15 Things To Do In Vienna With Kids
Are you about to land at Vienna Airport? Vienna is well known for its amazing culture and historical heritage, and in fact, the whole Old Town is a UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site, which shows its importance in Viennese history. The town is also one of the world's music capitals and has been home to some amazing composers and artists. With around 100 museums dedicated to art, music, the natural world and other topics, Vienna is a great place to plan a vacation.
This city can be an amazing choice for a family trip too. There is such a huge variety of things to explore in Vienna that young and old kids can have a fun time. Consider leaving your bags in a safe space by using luggage storage in Vienna before you and the kids go walking around the Austrian capital.
Walk through the Museum of Illusions
This Vienna museum is dedicated to optical illusions and mind tricks. The exhibits displayed here use mirrors, altered perspective and other secret ways to trick your eyes into seeing something that isn't there.
The museum is small but hosts some pretty fun activities, from posters to spinning light displays. Even grown-ups can have fun here and it is a great place to take pictures for the family photo album. You can find the Museum of Illusions in the City Centre, just a short walk away from other main attractions.
Feel like royalty at Schönbrunn Palace
One of the most iconic spots in the city is the famous Schönbrunn Palace. The palace is beautiful and stands as an incredible work of architecture, and the gardens are stunning too. Seeing this landmark in person is a must for everyone visiting Vienna, but even kids can have fun here in the Kinder program.
Children who visit the palace can dress up in different medieval-themed clothes and they can choose to be royalty or middle-class. Once they help set up the imperial dining table the kids can learn all about the life and food of royals from centuries ago.
Eat torte at Demel
Speaking of food, if you and the little ones want to try some of the more modern dishes you can eat the delicious Viennese desserts at Demel. This shop has been in business since 1888 and they serve tasty strudels and cream cakes that the whole family will love.
The shop's kitchen is enclosed in glass which lets you look inside and see the treats and pastries being rolled out and iced right before your eyes. You can find this restaurant and others in Michaelerplatz square.
Get creative at ZOOM Children's Museum
This is definitely one of the city's best kids activities, especially for those that like to get their hands dirty. The museum has a couple of different exhibits that most kids love, like an art workshop, animated film studio, ocean-themed room and creative hands-on exhibitions.
This is a great place for young children to explore their talents and the fun activities offered here will encourage them to think and learn. This is the first children's museum ever built in Austria and has been a favorite among tourists and local families since 1994.
See Amazing Creatures at Haus des Meeres
If you and the kids like aquatic animals or reptiles, you will have to stop by this aquarium and terrarium. You can see sharks, fish, sea turtles and other creatures in the tropical seawater section, or boa constrictors, crocodiles and poisonous snakes in the other exhibits.
Haus der Meeres even has an enclosure where you can observe tropical monkeys and birds flying between branches. If you go during feeding time you can watch from safely behind the glass while the handlers feed the animals.
Blast to the past at Time Travel Vienna
This is one of the newest attractions found in the City Centre and is quickly becoming one of the best activities for families. Go here to take a journey through the history of Vienna, all the way back from when it began to the present day.
The establishment features 5D animated shows that keep you engaged using virtual reality, special effects and animation. On your adventure through time, you will visit a WWII raid shelter and plague pit. This is a fun way for the family to learn about Viennese history.
Get up close with bugs at the Butterfly House
Locally known as Schmetterling Haus, this small conservatory is a great spot for families to spend an afternoon around plants and insects. You can get up close with incredible butterflies of all sizes and colors, and some might even land on you if you're lucky.
You can watch them fly about the room, relax on plants or hatch from cocoons. The Schmetterling Haus is located in Josefsplatz square and is open every day of the week all year round.
Take a ride at Prater Amusement Park
This is one of the oldest and largest amusement parks in Vienna and home to one of the city's iconic landmarks. ReinsenRad is also called the Giant Ferris Wheel of Vienna and was built all the way back in 1897. The wheel has been upgraded regularly, making it a safe and fun activity for tourists. You will be 65 meters in the sky when you reach the top, offering some of the best views of the city.
If you or your children like more intense rides you can try out the Boomerang roller coasters, or play on the bumper cars if you prefer more relaxing entertainment.
See the animals at Schönbrunn Zoo
Visiting the zoo is one of the best things to do in Vienna with kids. It is home to lots of different animals including the endangered Giant Panda. Aside from seeing some adorable and amazing animals, Schönbrunn Zoo has an aquarium exhibit with an underwater tunnel and a terrarium with snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies.
Kids will love exploring the on-site adventure playground or watching the staff feed the sea lions. In the giant rainforest house, you will find creatures and vegetation similar to that of a real rainforest. Some of the animals you could see here include birds, otters, fruit bats and lizards.
Take a carriage ride around Old Town
While your family is out exploring the city you are sure to come across some of the horse-drawn carriages. The fiaker offers a traditional way to see the city and can give you a guided tour that even the younger kids will enjoy. You can choose between long or short rides, depending on your budget and how long the kids want to sit still.
