Vienna with Kids: A Perfect Family Day
Experiencing Vienna with kids can be the best way to view this city. A child's-eye view of Vienna's fairytale beauty, along with a taste of its famous sweet treats, will make you feel like a kid again. Here's a guide to the perfect family vacation day in Vienna with kids:
Grab your children and head out to one of the most famous areas in Vienna. The Kohlmarkt, or 'Coal Market' in English, is a prestigious pedestrian area full of shops and history. Home to guilty pleasures galore, it is filled with upscale designer stores as well as delightful cafes.
Explore the area, then head to one of the best cafes and chocolatiers, Demel. You'll be lured in by the decadent window displays and delighted by the treats that wait inside. Experiment with a couple of pastries and chocolates, then buy some to take home as a souvenir. Take a detour by the bathrooms and your family can watch conveyor belts of candy, reminiscent of "I Love Lucy".
Demel, Kohlmarket 14, A-1010 Vienna, +43-1-5351-7170. Hours: Daily 9AM-7PM.
Post-pastries, head to the Wiener Prater at Prater Hauptallee. Known simply as 'the Prater', this historical amusement park, which dates back to 1766, has grown to be one of the most alluring attractions for those touring Vienna with kids.
Riesenrad, a huge Ferris wheel. The large red carts give it an old-world feel. Once you get to the top, you'll get a splendid view across Vienna, with kids immediately asking for a second ride. After leaving the Riesenrad, take a walk around and enjoy the carefree atmosphere of this historic amusement park.
Entry to the Prater is free, but each attraction has an admission fee. Tickets for the Riesenrad cost Euro 8.50 for adults and Euro 3.40 for children. The park's hours of operation are usually 10AM-1AM, but the Riesenrad's hours vary according to the season; check the website or call +43-1-729-5430 for details.
For a lunch break, take your kids to the Naschmarkt. This seemingly endless marketplace is a melting pot of Vienna culture. Focus on the fresh fruit, cheese, and bread, and gather up enough for a picnic. You'll be putting together the family's lunch while strolling through a must-see for any Vienna family vacation.
The Naschmarkt is located between Karlsplatz and Kettenbruckengasse. Opening times are Mon-Fri 6AM-7:30PM, Sat 6AM-5PM.
Pack up your goodies and head out to the scenic Volksgarten, or "People's Garden," for a picnic and catnap. Your children will have a chance to catch up on some sleep before an afternoon of pleasure. The Volksgarten is located just off Burgring in Vienna.
Upon waking the little ones, get them excited for an afternoon of playing royalty at the Schönbrunn Palace. Here you'll find an array of family vacation ideas that are just as exciting for adults as they are for children. There are plenty of things to do at Vienna's stunning palace and its gardens to keep kids busy for hours.
Schloss Schönbrunn, Schšnbrunner Schlossstrasse 47, 1130 Vienna, +43-1-8111-3239. Hours: Daily 8:30AM-close. Closing hours vary throughout the season but are between 4:30PM and 6PM.
Inside Schšnbrunn Palace, you can take a tour or check out other, more child-friendly attractions. Outdoors, a host of activities can be found in the Schlosspark. Among other Vienna family vacation ideas here is the Irrgarten, or "maze garden." This is the perfect place to play hide-and-seek with the kids as you explore the architectural design of the hedges. Tickets for the Irrgarten cost Euro 2.90 for adults and Euro 1.70 for children. The maze opens daily at 9AM.
If running around a maze doesn't wear you out, try the other things to do in Vienna's Schlosspark, including the Gloriette. If the kids can walk up the zigzag path to the Gloriette, it's worth getting to the top for the stunning view of the palace and Vienna. This activity costs Euro 2 for adults and Euro 1.40 for children, and is open from 9AM daily.
Another child-friendly attraction at the Schlosspark is the Tiergarten. This charming zoo is the oldest in the world, dating back to 1752. It is a favorite for Vienna kids' vacations, mesmerizing them with polar bears and penguins. The admission fee is Euro 14 for adults, Euro 6 for children and free for children under 7. The zoo is open daily 9:30AM-6PM and you can call +43-1-8779-2940 for more information.
For an afternoon snack, go to the Café Restaurant Residenz, for hourly demonstrations on how to make apple strudel. The demonstration is given in English and German, and you'll also be given the recipe to try when you return home. The 15- to 20-minute demonstration comes with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and, of course, a piece of strudel.
Cafe Restaurant Residenz is located inside Schšnbrunn Palace and is open daily 9AM-8PM. You can reserve a demonstration by calling +43-1-2410-0300. Demonstrations cost Euro 8.90 per person.
To wind down an afternoon of exciting activity in Vienna with kids, head for a show at the Marionettentheater (http://www.marionettentheater.at), or "puppet theater," within Schšnbrunn Palace. View a puppet show while experiencing one of most famous traditions of Vienna, the opera. There are special shows for kids, which run shorter than average, including a performance of "The Magic Flute." Tickets cost Euro 10-12 for adults and Euro 7-9 for children and can be purchased from the box office from 10AM daily or by calling +43-1- 817 32 47.
For an evening of true Viennese tradition, a schnitzel dinner at Figlmuller is a must. Schnitzel, a deep fried veal cutlet, is an iconic Viennese dish. Unless you have a very big appetite, share one dish per two people (or even three kids), and you'll be full and content. Reservations are recommended, as the line outside gets quite long. There are two locations, but the menu is the same. The location on B'ckerstrasse gives you a taste of old-world Vienna with its ancient memorabilia on the walls. Figlmuller's two locations are: Wollzeile 5 (+43-1-5126-177, open 11AM-10PM); and B'ckerstrasse 6 (+43-1-5121-760, open noon-11PM).
If it's not quite bedtime yet, there is one last spot on the food trail that will make your perfect family vacation in Vienna with kids complete. Visit the Hotel Sacher for their famous Sacher-Torte. This rich and luxurious chocolate cake is simply blissful. The Hotel Sacher claims it has been the most famous cake in the world for 175 years. The cafe inside the hotel is located at Philharmonikerstrasse 4 (telephone number +43-1-514-560), and is open daily 8AM-midnight.
After this busy day of family travel in Vienna, filled with sightseeing, fun things to do and a food-crawl of all of Vienna's favorite dishes, both you and your children will be ready to retire to bed. This itinerary is jam-packed with exciting attractions for kids of all ages and promises to give you the best family vacation with all the magic Vienna has to offer.
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