The first thing that struck me about Vienna was how German it felt. The way it looked, the way it worked. It was organised, it felt safe. Vienna is so royal, the Hapsburgs Royals created a city of palaces and buildings that ooze class, regality and stature. Some of their buildings have to be in the top things to d in Vienna,
The metro is easy to use and the city is easy to navigate. There is plenty to do and the food is amazing. Vienna attractions are everywhere, and will you will easily find something for everyone in this city.
Know before you go. Our top Vienna travel tips
Travelling to Vienna can be such an enriching experience for the whole family. There are so many things to do in Vienna and having the best place to stay in Vienna and wander is extremely important. Here we’ve got some information to get you planning your family vacation to Vienna to make it completely hassle-free.
Where to stay in Vienna
You’ll never be short of options for your accommodation in Vienna. You find a range of hotels, apartments, and hostels. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families, and groups on every budget. If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Booking.com and Expedia to find the best prices in Vienna.
Luxury: Located in the city centre under 10 minutes walk to the Hofburg and St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the Radisson Blue Style Hotel. The Radisson features an onsite restaurant, bar and fitness centre for your use. The 24-hour front desk can organize tourist activities for you
Mid Range Premium Tv Channels, Bar, Restuarant and 24-hour front desk are just some of the features at ibis Wien Mariahilf. Located southwest of downtown Vienna, the hotel is surrounded by shopping opportunities, food and beverage options
Budget: Each room includes a shower/toilet, a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer, and Bed linen. MEININGER Hotel Vienna Downtown Franz. This Vienna accommodation has a games room and guest kitchen. Car Parking, tourist information and bike hire is available
Vienna Airbnb alternative for your stay
If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Vienna then Air BnB is the best choice for you and your family. There are so many options for singles, families, and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect Vienna Airbnb family accommodation
How to get to Vienna Austria
Vienna is one of the premier tourist destinations in Central Europe. Vienna is serviced by long distant buses, and planes all bring people daily to the city.
- Vienna is the capital city of Austria. Vienna International Airport is 18 kilometres from the city centre. The main carriers at Keflavík are Austrian Airlines and Eurowings. You can check the prices of international flights to Austria with Kiwi Flights.
- Bus tickets to Vienna with Flixbus start at € 2,20. You can travel directly to Vienna from 208 destinations by Flixbus. Book your bus ticket to Vienna today
- Trains to Vienna will generally arrive at the city’s Hauptbahnhof. Trains arrive from all over Europe daily. Book your trains with Omio, Omio features free cancellations and multilingual customer service
- You can easily drive to Vienna with major highway connections all over Europe. You can pick up a rental car at Vienna Airport.
How to get around Vienna
- Vienna’s comprehensive and unified public transport network is serviced by trains, trams, buses, the underground (U-Bahn) and the S-Bahn regional trains.
- Tickets and passes for Wiener Linien services (U-Bahn, trams and buses) can be purchased at U-Bahn stations and on trams and buses.
- The Vienna City Card entitles you to free public transport and major discounts at over 200 Vienna attractions. For the latest prices check here!
- The Vienna Hop on hop off sightseeing bus is another great way to get around the city. It will drop you and pick you up at the major sights around town without having to navigate the public transport system. For more information search here!
Using your phone in Vienna
Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact with who you need is a top priority. Plan your trip out and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data, and calls.
Things not to miss in Vienna
Everywhere you go there is another amazing building with history, dating back hundreds of years waiting to be explored. We spent 4 days in Vienna and loved every minute of the time we spent in this amazing city that straddles either side of the mighty Danube River.
The Prater Amusement Park is a Vienna institution. The Prater Ferris wheel is easily distinguishable as one of the most recognised symbols of Vienna. The giant Ferris wheel was erected in 1827 and since then generations of Viennese residence plus hoards of tourists have enjoyed the Prater.
As well as the Giant Ferris Wheel many attractions such as carousels, halls of mirrors and laughter, ghost trains and roller coasters grace the grounds of The Wurstelprater as the park is still lovingly referred to. The sheer size of the Prater is amazing, think a city block and more.
This Vienna Amusement Park is not just a fun park, it’s filled with green open spaces filled with walkers and cyclists as well as joggers and riders. Children have fun on the playground, race their BMX’s, roller skate and throw themselves into the sand on the beach volleyball courts. In winter Prater park Vienna has snowmaking machines turn the park into one big snowball fighting arena.
