Butterflies in Vienna (Dec 2015)
In the midst of cold & snowy winter you can enjoy the fragile beauty of butterflies in Vienna’s Imperial Butterfly House ( Schmetterling house). It’s set in an Art Nouveau Palm house, a part of the Hofburg Royal Palace. You can enter it via the palace gardens Burggarten. Of course the Butterfly house is open all year round but if you visit it during winter be prepared for scorching heat. Tropical conditions are inside because butterflies need warmth which is fine when it’s warmer outside too and then there isn’t such a big difference in the temperature. But when I visited it last month it was so freezing outside that when I walked in I wanted to strip down to my undies , that’s how hot it was! Of course, I just took off my coat and jumper :).
The entrance fee is 6.50€ and you walk around the palm house and butterflies fly freely around you! It’s so lovely. There are some plants & flowers and a big tree and a small waterfall and a stream (man-made to resemble their natural habitat). There are a couple of feeding stations ( a plate with some fruit on it) and butterflies gather there too. You can see butterflies when they are still in their pupae in special glass containers and then when they are ready to hatch they just fly out. The humidity inside is 80% so I guess that’s why all my photos look like I’ve been underwater and they’re all murky. So, sorry but I don’t have any nice photos of butterflies.
There are 40 different species of butterflies but I only saw three or four of them. I don’t know their names, but I saw a lot of ones with the black and yellow spots on their wings, a few Owl butterflies, and a couple of blue ones (blue & black ones and one midnight blue colored). You must not touch anything inside be it plants or butterflies. I got slightly annoyed when I saw a girl posing with a butterfly who was feeding of a fruit and she touched its wing. I mean, they’re so delicate and she could have easily hurt it. But I guess she was gentle enough.
It was a very pleasant experience but since it was so cold outside and so hot inside I think I would have enjoyed it more if I visited it in a different season (and maybe I’d see more kinds of butterflies then). Anyway, a truly special experience and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting Vienna.