Watch your family’s face light up as they experience the magic of Vienna! Your family can enjoy a stroll along the grand Ringstrasse, devour a chocolate sachertorte, or learn to waltz to Strauss. Vienna has something for everyone, from eating delicious food to looking at world-class art. Check out our ultimate Vienna travel guide and start planning for your next trip.
The Ultimate Vienna Travel Guide
Things to do
1. Prater Amusement Park
Teenagers will love the historic Prater Amusement Park. Take a spin on the iconic Giant Ferris Wheel, scream on some thrill rides, enjoy the huge verdant park, and visit the eye-popping ROLLERCOASTER RESTAURANT. The restaurant looked like fun, but we did not make our way there.
2. Priceless Souvenirs
Family photos in a magical city tops any gift shop souvenir. A highlight from our trip was exploring Vienna’s hidden architectural gems with Localgrapher photographers, Sebastian & Malgosia. Forget tiresome selfies — our Localgrapher photo shoot created precious memories and the perfect picture for our holiday cards! This experience not only captured the excitement of a new city, but also was so much fun to do.
Available in over 400 cities, Localgrapher provides professional photographers that have the best insight on photo locations. Together, you and the photographer will decide on the backdrop for your professional photos.
3. Hofburg Complex: Sisi Museum and Spanish Riding School
The Sisi Museum gives insight into the life of Sisi, one of Austria’s renown empress. Check out their intriguing exhibits and learn about the drama surrounding the life and death of Empress “Sisi” Elisabeth. Our family decided not to do the audio tour and used Rick Steves’ room-by-room guide, which narrated our journey through the exhibit.
For those who love horses, just a short walk from the Sisi Museum is the UNESCO World Heritage site. This is the Spanish Riding School known for its world-famous Lippanzer horses. I recommend that you visit on practice days because the actual shows are quite expensive. During the summer, keep an eye out for their “Piber Meets Vienna” show. This show is a great opportunity to watch the mares and their amusing, young foals.
4. Visit an Art Museum
While this city literally overflows with art museums, these few standouts are my family’s favorites.
The historical setting of the Albertina Museum Vienna will delight culture seekers. This museum is housed in the Hofburg Imperial Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in the world. Make sure you seek out the creations of Picasso and Van Gog. Our favorite part was learning about the ornate Habsburg State Rooms.
Funky! Hip! Quirky! Kids love the Mumok (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna). This family-friendly museum is located in the middle of the tremendous MuseumsQuartier complex. This a hub of summer outdoor activities which includes pop-up food stands, events and fairs. There are also discussions about “what is art?” and some fun interactive exhibits available.
No trip to Vienna is complete without seeing Gustav Klimt’s world-famous paintings. At the Belvedere Museum Vienna, you can see The Kiss (Lovers) and Judith painting in person! This baroque, former summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site. It currently houses a tremendous collection of Austrian art, dating from the Middle Ages to today, and elaborate gardens.
5. Waltz Lessons
One of our all-time favorite afternoons was spent taking private waltz lessons through the Private Dance Academies by Waltz in Vienna. From the moment we stepped into this palatial space, we were handed glasses of champagne (non-alcoholic beverages for the girls) and we were immediately relaxed. Our talented instructor, Camilla, taught us the etiquette, history and steps of Strauss’ world-famous Viennese Waltz. Camilla put us at ease and truly made the afternoon a blast for us!
6. Vienna State Opera
Grab a hot dog at a local Wurstelstandand and wait in the “stand-by” entrance of the Vienna State Opera House. Don’t forget to pack one scarf per person (even during the summer —you can use this to reserve your standing space once you enter the theater), exact change, and a book or iPad to occupy your time. I think that this is definitely worth the wait. The music and voices of Hansel and Gretel filled the entire theater and my girls stood (without complaining) throughout the entire show.
Also, each ‘standing room only’ spot has its a multi-lingual monitor. If you plan to secure tickets that includes this function, be sure to read other detailed articles explaining all the steps involved. We will never forget this world-class opera experience. The best part was that it was a total of 12 Euros for the four of us!
7. Haus Der Musik (House of Music)
This kid-friendly museum, Haus Der Musik, invites your family to enter into an interactive world of music. You can walk through exhibits and learn about different composers and the science of sound. I recommend you check out the “womb” room, which is a dark, empty space simulating the sounds of a womb. You can even step up and virtually conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra!
