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Desert House (Wüstenhaus)
Desert House (Wüstenhaus)

Desert House (Wüstenhaus)

Jan–Apr, Oct–Dec daily 9am–5pm; May–Sept 9am–6pm
Schönbrunner Schlossstrasse, Vienna , Austria

The basics

The Desert House is located in the glass-and-steel Art Nouveau hothouse built in 1904 by Emperor Franz Joseph I to house his vast collection of rare tropical plants and sits next to the main entrance to the Schönbrunn Zoo. Visit the Desert House with a Vienna Pass or Flexipass to avoid the line at the ticket window, or as part of a hop-on-hop-off bus tour to take in the city's major landmarks without getting footsore.

Divided into four sections—Northern Africa and the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and Madagascar—the habitat is nome to a North American blacktail rattlesnake, radiated tortoise from Madagascar, and Welwitschia tree from the Namibian desert, which has long, droopy fronds and grows in an untidy heap along the ground; it can live for up to 1,500 years.

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Vienna Sightseeing Flexi Pass
Vienna Sightseeing Flexi Pass
$51.94 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Flexi pass is useful choice for few visits in Vienna
I bought the flexi pass with 4 visits for 2 people. We used it to visit Albertina (fabulous), used the 24-hour hop on hop off buses and the 3 routes blue, red and yellow (very useful) , the Natural History Museum (it was nice) and the Schnonbrunn Palace (the garden was amazing). This card is advantageous if you want to visit a few places and reduce the cost (~ 30-35% less).
Maria_C, Sep 2021

Things to know before you go

  • The Desert House has a separate admission ticket and different opening hours than the Schönbrunn Zoo. A fast-track Vienna Pass or Flexipass ticket is a good idea during the summer months to skip past the long lines to enter. You can also opt for a combined pass for the Desert House, Schönbrunn Zoo, and Palm House.
  • Though the Desert House is protected under a glass roof, you’ll want to wear comfortable footwear and dress for the weather if pairing your visit with a stroll through the zoo.
  • There are eateries, restrooms, and gift shops located inside the adjacent zoo grounds.
  • The habitat is accessible to wheelchairs, and the zoo offers a wheelchair rental service at the entrance.
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How to get there

The Desert House is located in the Schlosspark Schönbrunn, the vast historic garden and grounds adjacent to Schönbrunn Palace on the outskirts of Vienna. Take the metro line U4 (get off at Schönbrunn), tram 10 or 60, or bus 10A to visit independently, or join a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

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Trip ideas

When to get there

The Desert House is open daily from 9am to 5pm (6pm in summer). The former winter garden can be oppressively hot during the midday hours in the summer months, so visit in the cooler morning or afternoon hours to avoid the worst of the heat and spot the animals at their most active.

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Vienna’s Storied Schönbrunn Zoo (Tiergarten)

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful historic zoos in the world, the Schönbrunn Zoo (Tiergarten) was established in 1752 by the Habsburg imperial family. The grounds have a unique circular layout that spirals outwards from an elegant baroque pavilion. The zoo is known for its successful conservation and breeding of some of the world’s most endangered species, including Siberian tigers, rhinos, and giant pandas.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Desert House (Wüstenhaus)?
What else should I know about attractions in Vienna?
As well as visiting the Desert House (Wüstenhaus), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: