One could argue that no photography guide is required when arriving in Vienna, Austria, even if it’s your first visit. You could point your camera in pretty much any direction and capture the beauty of this city, home to so many epic architectural ensembles and styles, from classical Baroque to more modern Art Nouveau.
Being so compact and encircled by the Ringstrasse – a horseshoe-shaped ring road around the medieval Innere Stadt – it’s also easy to organise your sightseeing and get around.
But if you really want to get the best out of a short visit to this wonderful capital with your camera, it’s a good idea to plan your shoot in order to find the best spots, shoot at ideal times for best light, find the best vantage points and get the best out of whatever time you have for photographing Vienna. Here’s a detailed look at one of Vienna’s classic photo spots shared by local pro Photographer, Rainer Mirau; Schloss Schönbrunn, one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country.
Schloss Schönbrunn main entrance and courtyard by Rainer Mirau
You could easily wile away a whole day at this location, especially if you take in the zoo and visit the palace interior. The impressive Schönbrunn Palace is vast and absolutely breathtaking. It’s yellow facade is even more intense when the first light hits it, so go early to get the most from its colours and to avoid the crowds that will inevitably arrive later on. It’s difficult to shoot the palace in its entirety, so try focusing on foreground details, using the lanterns or one of the fountains in your composition.
Schloss Schönbrunn at Christmas by Rainer Mirau
Go in winter for the Christmas Market in the palace forecourt. In spring and summer the gardens are ablaze with colourful flower beds. This spot works well for sunrise and sunset and blue hour shots and there are always fewer people around at these times.
Gloriette reflections by Rainer Mirau
For great views of Schönbrunn, walk to the elevated Gloriette at the opposite end of the gardens. Built in 1775, this impressive neo-classical “temple of glory” was once used as a dining hall and festival hall for monarchs as well as a breakfast room for emperor Franz Joseph I,. In fact you can still enjoy an imperial Viennese breakfast in Cafe Gloriette today whilst taking in the best views of the palace.
Gloriette at blue hour by Rainer Mirau
The Gloriette is beautifully illuminated in the evenings, so it’s worth timing your visit to include a blue hour shot after sunset. If there is little wind you can capture reflections of the Gloriette in the pond. From the hilltop you can shoot the palace with the city of Vienna in the background.
Getting there: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien (Subway U4 Schönbrunn)
More information: Schloss Schoenbrunn Gloriette Café Rainer Mirau’s SNAPP Guide to photographing Vienna with 30+ spots and over 90 images to inspire your trip is available for just $6.99* via the SNAPP Guides app. Download the app here on iOS or Android to find this and other photography guides in our collection.
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