The biggest attraction in the city suburbs is the imperial summer palace of Schönbrunn (U4 to Schönbrunn), designed by Fischer von Erlach on the model of residences like Versailles. To visit the palace rooms or Prunkräume (daily: April–June, Sept & Oct 8.30am–5pm; July & Aug 8.30am–6pm; Nov–March 8.30am–4.30pm) there’s a choice of two tours: the “Imperial Tour” (€13.30), which takes in 22 state rooms, and the “Grand Tour” (€16.40 with audioguide, €19.40 with tour guide), which includes forty rooms. The shorter tour misses out the best rooms – such as the Millions Room, a rosewood-panelled chamber covered from floor to ceiling with wildly irregular Rococo cartouches, each holding a Persian miniature watercolour. The palace gets unbearably overcrowded at the height of summer, with lengthy queues, so buy tickets in advance online. The splendid Schlosspark (daily 6.30am–dusk; free) is dotted with attractions, including the Gloriette – a hilltop colonnaded monument, now a café and terrace with splendid views (terrace daily: mid-March to June, Sept & Oct 9am–6pm; July & Aug 9am–7pm; late Oct to early Nov 9am–4pm; €3.60), fountains, a maze and labyrinth (same hours as Gloriette; €5.20) and Vienna’s excellent Tiergarten or zoo (daily: Jan, Nov & Dec 9am–4.30pm; Feb 9am–5pm; March & Oct 9am–5.30pm; April–Sept 9am–6.30pm; €18.50).

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