Vienna, Austria with family presents a unique opportunity to experience European culture in a walkable and accessible city for children of all ages. This day helps you take in a great overview of the city, as well as many of its historical landmarks and some fantastic educational opportunities. All of these activities recommended for ages 8 and up.
The type of vacation we typically choose is luxury. For our activities, we like luxury and often stay at the finest hotels, but we are also adventurous and love off the beaten path types of experiences and always seek them out. We aren’t bothered by very “local” experiences anywhere and think these are very important to our vacation. We love adventure. We also like a mixture of regular, touristic and organized places. We enjoy hiking and outdoorsy activities. We enjoy museums, markets and other activities geared towards children. We like to maximize each day by seeing as much as possible.
All of these items recommended for ages 8 and up. Kids will get a healthy dose of history and culture. While certainly not encompassing everything there is to see in Vienna along these lines, we feel that this is a nice way to get an overview of the city and really experience the rich history of Austria with your children.
A SPECIAL NOTE: We recommend a driver/tour guide for this sort of day. It will help provide greater context for what you are seeing, make getting around simpler, and ensure you make the most of your time here. We recommend the guide we used:
A – 1020 Wien
Tel.: +43 699 1 925 15 24
From Our Family: Walter is really knowledgeable and friendly, and he really knows his way around Vienna.
Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
Phone: +43 1 81113239
Hours: 8:30 AM – 5 PM Daily
Admission: Adults € 12.90 – € 18.90, Children (6-18) € 9.50 – € 12, Students (19-25) € 11.90 – € 17.60 (All ranges reflect different tour packages, you can book tickets online)
Schönbrunn Palace is the former imperial summer residence of the Austrian royal family. The Baroque-style palace has over 1,400 rooms and is deemed one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in the entire country. The palace represents hundreds of years of history, and its additions, renovations and other changes represent a unique view into the shifting tastes and aspirations over the course of the Habsburg rule. The name means “beautiful spring” and the gardens (including a maze) are an integral part of the experience. Besides beautiful sculptures, the garden features a Gloriette, which creates a focal point for the garden that today features a cafe and observation deck – offering some of the best panoramic views of the city. There is a summer concert series as well as a number of Mozart-centered performances in the palace’s many concert halls throughout the year.
From Our Family:
This palace was absolutely beautiful. There was so much to see and to do here, and it really offered some great insight into the way the Austrian royals lived and provided an important slice of history. This is definitely the place to dedicate more time to, after getting an overview of the city, and take it as an opportunity to dive deeper into the local history and culture. As for the 3 kinds of tours offered, we recommend choosing one of the “half palace tours” because the building is so sprawling that it will otherwise likely be too much for the kids. Also, make a point to spend time in the beautiful gardens (though in early March when we went, there is not much to see in this way). The great zoo at Schönbrunn is worth seeing as well.
The rest of the day can be spent wandering around the old city part of Vienna with its lovely lanes and streets. Now that you have covered the lion’s share of the history, take in the feel of Vienna and get a sense of what it looked like in the time of Mozart and Freud. The sites and attractions are important, but for any family vacation it is also key to experience a city on a more local level. Your day will feel more complete and your experience more memorable if you leave time to go beyond the museums and statues, to wander at your own pace and simply enjoy the city. In this way, children will walk away having learned some of the key facts but also having an idea and impression of Vienna as it strikes them. Part of vacationing should be about helping children feel more worldly, and this is a great opportunity for that. Also, be sure to leave time to linger for some coffee and strudel (or the delicious local delicacy known as “Sachertorte”) at one of the many charming cafes. There are a host of beautiful shops as well. This is your chance to create vacation memories as a family, enjoying each others’ company in a unique and beautiful setting.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a limited run show that is no longer in Vienna at the time of this article’s publishing. The show is on tour however, and you can see it in other cities across the globe by checking the schedule.
Planet Earth in Concert has toured extensively over the past 4 years, cities visited include: Los Angeles (World Premiere), Amsterdam, Atlanta, Baltimore, Bangkok, Birmingham, Cardiff, Chicago, Dallas, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sydney. The show brings together classical music and fantastic imagery for a truly unique experience. “Explore the wild and beautiful parts of the planet” through classical music as you watch a video to accompany the original score. Each sequence is meant to tell a story, and will help create a unique mood as you gaze upon the beauty of the planet as you are transported across it through the multimedia experience.
A Note for Parents, From Our Family: While the imagery and music are beautiful, parents should be aware that there are a few scenes of animals hunting other animals (at least 4 scenes). As such, this show is not recommended for children younger than 8, and even some older than 8 may get a little scared. You know your own children best, but exercise some discretion in choosing to take them to this show. The scenes are not bloody or gory, but they are a little tense. That being said, in a city with so many shows to see, we thought this one was great. Aside from the disclaimer we feel is important to share, we recommend it to families who are interested in the concept and it was a great way for us to wind down the day.
Interested in booking or planning a vacation to Vienna right now? Check out some of the offers currently available for airfare and hotels at Kayak, Orbitz and Priceline. See more lodging options at Hotels.com and Hilton. Get started on your next trip today!
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