Vienna with kids – 10 spots in Vienna your kid will love
Would you ever think that any capital city might be a destination tailored for kids? Me neither, but here I was spending 3 days with my little ones exploring Vienna, the capital city of Austria. We not only explored it, but had a lot of fun at the same time. We might have not seen “The Kiss” painting of Gustav Klimt or not visited interiors of Hofburg Palace, but our itinerary made the kids smile.
Our itinerary has not been tight, there’s been plenty of space for any variations depending on the weather, mood or current situation. I had few places in mind to show them, the rest was spontaneous.
DAY 1: Arrival at 11 am at the Central Station ->House of seas -> playground in front of it -> Check in the hotel -> Playground Venediger Au – Trainingspark ISW -> Prater
DAY 2: Donaupark -> Copa Beach -> Butterfly house -> Playground in Stadtpark -> Prater
DAY 3: Schonbrunn Palace Park -> Labyrinth and Playground in Irrgarten – >Departure at 12:30 pm
So let me list them all:
HAUS DER MEERES/ HOUSE OF SEAS
Sharks, fishes, turtles, tortoises, exotic animals and plants, all to be seen on 11 grounds in the peculiar building, housing the aquariums. At the top floor, there’s a popular restaurant called 360 Ocean Sky with a panoramic view on Vienna. You don’t have to enter it to see the view, you may just go to the terrace. Kids loved it all, but their top 3 attractions in the aquarium were:
- 360° shark aquarium
- ocean conservation exhibition
- Koi tank
You may buy the ticket online, but remember to do it in advance. Once you’re in the line, there’s no sense in doing that as the ticket is not valid for the next 180 minutes. We waited in the line for approximately 30 minutes on Saturday around noon.
TIP: Reserve at least 2 hours for the aquarium
TIP: Better start from the top – use the elevator to get to 11th floor. It’s better to use the stairs while going down, as the elevator is pretty occupied.
Don’t miss the playground on the backs of the aquarium. We spent there another hour – It’s really huge, and everyone will find there something they like.
Directions: Bus 13A in directions to Neubaugasse – departure from hauptbanhof
PLAYGROUND VENEDIGER AU – TRAININGSPARK ISW
We’ve found this playground by chance and kids just loved it. Huge tower with a slide, obstacle track, swings and way more, are the attractions kids can expect there. Close-by there’re grocery shops like Billa or Penny, so you can buy some snacks. To find it, enter the name in google maps and find directions, it’s just 3 minutes away on foot from the main entrance to the Prater amusement Park.
Everyone visiting Vienna should visit Prater amusement park at some point, no matter how big or mature they are. It’s a family spot, where you can see big families teaming up at rides, school kids running between attractions and teenagers showing off. Most of the attractions are suitable from 120 cm and 6 or 8 years old. But there’s the whole part designated for smaller kids, even 3 +. On the other hand, some scary houses are only allowed to kids 12+. The prices oscillates around 4 to 5 Euro. So, if you or your friends and family are thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies you may spend here hours emptying your wallet completely. I’m lucky, I’m not into scary rides, and my kids were too little to try most of them on their own.
TIP: Take cash with you
Of course I couldn’t forget to mention the biggest attraction, which is the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel, a landmark visible from afar on the Vienna skyline. It was built in 1897, the history connected with it is very vivid. For example in 1914 Madame Solange d’Atalide, the circus director and rider, completed a full rotation of the wheel on a horse standing on the roof of one of the cabins as part of a film. Next, during WWI it was almost taken down, but because there were no funds to carry the metal parts, it was saved and rebuilt in 1945. In 1947 Vienna Giant Ferry Wheel was put back to operation, to close it again after 73 yers, due to corona virus. It’s now fully operational. The ticket cost 13,5 Eur for an adult and 6,50 Eur for kids.
Directions: Metro U1 and U2 – stop Praterstern
Let’s not forget about the free attractions in the whole, huge green space. There’re several playgrounds dotted around the park. You can discover each one of them, there’s a skatepark, you may ride the path on your bike or try to search for the kids’ train – Liliputbahn (Rotunde). Or just grab a blanket and some food and have a picnic!
