This year’s “See the World” series gets better each week. Guest authors have shared favorite cities around the world from Edinburgh to Rio and many destinations in between. Last week we visited Utrecht, Netherlands and Tangier, Morocco the week before. If you’ve missed any of the cities, you can find them here! This week we are heading to Vienna, Austria, one of the most beautiful places in Europe! Our guest author this week is Tamara Gruber of We3Travel sharing the best family friendly things to do in Vienna, Austria!
What to Do in Vienna with Kids
With its cobblestoned streets, baroque architecture, and well-heeled visitors, Vienna rolls out an elegant welcome to families. Just strolling through the historic city center is enough to keep kids entertained, but when you are looking for a little more excitement, check out these top five family friendly things to do in Vienna.
Built in the 18th Century, Schonbrunn Palace was once the Imperial residence of the royal Habsburg family. Today, visitors can tour many rooms in the Palace and with a family pass, you can also enjoy the Children’s Museum at the Schonbrunn. In the Children’s Museum, the kids can dress up like royalty and learn about life in the 18th century. But don’t spend all your time inside, save time to explore the Labyrinth and the acres of beautifully manicured gardens. Next door, you will also find the oldest zoo in Europe, home to 8,500 animals from 700 different species.
You don’t need to love museums to enjoy the Museums Quartier in Vienna. Just walking around this area, with its beautiful sculptures and wide open spaces is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. If you do want to move inside, this area is home to the ZOOM Children’s Museum; and DSCHUNGEL WIEN, a hub of theater, art and culture for families. Nearby you will also find the Albertina art museum and the Vienna Natural History Museum.
Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School in Vienna has been practicing the equestrian tradition of Haute Ecole for over 450 years, putting it on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Today, visitors can witness this art form in practice during special performances or by watching the daily exercises. Be sure to book performance tickets in advance! You will be amazed by the elegant moves of these beautiful animals.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Built in the 12th century, the Gothic towers of St. Stephen’s Cathedral tower over the center of Vienna. Unlike other European cathedrals, the roof of St. Stephen’s is covered with colorful tiles, laid to create the coat of arms of the city of Vienna. The Cathedral is open to the public, or you can also take a guided tour of the cathedral, catacombs, and two towers. Visitors can climb 343 steps to the tower room, featuring 13 bells and a beautiful view over Vienna. In the opposite tower hangs the Pummerin, the second-largest free-swinging chimed church bell in Europe.
With all the things to see and do in Vienna, one of your favorites will likely be spending time in some of the many coffee houses in Vienna. It is a Viennese past-time to relax over coffee and cake for a while. The trick is to arrive before noon to avoid the lines that form at some of the more popular coffee houses and cafes. Two not to be missed coffee houses are Cafe Sperl (and be sure to try their chocolate cake!) and Cafe Central. And, if you are missing your pet from home, a visit to Cafe Neko, Vienna’s own cat cafe, might do the trick.
We fell in love with the beauty of Vienna and our 12 year old declared it her favorite city! The city is clean, safe, easy to navigate, and full of things to see and do for kids from toddlers to teens. When planning your trip, don’t miss these Vienna travel tips.
Tamara is the founder and writer at We3Travel.com, a family travel website offering destination guides, travel tips, and sample itineraries to make family vacation planning easier. Her family of three enjoy cultural exploring, soft adventure, good food, and discovering emerging destinations. You can also find her as the co-host of Vacation Mavens, a family travel podcast.