From royal toy museums and fairy tale forests to crystal wonderlands and underground salt mines, we explore Austria’s best attractions for kids.
Austria is famous for its beautiful Alpine landscapes and world-class ski resorts. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a playground for kids, too. Whether your little ones want to ride nail-biting rollercoasters, walk with dinosaurs, or dress like royalty, there is plenty to spark their imaginations. Just take a look at these fantastic attractions for kids in Austria.
1. Prater, Vienna
Brave little souls will have the time of their lives hopping on the thrilling funfair rides at the Wurstelprater; one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. Located in Wiener Prater public park in Vienna’s Leopoldstadt district, Prater (as many call it) is home to around 250 rides and attractions that are suitable for all ages. Toddlers can let off steam on the 22 trampolines and bouncy castles in the Praterfee Leisure Area. They can also ride the Nostalgic Steam Carousel and hop on the Liliputbahn miniature railway. Older children and adults, meanwhile, can get their kicks on white-knuckle rides such as Black Mamba, Prater Tower, and Boomerang; a Formula 1 design train come rollercoaster.
In between all that excitement, families can ride the iconic 65-meter-high Giant Ferris Wheel and lap up stunning views of the city. The theme park is in season from March to October; however, several attractions, including the Ferris Wheel, are open all year round. Be warned, though, with around 4.2 million people visiting Prater each year, the queues can be lengthy. It is well worth it though to experience one of the most exciting places for kids in Austria.
The Wurstelprater, 1020 Vienna
2. Schönbrunn Palace Children’s Museum, Vienna
Located in the heart of Vienna, the stunning Schönbrunn Palace should be on every expat’s bucket list. Adult guests will no doubt be in awe of the spectacular Baroque architecture and beautiful gardens on display. Little visitors, however, might have more fun exploring the Kindermuseum (children’s museum) which lies within the palace. The popular attraction invites budding historians to dress up like royalty and learn about the everyday life of the imperial family who lived there. Through beautifully presented exhibits, they can explore all kinds of topics; ranging from hygiene and fashion to toys and food.
Whether your little ones want to play with toys from the olden days, learn the ‘fan code’ to read a secret language, or raid the dressing-up corner to become little princes or princesses, there is plenty to keep them entertained. If you time your visit carefully, they might even get to enjoy one of the themed events held throughout the year. From ghost hunter training at Halloween to a special visit and present-giving from Santa Claus during the festive season, there is plenty of fun to be had.
Schönbrunn Palace Children’s Museum, Schloßallee, 1130 Vienna
3. 3D PicArt Museum, Vienna
Coming face to face with a dinosaur, soaring through the air on a unicorn, and riding a monster wave might sound like the thing of dreams. But at the fun-filled 3D PicArt Museum in Vienna, they really can come true. The quirky attraction invites kids (and big kids) to immerse themselves in a world of 3D art. They can climb, swing, and pose their way to create the perfect photo. There are around 40 scenes to jump inside in this fantasy world of art, so there is plenty to fill a single visit.
After all, where else can you take a selfie with a ‘Crazy Monkey’, journey on a flying carpet, or encounter a fierce shark, all in one afternoon? Thanks to the clever postcard app, you can also share your wild adventures with your friends and family. This allows you to send fun postcards along with greetings. So why not grab your camera and create your own hilarious optical illusion photos at this brilliant attraction for kids.
3D PicArt Museum, Bösendorferstraße 2/4, 1010 Vienna
4. Haus der Natur, Salzburg
If your children love animals, they will never forget a visit to the most popular museum in Salzburg, the Haus der Natur. From colossal dinosaurs from a bygone age to fascinating underwater worlds, the 7,000-square-meter museum presents nature at its most exciting. The huge aquarium and reptile zoo is a highlight and offers kids a close-up view of creatures great and small; from bearded dragons and green mambas to big sharks and manta rays. Meanwhile, the museum’s permanent exhibition invites children to journey into the human body. Along the way, they can discover how it works through a series of fun interactive stations.
Curious little minds will no doubt enjoy performing their own experiments in the hands-on Science Center. Here, they can learn about everything from energy and lifting to acoustics and music, and more. With so much to discover, there is – quite literally – more than enough to fill a single visit to the museum. But if you’re planning to explore more of Salzburg, it might be worth buying a Salzburg Card. This grants you free admission to all of the city’s top sights and attractions.
Haus der Natur, Museumspl. 5, 5020 Salzburg
5. The Toy Museum, Salzburg
Housed inside a beautiful old Baroque building in Salzburg, the Spielzeugmuseum (or Toy Museum) boasts the largest collection of toys in Austria. There are numerous displays of antique dolls, teddy bears, model trains, gnomes, and other toys to explore; some of which are more than 250 years old. Needless to say, there is plenty to keep children of all ages entertained in this 800-square-meter treasure chest. Little visitors are also encouraged to try out all kinds of toys for themselves. They can do so through the many interactive exhibits and workshops.
