If you've missed yesterday's article 'Checking Out Austria's Imperial Charms' about our first experience of this stunning city in the very heart of Europe - both politically, historically and geographically. You'll have heard that Vienna is famed as both a 'City of Dream's & ' City of Music'. Yet it also contains undoubtably one of the best city experiences across Europe... making it perfect for searching the city for fun things to do, see and explore. So what better way to explore Vienna on Day 2, than with the Vienna Pass!! And a mission to see if we could see 7 of Vienna's top attractions in just 24hrs!
ATTRACTION #1 - VIENNA ZOO
If you've seen our recent Valencia Blog Post on it's 'Bio Parc', you'll know just how much our girls love animals... so much so they've even supported some animal therapy sessions in Spain when they swum with sea lions! & adopted horses at a welfare charity day at Bransby Horses in Lincoln. So how would the oldest zoo in Europe (perhaps the world) compare?
Well, the Schönbrunn Zoo is a brilliant mix of child friendly attraction which give you a brilliant position to see the animals up close and personal, but also plenty of chance to learn more about animal conservation and how to help protect them moving forwards... there's more still, with great information boards to help explain things from bee keeping, barks and even tree rings!
ATTRACTION #2 - HOP ON, HOP OFF BUS TOUR OF VIENNA
If you're colourblind like one of the adults in our van, then you''ll find it an interesting map!! With Red lines or Yellow lines dotting across the map of Vienna... so the 'Hop On, Hop Off Tours' offers plenty to choose from if you want a historical tour of the old city or a lift back from the zoo! With a choice of five routes, it was so easy to pick and choose our journey and discover more via the audio guide about Austria’s historic capital! (Our favourites - Yellow & Red Lines)
ATTRACTION #3 - HOUSE OF MUSIC
As we've driven across Europe on our Family Roadtrip / Learning Journey, we've gathered plenty of chances to expand our girl's horizons (from the WW1 battlefields in France to the Dubrovnik City Walls Tour). But perhaps none has excited the girls as much as the 'House of Music' in Vienna. If there was every a place to embrace a musical learning experience... then it would be in Vienna!
So with the girls having fun on musical staircases, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and many more interactive musical experiments (Sonosphere etc)... we agreed that this was one thing you simply couldn't miss out on if you visit Vienna as a family!
ATTRACTION #4 - TRAVEL THROUGH TIME (5D CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE)
Vienna has had a truly amazing journey!! Maybe as much as any other European City including Porto which our kids loved visiting too! So where better to bring it alive, than in a 5D cinematic experience in the very centre of Vienna. The 'Time Travel - Vienna History Tour' showcases Vienna's history with cinemas, interactive displays, a chance to be in a Vienesee Waltz.... it even gives you a chance to be in a WW2 bunker!!! So in a history that has encompassed historical events like : 90BC (Vindobona created by Romans), 1278 (Habsburgs take control of Vienna), 1529 (first siege of Ottomans), 1679 (first plague epidemic), 1805 (Napolean seizes control of Vienna), 1918 (End of the Monarchy), 1944 (Heavy WW2 bombing),1979 (sold to the UN for 1 shilling), 2007 (Opens it's borders)
You're kids might love this chance to find out about another nation's history as much as ours did...
ATTRACTION #5 - MADAME TUSSAUDS
Well if the others above hadn't tired you out.. then head on to the 6th biggest attraction in Vienna - Madame Tussauds. Having recently visited London and seen the London Dungeons & Shrek Adventure our girls were keen to see how this compared... In truth, not every attraction makes you yearn for more... so whilst this was a great experience it's probably not one we'll repeat too quickly. Yes, it's undoubtably cool to stand next to your Queen, Michale Jackson or Brad Pitt... but it's not cheap! So if visiting with a Vienna Pass then it would be a 'Yes' to a return (as the Vienna Pass had saved us £130 by now in just one day!) but perhaps not as a single ticket entry
ATTRACTION #6 - GIANT FERRIS WHEEL (PRATER PARK)
Now you're talking!!! Having spent some time on the London Eye and the giant Ferris Wheel at Anger's Christmas Market in France..... our kids were desperate to see what Prater Amusement Park would be like! And in truth, although rustic, it has a quaint appeal that will work for both adults and kids alike! It's not going to scare your little ones and it does give a decent view of the city... but you might be left wanting more!!!
ATTRACTION #7 - DANUBE TOWER
So if Attraction #6 left you wanting more, then you'll be pretty keen to find out what the Danube Tower might hold!!! Some 800+ft high, its the highest building in Austria! So how do you get there? Well, it's accessible firstly by S1 train, Subway (U6) & Bus (20a)... and then a hefty elevator!! Try the viewing gallery to get the panoramic views of the city (we went at dusk to get that magical feeling when the city lights take hold and the city appears to dance before your very eyes) and if you get a chance, head for the Kaffehaus and a chance to try Austrian favourite's like the Apfelstrudel & Sacher Cake.
So after arriving in the city at 9am sharp! We left the city just after 8pm! Having completed 7 of Vienna's major attractions, walked over 21,000 steps to make up for all those delicious Austrian pastries!! So we reckon, it's possible to see Vienna in a day, but you might need a second pair of walking boots afterwards!!! But it's been a brilliant day that has seen us fall even more in love with this beautiful city in Austria.
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