Hop aboard one of the elegant coaches to see the city in a new way. The experience is complete with friendly coachmen dressed in costume, beautiful horses and comfortable seating. You can start one of the rides at either Michaelerplatz Square or Stephansdom Square.
See something cool at the Natural History Museum
Kids and terrific museums definitely go together! If you visit Vienna, the Natural History Museum will have to be at the top of your bucket list. This establishment is full of things that children will enjoy, from the dinosaur hall to interactive video displays. The building began its collection in 1750 and has some very old artifacts, like the famous Venus of Willendorf statue that is an estimated 29,000 years old.
You can wander around the building at your own pace, or find the top 100 exhibits using a guidebook from the shop. Kids get in for free and adults can buy tickets for an affordable price. End your visit with a souvenir from the gift shop, or continue on to the Art History Museum that is found right next door.
Get a snack at Zanoni & Zanoni
Zanoni & Zanoni is the perfect place for the family to stop for a sweet treat. This is another local cake shop that also sells ice cream and gelato. They offer several delicious flavors like tutti-frutti, cherry, hazelnut and vanilla.
The cafe has two locations, but the main shop can be found in Lugeck near the Johannes Gutenberg Monument. After grabbing your snack, take a short walk around the area to see what other activities are nearby.
Watch horses dance at the Spanish Riding School
This is one of the best activities offered by Vienna tourism and can be enjoyed by both adults and kids. If you come for the morning practices you can see the white stallions do impressive jumps and dressage movements that will look like dancing.
You can get tickets for a grand tour of the stables to meet the horses up close. The arena is gorgeous with hanging chandeliers and ornately decorated walls but the real stars of the riding school are the Lipizzaner stallions.
Explore the Technical Museum
This museum focuses on science and technology and offers a great hands-on experience to all of its guests. Younger kids will have lots of fun in the MiniXplore section of the museum while adults and older children will be more interested in the In Motion exhibits.
You will find machines like planes, cars and trains here accompanied by displays on how they work. In total there are 12 areas dedicated to topics relating to physics, work and energy. There are lots of things to explore here and temporary displays pop up now and then too, so you will always have something new to discover.
Watch a show at Schönbrunn Palace Marionette Theater
This Vienna marionette theater, or locally known as the Marionettentheater Schloss Schönbrunn, is a top activity when kids visit the city. The shows put on here range from old Viennese folk stories to popular fairy tales like Aladdin or Hansel and Gretel. The theater also performs its own unique shows.
Presentations are offered in several languages, but the performances and lifelike puppets are worthy of a visit on their own. The productions often tell tales about the royal family, like their show called Sisi's Secret which is a musical about Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
What are the best family activities in Vienna?
Best Things to do with Older Children
Demel offers delicious local desserts that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but older guests might be able to appreciate the food more.
The Technical Museum
Vienna's Technical Museum can be fun for everyone, although younger children might be confined to the play areas whereas older kids can understand more of the exhibits.
The Spanish Riding School
This is a great attraction to visit when vacationing in Vienna but some of the younger guests might get bored, making it a better choice for older kids.
The whole family can have fun at the Butterfly House, but since there will be lots of walking it might be better suited to grown children. Build up an appetite and then look for a fabulous Vienna brunch.
Time Travel Vienna
Time Travel Vienna is a great educative activity and mature audiences might get more out of the experience.
Best Things to do with Younger Children
Schönbrunn Palace Marionette Theater
The marionette theater is full of animated voices, music and puppets, making it the perfect activity for younger kids.
Everyone can enjoy visiting the zoo, especially the little ones who will get to meet some animals that have come from around the world.
Zanoni & Zanoni
Zanoni & Zanoni has a large variety of dessert and snack choices so even the pickiest of eaters will find something that they like here.
Haus der Meeres
The Haus der Meeres has exhibits featuring all kinds of creatures and young visitors will be mesmerized by the different land and aquatic animals.
Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusions in Vienna is exciting and entertaining for everyone in the family, whether young or old.
Free Things to do with Kids
Prater Amusement Park
The Prater Amusement Park is free to enter and explore although some individual rides, like the giant Ferris wheel, might cost money.
Some events hosted here will require tickets, but walking around the palace grounds and gardens is completely free.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum offers free entry for guests under 18 and prices are affordable for grown-ups too, making it an optimal choice for a family outing.
ZOOM Children's Museum
Similarly, the ZOOM Children's Museum offers free admission for kids and one accompanying adult in most of their exhibits, and you can get a good deal on family packages too.
You can explore the Old Town to your heart's content free of charge, although some extra activities, like carriage rides, can have additional costs.
Planning a Great Family Vacation in Vienna
These are just some of the things that you can do in Vienna with kids, and once you reach the town you will discover even more things to do – many of them for free. If you are here during the Christmas holidays you can visit one of the local Christmas markets, or take the family to see a performance by the famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It can be expensive to plan a family vacation especially if you have more than one child, but if you do your research you can find easy ways to save money while visiting Austria's capital city.