I have been living in Vienna since 2011 and have two sons, born 2014 and 2017. Especially in the last few years I have been particularly attentive to the advantages and disadvantages of the city for young families. Of course, there is always traffic and you have to keep an eye on the children. There is usually a lot going on – this can be very exhausting – and as a visitor, you usually don’t know right away where to find a cosy café for families or a beautiful park to relax.
However, if you know a little bit about the city, know where you want to go and how to make the trip in the city family-friendly, Vienna offers a lot of possibilities in a relatively confined area. This makes the trip a cultural, child-oriented and experiential highlight for everyone. My tips and experiences around trips with children in Vienna can be found in this article and on the homepage.
Vienna with public transport and by foot:
In my opinion, Vienna has a very good public transport network. In the city area, you can easily reach all places by subway, tram or bus.
Vienna attaches great importance to accessibility. There are elevators in every subway station and at every station, so you can easily visit the city with a stroller. Especially in the inner city area along the Ringstrasse, the magnificent buildings and sights are close to each other and are therefore within walking distance.
The old Viennese trams have a flaw, because they are not barrier-free. Most Viennese citizens are, however, very helpful and like to help you carry the buggy in (note: space for strollers is only available in the front part of the tram) AND the doors of the tram are quite narrow. Not every stroller fits through. Our Quinny Speedy, for example, doesn’t fit in. BUT old and new low-floor trams always run alternatingly.
Sights in Vienna:
Vienna offers thousands of opportunities for sightseeing. The numerous museums are often geared towards children (e. g. Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg, the MUMOK, the Natural History Museum, the Technical Museum, etc.) and offer either separate areas (e. g. the Children’s Museum in Schönbrunn Palace) for children or pedagogically prepared materials for a tour of the museum (e. g. in MUMOK). Ask at the entrance what additional offers for children are available in the museum.
However, not only museums are great places to visit for the family. The beautiful parks, a trip to the Vienna Woods or the Danube are also worthwhile. You can find my favourites in the article “The 10 best excursion tips with children in Vienna“.
Public toilets or changing tables:
All public buildings and tourist attractions are also equipped with toilets and changing tables (OK, perhaps not necessarily St. Stephen’s Cathedral). Public toilets are also often found next to playgrounds. When I’m in the city center, I often go to the big department stores. These often have other amenities in addition to toilets and changing tables, such as a nursing room (e.g. Kaufhaus Steffl, Kärntner Straße) or a café with children’s playroom (e.g. Kaufhaus Leiner, Mariahilfer Straße).
Eating with children:
Of course, you can go anywhere in Vienna and you are usually served friendly (and if you have a grumpy waiter, then this is also typical for Vienna; -)). Most restaurants have children’s chairs. But there are also cafés and restaurants where you can have an especially good meal with the children, they are barrier-free and have enough space for your stroller, changing tables or even little playgrounds, etc. You can find the best ones on the homepage.
Unfortunately, this cannot necessarily be said of the classic and well-known Viennese downtown restaurants and cafés (e. g. Café Sacher, Café Zentral, Fieglmüller). These are often very crowded and tight, at rush hour queues quickly build up and you can wait outside the door until a table becomes free.
There are many nice children’s shops in Vienna, especially for children from 0-10 years. Most of them attach great importance to contaminant-free and biological substances and materials. Some of them are located next to Mariahilfer Straße (Kirchengasse, Zollergasse, Lindengasse Neubaugasse). Among them are Austrian designers with beautiful and practical children’s fashion. You can find concrete tips on the homepage. My favourites are the Scandinavian children’s shop Daantje (Westbahnstraße 1) and the Austrian label sova26. at (Lindenstraße 31).
Most of the shops are located on the main shopping streets: Mariahilfer Straße (between Museumsquartier and Westbahnhof), Kärntner Straße and Graben. Located on the outskirts of the city, there are several large shopping centres: Shopping City South (is really huge), Shopping Center North, Auhof Center, Donauzentrum.
INFO: Vienna is a big city with very rural opening hours. On Saturdays, the shops close at 6 p. m. (some also earlier) and during the week often at 7 p. m.
Playgrounds and parks:
There are many great playgrounds in Vienna. There are often some near the major sights (e. g. at the town-hall, next to the Naschmarkt, at the Haus des Meeres/Aqua terra zoo). The playgrounds I know are all in perfect condition and often have a drinking fountain and a public toilet. Oh yes, always take some changeable clothes for the kids, because there are lots of playgrounds with a water area where the kids can play in the mud… always a hit! The most beautiful and largest playgrounds are of course located in the beautiful Viennese parks (e. g. In the Prater, in the Stadtpark, my favourite parks are the Türkenschanzpark and the Pötzleinsdorfer Park). Read more about the parks on the homepage.
As a conclusion, I would say that among the metropolises, Vienna is a very child-friendly city with many great offers for young and old.
My tip for city trips with the family is: Combine a sight that interests you (e. g. Schönbrunn Palace) with a highlight for the children (e. g. a subsequent visit to the zoo). Find a suitable place for lunch – picnic or a restaurant with a children’s area or a nice garden (e. g. Orang. erie in the zoo) – then lunch will be relaxing for everyone.