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Vienna with Kids: 15 Family-Friendly Things to Do in 2024

Vienna, Austria is one of my favorite cities to visit in Europe. The City of Music isn’t just about historic buildings and classical music (though the Vienna State Opera and Belvedere Palace are both worth visiting!). When visiting Vienna with kids, you will not be disappointed with the variety of things available to you.

My family loved the amusement park, royal palace, and amazing museums. You can learn about marine life at Haus des Meeres, spend the day at the MuseumsQuartier, or let your creativity soar at the Vienna House of Music.

This beautiful city is also known for its coffeehouse culture, delicious pastries, and exquisite Viennese cuisine. If you want to get outdoors, you will love the beautiful gardens and parks. We will cover all of these quality experiences and more below.

15 Fantastic Things to Do in Vienna with Kids - Kids Are A Trip

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What to Do in Vienna with Kids

With its cobblestoned streets, baroque architecture, and modern culture, Vienna is a great place for families to visit.

Everything is just a short walk away, and just strolling through the historic city center is enough to keep kids entertained, with countless museums, elegant palaces, and kid-friendly attractions.

Whether you’re looking for a classic experience or something a little more exciting, keep reading for my favorite things to do in Vienna for families.

1. Tour One of Vienna’s Historic Palaces

Visiting Vienna’s palaces is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the city, offering visitors of all ages a glimpse into a regal past.

At the heart of Vienna lies the magnificent Hofburg Palace, once the residence of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. Inside the sprawling complex, you can tour the grand halls, which feature several museums including the Imperial Treasury, the State Hall of the National Library, and our favorite, the Imperial Apartments and Sisi Museum.

Hofburg Palace Spanish Riding School

Schönbrunn Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Vienna, Austria, and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Visitors can explore the Great Gallery, where Mozart once performed as a child. The palace grounds feature lush gardens, as well as the Vienna Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the world. 

There’s also Belvedere Palace, known for its art collections, including works by Klimt and Schiele. Don’t miss the Belvedere Palace Gardens, where you can enjoy beautiful fountains, sculptures, and gardens.

2. Visit Vienna Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn)

The Vienna Zoo is located on the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace, but it’s worth a visit on its own! You could easily spend a few hours here, exploring the different themed areas, like the South American rainforest exhibit, home to fascinating creatures like fruit bats.

This zoo holds the distinction of being the world’s oldest zoo, founded in 1752. It boasts over 700 species of animals, including its ever-popular giant pandas. 

Your kids will love all the engaging exhibits at the Schönbrunn Zoo. Walk educational nature trails among the habitats or enjoy views from the canopy trail high above the Vienna Woods in Schönbrunn Palace Park. Or visit the Giraffe House to see these gentle giants up close and feed them leaves. 

3. See 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 and offers free entry. You can also take a guided tour of the cathedral, catacombs, and two towers.

On your tour, you’ll 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.

4. Experience the Spanish Riding School

Inside the Hofburg Palace grounds is another site worth planning its own visit: the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The school has been practicing the equestrian tradition of Haute Ecole for over 450 years, putting it on UNESCO’s list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity!

When you visit, you’ll witness this art form in practice during special performances put to music or by watching the daily exercises. It’s a unique experience to watch the elegant moves of these beautiful animals and their talented riders.

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Between performances, the school offers backstage tours to see the stables, as well as guided tours just for kids.

Just be sure to book performance tickets in advance because this is a very popular attraction in the city. 

5. Explore the MuseumsQuartier

You don’t need to love museums to enjoy the MuseumsQuartier 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 where you’ll find the ZOOM Children’s Museum, and the Leopold Museum, which houses an impressive collection of modern Austrian art. It’s also home to the DSCHUNGEL WIEN, a hub of theater, art, and culture for families.

The MuseumsQuartier is a perfect destination for a rainy day, providing indoor entertainment, trendy cafes, and art installations.

MuseumsQuartier Vienna

The complex is free to visit but each museum has an entry fee. You can purchase tickets online in advance or at the ticket counters on-site. If you plan to explore multiple museums with the complex we recommend purchasing combination tickets.

Nearby you’ll find the historic Maria-Theresien-Platz, home to the Natural History Museum and the Art History Museum, perfect for continuing your exploration of Vienna’s rich cultural heritage.

6. Spend the Day at the Natural History Museum

The Museum of Natural History in Vienna is one of the most beautiful natural history museums I’ve ever seen! The building features gorgeous period architecture, and each hall is laid out beautifully with massive collections.

Some highlights for families include the dinosaur hall and the mineral hall. There are interactive exhibits that will help keep younger children engaged, and when you get hungry, the cafeteria offers excellent Viennese food.

Most of the spaces have signage in both English and German, but not all of them. I suggest requesting the audio tour at reception, which is offered in a handful of languages.

 A half day is enough time to fit in the main attractions, but you could easily spend hours here. The best time to visit is during weekdays or mornings to avoid crowds. You can use a Vienna City Card for discounted rates, and kids ages 19 and under can enjoy free admission.

7. Learn at the Haus der Musik (Vienna House of Music)

While you’re in the Austrian capital, a music-themed visit is a must, and the Vienna House of Music is a cool spot for music lovers of all ages.

It’s a high-tech museum where everything’s interactive, and it’s so much fun that your kids won’t even realize they’re learning all about music theory and history along the way.

From the moment you step inside, you’re greeted with hands-on exhibits that let you conduct an orchestra or even step into the shoes of famous composers like Mozart or Beethoven. There are also sound installations where you can create your own tunes and learn about how music works.

One of the coolest things here is the virtual conductor experience. You stand in front of a big screen, wave your arms like a maestro, and watch as the virtual orchestra follows your lead. It’s a blast for kids and adults alike!

