros pp) I understand that it's about 2 hours... is that about right? Did you walk up to the Gloriette? You did the optional tour, yes? Do you recall what time, roughly,the ship departs Vienna at night? I hear that it's late ! Probably because of the optional concert offered. Btw, where do they drop you off to get a coffee n pastry? Edina, what other optional tours did you do on the VRC? regards,
carole

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

Carole, I did the Viking River Cruise Grand European tour last year. The coach and walking tour only included an outside view of the Hofburg, St. Stephans, etc. The optional tour of Schonbrunn includes transportation and inside tickets and a guide. I don't believe you can do only the coach (but verify with Viking). Ie, you would have to get your own transportation to Schonbrunn if all you want to see is the garden. We had some free time after the walking part of the tour and I was able to slip inside to see the cathedral AND have a coffee at a RS recommended coffeehouse. Vienna was my busiest day because I did both Schonbrunn (which I really enjoyed) AND the optional musical tour that evening. I very much want to return to Vienna as the boat docks quite a ways from the city and it was not convenient to come back to the boat, eat and rest up, then start out again.

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

I don't remember exactly how much time, but I would guess 1/2 hour to get to central area, less than 1 hour to drive around, less than 1 hour for walking portion (maybe 45 min for each of these), then a 30-45 min free time and 1/2 hour to get back. I know we were back to the boat by lunch, so if we left at 8:30 or 9, that would get us back by 11:30 or 12. If you stay in the central area you will have to get back to the boat on your own (it is possible via a combination of metro and walking). I did not walk out to the Gloriette...I walked through the gardens closer to the house-we didn't have that much time. The boat left late-I would guess near midnight. I found the coffee shop on my own. They don't take you to one.

Posted by Laurie Beth
Was MN, now TX
638 posts

Have you been to the Cruise Critic message board. They have a river cruise section where you can get lots of feedback. I took about 1/2 the optional tours, but I was on the 14 day Grand European cruise. I was pleased with all of them and felt I got my money's worth.

Posted by Hans
Portland, OR, USA
2 posts

Carole, I grew up in Austria and have been back to Vienna many times (as a matter of fact, my wife and I are going to Vienna this December for Christmas) and every visit, I take time out of my busy schedule to visit Schoenbrunn. For me, it's worth it and it doesn't take too much time away from coffee and pastry. ;-)

Posted by Elaine
Columbia, SC
744 posts

I did the same Viking river cruise with the half day tour, and as Laurie said, you won't be touring the Hofberg during that time. I also don't remember the breakdown of the bus vs walking times, but you can leave the organized tour at the walking portion, and go off on your own. Skip lunch on board. The food on the ship is good, but not worth wasting a precious couple of hours while you are in Vienna. We had a very nice lunch in the gardens at Schonbrunn.
You can get an info sheet at the front desk, that gives you good directions and options to return to the ship when you are off on your own.