Vienna will always be homey and cosmopolitan at the same time for me. My aunt and my two cousins live in the Austrian capital and I’ve visited them a few times since I was 12.This year, we’ll be going on an extended family trip. With my husband, my youngest son and my fresh brother-in-law being first time visitors, and me returning after almost 10 years, it will be quite a fresh and overdue reacquaintance!
The hardest part of our trip will be balancing family visits, first-time must-sees, checking items of the regular visitors’ bucket lists and keeping the kids (11; 4 and 3) entertained. Oh, and then there is my birthday as well!
So what to see and do? Here’s our plan:
1. Eat cake, lots of cake
Everybody in our family loves chocolate. Junior would call the Sachertorte the epitome of chocolate cake so we’ll definitely go for Kaffee und Kuchen at Hotel Sacher. And then we have to conduct a comparative research which chocolate cake is better: the one at Sacher or the one at Demel bakery? Besides the chocolate cake, other pastry is to be sampled as well. Apfelstrudel, Rahmstrudel (filled with cream cheese) and Mohntorte (poppy seed cake) for instance.
2. Go to the Opera
This is a major perk when traveling with an extended family. Babysitting options are plenty! At Volksoper, there’s Mozart’s Magic Flute, but as we’ve all seen that one, we will be going to the majestic Staatsoper instead. It offers super cheap standing tickets, but if you book online early you can also get your hands on not too expensive and not too bad tickets.
3. Party on a weekday at Passage
Did I mention the perks of traveling with extended family? Go on a super special date night by clubbing on a week night at Passage. It’s located in a old subway tunnel or station. On Tuesdays, the club is packed with r&b, hip hop and urban music lovers. On Tuesdays, yes.
Burgring/Babenbergerstraße, 1010 Wien
I almost forgot we have kids, oops! Anyway, the kids will be loving all the rides. And we’ll definitely go on the big Ferris wheel and get our cheesy photo taken! In the park, will be enjoying a hefty lunch at the Schweizerhaus. Schweinsteltze by the weight accompanied with a big pint of beer our order is.
5. Schloss Schönbrunn and zoo
First-timers will love the getting a taste of the Habsburg history at Schloss Schönbrunn and the kids can play dress-up in the children’s museum. If we feel particularly fit, we might even go up the hill to Gloriette and have some well deserved Strudel or chocolate cake. The view over the city comes for free.
6. Have lunch at a Heurigen
At the outer skirts of the city lies the 21st district named Grinzig. Wine farmers in the neighborhood have their townhouse there? At these so-called Heurigen, they not only sell their wines, but offer a buffet of Austrian food that you can eat at long wooden tables in their courtyard. The choice is wide, and you pay per weight. The kids will love picking their food! Hopefully they will eat it too.
7. Relax at Donauinsel
This one is on still my bucket list. On a sunny spring day, this will be perfect for the kids. There are beaches, a (water) play grounds and for bigger kids kayaks for rent or walls to climb. If my sister and I want to, running trails lay ready to be discovered. But so are lounging chairs and cocktails mocktails.
Note to self: bring swim suits and running gear.
8. Visit Haus der Musik
In case of bad weather, a museum is always a good idea. The music museum is supposed to be quite interactive which is great with kids.
Haus der Musik
Seilerstätte 30, A-1010 Wien