The best things to do in Vienna

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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 Hapsburg’s Royals created a city of palaces and buildings that ooze class, regality and stature. Some of their buildings and architecture 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. Likewise, 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 Hotellook and Agoda to find the best prices in Vienna.

Luxury: Located in the city centre under a 10-minute 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 organise tourist activities for you

Mid Range Premium TV Channels, Bar, Restaurant and 24-hour front desk are just some 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 apartment alternative for your stay

If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Vienna, then an apartment 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 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

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.

Get the Go City Chicago Pass

Get digital delivery of the Go City Vienna Pass to your device for easy use. The Go City Vienna Pass offers the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility. Save on admission to 40+ top attractions and tours including Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour and Madame Tussauds. Multi entry passes such as this are great for families visiting Chicago. There are 2 different passes to choose from. Buy your Go City Vienna Pass today.

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

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.

Prater chair  ride in Vienna
Vienna sightseeing must take you to 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 that 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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Schönbrunn 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 in 1743. Today this sprawling palace complex, declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1996, is one of Vienna’s most popular attractions.

Royal Palace in Vienna
Visiting Schonbrunn is one of the best things to do in Vienna

The palace contains 1441 rooms. Guided 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 will familiarise you with the opulence of the imperial age and the lives of the Hapsburg royals who lived in the palace. The palace often plays home to music in the shape of a classical concert.

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 that 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 with the palace separating the areas. exploring the Belvedere gardens is one of the best free things to see in Vienna. The Belvedere palace and gardens were built during a period of Hapsburg rule.

a pond in front of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna
Belvedere is one of the best places to see in Vienna

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 that 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.

5 things not to miss in Vienna

Just after you exit at the bottom gate, you will find Salm Bräu. This beer hall, the microbrewery is a Long-standing venue with wooden benches, serving its own beers & freshly cooked home-style dishes. It is one of the Vienna hidden gems to find

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.

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Visiting Vienna: St Stephens Cathedral

If you only have a day in Vienna, then St Stephan’s is a must. St Stephan’s (Stephansdom) is now one of Vienna’s most recognisable buildings and major tourist attractions. There have been churches on this site since 1147. The church that tourists flock to and locals pray in was started in the 13th century. Construction of St Stephan’s took 65 years.

St Stephans Church in Vienna
St Stephan’s is one of the iconic Vienna tourist attractions

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.

5 things not to miss in Vienna
Any Vienna tours should include St Stephans

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 Palace

Vienna treasury
Baby cradle from the Hapsburgs

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.

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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.

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.

Address Symbol
Madame Tussauds Wien
Riesenradplatz
1020 Wien
Opening times symbol
10am – 6pm daily
10 Euro if booked online, 25 Euro if you walk up to the door

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 pops up style. The Vienna Naschmarkt has been a permanent fixture and landmark in Vienna since the 16th century. The Naschmarkt is where east meets west, north meets south in a melting pot of meats, vegetables 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.

Try a café located adjacent to the market for cake and coffee. Order a Sachertorte, a traditional pastry of Austria made of chocolate and whipped cream with a thin layer of apricot jam, You will not be disappointed with a Viennese coffee house.

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 its 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.

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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 your perfect stay in Vienna.

Booking.com

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.

You can compare and book your stay on Trip Advisor and Expedia

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

The best things to do in Vienna

30 thoughts on “The best things to do in Vienna”

  1. I love Vienna: I went there as a kid and it stayed as my favourite city for years. I never saw the treasure though, looks amazing

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  2. Vienna is pretty high on my list of must-see places and the Prater just made it shoot higher! I love ferris wheels!

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  3. Last year when I was in Europe, I wanted to visit Vienna but somehow was not able to do. After reading your post I feel like I should visited the place. It really beautiful and awesome city 🙂

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  4. Our kids have loved the Prater since there were no lineups, and also it was a nice break from other touristy spots in Vienna.

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  5. The palace, the garden, the crown jewels and the cathedral. Gosh! You have tempted me to head there asap. Lovely tips to go along with it. Thanks

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  6. Wow, so basically you go to Vienna and experience the most lavish of all places and then realize how different we live today. That’s so cool. We’re suckers for palace tours.

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  7. I love Vienna, we went just before I had the kids and took my MIL, its a really accessible city isn’t it. Stunning architecture.

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  8. Travel snob alert: I actually was not a fan of Vienna! I know, I know. It was too museumy, palacy and upscale for me! lol. I much prefer the Austrian Alps or Salzburg to the posh feeling I got from Vienna

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  9. Oh the landmarks on your list I’ve only seen Schonbrunn. Managed to do a tour and visit its zoo on my very short trip to Vienna. Would love to go back and explore some more sometime soon.

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  10. Phew, I’m glad I won’t be the only negative Nancy about Vienna…Thank you LeAnna. I visited Vienna a few months ago and just wasn’t a big fan. The vibe was too snooty and upscale for my tastes. I also found the city to be generally tourist unfriendly, with too few signs even indicating what building I was actually in front of. I did enjoy the visit to Schonbrunn Palace and loved tasting out some cakes, but overall I was glad to move on. I’m glad you and your family had a great time in Vienna. Perhaps one day, I’ll have the time to give it another chance.

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  11. I had seen so many photos of the Prater and had no idea it was in Vienna as they were mostly stock photos on ads etc how funny to find out!

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  12. Thanks for sharing! We are heading to Vienna this summer and it’s nice to learn about some of the great things the city has to offer. We are hoping to check out the Schonbrunn Palace–I can’t believe how many rooms there are!! The Imperial Treasury also sounds great, as well. We are getting really excited to visit Vienna soon!

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  13. I had no idea Vienna was so fancy! The Prater sounds like a fun place to spend some time. Belvedere Gardens look beautiful, and even better that admission is free!

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  14. Always wanted to go to Vienna just to go to Schonbrunn. So beautiful, so… yeah as you say regal. I’m sure more so in person. Someday!

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  15. We don’t know Vienna yet, I must say that I am more a “mediterranean” person 😉 Anyway I keep this in mind, thanks ! (and the pictures are so great!!)

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  16. Great list! I was just in Vienna last year but unfortunately I missed out on visiting The Hofburg. We were there during the Christmas markets and it was magical.

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  17. Darn, it there goes everything, I wanted to do in Vienna. Love the photo of St Stephens Cathedral. I will need to visit it when I head back that way.

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  18. Somehow it didn’t take my comment. Sorry… so here I try again. I really liked your list about Vienna as an Austrian. Although I was wondering why you thought the city is so German to you? You meant Austrian? Anyways, great tips.

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  19. Love Vienna. I think its the only where I saw actual wolves in a zoo. Big fierce animals, wolves. And as a fan of the Viennese Secession, I find the city just great. Haven’t taken my girls yet but hopefully, one day!

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  20. Vienna is quite high on my list of places for second visit. Mark, these are some good tips for first time visitors and they have tempted me again. 🙂

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  21. I’ve always wanted to visit Vienna! Thanks for this list. I will keep in mind the items there for when I finally get to go visit some day. 🙂

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  23. I was looking for a blog where I can get the best offbeat things to do in Vienna on my next trip thanks for your suggestions.

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