Vienna with kids

Grownup driving an electric bumper car in Prater
Prater … only for children or …

I’ll be talking about activities you can do with your children while visiting Vienna. From obvious ones like Prater to some museums and hopefully some hidden gems.

It will be a mix of info I found and info I know. The idea behind the post is from a twitter friend who asked me where to go in Vienna with smaller children.

Since my kids are a bit older I will try to cover ages from 5 to 18 or something like that. Interests are obviously very different, so just take this post as a reference for interesting ideas what to see in Vienna if you are traveling with kids.

Let’s begin with obvious:

Prater

I have covered Prater extensively in one of the previous posts so this one will be brief.

Still one of the spots we visit regularly with kids and just go through different attractions. This time we planed to visit the Prater museum, but unfortunately it’s open only from Friday to Sunday.

Check before you make plans (or just enjoy Prater, as we did :))

ZOO

As with Prater I have written about he zoo is in Schöhnbrunn post. But there are constantly new things going on there.

Kindermuseum (Children museum)

Most museums in Vienna are situated close to each other. Not all, but most. Anyway – we are talking about children and what better to do than join together museum and children.

I guess this is the idea behind Kidermusem. It is situated in MuseumsQuartier which is an area where you can hangout almost whole day.

They (so Kindermuseum) have different events/exhibitions … so you need to check MQ web page to see what is going on.

My children are a bit older, so we didn’t even tried to go here so no first hand experience here.

Time Travel

We visited this place some time ago via a suggestion from a friend and although there are some things with spoken language (with translation to different non German languages) the highlight for kids was a Time ride film. With some really cool effects.

I will not go into details since I don’t want to spoil the surprise :).

Haus des meeres

I was just passing by this place when I was alone in Vienna and forgot about it when I was with kids, but webpage promises interesting experience.

Pinocchio store

While running around we saw an interesting store called Pinocchio.

You will easily see it from far since there is a puppet of Pinocchio sitting on the bench in front of the store. We didn’t visit the store, so there this is the only info…. oh, and it’s in the center.

Park playgrounds

Tired of all the attractions and running around different buildings?

Just hit the nearest park and there should be a playground somewhere in there.

Hundertwasser house

Depending on the age of your children the exhibition in Hunderwasser museum might be a bit too much for kids (especially if you already visited some museums before this one), but it is at least interesting checking the exterior of the building because … well, Hundertwasser.

Technical museum

This place is not a children museum per se, but it has some nice activities that will appeal to children, while learning something new.

Last remarks

It’s good to know that during Vienna school holidays children up till 15 years have free public transport inside Vienna. Otherwise – buy a ticket, controls are not that rare.

Willkommen

Empty Schonbrunn

Since the quarantine restriction of 7 days if you come from abroad was lifted up in Slovenia I popped to Vienna again … woohooo..

So how is Vienna in times of corona? As far as I could tell people are taking it seriously, but with a grain of salt. Protecting mouth and nose, but not being panicky about it.

I have visited two of my favourite bookstores at the Mariahilferstraße – Boox and Thalia. Partially to see if there will be any interesting books for me to buy (again) and partially to see how Vienna is living in the (partial) lockdown.

You can really see how many tourists are usually going around the street since street was half empty. Still a lot of people, but I guess more or less just locals. The impression of emptiness was even more prominent at the Schönbrunn where only few of the locals were walking or running around. No tourists around the palace, but – the employees started to plant flowers, so when the borders are properly opened I’m sure it will be nice to visit the park with all the flowers.

Wien, wo bist du?

I was planing to post a suggestion for a day trip to Vienna if you happen to be around the city or country, but couldn’t get into it. And the trip happened during Christmas last year, so you see how meticulous I was :/…

Anyway – Corona got the best of me. I didn’t get it (luckily), but the border to Austria is sort of closed. Not really tight, but it’s quite a hassle for me to get back so I have to sit tight and watch pictures … and wait … and wait … oh, well.

But soon – I hope.

Getting around Vienna – Sbahn

ubahn and sbahn map of Vienna

I was talking about getting around Vienna in one of previous posts so I will touch only S bahn here.

