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Vienna - City Center (Innere Stadt)

St Stephens Cathedral Vienna
  St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom) – You can't miss Stephansdom, right in the middle of the city – a Gothic special, with an amazing roof covered with green, yellow, white and black tiles in geometric designs. Outside the church, on the south side, check out the bronze model of the cathedral, to get a feeling for the overall shape of the cathedral and roof designs.
      South Tower – Climb up the South Tower (343 steps, round and round) for a panorama of the city and views of the Danube flowing through Vienna. (Also, walk around the church to compare the height of the South Tower and North Tower – the North Tower is a stubby little thing compared to the soaring South Tower.)
      Pummerin bell – Take the elevator up the North Tower to see the Pummerin, one of the biggest bells in Europe. Completed in 1711 to commemorate the victory of Vienna against the invading Turks, the Pummerin was destroyed in World War II, but recast from metal from the old bell. Note: At the top of the tower, the steps leading up to the bell have good railings, but anyone with vertigo will get sweaty palms.
      "Toothache Lord" – Near the elevator for the Pummerin is a sculpture of Jesus that originally stood outside the church. According to legend, three young men mocked the statue, attributing the suffering in Jesus face to a toothache. That night, the three guys were flattened with terrible toothaches, until they returned to the church to ask forgiveness, and their toothaches were cured.
      Right next to the Toothache Lord, is a self-portrait of Anton Pilgram, the stone mason who carved the pulpit in the middle of the church. Master Pilgram is leaning out over the sill, holding his compass and square.
      Catacombs tour – Take a half hour tour through the catacombs under the church. In the old catacomb are the crypts where the archbishops and emperors of Vienna were buried for centuries. The founder of the Habsburg dynasty, Rudolph IV, built the cathedral, and he and his wife are buried in the crypt. In later years, the crypt became too crowded for all the Habsburgs, so you'll see small, medium and large copper boxes containing the intestines of the Habsburgs (their bodies are buried elsewhere). In the new catacomb, bodies were haphazardly dumped under the church during the plague, and skulls and bones are still there in mass graves. Older kids, especially teenagers, will find the catacomb tour fascinating, but the new catacombs are pretty gruesome.
    Horse carriage ride – On Stephansplatz, near the North Tower of St. Stephen's cathedral, you'll see horse-drawn carriages (called fiaker) lined up. Go for a delightful clip-clop carriage ride around town.
    Anker Clock (Ankeruhr) – At noon every day in the Hoher Markt, watch twelve figures progress across the large gilded and copper Anker clock. Each figure is someone important from the history of Vienna, such as the Roman Marcus Aurelius (#1), King Rudolf (#5), Empress Maria Theresa (# 11), Joseph Haydn (#12).
    Clock Museum (Uhrenmuseum) – Vienna has a fascination with clocks, and this small museum has an amazing collection of clocks throughout the centuries. Don't miss "painting clocks," where a naturalistic painting is embedded with a clock in the scene, watches in the shape of violins, cuckoo clocks with wooden mechanisms, and glass "glockenspiels."
Doll Museum Vienna
  Dolly and Toy Museum (Puppen und Spielzug Museum) – A charming old-world museum chock full of exquisite late 19th century and early 20th century dolls – wide-eyed dolls with porcelain faces, lovely long hair and old-fashioned dresses. There's also two small puppet theaters and small model trains, but come to see the dolls.
    Boat trip on the Danube – Pick up the boats at the bridge at Schwedenplatz, and cruise down the Danube Canal (Donaukanal) to join the main river. You'll pass through modern locks, chug along the Prater park, passing under bridges, with views of the Danube Tower in the distance, and back through the Danube Canal. Children under ten are free.
Danube Canal Vienna  

Walk along the Danube Canal – The Danube Canal (Donaukanal is lined with trees, and if you walk from the Augartenbrucke to Friedensbrucke on the easy side, there's grass and play areas as well. Both sides of the canal are lined with wide sidewalks and bike paths. It's a peaceful place on a Sunday afternoon, benches for picnicking, a playground here and there.

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