Aside from its huge collection of toys, the museum also features a children’s cinema and library where kids can enjoy a little play-break. There are also several areas for parents to rest and unwind, including a tea room on the ground floor and some quieter rooms and spaces for eating or reading a book. If you visit in the afternoon, you might even be lucky enough to catch a puppet show. Just don’t let your little ones leave without checking out the Camouflage Wall where they can slip into a polka-dot cape, stand in front of the wall, and disappear!
Toy Museum, Bürgerspitalgasse 2, 5020 Salzburg
6. Salzwelten, Hallstatt
The fairytale-like village of Hallstatt is one of the most photographed places in Austria. But beneath the beautiful setting lies the oldest salt mine in the world, Salzwelten. Parents looking to take their children on a unique adventure can treat them to a guided tour through the mystical tunnels. Little explorers will no doubt enjoy hopping in a gondola and exploring the subterranean salt lake hidden within the mine. Along the way, they will learn how ‘white gold’ has been mined and used for more than 7,000 years.
A special highlight of the tour includes the special Bronze Age Cinema which sits 400 meters underground. Here, kids can watch an animated film about everyday work in Hallstatt projected onto Europe’s oldest wooden staircase. And if you want to show them the beautiful surrounding landscape back on the surface, you can take the funicular railway in the village and head through the mountains to the Hallstatt Skywalk. This spectacular viewing platform offers a dazzling ‘World Heritage View’.
Salzwelten, Salzbergstraße 21, 4830 Hallstatt
7. The Fairy Tale Mile & Dragon Gorge, Trebesing
If there is one place you have to take your kids in Austria, it’s Trebesing. Surrounded by the Hohe Tauern National Park and Nockberge Biosphere Reserve, Trebesing is Europe’s first baby village and brimming with magic. The main attraction is the Fairy Tale Mile; a three-kilometer adventure trail through the woods which begins onboard the Taca-Tuca-Tractor. Along the way, kids can spot figures of fairy tale characters, discover a Dragon Gorge, and walk across one of the longest suspension bridges in the Alps.
Aside from the trail, Trebesing features a large play area for kids and plenty of sports activities to keep adults happy, too; the circular pathway is great for jogging or nordic walking. And if you want to extend your visit, there are also a plethora of family-friendly hotels located nearby, which offer exciting leisure facilities for all ages. The ideal place for the whole family to enjoy, Trebesing should be on every parent’s Austrian bucket list.
Europas 1. Babydorf Trebesing, Dorfrezeption 9852, Trebesing 19
8. Swarovski Kristallwelten, Innsbruck
Along with Vienna and Salzburg, Innsbruck is one of the most popular places to visit in Austria. Also known as the ‘Capital of the Alps’, the idyllic city is home to the headquarters of the famous crystal company, Swarovski. Parents looking for ways to entertain their kids will certainly find it at Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Worlds). This magical attraction has welcomed a whopping 15 million visitors from around the world since it opened in 1995.
Featuring a mesmerizing crystal-themed art gallery, an indoor play tower, an outdoor maze, and a fun merry-go-round, the facility offers plenty to keep kids happy. The Crystal Dome is a particular highlight. This consists of 595 mirrors that create the effect of being inside a giant crystal. Furthermore, eight of the mirrors are so-called ‘spy mirrors’ that conceal fascinating art objects by various artists. Unsurprisingly, this wonderful world of crystals has proven to be just as popular with parents as it is with their children.
Swarovski Kristallwelten, Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 39, 6020 Innsbruck
9. Familypark, Neusiedlersee
A family trip to Austria wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the country’s oldest theme park, Familypark. Nestled in the green hills, just a few kilometers from the famous Lake Neusiedl, the park covers a whopping 145,000-square-meters and offers numerous attractions for kids. Among these are 29 rides located in four different theme worlds; the Experience Castle (Erlebnisburg), the Fairy Tale Forest (Märchenwald), the Farm (Bauernhof), and Adventure Island (Abenteuerinsel).
Aside from the rides, the park features an abundance of other activities such as experience zones, water games, music theatres, and playgrounds. There are also numerous cafés and restaurants which serve everything from pastries and light bites to hearty Austrian dishes. If you want to stay longer, you can always book one of the nearby hotels and enjoy discount park tickets.
Familypark, Märchenparkweg 1, 7062 St. Margarethen im Burgenland
10. Olympiabad, Seefeld
If you want to enjoy magnificent views of the snowy Alps without having to wrap up warm, then a visit to Olympiabad Seefeld is just the ticket. Located in the Alpine town of Seefeld in Tyrol, the complex is ideal for families looking to relax in blissful surroundings. Featuring heated indoor and outdoor pools, two huge open-air slides, and a spacious sauna spanning two floors, the beautiful spa is popular among all ages.
Kids can have loads of fun splashing around in the indoor Adventure Pool or speeding down the slides while taking in the mountain views. They can also play in the Children’s Playground in the outdoor area of the Olympic Pool. Toddlers and babies, meanwhile, can play safely in the separate Children’s Area which includes children and baby pools; complete with a 6-meter-long toddler slide. And for the parents, the saunas, infrared cabins, and solariums are the perfect spots to relax and unwind. But if that’s not enough, they can always treat themselves to a soothing massage in the spa.
Olympiabad Seefeld, Klosterstraße 600, 6100 Seefeld in Tirol