Looking for things to do in Vienna with kids? Austria’s capital is an ideal destination for families and we’ve rounded up the best things in Vienna for kids.
Vienna is a beautiful city filled with plenty of culture, history, and stunning architecture. It’s also a great place to explore with children, as there are plenty of activities that will keep them entertained and engaged. From outdoor activities to kid-friendly museums, here are some of the best things to do in Vienna with kids.
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Best Things to Do in Vienna with kids
1. Haus des Meeres
A visit to the Haus des Meeres, meaning “House of the Sea”, is one of the best things to do in Vienna with children. It was easily the highlight, at least for my kids, of our time in Vienna.
Originally a World War II flak tower, the building has now been converted into an aquarium and terrarium with over 10,000 animals from all over the world. Each floor has a different theme, ranging from monkeys and birds to crocodiles, turtles, snakes and even sharks!
Walk through the glass “Atlantic Tunnel” on the lower floor and feel as if you’re in the middle of the ocean.
Other floors feature different types of snakes, chameleons, piranhas, and monkeys. Other interesting creatures that my kids seemed to know about, but I hadn’t heard of before, included a gila monster, an inland taipan and a reticulated python.
There’s also a 2 story area with a viewing bridge where you can see the komodo dragons and another two story area where birds are flying freely while Adam, the Gavial crocodile rests in the water below.
And be sure to stop and see the giant shark aquarium, where you can walk all the way around, watching the sharks and plenty of other fish swim past. Check ahead for days and times and plan your visit to see the shark feeding!
Then head up to the rooftop where you can step outside for 360° views across Vienna. There’s also a restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view.
The Haus des Meeres is one of the more popular attractions in Vienna for kids and families, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s best to try and visit through the week if possible.
2. Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn)
The Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most visited attractions in Austria and it’s easy to see why!
This grand palace was originally built in the 1600’s as a hunting lodge and then became the summer residence of the Habsburgs for over 200 years. Now the palace and grounds are open for visitors to explore and there is plenty to do here with kids.
The palace offers guided tours of the extravagant palace or you can pick up a free audio guide and explore the rooms on your own.
And the Children’s Museum in Schönbrunn Palace is a lot of fun for kids. From costumes to dress up in and toys to play with, this is a great place for kids to learn about what life was like at court during the 18th Century. It makes history fun and is hands-down one of the best things to do in Vienna with kids!
Also on the palace grounds is the Schönbrunn Zoo, which is the world’s oldest zoo and home to over 700 species.
Known for its giant pandas, the zoo is also home to koalas, orangutans, Siberian tigers, African elephants and meerkats. There’s also a rainforest house, monkey house, coral reef display, polarium and the polardom, where polar bears dive below the water.
As it’s a large zoo with plenty of walking, a stroller or wagon is a good idea so little legs don’t get too tired.
Also at Schönbrunn, the Strudel Show is a fun experience that kids will love. Learn how to make strudel dough and the secret ingredients in the filling. The show is 20 minutes long and includes a recipe card to take home, as well as a sample.
The Strudel show, as well as entrance to the zoo and the grand tour of Schönbrunn are included in the Vienna PASS, but you can also purchase skip-the-line tickets separately if not purchasing a Vienna PASS.
Schönbrunn Palace is a fantastic place to visit with kids, and with plenty to do, it’s easy to spend the whole day there.
4. Imperial Butterfly House (Schmetterlingshaus)
The Imperial Butterfly House, known as Schmetterlinghaus, is actually part of the Hofburg Palace complex, at the edge of Burggarten Park.
The large greenhouse is filled with butterflies from all over the world, as well as tropical plants and waterfalls.
It’s a fantastic place to visit any time of the year, or a great idea if you’re wondering what to do with kids in Vienna on a rainy or chilly day.
5. House of Music (Haus der Musik)
Vienna is known as the classical music capital of the world, and the House of Music is a great place to introduce kids to the city’s musical heritage.
