Sometimes the “touristy” thing to do is more authentic than you might think, for example at a concert in Schönbrunn Palace’s Orangery.
- Historic 18th-century venue
- Performances feature Strauss and Mozart highlights
- Book a concert* in the palace orangery
- See also:
The concert venue
(A spring party on a winter’s day in the Schönbrunn Orangery on Feb 6th, 1785; Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 179092, published by Johann Hieronymus Löschenkohl; reproduced with permission under the terms of the CC0 licence)
Sometime in the mid-18th century, someone decided that what the massive Schönbrunn palace complex needed was a place to grow oranges (we’ve all felt the same at one time or another).
And so they built the Schönbrunn orangery.
This was no small greenhouse. Its glassed arches stretched along a length of 189m, for example. Given the beautiful vaulted interior and warmth, the Orangery also made a wonderful venue to hold parties.
Of course, your average imperial party needed music.
Mozart’s opera The Impresario (German: Der Schauspieldirektor) premiered, for example, at one such festivity under Emperor Joseph II in 1786.
Such an arrangement was far from unusual. Historically, the nobility and aristocracy often put on musical events for private audiences in their Vienna homes.
Beethoven’s 3rd symphony, for example, premiered at the palatial townhouse of Franz Joseph Maximilian von Lobkowitz. This was in the days before Vienna had such major public concert venues as the Konzerthaus or Musikverein.
Fast forward almost 250 years and one enterprising company has reestablished this in-house concert tradition at the Schönbrunn home of the Habsburg imperial family: Mozart’s music drifts across the (fully-restored) Orangery once again.
Concerts typically feature highlights from Mozart’s repertoire of operatic and other compositions, followed by the best that the Strauss dynasty has to offer…all performed by the Schönbrunn orchestra or ensemble.
Schönbrunn does have another concert option, which happens to be free to attend. Unfortunately, the summer night concert by the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra only takes place once a year.
Tickets & visitor tips
In 2023, the concert organisers have a special arrangement with the lovely Christmas market that pops up on the palace forecourt: you can order a combined market & concert package* that includes food, drink & souvenir mug vouchers.
Otherwise, purchase your tickets and packages for the Schönbrunn orangery concerts on site or online from specialist ticket providers.
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
(Nothing on your dates? Try some alternative concerts*)
The Schönbrunn complex also offers much more than just a historical concert venue.
Consider the palace tour (pick the Grand alternative: much more to see for a small upgrade price), the gardens and park, the zoo, and a whole host of other sights and entertainments…even one of my favourite stops for refreshments.
You can make a day of it there; start with a slice of cake for breakfast and end with a slice of musical culture in the orangery (and possibly another slice of cake if you’re me).
How to get to Schönbrunn
See the detailed article on How to get to Schönbrunn. Reaching the venue is remarkably easy.
Once you leave the subway at the U4 station called Schönbrunn (the clue is in the name), take the western exit, which is the direction of the train if you’re coming from the centre of town. You come out pretty much opposite the Orangery entrance.
Address: Schönbrunner Schlossstraße 47, 1130 Vienna | Website (for concerts)