Plus, the Vienna House of Music hosts concerts every week, so check their calendar before you go. You might get to join an immersive children’s concert with classical themes, an intimate performance by an indie artist, and more.

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8. Time Travel Vienna

Time Travel Vienna is a casual experience that takes you through Vienna’s dramatic history in a fun and interactive way. Instead of just reading about the past, you get to immerse yourself in it through storytelling, multimedia displays, and immersive experiences. Basically, if your kids like Madam Tussaud’s and VR experiences, they’ll enjoy this stop!

As you walk from exhibit to exhibit, you’ll encounter historical figures, visit iconic locations, and witness key moments that shaped Vienna’s history. From the Middle Ages to the extravagant days of the Habsburg Empire, your tour brings history to life with special effects, a 5D cinema, and more.

This is a self-led tour, with audio guides available in English and German. Try to book your tickets in advance because they tend to sell out fast.

9. Have Fun at the Museum of Illusions

We’ve had a blast at similar exhibition museums in other cities, so we knew the Museum of Illusions in Vienna was right up our alley. It’s perfect if you need to break up a day of traditional sightseeing, or if you just want to blow off some steam!

This museum is packed with optical illusions, interactive activities, rooms that defy gravity, and puzzles that play tricks on your mind. It’s perfect for families with older kids who are curious about the science behind illusions and enjoy hands-on experiences.

Plus, there are tons of photo ops for social media and memory-making! It’s an easy way to have some fun and burn an hour in Vienna.

10. Vienna Prater

The Vienna Prater Amusement Park is one of the city’s most visited attractions. It’s known for its iconic Giant Ferris Wheel, also called the Wiener Riesenrad. Dating back to the late 18th century, Prater has evolved from a royal hunting ground to a lively entertainment destination.

Ferris wheel Prater Amusement Park

The Giant Ferris Wheel is the park’s centerpiece, offering breathtaking views of Vienna from high up. In addition to the Ferris wheel, you can enjoy a variety of classic amusement park rides, including roller coasters, carousels, and bumper cars.

For a taste of nostalgia, explore the historic Prater attractions like the nostalgic ghost train and Madame Tussaud’s Vienna. The park also boasts numerous food stalls, beer gardens, and traditional Austrian eateries, making it a perfect spot for a fun-filled day out with family or friends. 

11. Haus des Meeres

Haus des Meeres – Aqua Terra Zoo, which translates to “House of the Sea,” is an aquarium and vivarium located in Vienna, Austria. It’s fascinating from the moment you arrive.

The building itself (like so many in Vienna) is an architectural stunner. The aquarium is housed in an old air defense tower and features historic artifacts in an exhibit on World War II. You also can enjoy great views of the city from the rooftop cafe and restaurant.

Inside Haus des Meeres, the aquarium showcases a diverse range of marine life, from colorful tropical fish and sharks to reptiles and insects. There is also a beautiful habitat with monkeys, birds, and other jungle life. You can explore 11 floors filled with aquarium tanks, terrariums, and interactive exhibits.

Everything is clean and obviously well cared for. It’s a great place for both children and adults to learn about marine biology, conservation, and the natural world.

12. Danube Island

Visiting Danube Island is one of the best activities to do when in Vienna with kids. You can easily spend a full day here, enjoying the outdoors and soaking up the sun. Plus, it’s easy to reach, whether you walk across the pedestrian bridges, use the U-Bahn, or take the U1 subway line right to the middle of the island.

One of the highlights of Danube Island is its extensive network of cycling and walking paths, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and families looking to explore the island’s natural beauty. Bike rentals are available nearby on the mainland, so you could also rent bikes and head to the island for the day!

There are designated swimming beaches in the Old Danube, playgrounds for the kids, a climbing park, and trampoline center. You will find outdoor cafes and restaurants scattered across the island, as well as interesting landmarks to explore. Families can grab food in the city and use the public grills in the picnic areas for a full day of fun.

In the summer, you might stumble upon a festival, concert, or a cultural event, all of which attract both locals and tourists alike throughout. It’s one of the locals’ favorite parks throughout the year, so you’ll see all kinds of people having a great time here.

14. Augarten

Don’t want to cross the Danube River? No problem. Augarten is a historic park where you can enjoy expansive green spaces, tree covered pathways, flower gardens, and more.

Augarten things to do in Vienna with kids

Enjoy this retreat within the city, whether you want to lay out under the trees, take strolls along the park’s scenic paths, or explore old wartime towers.

For young kids, Augarten boasts 5 different play areas with swings, slides, and climbing structures. And one of the highlights of Augarten is the famous Augarten Porcelain Manufactory and the Augarten Palais, adding a touch of culture to your visit.

15. Explore Vienna’s Food Culture

If there’s one way to get to know a place, it’s through its food, and Vienna is no different! Vienna’s food culture is a delightful blend of traditional flavors, cozy cafes, and mouth watering pastries.

The city is renowned for its cafe culture, with historic coffee houses like Café Central and Café Sperl (try their chocolate cake!). It’s a Viennese pastime to relax for a while over coffee and cake.

apfel strudel apple strudel

Vienna is probably best known for Sachertorte, a decadent chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam, topped with dark chocolate icing. Other must-try pastries include Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) and Kaiserschmarrn, a fluffy pancake torn into bite-sized pieces and served with fruit compote.

For mealtime, try dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, a breaded and fried veal cutlet, or Tafelspitz, a boiled beef dish served with horseradish and apple-horseradish sauce. Parents can pair these hearty meals with a glass of Grüner Veltliner or a local beer for a truly satisfying culinary experience in Vienna!

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