Kids can try their hand at conducting, compose a waltz by rolling a dice or try out the stairs that work like a piano. And toddlers will love bringing a picture of Mozart to life as they make different facial expressions and move their head.
6. The Spanish Riding School
The famous Spanish Riding School has been training horses and riders for over 400 years, and it’s a unique experience that can only be found in Vienna.
The school is known for its Lipizzaner horses, which are trained in traditional dressage styles, and the performances are truly awe-inspiring.
Tickets can be purchased for a performance of the Lipizzans, but as it’s one of the top things to do in Vienna, be sure to book tickets in advance, as they are often sold out months ahead of time.
Visitors can also take a guided tour of the stables to get up close and personal with the horses, or you can watch the practice sessions in the mornings, which is great for young kids, as you can leave whenever you, or they, have had enough.
**Kids under 4 are not admitted (for safety reasons).
3. Time Travel Vienna
Bringing Vienna’s past to life, Time Travel Vienna is a fun way to learn about the city’s history. Travel back through the past 200 years and experience what life was like in Vienna during Roman times, the Middle Ages and the 20th century.
Learn about Austria’s famous royal family as you’re introduced to the Habsburg family. Meet characters like Emperor Franz Josef, Maria Theresa and Empress Elisabeth, and hear about everyday imperial life.
You’ll also hear from the famous composers Mozart and Strauss, and experience what it would have felt like in a World War II air raid shelter.
The 3D experience is just under an hour and is available in several languages.
Time Travel Vienna is a great way to teach kids about the city’s history and make learning fun.
7. Natural History Museum
Located in the Museumquartier in the center of Vienna, the Natural History Museum is a great place to take kids.
With over 100, 000 aritfacts, from giant insects to huge diamonds and dinosaur bones, there are plenty of activities and interactive exhibits to keep them entertained.
Check out the huge allosauraus skeleton or the giant fossilized dinosaur poop from millions of years ago!
There’s also a meteorite room with world’s largest meteorite collection and a video simulator to simulate a meteor strike.
And entrance is free for kids!
8. Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad)
No visit to Vienna would be complete without a ride on the giant ferris wheel in the Prater!
This iconic landmark in Vienna dates back to 1897 is the oldest of its kind in the world and offers fantastic views of the city.
In addition to the ferris wheel, there are hundreds of other rides and stalls to enjoy. Entrance to the Prater amusement park is free but the ferris wheel and other rides require tickets.
Other popular attractions include Madame Tussaud’s, the Vienna Chocolate Museum and the Vienna Planetarium.
The Riesenrad is also home to one of Vienna’s Christmas markets, the Winter Market at Riesenradplatz.
9. Museum of Technology (Technisches Museum)
Vienna’s Museum of Technology is a huge museum with lots to explore.
Multimedia presentations show how technology improvements have influenced our daily lives, from the early days of steam engines to the latest tech gadgets.
The museum is home to over 15,000 items ranging from a mining tour to a singing Tesla coil, where lightning bolts create sound and make the coil ‘sing’.
There’s also lots of big machines to explore and plenty of buttons to press and with toddler play areas as well as 30 interactive learning stations for older kids, there’s something for kids of all ages.
➡ Check out the Vienna PASS – a 1, 2, 3 or 6-day pass that gives you
free admission to 70+ attractions plus unlimited hop-on hop-off bus rides.
10. ZOOM Kindermuseum
A visit to ZOOM Kindermuseum, Austria’s first museum for kids, is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Vienna with kids.
With hands-on and interactive experiences, this is a fantastic place for kids to explore and learn.
Children are welcome to touch, feel, examine and ask questions as they play and learn through fun activities.
There are four different areas based on ages, including an interactive exhibit where kids learn about art, science, architechture and everyday culture, a zoom studio where kids work together with visual artists to explore various art techniques and an animated film studio where kids take on the roles of screen writers, directors, photographers and sound engineers.
