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Belvedere Palace or Schönbrunn Palace – Which is better?

Austria’s historic city, Vienna, is a renowned tourist destination known for its majestic palaces and extravagant buildings dating back several centuries.

Among these, we have the Belvedere and Schönbrunn Palaces, both popular for their Baroque styles.

So which should you visit first?

It is a tough call to take because so many factors need to be considered – how far are they from the city center, what’s there to see, the ticket costs, etc. 

This article covers everything you need to know about the Belvedere and Schonbrunn Palaces to help you make an informed choice.

Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace

If you are not short on time or money, we suggest you visit both the palaces. 

Visiting both the tourist spots offers a glimpse into Austria’s rich history and stunning architecture. 

Belvedere Palace showcases beautiful Baroque designs and art, including famous works by Gustav Klimt. 

Meanwhile, Schönbrunn Palace, with its grand rooms and expansive gardens, tells the story of the lives of emperors.

Feature Belvedere Palace Schönbrunn Palace
Historical Significance Summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy in the early 18th century. The main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers dates back to the 17th century.
Architecture Baroque architecture designed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. Baroque architecture, designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.
Gardens Baroque gardens with tiered fountains and statues, designed in a formal French style. Extensive and elaborate gardens, including a maze, zoo, and the world’s oldest operating Orangery.
Main Attractions Two palaces: Upper and Lower Belvedere, housing art collections including Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”. The Gloriette, a Neptune Fountain, the Palm House, and the Schönbrunn Zoo. Also renowned for its room tours showcasing Rococo interiors.
Museum Collections Houses an impressive collection of Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day, including key works from the Austrian National Gallery. Not as focused on art collections, but offers insights into the imperial lifestyle with authentic room furnishings and decor.
Location Close to Vienna’s city center Slightly farther from the city center
Restaurants There are three cafes within the Belvedere complex Multiple cafes, a restaurant, and a gift shop
Ticket Prices 17 Euros (for 18+ years)
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54 Euros (for 18+ years)
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Opening Times 10 am to 6 pm 8.30 am to 5 pm

Which is better, Belvedere or Schönbrunn?

Schönbrunn Palace, which attracts 2.7 million tourists annually, is more popular than the Belvedere, which receives only 1.5 million annual visitors.

Both are tourist favorites, but if you have to pick between the two, continue reading our article, which lists the similarities and differences between both attractions.

Quick Answer 
If you are interested in spending your time in the city and admiring its architectural marvels, then the Schönbrunn Palace should be your first choice.
Similarly, if you are someone who is inspired by the wide variety of art collections, from classics to contemporary, then we suggest you visit the Belvedere Complex.

What do they contain?

The Palace of Belvedere is a complex of extensive gardens and three buildings that house museums and art galleries, including the works of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

Along with these buildings, this complex is surrounded by five different gardens—the Main Palace, Privy, Sculpture, Alpine, and Botanical Gardens.

Schonbrunn, in comparison, is larger in size, with a total of 1441 rooms. However, you can’t see them all, as only 45 of them are open to the public.

Schönbrunn is more than a palace; it has a whole collection of other attractions such as the Imperial Carriage Museum, Children’s Museum, Palm House, Zoo, Maze, Orangery, and Schlosstheater.

Style and Architecture

Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace

Both of these attractions are icons of the imperial era and have since been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Take for instance, the baroque-styled Belvedere Complex, which is massive: It contains three buildings—Upper Belvedere, Lower Belvedere, and Belvedere 21.

Schörnbrunn, on the other hand, has luxurious rooms customized by Empress Maria Theresa, who had a strong liking for global art. 

Moreover, the finest Rococo-style interiors in the world—which includes a hall of mirrors—are found in the Schonbrunn Palace. No wonder it is called the ‘Versailles of Austria’.

If you are looking for a premium experience, check out the Best of Vienna 1-Day Tour  which allows you to visit both palaces and other highlights of Austria in a day. You also visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg, and Rathaus in a comfortable private car.

Gardens of the palaces

Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace

Apart from the splendid architecture, the gardens of these palaces have a character of their own.

The five different gardens of Belvedere are filled with ornate flower beds laid out in geometric patterns, dreamy sculptures, and elegant waterworks. 

Just so you know, the pool in front of the Upper Belvedere is an absolute sight!

Likewise, the Gloriette, Orangery, Roman Ruins, Obelisk, and Neptune Fountain accessorize the Schönbrunn Palace grounds. 

We also recommend visiting the world’s oldest zoo, which is situated on the palace grounds.

The Main Palace Gardens of the Belvedere and Palace Park of the Schönbrunn are both free to explore. 

When it comes to detailing and grandeur, Schönbrunn trumps Belvedere. 

But we recommend you visit both for a more endearing experience.

Strolling through the gardens and not visiting the palace buildings would do no justice. So make sure you buy tickets to check out the architectural marvel and rich history of these palaces.

Belvedere Palace Tickets

Ideal for: Those planning to visit the Belvedere Palace Gardens and the famous Upper Belvedere.

Experience: This ticket grants access to the Upper Belvedere Palace and its permanent art collection.

Highlights: The main highlight of this ticket is that you get to see the world-famous art piece “The Kiss” by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. Klimt used real gold and silver to create this masterpiece!

Schönbrunn Palace Tickets

Ideal for: Those planning to visit the Schönbrunn Palace and its expansive courtyard.

Experience: Gives you skip-the-line access to 24 staterooms of the Schönbrunn Palace and the courtyard and includes a live guide.

Highlights: You get to see the Lantern Room and the Hunting Room. You can also gain access to the lovely gardens, where you witness the scenic beauty of the Roman Ruins, Gloriette Hill, and fountains.

Vienna is known for conducting traditional activities in its historic locations, so make the best of this and purchase tickets for the Mozart and Strauss Concert in Schoenbrunn. Join the concert in the Orangery of the Schönbrunn Palace, where the orchestra plays pieces by Mozart and Johann Strauss.

Location

The Belvedere Palace is located in the third district of Vienna (Landstrasse), around 2 kms (1.24 miles) from the city center. 

Address: Prinz-Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace is situated in the 13th district of Vienna (Hietzing), which is around 6 kms (3.72 miles) from the city center.

Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria

Distance between Belvedere and Schönbrunn

The Belvedere and Schönbrunn Palaces are 6.0 km (3.72 miles) apart, and it takes around 15 to 30 minutes to reach them based on the mode of transportation (car, bus, tram, etc) you choose.

Duration of visit

You need more than three hours to cover the entire Belvedere establishment, including the Upper and Lower Belvedere Palaces, the gardens, Belvedere 21, the Palace Stables, and the Orangery.

In contrast, it takes around three to four hours to cover the Schonburnn Palace and other attractions within its grounds.

In conclusion, we would like to stress that though this article acts as a comparative guide, what you choose is totally dependent on what attraction interests you the best.

Sources

# Belvedere.at
# Wikipedia.org
# Tripadvisor.com
# Wien.info

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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