What is the s bahn? You could translate it as city train, since it connects few of the stations in the city. The travel time is therefore way faster.

And since I needed to come from Bahnhof Meidling to Hauptbanhof (main train station) S1 was just a perfect for that.

But you know what makes me cringe every time I do that? I never know which station is the right one for main train station. For some reason the station is called Südtiroler Platz. I’m not even sure if there is always Hauptbanhof added to the map, but there you go.

Now you know. Südtiroler Platz station it is.

Naschmarkt

A building at Naschmarkt
View when you come with an U-bahn

It took me some time to go to Vienna again … family, work … etc.. anyway. Back to Vienna and I’ve decided to go to a Naschmarkt.

Been there often, but the idea was to research it for a blog post. So here we go.

Naschmarkt is recommended by (I guess) everybody. It’s really interesting place to visit being the place where you can get all five senses occupied. Some will suffer more than others 🙂

Anyway – if you want to avoid crowd you need to go there early in the morning, but that way you’ll miss (at least) half of fun. You really need to go there during the day or even better Saturday morning. That way you’ll have full blown experience of Naschmarkt will all the crowd included 🙂

Obviously you can also have something to eat there, so you can basically be here the whole day, if you want 🙂

Schönbrunn. What it’s good for? Absolutely everything.

Schönbrunn palace

You can read about Schönbrunn basically everywhere. Just put the word Schönbrunn in your favourite search engine and voilà.

So let’s not waste time on things that can be easily found, but rather talk about some other relevant and useful information.

Here are some pointers:

  • it opens at 6.30 in the morning (so if you are an early morning runner, there is a park nearby open 24/7)
  • there are a lot of runners running around it
  • the circle around Schönbrunn flat is around 1k long (give or take few meters)
  • there are drinking fountains available
  • the toilets are open when the park is open and you will have to have 50 cents to use the toilet (urinal is free)
  • visiting Zoo is a day event (although you can leave whenever you want :D)

Visiting Prater

statues in Prater

One of the “must see” attractions in Vienna is Prater.

There are many attractions in Prater

Not fan of the rollercoaster? No problem, there are other attractions in Prater.

Not fan of the haunted house? No problem, there are other attractions in Prater.

Not fan of the amusement parks? No probl… well, you know where I’m going with it.

Basically – Prater is a spot to visit for everyone and since the entrance is free. What’s not to like. Except if you go there with kids who know how to make you open the wallet. Don’t bring cash, in that case 🙂

Few important infos

  1. getting to Prater means taking the U-bahn to Praterstern. Since U-bahn is my favorit way of transport in Vienna, I’ll stop here. For other means of (public) transport just pay attention to the word Prater.
  2. The entrance to Prater is opened 24 hours/day so I would use it even for running around it, but I’m usually living far away.
  3. Entrance is free, but you have to pay for attractions.
  4. It’s good that you get a map at the entrance, since the info about location of different attractions is sporadic and rare after that.
  5. You can eat, drink and use toilet in Prater (obviously) and (obviously, again) you have to pay for all of that.
  6. Need some more info? Comment below and I’ll look for it.

There are two attractions that are prominent, but I never visited them.

Must do and see attractions

One is Viennese wheel, built in 1897 and is one of the well known attractions in Vienna. There is a newer version of the wheel where you sit in the open and I preferred this option.

But I guess there is a flair to be on the Viennese wheel.

The other is Liliputbahn. Basically a small train driving around Prater and nearby main street. The trip is 4km long and it takes 20 minutes.

What we did

The kids wanted to play with bumper cars so that was the thing we did.

bumper cars in Prater
Bumper cars in Prater

The other one is mini golf, which might not be a really prominent attraction, but I promised kids we’ll play mini golf some day, so what better than play in Prater.

mini golf station in Parter
Mini golf

The stations where a bit used, but it was still fun. Somewhat stressful for kids, since there were some crazy obstacles.

Free books and Vienna

Bookcase
Bookcase at Josef-Matthias-Hauer Platz

There are some cities around the world having a “free public library” with different solutions to store books.

The basic premise is that you can take any book you like and it is polite to put in some other book instead, but you are not obliged to do it.

So you can get a free book. And I was wondering if something like that is going on in Vienna. Well, it is.