Entry is timed and ticketed, and often sold out – be sure to book ahead!
Stadtpark is a large park located in the center of Vienna and it’s a great place to take the kids for a picnic, or just to run around and enjoy the fresh air.
In addition to the large green spaces, there are also gardens and a pond with ducks in the summer.
It’s also home to the John Strauss monument, which is possibly the most photographed site in vienna.
There’s also a large, fenced-in playground area for kids, which was one of the best that we found in Vienna.
And there’s a mobile coffee and espresso truck cart there as well, which is a bonus for the parents!
Vienna also boasts plenty of other great parks and play areas, from the grounds at Schönbrunn Palace or Belvedere Palace to the Volksgarten and Buggarten in the City Center.
In the summer, there’s swimming, boat rides and a beach on Danube Island.
More details can be found in this full post on the best parks and playgrounds in Vienna.
12. Ring Tram
Vienna’s historical centre is within ‘the Ring’, and the Ring Tram is a fun way to get around the city.
The tram’s route takes you on a loop around the old city, passing by imperial palaces, churches and parks, and it’s a great way to take in the sights – especially with kids, as they can see some of Vienna’s most iconic sights without tiring out their legs.
Tickets can be bought from the trams, or you can purchase a Vienna card for 24-hour unlimited travel on public transport around the city.
13. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
The Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing bus tour is a great way to get around the city and take in the sights.
This hop-on, hop-off tour takes you past all of the best things to see in Vienna with commentary in multiple languages.
There’s even a specific kids’ channel in German and English, where they can learn about the city’s history and listen to stories about the people and places of Vienna.
There are four different routes and tickets are available for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
It’s a great way to get to different destinations or take the entire ride to see the city.
*If you have the Vienna PASS (see below), the hop on, hop off bus is included in the pass.
Other Things to See in Vienna with Kids
St. Stephens’ Cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and a must see in Vienna, even with kids.
Built in the 12th century, you can take a guided tour or just explore the church and admire its architectural beauty.
The cathedral’s 463 steps can be a bit much for little ones, but the view from the top floor is certainly worth it – you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view.
It’s free to enter the cathedral but there is an entrance fee for the viewing platform at the top.
Rathausplatz is Vienna’s main public square, where you’ll find the City Hall and other important buildings as well as plenty of open spaces.
In the summer months, it’s a great place to take the kids for a picnic or to enjoy free movies and concerts.
In December, this is the home of the largest of the Christmas markets in Vienna, an illuminated light path and skating trail, as well as a ferris wheel and carousel for kids.
Once home to the Habsburgs, Austria’s imperial family until the end of World War II, the Hofburg Palace is now the official seat of Austria’s president.
What originally started as a fortified castle in the 13th century has been expanded over the centuries and today it’s one of the largest palace complexes in the world, with 19 courtyards, and over 2,600 rooms!
The palace grounds are open to the public and there are several great attractions inside the complex, including the Imperial Apartments and the Hofburg Treasury.
Explore the different rooms of the palace and the ‘Sisi Museum’ which houses personal items belonging to Empress Elisabeth (also known as Sisi), Vienna’s most famous empress.
There are also guided tours of the palace, where you can explore its grand corridors and lush gardens. The highlight of a visit here is the Imperial Silver Collection, one of the world’s largest collections of silver artifacts.
Tours are included in the Vienna PASS.
Opera House (Staatsoper)
One of Vienna’s iconic symbols, the Staatsoper is an imposing building and while it might not seem like the best place to visit with kids, you can’t visit Vienna without seeing it!
As one of the leading opera houses in the world, the Staatsoper features 350 performances each season. Children aged five and older are able to view regular performances, or there are also special children’s events offered for kids of all ages.
But you don’t have to attend a performance to experience the inside of the famous Opera House.