Where to eat at the Prater
Summer nights find people strolling the fairgrounds, enjoying the attractions, sideshows and food on offer. Talking about food The Prater has 2 specialities that are a must for world food lovers.
The Pork Knuckle at The Schweizerhaus beer garden is of legendary proportions and comes served at the 2kg minimum in size and The Langos, a dough speciality of Hungarian origins.
Family Travel Tip:
Food and drinks were really reasonable so we didn’t really take any from home. The one thing to remember is that you do have to pay to use the toilets there so keep some change on hand!
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Schonbrunn Palace and Zoo
Regal, yes Regal is the word I most closely associated with Vienna. Schonbrunn is the epitome of regal in Vienna. The palace you see now was built and remodelled during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa from 1743. Today this sprawling palace complex, declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1996, is one of Vienna’s most popular attractions.
The palace contains 1441 rooms. Tours run throughout the opening hours, you can take the Imperial tour and the Grand tour. The short tour of the regal rooms in the palace which will familiarise you with the opulence of the imperial age and the lives of the Hapsburg royals who lived in the palace.
The gardens at the palace are 1.2 kilometres east to west and 1 kilometre north to south. The Garden and park area are free of charge to enter and are popular with walkers and joggers. If you explore the park you should make the walk to the Gloriette on the crest of the hill. It has a viewing platform which exposes the park and a panoramic view of Vienna.
Family Travel Tip:
The Vienna Zoo is located at Schonbrunn Palace. The Vienna Zoo has the most successful Giant Panda breeding programme outside of China. In the gardens, there is a maze which is fun for both kids and adults to explore. Schonbrunn Palace, Gardens and Zoo require a whole day to explore.
Vienna points of interest – The Belvedere
The Belvedere Garden is located in a suburb of Vienna Austria. The complex consists of an Upper Belvedere and a Lower Belvedere. The Belvedere palace and gardens were built during a period of Hapsburg rule.
The Hapsburg’s were responsible for a period of extensive construction in Vienna. At the time, Vienna was the Imperial Capital of the Austrian Empire. The building was completed around 1723 and the Belvedere Gardens were opened.
There are a contemporary art museum and another gallery which displays a permanent collection of Austrian art. The Palace and Belvedere Gardens were designed by Bavarian garden designer Dominique Girard.
The Gardens follow a concept that copies the French design of arranged trees and hedges, sculpture, fountains and cascades. Tours are available for those wanting to visit the inside of the Belvedere.
Family Travel Tips:
Belvedere Garden is great for the whole family. Our kids enjoyed the sculptures, waterfalls and maze-like hedges. Marley enjoyed drawing as you can see! Belvedere Garden is also good on the family budget as it costs nothing for entry to gardens.
Do I need travel insurance in Austria?
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Get your travel insurance now to protect your epic holiday in Austria from any small hiccup.
For Australian travellers, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance
For worldwide travellers, we recommend AXA Travel Insurance
Visiting Vienna: St Stephens Cathedral
St Stephans is now one of Vienna’s most recognisable buildings and major tourist attraction. There have been churches on this site since 1147. The church that tourists flock to and locals pray in was started in 1339. Construction of St Stephans took 65 years.
The feature spire on this church stands at 136 metres high. During wars and sieges, the spire served as an observation tower for soldiers guarding against attacks on the city. Up until 1955, the tower was manned every night looking out for fires in the city.
The soot from the city over the centuries has darkened the once white exterior of this amazing Vienna monument. St Stephans cathedral has 23 bells that toll at different times for different occasions.
One very famous Ludwig Von Beethoven finally discovered his total deafness while in the cathedral when he witnessed birds flying out of the church because of the bells but Beethoven himself could not hear the bells toll.
Another famous musician Mozart was married in this church, his children were christened here and his funeral was held here. Mozart served as the music director of the church just prior to his death. The inside of the church contains 18 alters and many chapels.
There are tombs, catacombs and crypts in St Stephans. Famous royals from the Hapsburgs dynasty and Bishops are interned in the church.
Family Travel Tip:
We found taking the girls there after a long day was not the best idea. I felt like I was always saying shhh, shhh to the girls, as I was concerned we were upsetting the locals while they prayed. I would recommend going in one at a time if your kids have had a big day or starting there while they are in good moods.