Directions: You may use the same station and walk the park, or go by tram no. 1 an leave at Prater, Hauptallee
Located in the heart of Vienna, the butterfly house is a tropical oasis for over 400 butterflies. Once entered, you may discover different species of butterflies flying around in the fantastic environment created in the Art Noveau palm houses. The Butterfly House is situated on the edge of the Burggarten palace gardens, next to the Albertina Art Museum and 200 meters from the Opera House. The netrance fee is 9 eur for and adult, 7 eur for kids 6+ and 5 eur for kids under 6 year old.
TIP: wear bright colours, so butterlies can mistake you for a flower and sit on you.
TIP: remember, it’s not allowed to touch animals and plants
Directions: Metro U1 and U4 – stop Karlsplatz or stop Stephansplatz U1 and U3
This is the part of Vienna, I’ve never visited before. It is green and kids will definitely appreciate this stop. The playgrounds are fun, huge and full of attractions. Kids can ride their bikes or skates around, and basically play all day long.
Directions: metro U1 – stop Alte Donau
It’s the riverside recreation area with a sandy beach, bars, restaurants, skate park and summer swimming area. It’s freely accessible. There’s no playground as such, but I believe in summer time sand, water and ice-creams are more than enough for kids. We also found it to be a good option to had lunch in one of the restaurants, but don’t expect there a traditional Austrian schnitzel.
Directions: metro U1 – stop Donauinsel.
SCHONBRUNN PALACE GARDEN
Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens is inscribed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also the most visited attraction in Vienna, but it was not were we headed. I have experience with visiting castle interiors with kids and it’s baaad. They are easily bored, don’t listen to the guide, especially when it’s in foreign language and want to get it over with quickly. I know better ways to spend 70 Eur than stressing myself over kids. Instead we went straight to the Irrgarten to lost ourselves in the Maze originally designed in 1720 and play at Labyrinthikon Playground. The whole area is 2,700 m² big. In addition there’s a giant kaleidoscope, math puzzles or small labyrinths to try with your fingers.
Directions: metro U4 – stop Heitzing
CHILDERN’S MUSEUM SCHONBRUNN
Located on the ground floor of the palace, museum allows kids to try out, experience touch and learn on their own. Kids can dress up as princesses and princes, learn everything about royal life in the XVIII century and play with the old toys. We have not tried it this time, but once we do, I’ll be sure to update the page.
TIP: From November 24, 2022 the tickets for the Children’s Museum have FIXED ADMISSION TIMES. Therefore, there may be waiting times during busy periods. Better to buy your tickets online.
Directions: metro U4 – stop Schonbrunn
The world’s oldest ZOO is also located in the Schonbrunn Palace Garden. Go ahead and plan it, so you can see it the same day. We intentionally skipped the ZOO Tiergarten this time, as we’ve been there before. If you have the whole day ahead of you I do recommend to combine it. The ZOO attracts kids not only for its animals, I mean the giant panda. But also because it has lots of playgrounds.
Directions: metro U4 – stop Heitzing
There’re plenty of family friendly hotels and accommodation option in Vienna. We stayed in Ibis Budget Wien Messe – it’s close to Prater, however the rooms are small. It’s up to 3 people per room and there’re no big family rooms. Once upon a time, we also stayed in Novotel hotel, which is way better equipped with for the little visitors. But let me list few additional accommodation worth mentioning.
Let’s be realistic, Vienna can offer a lot more than playgrounds. For now I focused on it, because my kids are small and love goofing around more than anything else. But feel free to extend your visit or change few points and…
- Take your kids to Natural History Museum, located on Museum Platz.
- Show your kid the Spanish Horse Riding School.
- Take your little princess to Sisi Museum
- Participate in one of the workshops in The ZOOM children’s museum (reservation mandatory)
I hope you’ll enjoy your visit. If you have more recommendation for Vienna with kids, just go ahead and share it the comment section below.