Guided tours of the Opera House take you inside where you can walk across the marble floors and under the impressive chandeliers, learn about the history of the building and get close to the stage where popular opera singers have performed.
Whether you take a guided tour of the Opera House or take in some live opera performances, it’s an unforgettable experience and shouldn’t be missed when visiting Vienna.
The palace complex at Belvedere Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Vienna’s most popular attractions.
With extensive gardens and two palaces, which are some of the most beautiful baroque buildings in Europe, Belvedere Palace is a great place to spend a day in Vienna.
Originally built as the summer palace for Prince Eugene of Savoy, and later the residence of Franz Ferdinand, Belvedere Palace is now open to the public and houses the world’s largest Klimt collection.
The Upper Palace is home to the famous artwork of Gustav Klimt, including his iconic painting, “The Kiss”.
And while some rooms have been turned into modern museum galleries, others have been left untouched since the 18th century, with ornate furniture, marble floors, numerous frescoes and statues, and impressive ceilings.
The Lower Palace and its surrounding gardens offer even more to explore with a beautiful orangery, grotto and fountain. The palace grounds provide plenty of room for children to run around and explore while parents enjoy a peaceful stroll through the park-like landscape.
There’s also a children studio where kids can draw, paint, dance and experiment with art. Or pick up a museum detective kit with 20 pages of puzzles and games to keep them engaged while you wander through Belvedere palace. Entrance is free for kids under 18.
And if you’re visiting Vienna in December, Belvedere Palace also hosts one of Vienna’s Christmas Markets, which looks like something out of a fairy-tale with the palace backdrop and the lights reflecting off the lake in front of the palace.
Unlike Schönbrunn, Belvedere Palace is within walking distance from the City Center and an easy walk from the train station.
The Graben is one of Vienna’s most popular streets, and one of the oldest in the city. Starting at Stephansplatz, this pedestrian-only street is lined with shops, boutiques, cafes and some great restaurants.
Along the street you’ll find some of the oldest traditional businesses that served the imperial court, as well as modern department stores and brand-name boutiques occupying historical buildings.
It’s a great place to walk along anytime of the year. In the summer, there are plenty of outdoor cafes to relax in.
And during the Christmas season, the Graben is transformed into a festive winter wonderland, with lights and decorations throughout the street and Christmas markets located on either end.
The Danube Tower is one of Vienna’s most recognizable landmarks and Austria’s highest tower. At 252 meters high, the tower provides a 360 degree view over Vienna and the Danube Valley from its observation deck.
There’s also the Turm Restaurant, which is 170 metres high and rotates constantly, offering diners an excellent view from above.
Things to Know Before Visiting Vienna
- Many of the popular attractions and things to do in Vienna are in the historical city centre but some, like Schönbrunn Palace, are outside the centre and can be accessed by public transport.
- The Vienna City Card offers free public transport, discounts at many attractions, and free entry to museums. This can be a great way to save money if you’re planning on visiting multiple attractions. **Children under 6 ride free on public transport, and children under 17 are free on Sundays and public holidays.
- Additionally, the Vienna PASS offers 1, 2, 3, or 6 days of sightseeing, including free admission to many attractions and unlimited hop-on, hop-off bus rides. Depending on how many attractions and museums you plan to visit, the Vienna PASS might be a worthwhile option. We’ve noted below when the Vienna PASS includes admission fees.
- Vienna is a popular destination, espeically in the summer months, so it’s a good idea to buy tickets ahead of time, so you can ‘skip the line‘ and show your QR code at the entrance. We use Get Your Guide to purchase tickets for tours and attractions, as we find they have plenty of options, no booking fees and you can book directly from your phone – which is helpful when you show up and find there’s a long line to get in!
Where to Stay: Family-Friendly Hotels in Vienna
Vienna has plenty of accommodation options, from budget hostels to 5 star-hotels, and many family-friendly hotels. We recommend staying in the Innere Stadt, the historical city center, although Mariahilf and Leopoldstadt also have many hotels that are convenient and within walking distance to attractions.
