How to Survive Vienna with Kids.
If a picture paints a thousand words, then after our trip to Vienna we have a million! We couldn’t stop taking photos. Everywhere we went, every palace, museum, even our cycle tour in the rain did not stop us from taking pictures. We spent just under three days in this breathtaking city and what I LOVE is that you can see the highlights in a very short amount of time. So here’s how to spend three days in Vienna with kids in tow.
Where to Stay
There are so many places to choose, from beautiful Hotels with opulent gardens, Apartments scattered around the city centre and then there’s also Air BNB options to suit any budget. I always recommend choosing something that suits your needs. The hardest part is sometimes doing just that. Are you looking for a city centre location or something close to public transport?Is having breakfast included important or is free Wifi what gets your heart racing? What about a hotel that offers its guests bikes to cycle around this beautiful city with ease?
We ended up choosing the Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront; perhaps not what you’d think would be the most family friendly hotel, but they do offer fantastic rates on interconnecting rooms with 2x Queen beds in each room, full breakfast daily and a gorgeous outdoor pool in the summer. They also offer pet friendly rooms, a fitness centre, an executive lounge and you can pre book airport transfers with ease.
Three Days in Vienna
The best way to start exploring in any city is getting to know your surrounding area. Walk the streets, walk along the river, catch the train, look out the window and marvel at every grand palace, garden and cathedral. As we arrived late afternoon, we checked into the hotel and then spent the evening relaxing and strolling along the riverside. We found a gorgeous restaurant overlooking the Danube and stunning St Francis of Assisi Church.
After a delicious breakfast, we headed into the city and made our way to the Ringstrasse. The St Stephens Cathedral is just spectacular and the boutiques along the Graben, mesmerizing. My husband decided my son needed a skateboard to entertain him whilst we walked and so off they went to the very cool Blue Tomato shop whilst us girls looked at souvenirs and sat in a cafe soaking up the atmosphere. I always recommend a ½ day city tour if travelling to a new city, so we decided to do an afternoon cycle tour and not even the rain could not stop us! After we met our tour leader at Vienna Highlights Bike office, we travelled in a small group to all the major highlights. Vienna City Hall, Burgtheater & Parliament were the first sights. Our leader chatted briefly about Vienna , its history and also shared stories of her upbringing, education and University life. It was a wonderful to hear her insight and the kids were also entertained. We then moved on past the Imperial Palace, Vienna Opera House and StadtPark. A quick browse of the tourist area of Hundertwasserhaus, a blobby and colourful building (house) by hippie artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The kids loved cycling past the Prater and seeing the Giant Ferris Wheel and other amusement rides. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn a little history of Vienna, seeing most of the major highlights and get your bearings of this wonderful city.
That evening whilst the boys headed off to the pub to watch a semi-final match of the Football World Cup, I treated my girls to the Opera. We attended the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra at the Mozart Hall, a perfect setting and an unforgettable experience as both my girls perform in their Concert band & Orchestra at their school.
After a sleep in, we spent the morning enjoying the hotels facilities and then were ready to check out, pick up our hire car as we were headed off to Croatia to spend a wonderful 4 weeks visiting family and seeing the gorgeous towns and villages along Adriatic coast.
Some things to add in if you have the time:
- Vienna Museum
- Karlskirche or St Charles Church. An 18th Century Baroque style church.
- Naschmarket. Visit the many markets to support local small business of produce and handmade products.
- Spanish Riding School – home of the Lipizzan horses.
- Albertina – home to the largest prints in the world!
- Natural History Museum
- Sigmund Freud Museum
- City River Cruise or cruise along the Danube River
- Prater Park & Ferris Wheel
- Schonbrunn Zoo (located on the grounds of the famous Schonbrunn Palace).