One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with significant cultural and historical importance, Vienna is an ideal family destination.
Whilst the city may not have been the most accommodating place for families in the past, it has made a number of strides in the last few years to change this reputation. An increasingly popular holiday destination, the city welcomes over 11 million visitors each year and offers plenty of child-friendly accommodations, museums, restaurants, activities and much more.
Over the years, Vienna has done a lot to make itself truly child-friendly, offering a range of activities for families and kids. First on the list is the legendary Prater Amusement Park, which has 3000 acres of bike paths, BMX and skate parks, riding stables and jungle gyms. A great day out for the whole family in the world’s oldest amusement park, all equipment is available to rent and the venue is especially great for youngsters between March and October, where kids can ride the Liliputbahn train through the park which has become an important tourist attraction in the city. The Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel is also located at the entrance of the park and offers panoramic views of the city from almost 200 feet up.
There are a number of interactive museums throughout Vienna which won’t disappoint; the Haus der Musik is a hands-on museum which allows children to get to know some of the country’s most important composers. Equally on show are some of the earliest human use of instruments and exhibits showcasing contemporary music. The great thing about this place is that kids are allowed to conduct an orchestra, play instruments and even record their own CD.
The ZOOM Children’s Museum is another perfect place for kids, with a number of exhibits and activities designed specifically for those up to the age of 14. They can take part in art workshops taught by professionals, activity areas for younger audiences and even an animated film studio, where kids can produce their own animated films and sounds.
The Schönbrunn Palace is one of Vienna’s finest attractions and was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1996. The top tourist attraction in the city with over 2.7 million visitors a year, there’s plenty to do at this iconic spot. With labyrinths, mazes, a grand park and lots of tours around the palace itself that give you an insight into the world of the eighteenth century royalty. It’s great for kids too, where they can play with imperial toys, dress up as princes and princesses and even set royal banquets.
Finding something to eat for the whole family, especially when abroad, can often be a challenge, but Vienna’s diverse restaurants mean they can cater for everyone. A forerunner in organic and biodynamic food production, most restaurants in the city provide quality cuisine whilst still being accessible for families with younger children. As an added bonus, entertainment areas and playgrounds for kids can be found next to major restaurants, meaning parents can enjoy a great meal whilst keeping an eye on active kids.
The Bamkraxler for example, is a traditional eatery that finds itself just outside of the city centre. With books, comics, four Nintendo DS and a large playground it’s great for kids, whilst the local food, regular live music and good regional wine mean parents will be as equally treated.
Another acclaimed restaurant is the Universitätsbräuhaus, which is found in the middle of a university campus. Offering hearty Viennese cuisine alongside a fine selection of beer, this restaurant/beer garden is great for all. The menu is diverse and changes on a seasonal basis. With a playground on the grounds as well, you can take your kids here as well, making it a great way to fully immerse yourselves in the area’s food and drink scene.
Vienna is famous for its confectionaries, ice cream parlours and coffee houses that can be found all over the capital. For those with a sweet tooth, the Demel Confectionery is a must. Synonymous with the Austrian bourgeoisie, it’s an opulent setting that provides some of the most delicious cakes you’re guaranteed to ever try. The Zanoni Ice Cream Parlour is another destination to put on tyour list, boasting one of the largest selections in the capital, which is sure to please the whole family.
There are also many financial advantages to taking children to Vienna. Many attractions allow free entry or reduced prices for children, which also applies to public transport, with all kids up to the age of 6 travelling for free. Be sure to know when the school holidays are as well, as during it all children up to 15 travel for free (the same applies to every Sunday).
Additionally, there are plenty of subway signs suggesting people give up their seats to parents with young children. Vienna is a bike city, meaning it’s one the most popular forms of transport. Bike rentals can be found throughout the capital, with smaller bikes for kids and adjustable seats to ride with your younger ones. Tucked away in each free corner of the city, are plenty of playgrounds for kids to enjoy whilst Stadtpark, the first public park in Vienna, has plenty of slides and climbing pyramids to keep them entertained.