Waltzing through Wien
The morning following our whirlwind day in London we rode the Tube out to Heathrow for the next leg of our holiday: Vienna, Austria. C and I had been on our very first trip to Europe in 2010. It was one of our favorite cities and were more than happy to make it a repeat destination. Vienna is extremely family friendly, beautiful, and full of good food and very friendly people. We stayed in a completely different area of town this time which was good and bad. Our Airbnb was spacious and really well decorated and stocked. The big problem, however, was the construction site immediately outside our windows. Unfortunately it meant early mornings as they often were hammering away at 7am.
The highlight of our time there was visiting the Schönbrunn Tiergarten (zoo). It is a very large zoo with a bunch of animals, a couple playgrounds and gorgeous surrounding gardens. They even had a biergarten where we stopped for lunch. It is right next to Schönbrunn Palace. We had toured the apartments in the palace our first time there and decided it would probably be less than interesting for a 2 year old. That night we ventured into the city center with the goal of getting a quick easy dinner and ice cream. A street hot dog followed by gelato hit the spot. We wandered a bit through the streets listening to the crowds, music and letting some energy out.
The next day we rode the metro into the heart of the tourist area including Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz, and the Graben. We started off with a park, of course. We actually stumbled across it after exiting the metro station at Karlsplatz . It was a large playground under a leafy canopy of trees filled with a group of school kids. Our little monster enjoyed playing with and around some of the local children. It was eventually time for mom and dad to get some sights in so we strapped her into the stroller and walked on. We passed the Opera house, tons of shops and tons of people. There was a long queue to enter St. Stephen’s Cathedral so we grabbed a few photos outside before moving onto St. Peter’s church. It is an extremely ornate house of worship with fascinating objects on display. *Toddler tip: we tell Hannah there are babies sleeping in churches so she will be a little quieter than usual. Most of the tip it actually works!
We couldn’t visit Vienna and not our favorite restaurant from the last trip, Ilona Stüberl. We went in for lunch, sat by the doors and had a great meal. The waitress even brought over a coloring book and pencils to entertain our toddler. The other notable restaurant was dinner our first night at Herzog’s Wirsthaus. The menu was all in German but our waitress kindly translated it all for us. And they had a stack of books, toys, cars, etc to entertain the little ones. It never ceases to amaze me how many places make accommodations for families with young kids in Europe and the UK. We had a great three days in Vienna and barely scratched the surface of all the amazing activities, sites, restaurants and neighborhoods to explore.
Transport: U-Bahn, British Airways