Where to Eat
With hundreds of cafes and restaurants to choose from, it can become overwhelming to decide where to eat. Whether you crave chocolately sachertortes (Austrian torte), tasty Weiner schnitzels (breaded veal), or sweet apple strudel, you will find something you love in this foodie city. Here are the spots we visited, but please add your favorites in the comments section below.
1. Waterfront Kitchen
Waterfront Kitchen, located in the Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront, is a family-friendly restaurant that has locally sourced ingredients, great service and an upscale setting. During the summer, dine on the restaurant terrace and watch boats drift by on the Danube River.
Our highlights include: the Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad, Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad, Pan-fried Scallops in sausage-chive dressing, and an Austrian filet steak. My daughter’s favorite was the Asparagus Risotto. You must also make sure you save room for the warm, homemade chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream.
If you are staying at the Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront, you should also check out the Waterfront Kitchen’s breakfast buffet.
2. Buffet Trzesniewski
Much to my girls’ surprise, this is not a buffet at all! All guidebooks recommend this famous “sandwich shop.” However, these are not your typical sandwiches. The Buffet Trzesniewski is a smorgasbord of tiny sandwiches and adorable mini-beers. Just a heads up, you should be aware that there are no traditional kid-friendly options. However, the colorful way they serve their egg salad and tuna makes eating these little sandwiches a fun experience.
3. Cafe Hopping
A “must thing” to do is experience at least one classic Viennese cafe. Fun fact — in 2011, Viennese coffee houses, dating from the 17th century, were added to the UNESCO cultural heritage list! Your family will love the intricate window displays at Cafe Demel. We also fancied the historically elegant Cafe Mozart, dating from 1794, which is nestled right by the Opera House. It offers a perfect family-friendly stop for Viennese cuisine, coffee, and dessert.
Highlights for us included the Wiener Schnitzel with potato salad, the hearty steak sandwich and addictive French fries. However, my personal favorite was the pumpkin vegetarian goulash. They also have a wide variety of sandwiches and burgers, as well as an inexpensive kids menu. For dessert, our girls enjoyed the Apple Strudel with vanilla sauce.
Also, don’t forget to stop by the free photo booth, located near the bar, where your family can capture memories with black and white pics!
1. Vienna PASS
Purchasing a Vienna PASS can save your family precious time and money while exploring the city. The Vienna PASS provides admission to over 60 sites and often allows you to skip the long lines (my kids’ favorite perk). The Vienna Pass also includes access to the ‘Hop On Hop Off Vienna Sightseeing Tour Bus’, which provides a great overview of the city, even in inclement weather.
We found that both the tram and the metro were safe to use and extremely easy to navigate. I would consider using the red, public Viennese tram system to travel to sights along the famous Ringstrasse. Vienna’s Ringstrasse is a 5.3 kilometer long grand boulevard, filled with many of Vienna’s monumental buildings built during the Historicism period in the 1860s to 1890s. Some examples would include the Vienna State Opera and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Where to Stay
The Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront welcomes families with its spectacular view of the Danube River and a delicious on-property restaurant. It also has spacious guest rooms that fit four people (a rarity in Europe) and is close to a metro train station. It is also within walking distance to the Ernst Happel Stadium, which holds many concerts and sporting events. This top-rated hotel is the perfect home base for families when visiting Vienna.
Whether you choose to watch an opera or explore a museum, Vienna has so much to offer. Vienna, Austria should definitely make the top of your list this year. With this ultimate Vienna travel guide, you and your family will definitely experience the best of Vienna!
Lisa’s family was provided with some complimentary services and meals at a few of the restaurants. This was so she could try them and review them for your information. Lisa chose the above attractions/restaurants based on their reviews and recommendations from friends.
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Hilton Mom Voyage writers receive free night certificates to use at Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. To learn more, visit our About Us page.
Our family loves a good road trip. Recently, we did the Southwest loop through Arizona and stopped in Sedona, Arizona for several days. With summer in full swing and temperatures rising, our family made sure to plan several ‘cool’ summer activities in Sedona. There are plenty of fun things to do in Sedona while staying out of the heat!
