Length: 7 km ( 4.4 miles), terrain goes up a small hill
Vienna running routes:
Vienna Neustadt/Altstadt run
Vienna Schönbrunn Palace loop
Vienna Prater Park
For other running routes, see Route List.
The pictures here all show a huge thunderstorm that was threatening for the entire run, but never arrived -- very strange weather!
|Fiaker coach waiting out front at Schönbrunn|
And there really is a lot packed into the area behind the palace: a zoo (the oldest zoo in the world), formal gardens, elaborate fountains, a hilltop woods, fake ruins, an impressive tropical greenhouse, tirolean-style restaurants, cafés, a labyrinth, obelisks, a public swimming pool and all kinds of interesting stuff. And the opening hours are long: from 7 a.m. till 9 p.m., at least in June, when I last ran there. (Check their web site for opening hours: http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/plan-your-visit/opening-hours.html)
|View towards the rear of palace|
There's only one good way to approach a palace like Schönbrunn: go through the dazzling main entrance. So from the station, turn your back on the Wienzeile river ditch and run south on Grünbergstraße, past the parking lot. Turn right on the Schloßstraße (ignoring the entrance signs that point straight ahead). You will run along the outside of the palace grounds and come right to the front entrance, flanked by obelisks.
Run into the large courtyard towards the palace, where you'll see the waiting fiaker (horse-drawn coaches). Stay on the right side of the courtyard and run past the right edge of the palace. You will come out into the vast grounds stretching out before you and up the hill behind the Neptune fountain. The hilltop is crowned by the Gloriette, a baroque arcade set up as a place for the royalty to wander towards when out for a walk.
|Neptune and friends party it up|
On the right side, you'll find the labyrinth (must pay an entrance fee), the botanical gardens with their impressive greenhouses, and behind that, the zoo.
On the left side are the fake Roman ruins, an obelisk fountain, the rose garden and a public swimming pool.
|All paths lead to paradise|
|Path ruined by ruins|
|View from Gloriette towards the north|
Now turn left and run towards the wooden tirolean-style houses. The Tiroler Hof is used by the zoo to house old farm-animal breeds, in old farm-buildings dismantled in Tirol and rebuilt on this site. There is also a restaurant there, the Tirolergarten: a great place to come back to! Across the way from the restaurant is the old crown-prince's playhouse, now fenced-off, locked-up, dusty and lifeless -- a bit sad when you think what it was once built for.
You will come out at the Neptune fountain again. This time turn left and run westwards, going through the west side of the formal gardens. The labyrinth is immediately on your right, but you have to pay to get in. The zoo will be on your left side, and you can view various animals from the path.
Just before reaching the west end of the park, you'll see a Japanese garden and the beautiful kaiser-era greenhouse, the palm house along the right side. Turn right just past the greenhouse and run past it, going north, with another tropical greenhouse on the left side. Run to the end, at the northwest corner of the park, then turn right and run out to the flower beds behind the palace again.
|The Palm House|