Vienna with Children: Discover this city with children in 3 days
Elegant and upbeat Austria’s capital Vienna lies in the country’s east on the Danube River. Vienna is a wonderful and diverse city with artistic and intellectual legacies shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud.
What you may not have realised is how family friendly the city is – as it ticks all the boxes for a stylish and fun getaway with the kids. Easily accessible from the UK, the impressive transport network has you in the heart of the city in no time and ready to relax and hit that culture trail.
Here’s how to discover Vienna in 72 hours with all the family:
Sustainable hotels are popping up all over Vienna and one of the best is the recently opened Superbude Hotel, five years in the planning, but already breaking hearts with its laid back arty style and wanting to please staff. Located next to the Würstelprater, Vienna’s old-fashioned amusement park, the hotel’s stylish open plan restaurant overlooks the city’s famous ferris wheel and modern day roller coasters.
As you step into the lobby, you are greeted with colour and nik naks everywhere. From the six foot astronaut to the rocket chimney, this is one cool hotel. Designers Laura Karasinski and Gerd Zehetner enlisted the help of local art students to create a fun, but practical hotel.
Travel is the main theme with a nod to Johann Georg Stuwer, Austria’s first balloonist through wall art and memorabilia and once in the lift, you go up, up and away while trying out the sounds of Vienna through a fun push button intercom.
The 178 bedrooms are just as impressive with each individually designed to represent the guests, with sleeping bunks, treehouses and themed rooms, including a disco studio style room with a mirror ball and a dive in bed to fit five people!.
The hotel runs an honesty bar and there are two restaurants, The Brenner, a downstairs café which serves Viennese classics, such as eggs in a glass, served with smoked salmon, the creamiest horseradish sauce and sour dough bread and of course, the best coffee, a speciality of Austria, where tea drinking is left to the tourists. Upstairs, the more swish NENI restaurant, boasts an open fire, views of the fun fair and some very exotic food, with an Israeli twist.
To make sure the hotel is sustainable, most of the furniture has been recycled, linen is Fair Trade organic and bathroom goodies are all natural.
Fun Fact: The hotel has it’s own FM4 Radio Room, designed in black and yellow and with a cool collection of exclusive recordings. For more information and to book visit SuperBude Hotel
What to Do
A fabulous way to get to know a city is to take a tour. Vienna is so easy to get round that a walking tour is a great way to see the sights in a short time. A good starting point is in the centre of the city and outside the majestic Opera House, home to the famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, built in 1869 and full of glorious architecture dating back to the Renaissance period, it really is a stunning building.
From here you can easily access such delights as St Stephen’s Cathedral, a Gothic building which is magnificent in height and architecture and currently boasts a modern piece of art on its spire, an illuminated ladder which depicts the steps up to heaven.
- The Spanish Riding School is dedicated to preserving the classical dressage and training of Lipizzaner horses, who are pampered beyond luxury and perform regularly to the public in the ancient yard.
- Harry Potter fans will love the National Library. The country’s largest, with 10.9 m books and artefacts, it is like walking into a Potter film, with high ceilings, wooden shelves stacked to the sky and old creaking floorboards.
- Music is a big thing in Vienna, with such greats as Beethoven and Mozart spending much time composing in the city. The House of Music pays homage to the great musicians and has modern day interactive exploring the fascinating world of music and sound.
- One of Vienna’s famous artists Gustav Klimt is best known for his symbolist painting and his primary subject, was the female body. Great pieces of art, such as The Kiss and The Fan are currently displayed at the Belvedere Palace until February 2022, once home to Prince Eugene of Savoy and now a world renowned art museum.
- The elegant Kunsthistorisches Museum was opened 130 years ago by Emperor Franz Joseph and to celebrate, a brilliant exhibition by Venetian painter Titian (1488 to 1567) is being staged, with 60 copies of similar work by other artists.
- If you really want to be blown away with opulence, then check out the Schönbrunn Palace (picture above), a 1,441 room palace, once the main summer home of the Habsburg rulers and it is one of the most important architectural gems in Austria, with magnificent gardens to boot.
Fun Fact: Artist Gustav Klimt loved cats, but not as much as women!
Vienna is a real fun place for families and the top three child friendly attractions feature the oldest zoo in the world at Schönbrunn, where the animals are treated brilliantly, no cramped enclosures, just big open spaces and plenty of species from pandas to flamingoes and the most cutiest penguins to be seen!
The House of Ilusions is a great little museum for a wet day, full of fun holograms, steroegrams and optical illusions, it will have you transfixed for hours.
Old-fashioned fun can be found at the Würstelprater, the city’s amusement park with all the fun of the fair from roller coasters to dodgems, plus the wonderful old ferris wheel where wooden carriages are decked out to allow you a slow, but fantastic look at the city from above. For a modern look out of the city, whose centre is UNESCO heritage listed, check out the MQ Libelle on the roof of the Leopold Museum in the Museums Quartier. Nearby is the Zoom Museum, where little people can explore film, the sea and have hands on fun.
Fun Fact: In 2014, “bearded’’ singer Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest. To mark the win and to embrace gender equality, sexuality and tolerance, “couples’’ red and green pedestrian crossing lights were installed and are now a much loved symbol of the city.
Food and Drink
Coffee and cake are the main staples of diet for the Viennese and where better to sample some of the country’s best than at Café Sacher, not only an impressive setting, but serving the finest coffee and best Sachertorte cake (an infamous chocolate sponge cut into three layers and filled with apricot jam).
For the best traditional dumplings in Vienna and an array of other exotic vegetarian, meat and fish dishes, a visit to the Wrenkh Restaurant is a must.
Fun fact: Champagne and Viennese sausages are quaffed in abundance at the world famous Bitzinger stall.
Vienna is an easy city to move around, whether it be by foot, car, bus, train, tram or electric scooter. The Vienna Pass enables families to travel free of charge.
Fun Fact: A 90-year-old tram is still going strong and used for a sight-seeing tour.