The Imperial Treasury – The Hofburg
The Hofburg in the city centre house the Imperial Crown Jewels of the Austrian Empire. Relics and treasures from the 10th century through to the 19th century are on display in this permanent exhibition. This exhibition represents over 100 years of European history. The Imperial Treasury is divided into two collections spanning numerous rooms. The collections are the Secular collection and the Ecclesiastical collection. The Secular collection displays Imperial artefacts from the House of Habsburg, including jewels, crowns, orbs and robes. Treasuries were propaganda machines built to legitimise power and wealth.
The Ecclesiastical collection contains numerous religious treasures, including relics and objects ascribed to the private ownership of Saints. The collection was amazing we spent over 3 hours looking at the displays.
Highlights of the Ecclesiastical collection include The Holy Lance (the lance that was supposed to have pierced Jesus’s side), parts of the true cross, The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, The Imperial Crown of the Austrian Empire, The Coronation Robes of the Kingdom of Lombardy and the cradle of the king of Rome just to name a few.
The religious relics at the Vienna Hofburg were a real highlight for me. I am not religious at all but I love religious history and to possibly see tangible artefacts were amazing. The robes, crowns and jewels were amazing.
It shows what a privileged and extravagant life these royals lived
Family Travel Tip:
There are no food and drink allowed in some sections of the exhibition. We asked the security guards where we were able to give the girls something to drink and they happily helped us. Having the audio guides kept the kids happier as the exhibition is extensive.
Must do’s in Vienna Madame Tussauds
The popular Madame Tussauds chain of wax museums is open in Vienna. Madame Tussauds Vienna is packed full of international figures that everyone will know including Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie. You will find well know footballers and skiers mixing it with Napoleon and Anne Frank. Madame Tussauds is fast becoming one of the best Vienna attractions to see. Madame Tussauds is one of the top things to do in Vienna in Winter.
The Vienna Naschmarkt
One of the best things to do in Vienna is to visit the market. Vienna is home to many markets both permanent and pop up style. The Vienna Naschmarkt has been a permanent fixture in Vienna for over 120 years. The Naschmarkt is where east meets west, north meets south in a melting pot of food and cuisines for everyone.
Try coming to the market for your lunch you won’t be disappointed. You will also find some amazing food in the shops that surround the Naschmarkt in Vienna. On Saturdays, the Naschmarkt is also home to the cities famous flea market where everyone looks for a bargain
Bike riding in Vienna
Vienna bike riding is a popular family activity when travelling with teenagers. Bike riding allows you to experience your location either in town or out in the surrounding areas. You will find bike tours are the best way to go if you want to get an up-close and personal experience of the city. You will either have a guide to point out all the important attractions or a map to follow. The bike tours will take you on a Vienna family 2 wheeled adventure. Alternatively, you can find locations that hire bikes and let you explore on your own.
Weather in Vienna
Vienna is known for its mild climate with it’s warm and pleasant summers and winters that can drop below freezing. Vienna attracts a high number of sunny days each year making it an ideal destination for sun lovers. In summer expect, for July and August, to have average high temperatures of 24°C in the afternoons and lows 14°C during the nights. Temperatures can on occasion exceed 30°C. In a Vienna Summer.
In winter; from December through to February, the temperatures drop but are still relatively mild in comparison to some other cities in northern Europe. Daily highs are only around 4°C, while the average low temperatures drop to below zero. January is the coldest month of the year in Vienna, while December and January both have average low temps below zero.
Where are the best places to stay in Vienna
At the top of the article, we suggested some accommodation choices. If you are looking for a wider variety of choices please find below an interactive map from Booking.com for you to find you perfect stay in Vienna.
Popular cheap hotels in Vienna include Boutiquehotel Stadthalle, Das Capri. Ihr Wiener Hotel, and Hotel Austria. Hotel Sans Souci Wien, Hotel Kaiserhof Wien, and Hotel Altstadt Vienna all received great reviews from families travellers in Vienna.
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Vienna Austria. There are so many things to do in Vienna with kids, singles and couples. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Austria click through to our Austria Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.
More travel inspiration for your trip to Austria
About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband, traveler, and chief destination marketing manager at Wyld Family Travel. Having been to over 35 countries worldwide he knows a thing or 2 about traveling with kids and now traveling with teenagers. He has been writing first-hand, expert travel guides on this website for over 6 years and has featured on numerous other popular well-known websites. When he is not talking, dreaming, or planning travel he can be found working in disability support.