TOP 6 SUMMER THINGS TO DO IN SEDONA, ARIZONA
1. Morning Hike at Bell Rock
What’s that saying about the early bird getting the worm? Well in Sedona, rising early is rewarded with spectacular sunrises and cool desert trails to explore. The quiet morning makes the perfect backdrop for a hike through the rocks and twisted junipers of Bell Rock.
Bell Rock is one of Sedona’s most picturesque outcroppings. Truly shaped like a bell, this massive rock offers several hike options, from easy to extreme. While hiking the trails at Bell Rock, our family chose to take an easy path. We sauntered leisurely in the morning air while birds sang, lizards darted, and bees got busy. The desert was in bloom, so it was a colorful and interesting walk.
2. Day Trip to a Real Ghost Town
Just an hour away from Sedona, Jerome is one of those real ghost towns you hear about. It is one of those old western towns that conjures up images of dusty bars and tumbleweeds, shoot-outs and sheriffs. Old buildings abound; some renovated, some inhabited and some completely abandoned and barren. Although downtown was mostly deserted, there were a few fun shops and galleries that welcomed guests into their air-conditioned spaces.
Since the kids were intent on seeing real ghosts instead of an old western town, we booked a guided tour at Ghost Town Tours to show us around and give some backstory. After all, Jerome is the largest ghost town in America! Our family decided to go on the Spirit Walk Tour. This experience was an excellent way to learn about this town’s copper mining history and their miners’ untimely deaths.
According to local myths, Jerome ghosts like to regularly make their presence known to the locals and visitors alike. Although we didn’t see any real ghosts, we were spooked walking through a deserted, old high school. We roamed the hallways filled with creepy locker rooms, and the basement had dusty remnants of former professors. Boo!
3. Jeep Tours in the Rocky Canyons
Off-roading is such a blast and a great way to see more of the area! We love our experience touring the canyons and red rocks of Sedona with Pink Jeep Tours. In the back of a large, modified jeep, we sat in shady comfort while going up dirt trails and rocky stream beds. We made our way through the canyon until we reached the top of a gigantic rock, where could get a closer look and take some photos of the scenery.
The terrain is gorgeous, with various strata of rock in colors of deep red, brown and even white to show us layers. Our knowledgeable driver informed us this area was originally the bottom of the ocean. As the waters receded, the rocks were left exposed to the elements. Erosion over the years resulted in canyons and oddly-shaped red rock, which has made Sedona so famous today.
4. Shopping Downtown Sedona
Downtown Sedona is a mix of cool art galleries, crystal shops and a ton of restaurants. The streets offer an interesting stroll and some fun finds to bring home. The kids had a great time in the crystal rock shop, choosing from a large variety of colored rocks for their friends back at home.
From there, we wandered down to the creek to dip our toes before walking over to the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. We wandered through the shops (which reminded us of Santa Fe, New Mexico) and stopped for lunch and cool drinks before heading back to the hotel.
5. Stargazing in the Clear Night Sky
The night sky in Sedona is pitch black because there are few streetlights to drown out the stars. We have been told it is one of the best places to stargaze in the US, and we can say it most definitely is. We booked an “evening sky tour” with Sedona Star Gazing, led by a former NASA engineer. On an open field, we sat with our group in comfortable lawn chairs and snuggled in blankets. We then took turns using an enormous telescope, peering at the sky for light-years into the past.
As our guide introduced us to the night sky, he used a laser pointer to draw our gaze towards the different wonders in the sky. During our two hours together, we saw Saturn and her rings, Jupiter and several of its moons, and so many stars whose names I cannot remember or pronounce. It was a must-see experience that we highly recommend!
6. Swimming at Hilton Sedona’s Pool
Of course the ultimate place to cool off was back at Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock, where we splashed in the pool and enjoyed a sweet, icy drink. Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock is a perfect starting point to explore these summer activities in Sedona and is conveniently located to these attractions.
From hiking at Bell Rock to exploring the terrain on a jeep, there are so many things to do in Sedona. Time to book your trip now and experience it for yourself!
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Hilton Mom Voyage writers receive free night certificates to use at Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. To learn more, visit our About Us page.
Iceland offers plenty of natural wonders to explore. However, because of these many attractions, people often forget about Reykjavik, Europe’s northernmost capital. At Reykjavik, Iceland, one can find many beautiful scenery, culture and family-friendly attractions. Here are 7 fun things to do in Reykjavik, Iceland with kids.
