Some of my favorites cities have family travel guides in the blog, written by local moms or by moms who’ve visited them quite a lot. Today, it’s time for Vienna with kids!

 

See all travel guides for favorite Cities with Kids!

 

 

“Amanda here from Coaching Evie! My family and I (husband, Tommy and now 7 year old daughter, Evelyn) are from the Southeastern United States. Prior to welcoming Evelyn to our little family, my husband and I were avid travelers. When she arrived we were determined to continue our travels and simultaneously mold the next generation of a responsible global citizen. Over the years, we have discovered there is no greater gift than seeing all the amazing places the world has to offer than through our child’s eyes.

We were fortunate to visit Vienna, Austria in both June 2018 and 2019 when my daughter was 3 and then 4 years old. While my husband and I are not musically inclined, we recognize the impact music can have on a child’s cognitive and social development. Evelyn has been learning to play the cello since she was 3 years old. Working to broaden her exposure and pique her interest in classical music, we wanted to combine it with something we all love to do as a family, which is travel. What better place to achieve both goals than to visit the classical music capital of the world, Vienna! 

Vienna was once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the greatest power in Central Europe between 1867 to 1918. With its imperial feel, baroque architecture, multiple palaces, opera house, wine culture, and renowned art museums, it is easy to wonder where kids fit into all of this. Admittedly, we were a little intimidated at first but ultimately found Vienna to be very laid back and family friendly. Vienna has an abundance of green spaces throughout the city. Whenever Evelyn was not up to following our suggested itinerary, we could quickly escape to one of Vienna’s many parks and just let her be a kid for a while. 

 

 

Must See in Vienna with Kids

Our number one recommendation to families visiting Vienna is hands down a visit to Prater! Prater is Vienna’s very own amusement park located just outside of the city center. It is fun for kids of all ages and their accompanying adults. Prater is free to enter. You just pay for the rides or attractions you choose individually. Even if you decide not to ride anything, it is well worth the walk around in the fun atmosphere. If you have time for only one ride, I would recommend the historic Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel. While riding you will also get amazing views of the city! I do caution parents to choose wisely on when Prater fits into your itinerary. Once there, it is likely impossible to convince children to leave. When making our itinerary, I only allotted activities for maybe 70% of the day. With the time remaining we would head out to Prater. This also worked as a good motivator to get through the day.

 

Our next favorite place with kids is Schönbrunn Palace. Schönbrunn Palace is Vienna’s very own Versailles. You could easily spend a whole day here. Families can visit the Children’s Museum to learn how imperial children lived; navigate through a hedge maze; or visit the adjoining zoo (the world’s oldest!). If time is short, kids will also enjoy a walk around the grounds looking at all the stunning fountains. 

 

Everyone in the family loves to spend a good half of a day at Naschmarkt. Here you can freely wander around, get a snack or meal, and look at all the colorful fruits, vegetables and souvenirs there is to offer.

 

Vienna’s top sights (St. Stephen’s Cathedral, The Hofburg, Opera House, Museum Quarter, and Kärntner Strasse) can all be reached by interconnecting pedestrian zones and green spaces. This allows younger kids to safely run out some energy or stretch their legs after being in a carrier or stroller. Our two favorite parks within the Ringstrasse are Stadtpark, where you can feed the ducks and fish, and Volksgarten with all it’s benches to sit and relax.

If you are interested in checking out an art museum with kids, I would recommend Austrian Gallery Belvedere. Only get tickets to the Upper Belvedere if you are worried about pushing your luck. In the Upper Belvedere, you can find Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”. He used gold leaf in his paintings which even has the ability to catch the attention and admiration of little ones. If the museum ends up being a wrong choice, there is a nice green space right out front where you can escape!

We recommend checking out what events are being offered at the Rathausplatz. This is where most of the city’s outdoor events are held (Christkindlmarkt, Rathaus Film Festival etc.) and there is usually something going on here.

Two top sights for children in Vienna that we have not yet visited are the House of Music, with its interactive music exhibits, and the Zoom Children Museum. I have read wonderful reviews about both places. They have always been on our itinerary as back ups for a rainy day. Fortunately and unfortunately, the weather has always been beautiful while we were in Vienna. 

 

 

Day Trips from Vienna  

Public transit is amazing in Austria! There are many options for day trips from Vienna’s city center even if you don’t have a car. Here are a few of our favorite easy day trips from Vienna:

  1. Grinzing: A suburb of Vienna and home to many of the area’s vineyards. This cute town can be reached easily by bus. We have come here just to explore the small town and have dinner as well as combining it with a visit to Vienna Woods. 
  2. Wienerwald: Or the Vienna Woods, allows for plenty of hiking opportunities right outside of the city. Our family took public transit to Kahlenberg (a mountain peak overlooking the city) and hiked down hill, past the Cobenzl Winery, and ended in the town of Grinzing. Our hike was forested, passed through several vineyards, and had amazing views of the city as we descended.
  1. The Danube Valley: Explore the charming small riverside towns of Melk, Krems, Durnstein, and Spitz. There is a bike path that runs along the river connecting these small towns which makes for a great day of family biking. Our family has traveled to Melk where we rented bikes to explore the area. As well as, taken an overnight biking and river cruise.
  2. Laxenburg: A small town less than forty minutes bus ride outside the city. Laxenburg was the home of the summer residence of the Habsburgs. There are huge parks and several castles. 
  3. Brno: The former capital of Moravia and the second largest city in the Czech Republic is only an hour and a half away by fast train. 
  4. Bratislava: The capital of Slovakia is just an hour train ride from Vienna. Family’s will have fun exploring the old city center and looking at all the unique statues throughout the town. 

Budapest, Hungary; Salzburg, Austria; Passau, Germany; and Innsbruck, Austria are all worth more than a day trip but connect easily to Vienna. 

 

 

Family Friendly Restaurants 

Anyone visiting Vienna must try a Sachertorte, a layered chocolate cake originating from Vienna. Even better if you can get a slice from one of Vienna’s traditional coffee houses! We initially had reservations about taking our 3 year old to an upscale coffee house, but we were able to find outdoor seating at Café de l’Europe and enjoy the elegant experience even with our little one. 

In Austria, kids will love eating schnitzel (often available in pork, chicken, or veal). To get it without gravy or sauce, order the Wiener schnitzel. Kids also love spaetzle (a cross between a noodle and a dumpling) and it can even be ordered with cheese (käsespätzle). Potato pancakes (like a hashbrown) with fresh apple sauce served on the side are also a hit!

Some places we’ve enjoyed a traditional Austrian meal are Salm Bräu (right outside of the Upper Belvedere), Schweizerhaus (inside of Prater), and Restaurant Brandl (in Grinzing). 

 

 

Family Friendly Stays

When traveling with kids, we have found that it is not necessarily about “where” you stay but the type of accommodations you stay in. In Evelyn’s younger years, we almost exclusively stayed in rental apartments (i.e. through Airbnb/ VRBO) where we had access to a washer and a refrigerator. Not until Evelyn was fully potty trained and a more scheduled eater did we start staying in hotels. The washer was beyond helpful with the messes kids tend to make of their clothes (and sometimes yours). The refrigerator is helpful to store healthy snacks and Evelyn’s favorite foods if we had to supplement her meals a little. I would recommend looking for a place within walking distance to a grocery store and public transit that is as close to the Inner Ringstrasse or a U-Bahn stop as the travel budget will allow. If you are looking to stay outside the city, staying in Grinzing would be a great option.”

 

Follow Amanda adventures with her family at: 

Blog: https://www.coaching-evie.com 

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