Sometimes the “touristy” thing to do is more authentic than you might think. Historically, the aristocracy often put on concerts for private audiences in their Vienna palaces.
This was certainly the case at Schönbrunn Palace, summer home to the Habsburg imperial family, and one enterprising company has reestablished the tradition.
- Historic 18th-century Imperial Orangery and palace venues
- Daily performances of Strauss and Mozart
- Tiqets.com combined palace tour and concert tickets* available
- See here for other venues
Sometime in the mid-18th century, someone decided that what the massive Habsburg summer palace needed was a place to grow oranges (this was a “thing” in those days).
And so they built Schönbrunn’s orangery.
It was no small greenhouse, either, with its glassed arches stretching along a length of 189m (and 10m wide). Given the beautiful vaulted interior and warmth, it also made a wonderful venue to hold parties…with music.
Mozart’s opera “The Impresario” (German: Der Schauspieldirektor) premiered, for example, at one such festivity under Emperor Joseph II in 1786.
Well over 200 years later, and Mozart’s music drifts across the (fully-restored) orangery once again. Daily concerts feature highlights from his repertoire of operatic and other compositions, followed by the best that Strauss has to offer…all performed by the Schönbrunn orchestra or ensemble and accompanied by singers and ballet dancers.
Most days, the concerts take place in the Orangerie. Every now and then, though, there’s a special concert in the palace proper – in the Great Gallery (once used for Imperial balls) or one of the White-and-Gold rooms (not normally accessible to casual visitors).
Tickets & visitor information
Schönbrunn is, of course, more than just a concert venue. There’s the palace, the gardens, the zoo and much more…even one of my favourite stops for refreshments, Landtmann’s Jausen Station. You can make a day of it there.
How to get to Schönbrunn
There’s a detailed article on How to get to Schönbrunn, but reaching the Orangery is very easy.
The U4 subway line stops practically outside. Simply get off at the station called “Schönbrunn” (the clue is in the name) and take the western exit, which is the direction of the train if you’re coming from the centre. There’s a large car park next to the subway station, too.
Address: Schönbrunner Schlossstraße 47, 1130 Vienna | Website