What to do in Reykjavik, Iceland
1. Climb Hallgrimskirka
It’s hard to miss Hallgrimskirkja, one of the Lutheran churches in Reykjavik. This spaceship-looking structure is the largest church and one of the tallest buildings in Iceland. In front, you can also find a large Leif Ericsson (the Scandinavian Viking) statue.
However, the main attraction would be the observation tower, which offers a panoramic view of Reykjavik. The scenery here is beautiful because you can see the colorful houses, harbor, water and mountain backdrop.
2. Walk and Shop on Laugavegur
Reykjavik’s main shopping street is Laugavegur, named after the famous Iceland hiking trail. This street is filled with many unique shops and is where souvenir shopping is at its best. Be sure to look for Icelandic local companies like 66°NORTH and IceWear.
As you walk around, you never know what you’ll find. For us, we found some bizarre and interesting window displays. My kids loved posing by these Icelandic trolls found throughout the city. Try to pronounce some of the Icelandic street signs for fun. Vatnsmýrarvegur, anyone?
3. Visit Perlan
Perlan, translated in English as ‘the Pearl’, is a glass and steel dome built over six huge tanks. These tanks hold the city’s geothermal hot water. There is a revolving restaurant on top and a 360-degree viewing platform, where you can see the city. From here, you can also access Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach, the only beach in Reykjavik.
4. Go on Harbor Excursions
The Old Harbour is a pleasant place to walk and look at trendy shops, galleries and restaurants. My kids loved seeing all the boats and marine activities here. If you’re visiting between April and August, this is the place to board for puffin spotting and whale watching tours.
The Old Harbour is also a great opportunity for educational experiences. My kids were captivated by the realistic-looking wax figures at the Saga Museum. This museum brings Iceland’s rich history to life with an audio guide and Viking costumes for kids!
The Volcano House is another must visit. This is a Geology exhibition that has documentary films and interactive exhibits about Iceland’s volcanic eruptions. The Maritime Museum offers an insight into Iceland’s seafaring days and maritime history with artifacts and ships.
5. Hunt for Street Art
Reykjavik has many unique street art and murals throughout the city. I recommend you go street art hunting and find your favorite pieces! Besides art hunting, you can also find some interesting sculptures along the sidewalks. One of the most popular sculptures is the Sun Voyager near the water.
6. Visit Harpa Concert Hall
The glistening Harpa is a Reykjavik gem. You won’t see a concert hall quite like this, which was designed to reflect the nature surrounding Iceland. It has an amazing glass facade and worth exploring its unique interior for free. Be sure to check out the schedule ahead of time to see one of the numerous concerts and exhibits held there.
7. Play at Parks
Reykjavik also offers some wonderful natural escapes amidst the hustle and bustle. In the center of the city lies a natural body of water known as Tjornin (the Pond). My kids enjoyed feeding the ducks, geese and swans at the pond. There is also a botanical garden and plenty of open space to walk around.
A few steps away from the city lies the Hljomskalagardur garden. Hljomskalagardur garden is located on Tjornin’s south side. Here you will also find a kids’ play area and picnic facilities.
Another popular area is Ellidaardalur valley where families can wade in the salmon river during summer, walk and bike on trails, have a picnic, or explore the forest. Laugardalur (Hot Spring Valley) has Reykjavik’s largest outdoor thermal pool. It may not be the Blue Lagoon, but my kids would never pass off an opportunity to be in the pool!
Lastly, the Family Park and Zoo is also a great stop during the summer when they have events, rides and an open playground.
Reykjavik, Iceland is a wonderful city to explore with your family. It is also a great base to use for day trips to the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle. Need a place to stay? Hilton Reykjavik Nordica is conveniently located in central Reykjavik, allowing guests to have easy access to the rest of Reykjavik and its many attractions.
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Know Before You Go
- An Icelandic hotdog is known as a Pylsa.
- For some of the best views, you should pay a visit to the Hallgrimskirkja. The cathedral is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland and can be seen from all around the city.
- The Golden Circle Tour is one of the most popular guides in Europe. It includes stops at the volcanic crater of Kerio, Geysir, Thingvellir, and the Gullfoss Waterfall.