If you’re going to visit Schönbrunn, then take a ball of string and a handbook of Greek mythology, too. That way you can escape the Schönbrunn labyrinth in time for coffee and cake.
- Three mazes/labyrinths for young and old
- None are too big, so you should find your way out easily enough
- Also a small playground
- Good to keep kids happy if they’ve overdosed on history
- Needs a ticket (or a Vienna Pass) to enter
- See also: Schönbrunn tickets and visitor info
Hidden delights of the maze
The imperial owners of Schönbrunn liked to tick the boxes on summer palace requirements. Overdo the number of rooms, put in gorgeous gardens, lay down some Roman Ruins, throw in a fountain or five, and install a maze.
(Editor’s note: technically, mazes and labyrinths are different things. I’m not sure which is which at Schönbrunn, not that it really matters. So I’m just going to talk about mazes.)
Those mazes of the past served as landscape features and a place for a gentle stroll, with tall hedges offering a degree of privacy.
Imagine the whispered conversations that took place within…courtly machinations and hints of treachery. Or maybe they just tittered over the Empress’s taste in wigs.
Schönbrunn got its first mazes around 1720, but they more or less disappeared with time, neglect, and the cruel hand of history. Then in the late 1990s, a brand-new maze complex opened at Schönbrunn.
Here’s what you get:
Three hedge mazes
Hedge height and complexity increase as you move from one to the next.
The largest has a viewing platform at its centre and spreads delightfully around an ancient plane tree. I didn’t go in, since I have the sense of direction of a blind salamander on sedatives and no wish to have my body discovered in some leafy corner by my crying widow.
Actually, the mazes shouldn’t trap you for all-too long. This is light entertainment, not a university entrance exam.
A small, but different, playground
Not the usual swings and roundabouts, but climbing frames, sand toys, little demonstrations of scientific principles, and a set of magic mirrors. So if you ever wanted to look taller, smaller, broader or slimmer, this is the place.
A snack area
Just a few machines selling cold drinks, coffees, ice cream, chocolate and similar.
Tickets & visitor information
Various ticket options, available on-site or online, include:
- An individual ticket for the maze (€6 for a standard adult at the time of writing)
- A multi-attraction pass from Schönbrunn
A Vienna Pass (my review) also gets you into the maze for free.
The Vienna Pass and the Schönbrunn passes make a lot of sense financially, if you’re going to do the self-guided palace tour and visit two or three other Schönbrunn attractions. They also mean you don’t have to queue at the ticket counter for the maze.
The Schönbrunn maze, like several of the park attractions, closes for winter. Typical opening times are April through to early November, starting at 9am and shutting somewhere between 4pm and 7pm, depending on the month.
How to find the maze
A better question might be how to find your way out of the maze (ba dum tish – I’m here all week. Try the fish).
Simply follow these directions for Schönbrunn Palace, then go round to the garden side of the main building (i.e. the south side). Head down toward the Neptune Fountain at the bottom of the landscaped gardens. The maze entrance is on your right, just before you reach the fountain and close to the zoo.