The project is called “offener Bücherschrank” which can be roughly translated as “open bookcabinet”. To help you find them the good people behind the idea set up the web page.

There. Some free books for you all over Vienna – well, free in a sense that you don’t need to pay for them in money, but as stated before – put in any other book.

Getting around Vienna

This post is mostly about public transport in Vienna, how to get a ticket and what kind of tickets are available.

What you can use?

Obviously – you can get around with a car, bicycle (there are many cycling routes in Vienna, but I still don’t have enough courage to try them – but soon, soon).

New ways of transport

You can also rent an electric scooter (in German but there is a comparison list) or get on a trip on a Seagway).

Public transport

But public transport in Vienna is really good. OK, it’s true that I come from a country where we only have a city bus so I’m always excited when there are many means of transport 🙂

Anyway – there is a subway (called U-Bahn), buses (called … uhm … bus), trams (called Straßenbahn – street train) and also few “speed trains”: local trains in Vienna and you can see their routes on subway maps (called Schnellbahn).

You can also use “regular” trains but only on the stations inside Vienna. Which means – if you have a valid ticket for public transport in Vienna you can buy a train ticket just to the border of the city (money saving tip :)).

What I like

My preferred mean of transport is always U-Bahn: easy, there is a map on every station and wagon and they are fast. But you don’t see much 🙂 and with a app on your phone to help you pick the right bus, you can use a bus. I guess we will use that next time I go to Vienna since I’m bringing kids with me.

How to buy a ticket

You can use an app (you can pay with credit card and even by using Paypal) or buy it on many machines on U-Bahn stations (my preferred way). I will concentrate on buying a ticket just for public transport since you also have a possibility for a combined card called Vienna city card with many other discount options (just check the link if it suits you).

unvalidated one direction ticket

When buying a one ride ticket (meaning one direction) pay attention if it is validated right away (using it now) or you will validate it later (and you can have it in your wallet for later usage).

The validator
Stop and validate your card

You also have a possibility to buy a weekly ticket, but the week doesn’t start from the day you bought the ticket but ALWAYS from Monday to next Monday 9am. So pay attention to this detail.

Weekly ticket
pay attention to dates (12.8.2019 – 18.8.2019)

Public transport and kids

Public transport for a kid who is not attending school yet is free on public transport in Vienna. That makes sense, right?

But what is more interesting is that during school holidays in Vienna, on Sundays and public holidays (2nd and 15th November included) children up to 15 years of age don’t need to pay for a ticket.

And if you wonder – it’s valid for all kids. They don’t need to be from Vienna or even Austria.

One of the Wienerwald wanderwegs

Let’s first talk about Wienerwald (eng. Vienna woods). It’s a forest that covers more or less half of lower Austria ) and it’s one of the favourite areas for locals to relax and wander around.

Anyway – I wanted to go for a longer walk somewhere in Vienna (didn’t even know about this route) and local friend decided on this route so what could I do. I just played along 🙂 The plan was to take hiking boots, but since the bag was already full and running shoes were in the bag I’ve decided to use them (and it was ok).

The start was from Klausen-Leopoldsdorf and if you go there from Vienna you need to somehow come to Baden. We went with a train.

In Baden we catched the bus 459 (but you can discuss with the drivers if there is a better one) and stepped of in the village Klausen-Leopoldsdorf.

We had to ask how to get to start so no help here. Sorry.

Basically you need to go to the highest hill (893 m) of the Wienerwald named Schöpfl. There is also a watching tower there, so obviously you need to climb it and enjoy the view.

The weather is sort of clear when we were up, so the view was really nice. No pics though. Had a shit of the mobile, so there 🙁

On our way back we passed or should I say visited (since we turned around then) Leopold Figl observatory which is situated at the Mitterschöpfl.

Then it is just a straight to the Klausen-Leopoldsdorf again, on the bus and of we go to Baden.

Oh, BTW – Baden is a nice small spa town, so you might even enjoy your time there if you are wandering around Austria.

And take care not to go to Baden Baden at least not if you want to come to Klausen-Leopoldsdorf 🙂

I forgot one important thing – the route is marked with a red signs on trees.