Hotel Sans Souci Wien
Located directly across from the MuseumQuartier, Hotel Sans Souci Wien is in an excellent location for sightseeing and within walking distance to many of the city centre attractions.
The hotel offers spacious rooms and family-friendly suites, with air conditioning, satellite tv as well as a mini-bar, and a complimentary breakfast is included.
Relax in the sauna and steam bath at the Sans Souci Spa, or workout in the fitness center. There is also a restaurant on-site, featuring Austrian and international choices on the menu.
Hotel City Central Wien
Located right at the edge of Leopoldstadt, Hotel City Central is a only a 10-minute walk from Stephansplatz and the historical centre.
They offer modern, comfortable rooms, as well as family-friendly suites with interconnected rooms and three apartments that are perfect for self-catering.
A complimentary buffet breakfast is included, and just across the bridge over the Danube Canal are plenty of restaurants for other meals.
The Schwedenplatz metro stop is a few minutes walk from the hotel, as well as the departure point for the boats to Bratislava, if you want to take a day trip to visit Bratislava.
KH Opera Apartments
Conveniently located a block from the Opera House and about 15-minute walk from Rathausplatz, KH Opera Apartments are perfect for families visiting Vienna.
The apartments are stylishly decorated and feature spacious living areas with high ceilings and large windows overlooking Karlsplatz.
Each of the units have a spacious living room area with a sofa bed, as well as a separate bedroom, which is great if you’re travelling with young kids who go to bed earlier than the adults.
There’s also a kitchenette with a microwave and stove top, perfect to cook breakfast or a quick meal and there’s a SPAR grocery store a block away.
We stayed here on our first visit to Vienna, and would have stayed again if it was available, as the apartments were clean and comfortable and we loved the location!
If you’re looking for budget accommodation in Vienna for families, A&O Hostels are a good choice.
The hostel offers dorm-style rooms as well as private rooms, and a kitchenette area for self-catering meals.
The family-friendly rooms are simple but clean, and can accommodate up to four people with a set of bunk beds and two regular beds.
There’s a fantastic breakfast served each morning in the basement, and the lobby floor featured a pool table and work desks.
We stayed at the A&O Wien Hauptbahnhof, which is conveniently located a block from the main train station, making it a perfect location if you’re doing any day trips from Vienna, and also easy to access public transport within the city.
FAQ: Visiting Vienna with Kids
Is Vienna a kid friendly place to visit?
I found Vienna to be an excellent place to visit with kids. There were plenty of activities and attractions for kids, as well as lots of parks and playgrounds to explore.
Is Vienna stroller friendly?
Vienna is quite stroller friendly, as most of the city is wheelchair accessible, which means that you won’t have a problem with strollers either.
Trams with a wheelchair sign next to the number will be easy to access with a stroller and there are dedicated stroller spots on all trams.
Lifts are availble in the subway and most tourist attractions, and there is always someone willing to help if needed.
Is Vienna affordable?
Vienna can be quite affordable for families, depending on where you decide to stay. There are plenty of budget options available, from hostels to apartments and even hotels, so you should be able to find something within your price range.
You’ll also find that food and attractions are reasonably priced, and options like the Vienna PASS offer unlimited travel on public transport and discounted admission to many attractions.
Is Vienna safe?
Vienna is generally a very safe city, with low levels of crime and you should have no problems exploring the city during the day.
As always, it’s best to be aware of your surroundings and to take usual precautions when it comes to your personal belongings.
Conclusion: Things to Do in Vienna with Kids
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do with children in Vienna.
It’s a beautiful city filled with plenty of history and culture, as well as educational experiences and fun activities for kids.
From visiting the top Vienna attractions sights like the Opera House and Schöbrunn Palace to the great parks and playgrounds, Vienna offers something for everyone and is sure to be a memorable vacation destination for the whole family.