1. Smell the roses at Blumengärten Hirschstetten
Just a few stops out of Vienna with the S80 train, this incredible secret of the Donaustadt is there to explore with no entrance fee. Maintained by the city of Vienna, this 60,000 square meter public space contains (take a deep breath)…
Themed gardens with plants from around the world, a menagerie of both farm and exotic animals, including sheep, goats, wild cats and turtles, plus multiple playgrounds for children of all ages.
There are also workshops and tours concerning the natural world, a historic farm yard, a palm tree house, a rose garden, a maze, a coffee bar, farmers market and live music on selected days throughout the summer.
Now, that’s a place for a packed family day out, right?
2. Experience the joyful chaos that is the Wurstelprater and the serenity of the Prater
Billed as the oldest amusement park in the world, here you can find modern mechanical hairaisers side-by-side with quaint original wooden pleasure rides of yester-year.
It’s also home to Vienna’s iconic old ferris wheel. While the attractions do cost a few coins, entry is totally free. Simply going to Vienna’s Wurstelprater is a must-do experience in itself. This wild theme park backs on to the sleepy Prater park, which is a great spot to sleep off a Langos or ball of cotton candy that you’ve munched on in the fairground.
3. Get a free Kulturpass
As a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, many Austrian cultural institutions are waiving their entrance fees for Ukrainians.
Those arriving in Austria from Ukraine can now apply for a free ‘Kulturpass’, giving free access to Federal Museums and the Austrian National Library. Such as…
4. Come face to face with some golden oldies at the Art History Museum
Now you’ve got your Kulturpass, one of the first places you should visit if you’re into old timey eye candy is the Kunsthistorisches Museum (aka. The Art History Museum). Entrance is free with your Kulturpass, giving access to works by Rembrandt, Raphael, and Caravaggio, as well as Egyptian, Roman and Greek antiquities in this world famous collection.
The Art History Museum also has a continuous offering of programs especially curated for children, making it an ideal rainy day outing.
5. Get curious about the world in the Natural History Museum
We can’t mention the Art History Museum without recommending its neighbour across Maria-Theresien-Platz. The Natural History museum is also opening its doors for free to displaced Ukrainians with either a Ukrainian passport or a valid Kulturpass.
In this sprawling museum of wildlife, dinosaurs, planets and meteorites, kids and adults can enjoy exhibitions such as the portrayal of dinosaurs in cinema to how the solar system was formed.
The Museum has also recently launched ‘Deck50’, a new permanent room where kids can conduct experiments and engage with issues concerning our planet.
Big hits for younger children include the moving and roaring mechanical dinosaur, the huge taxidermied animal collection and beautiful cafe under a magnificent dome ordained with exotic animal pictures.
6. Charge up at the Technical Museum then wind down in Auer-Welsbach-Park
If you’re looking for something hands-on and interactive, a free Kulturpass will also grant displaced Ukrainians free access to Vienna’s awesome Technisches Museum (aka. Technical Museum).
Over four floors, adults and children can experience and experiment with a world of science, engineering and a whole bunch of buttons and other interactive displays.
Permanent exhibitions include nature, physics, transportation (look kids, trains!) and musical instruments.
Plus, located next to the Technical Museum is the vast Auer-Welsbach-Park.
It’s got plenty of shade, lots of green space and age-appropriate playgrounds (with toilets). This beautiful urban park is a favorite amongst parents looking to have their kids run off a little excess energy.
For a complete list of free museums with your Kulturpass, take a look here.
7. Get out of the city and into nature
With so much to do in the inner city, it’s easy to forget Vienna is surrounded by lush green forests with the likes of the Lainzer Tiergarten and the Wienerwald to the west, the wetlands of the Lobau to the east, Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg to the north, and (to a lesser extent) Wienerberg and Zentral Friedhof to the south.
If you and your kids are feeling sporty, there are twelve trails (Stadtwanderwege) to be found over 12,000 hectares of land. So, there’s plenty to discover either on foot or on a bike.
Vienna also has its own weekly 5k Parkrun, which is free to enter and provides runners with an official time.
Parkrun is a global event and happens every Saturday morning at 9am local time in more than 2000 locations. It accommodates runners of all levels – from beginners to fast finishers. Turn up with a stroller, teenage kids, or on your own – it’s all at your own pace. Register and learn more here.
After all that walking, running and cycling, you’re probably wondering how you’ll get there and back, especially if you don’t have a car or your legs are empty. Vienna has you covered…