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The palace is a little bit out of the city, but it's worth the trip. It's very easy to get there with the metro. You have to choose a nice day, without rain, so that you can enjoy not only the palace itself, but also the surrounding park.
The entrance to the park is free, you have to pay only if you want to see palace's interior. There are several different tour/ticket options: the bigger the tour, the dearer the ticket. The Imperial Tour (smaller/cheaper) visits 22 rooms, which you may feel is enough. Together with the ticket they give you a free audioguide and it takes about 40 minutes to go around these 22 rooms and listen to their stories. The Grand Tour includes 40 rooms to give you a more comprehensive visit while the combined Sisi Ticket provides entry to the Hapsburg Imperial Apartments back in the city as well as the often neglected Imperial Furniture Depository. See the Schonbrunn website for updated price infomration.When one buys a ticket to visit 40 rooms of the palace, one is given an audio guide. Most of the apartments are decorated in the Rococo style, with plenty of gold decoration. What is impressive is the ceiling decoration around the chandeliers because each room has an original gold design. The rooms used by the Emperor Franz Joseph are a bit austere, but that was his style. One can see his bedroom, study, and audience chamber. The paintings of the Emperor and Empress Elizabeth by Franz Xaver Winterhalter are especially beautiful. One can see the study of the Empress, as well as her bedroom, and dressing room, where she did her exercises. The Great Gallery is very impressive with the chandeliers, wall lamps and ceiling frescos. The Small Gallery is simply beautiful. The Oval Chinese Cabinet is quite interesting, with the many Chinese porcelain figures there. The Millions Room with its paneling is quite elegant. The cafeteria in one of the side buildings on the left and is quite elegant.
The interior of the palace is really amazing and the information provided by the audioguide very good and accurate. At the end of the tour there is a shop with souvenirs; you can find interesting things there, but it's a bit expensive --though worth the trip!
You can then go out and walk and get lost inside the park or walk up the up hill and enjoy the palace view from the Gloriette. There is also the oldest zoo (Tiergarten) in the world in the palace grounds and a magnificent glass and iron building with tropical trees and plants.
For an in-depth experience of Schönbrunn, try to cover palace, gardens, palm house and the zoo on a day. This is busy, but feasible. Another attraction is the nearby Imperial cemetery of Hietzing. There is more information on this attraction at http://www.tourmycountry.com/austria/....