Family Vacations to Vienna

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Surprisingly high: with thousands of parks and gardens, family events and festivals all year round, more Christmas markets and city center ice rinks than anywhere else in Europe and free entry for children at nearly all major museums.

Why Vacation in Vienna

  • Sachertorte

    Sachertorte (the world’s first chocolate cake) was created in Vienna in 1832. Taste the original and best at Anna Sacher in Inner Stadt.

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Vienna’s entire city center is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

  • Museums

    Most of the city center’s major museums are free for kids including ZOOM Children’s Museum, the Belvedere and mumok (museum of modern art).

  • Expansive Scenery

    Vienna has over 2,000 parks and gardens, the equivalent of 400² feet of green space per person for the city’s entire population of 17 million.


  • Bike Paths

    Eight hundred of bike paths and routes criss-cross the city and the majority of them are entirely traffic free.

Where to Go with Kids in Vienna

Innere Stadt

Vienna’s historic centre might be the most expensive area in the city for hotels, but it’s not to be missed for anything else. Centred around medieval Domkirche St. Stephen (look for the cheerful roof tiles), this is the district for major museums and galleries, skating in front of Rathaus in winter and window shopping round the insanely expensive Golden Quarter.

  • A brilliantly walkable district, if you just have a few days in Vienna this is where to focus.
  • Inner Stadt has the city’s grandest hotels, most historic coffee shops and venerable institutions like the Opera House and the Hofburg Palace.
  • The Golden Quarter is one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world – the windows are wonderful.
  • Museum Quarter, on the western edge of Inner Stadt is the city’s concentrated complex of world famous art collections, cool cafés and restaurants, art as street furniture and lots going on from the early evening until late.
  • Visit Albertinaplatz in the early morning for free tickets to Lipizzaner rehearsals at the Spanish Riding School. The famous dancing white stallion’s official performances cost a fortune.
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Innere Stadt’s nearest neighbour is a little quieter, but it’s also home to the Belvedere Palace, so don’t expect peaceful. This is a gorgeously elegant district for boutique hotels and major international brands. Fractionally less expensive than the city centre, but not much.

  • Schloss Belvedere is the must-see before all else in Landstrasse. The formal gardens are exquisitely beautiful, even in the depth of winter, and Gustave Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ hangs in the palace’s formidably famous art collection.
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Mariahilf is the city centre district with a distinctively cool personality and a family atmosphere. This is where to find the motherlode of alternative Christmas markets, Esterhazy Park and the Haus des Meers Aquarium, lots of cute (and affordable) shopping, new generation coffee houses and good value mid-range hotels.

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Vienna won’t ever run out of grand palaces, but Schöbrunn is the one to beat. The city’s most visited attraction is misleadingly nicknamed, ‘Empress Sisi’s Summerhouse’ but is actually so immense, guided tours are mandatory. Kids will probably prefer the gardens for the world’s oldest zoo and delightfully puzzling maze.

  • If you like the idea of staying close to Vienna high society, Schönbrunn’s an excellent district for aparthotels and family holiday rentals.
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For a breather from overwhelming opulence, Donaustadt is edgy and youthful Vienna with designer polish. Right on the banks of the Danube, this is the district for city beaches, interesting pop-up shops and clubs, new restaurants and cool beach bars in summer.

  • A short U-Bahn ride from Inner Stadt, Donaustadt is one of the city centre’s most affordable districts for apartments, heritage guesthouses, aparthotels and mid-range independent brand hotels.
  • Donauinsel (Danube Island) is easily the star of the show in Donaustadt. This 21km floating park is one of the city’s all time favourite places to play at the weekend. Take a picnic and spend the day, it’s packed with family activities and a leading venue for summer festivals.
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The city’s breathtakingly lovely Art Deco district is a surprisingly good area for inexpensive hotels, historic guesthouses and budget brand hotels. It’s also where Naschmarkt, one of Europe’s biggest flea markets, sets up shop on a Saturday. And it’s the heartland of cute cinemas, indie cafés and restaurants, young Viennese designers and wonderful vintage stores (Vienna vintage is outstanding thanks to the demand of the city’s annual Ball Season).

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What Do with Kids in Vienna

  • Prater Amusement Park

    Famous for its enormous Ferris Wheel (best view in the city), summer in Prater is one of the city’s finest traditions. The funfair runs from March to October but there are hundreds of other reasons to visit all year round.

  • ZOOM Children’s Museum, Innere Stadt

    From its own studio for teenager film makers to baby’s sensory play, workshops for under 8s and all year round events and activities for kids of all ages, ZOOM is one of the best loved museums in the city.

  • Schloss Belvedere, Landstrasse

    One of the world’s greatest museums, the Belvedere contains an extraordinary collection of art from medieval masterpieces to modern works. And, of course, it’s where to see ‘The Kiss’ by Gustave Klimt.

  • Spanish Riding School, Innere Stadt

    Home to the legendary Lipizzaner dancing white stallions. Performances are staged here throughout the year but you can go see the horses in rehearsal during training season and the spectacle’s free.

  • Museum Quarter, Innere Stadt

    Ever gracious and polite Vienna even manages to keep all its major museums in one place, including ZOOM Children’s Museum.

  • Schönbrunn Palace, Schönbrunn

    Leave a day at least to do justice to this magnificent royal palace, the world’s oldest zoo, vast grounds and intriguing puzzle maze.

  • Time Travel Vienna, Innere Stadt

    A virtual reality and all-too-real 5D tour of Vienna through the ages covering just about everything from the Black Plague to the present day.

  • Schoko Museum, Favoriten

    Unsurprisingly, the city which created the world’s first chocolate cake also has a fabulous chocolate museum.

  • Vienna Woods

    Less than half-an-hour from the city centre, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is home to Viennese wine country and a natural habitat for dozens of species of birds and wildlife and an astonishing 2000 plus varieties of plants.

  • Vienna Guided Bike Tours

    Vienna is a city made for cycling and getting better and better all the time. Guided bike tours round the centre and into the countryside are a great way to get to know the city, fast.

Educational Value for Kids

  • Kids might prefer a hot chocolate but at least one visit to a traditional Viennese coffee house is a must: try Sigmund Freud’s favourite, Café Landtmann.
  • Use Big Bus Vienna to tour the city’s sights – you can hop-on or hop-off whenever you like.
  • Try one of the city’s 14 marked hiking trails designed for families and kids.
  • Ski resorts at Semmeling and Mariensee are snow-sure from November and less than two hours’ drive from Vienna.
  • Download the “Musician’s Walks” app and follow in the footsteps of Mozart, Strauss and other musical legends associated with Vienna.
  • Teenagers will like Spittelburg near the Museum Quarter, the restaurants and cafés are intriguing and great for people watching.
  • Visit Vienna for Christmas, New Year, Easter or any other big holiday and join in the colourful citywide celebrations: there are almost as many street markets at Easter as there are in December.

Getting Around with Kids in Vienna

Vienna’s wonderful for walking around, especially in Innere Stadt and the neighbouring districts. The public transport system’s excellent and runs 20 hours a day, seven days a week across the entire city. There are riverboat services on the Danube, catamaran ferries to nearby Bratislava, tourist buses in the city centre and over 600 miles of bike lanes and paths, too.

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