Schönbrunn Palace

An Imperial View

AUSTRIA – Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace // The Living Daylights (1987)

The Schönbrunn Palace is one of Viennas main tourist attractions. And it is as depicted in the Bond movie – with flair and grandezza.

Why Bond was here
James Bond (Timothy Dalton) is uncovering a conspiracy around an arms smuggle ring with the aide of young Soviet cellist Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo). Both meet in Bratislava and escape to Vienna.
There Bond shows Kara the merits of the western world. They take a stroll at the Prater, visit the opera and also ride a horse carriage – Viennas famous “Fiaker” – at the vast parks of the Schönbrunn Palace.

Schönbrunn Palace Vienna

Bond arrives at Schönbrunn Palace, just in time for a Waltz dance

How you gonna get there
The huge Schönbrunn Palace is one of Viennas top tourist attractions. The gate entry is at Schloßstraße 47 and can be easily reached via the metro line U4 or the bus line 10A. Both stations are named “Schönbrunn”.
Filming took place in the chestnut-lined avenues of Schönbrunn park and at the backside of the main palace building, where the Waltz dance had been filmed. Additional filming took place at the Schönbrunn Palace Theatre, where Kara performs Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” at the end of the movie.

We were invited to an exclusive tour at the Schönbrunn Palace Theatre – read all about it here.

Good to know
In the film, some locations get mixed up a litte. Bond calls a Fiaker carriage outside the Prater amusement park in the east of Vienna. The next scene sees them ride along at the Museum of Arts right in the city center. Then the carriage magically appears in the Schönbrunn parks in the west of the city – before arriving back in the city center at the “Palais Schwarzenberg”, an exclusive hotel in the heart of the city (Read more about our visit here). Viewers are to believe, the Waltz dance scene in front of the Schönbrunn Palace and the stairs to the “Palais Schwarzenberg” are one and the same – but in fact they are not.

Schönbrunn Palace Fiaker

A Fiaker carriage in front of the Schönbrunn Palace

When you are at Schönbrunn, come early and stay long. The beautiful complex was home to the Habsburg monarch Franz Joseph I and his famous wife Elisabeth “Sissi” of Austria. Invest in a ticket to see the interiors of the palace and dwell in its decadence. Or visit the park behind the palace and walk up to the Gloriette pavilion and get lost in the adjoining maze. You can also take a Fiaker ride through the park like Bond and Kara. But be warned, that it is quite expensive: A 20 minute ride is up to 60 Euros, the carriages leave in front of the Schönbrunn Palace.

We visited the Schönbrunn Palace twice when we were in Vienna. One time to see the imperial chambers and visit the beautiful theatre – and a second time just to relax in the park. We brought some cheese and grapes and lay down in the green grass at the Gloriette hill. So we enjoyed ourselves, with the sun above us and the palace at our feet.

© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3), © 1987 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)