Because we have been travelling quite often in Europe, we had the chance to arrive a couple of times in Vienna. There we found many points of interest for children, from which we enjoyed as well. Our experiences so far, gave me the opportunity to write now this article.
1. Naturhistorische Museum (Natural History Museum)
The Natural History Museum is the place that remained fresh into our minds, being the last one that we have visited. Here is the sanctuary of the biggest and oldest collection of meteorites, which took my boys’ breath away, especially because they are at the age when they manifest a wide interest for things like universe, planets, or the solar system. Indeed, it is very impressive to see the inside of one meteorite, when is truncated, looking at all the amount of iron that it contains… it shines like a kitchen knife! Besides the exhibits from nearly 40 rooms, each hall is prepared in an interactive manner for children. For example in the meteorite gallery, we had the possibility to experiment the impact of one meteorite over Europe. The kids could choose the size they wished for a meteorite and the impact intensity with which the meteorite would crash on Earth. In the end, following a simulation of the event, there were shown the effects of the collision.
We experimented time travelling and we understood how the continents were formed, how they got separated from one single continent million years ago, being in constant movement all the time and how after some million years they will gather once again into the previous one. We have learned all these details by playing a game. So, by spinning a huge hand wheel to the right, we were travelling into the future, and by turning it in the opposite direction we were heading back in time. Also, one screen in front of us was showing us the position the continents used to have in that specific period of time.
Another very interesting location for the kids was the one dedicated to the dinosaurs, the biggest inhabitants of our planet. In the middle of the room, placed on one platform, lies the skeleton of one redoubtable predator from Jurassic. Imagine that we saw an Allosaurus, with the height of 6 meters, together with a very realistic animation of this large animal.
Above it, you can see the flight of one Pteranodon, constructed after its original size (7 meters). But these are not the only attractions! We saw one gigantic tarantula and the skeleton of the biggest turtle in the world:
In the picture, we were trying to stretch in order to reach the ,,knee’’ of one sauropod dinosaur (the largest of the dinosaurs). We are quite small compared with him, aren’t we? 🙂
2. Technisches Museum (Museum of Technology)
Moving forward, I will talk about another interactive spot for children: Museum of Technology. Compared to one similar museum that we have visited in Hungary, this place is distinguished from the last by the exhibition of various things like: energetic industry equipment, locomotives, musical instruments.
Whilst a child is experimenting the Gaussian distribution of the green balls, the other is checking for the law of attraction between two objects (he sees how the big ball is attracting the small one).
We generated electrical current by either using the wind power plants or the flow of the water:
All that time we had been playing, pressing all the buttons and spinning all the handles we found. In this way, physics will definitively be a piece of cake for my kids.
3. Haus des meeres (House of the Sea – Aqua, Zoo, Terra)
Placed in one high building with 10 floors, “Haus des meeres” is fascinating because of its huge aquariums filled with corals, anemones and colourful little fishes.
On the other hand, you can also find sharks, piranhas, crocodiles, iguanas or venomous snakes. In the tropical room, butterflies, birds and even monkeys share a beautiful flight of freedom.
For the first time, I have seen one really interesting concept: the railings have been made out of transparent pipes so you could see the ants walking, transporting their provisions (one leaf or grain) in the direction of their swarm. The little insects are wondering from one room to another through these pipes, which naturally serve as railings to the visitors of the museum.
4. Schonbrunn Zoo (Zoo Vienna)
We go on with the same topic, but this time at the Zoo from the Gardens of Schonbrunn Palace.
I definitely find very inspiring the idea of placing the Zoo in this kind of place, because in this way you are able to visit the gardens of the palace and the Zoo in the same time. We decided not to visit the interior of the palace yet, until the time my children will be older and manifest an authentic interest for history. For now, their excitement was for the panda bear and for the penguins.
They promised that they want to return here to see the polar bear, whose area was in preparation.
5. Danube in Vienna: Cruises
In contrast with Budapest’s Danube, whose course is passing through the middle of the city, giving you the possibility of making one trip on the stream, from where you have access to the most important parts of the city (Palace of Parliament, Buda Castle, the famous bridges like the bridge with chains), here Danube can offer you the visit of two ,,twin’’ capitals: Bratislava (the capital of Slovakia) and Vienna (the capital of Austria). Like other people, we tried the one day trip in Bratislava with a fast boat and we arrived in one hour in the other tremendous capital. While making the road to Bratislava, we passed through one flood gate, which made us feel how our boat was rising and going down into a water basin, after which kept on continuing its way.
On our way, we stayed on the deck of our boat to admire the view and feel the breeze.
Here we are in Vienna on the bridge that leads us to the embankment, from where we started our trip to Bratislava.
6. Donauturm – The Tower from Danube
Donauturm is special for offering you an outlook over Danube and Vienna, from the height of 170 meters. For arriving there, you must go through a peaceful park, placed on the margins of Danube.
From the platform of the tower, you have the entire capital at your feet:
At this height, the most adventurous ones use the tower for bungee jumping !!??
After that, we have stopped for one cake at the restaurant, placed on the spinning platform, from where you can admire the scenery from 360 degrees. However, the spinning restaurant gives you a little bit of dizziness!
7. Prater – The Amusement Park
Moreover, I’ll continue describing another type of height, not so high, and this time is about the big wheel (Riesenrad) of Prater’s Park.
The wheel was constructed in the year of 1895 by Daniel Prater and is formed of over 25 cabins in the shape of tram wagons that lift you up.
The park was open to the public in the period of The Emperor Josef II, as early as 1766. The picture made at height shows the immensity of the park and the big number of attractions for people of all ages: from car games, to dizzy roller coasters, 5D cinemas, water games, wax statues.. in total there are 250 attractions for any age!
8. Hundertwasser Haus
Wondering around the city, we discovered a very interesting type of architecture: houses built in harmony with the nature. There were trees growing from different floors, in curvy lines, with pavements rounded by small hills.
9. Haus der Musik (House of Music)
Opened in 2000, The House of Music is an interactive sound museum. The aim of this place is to build up connections between traditional (classical music) and modern (electrical sounds). There is being presented the development of musical instruments and sound, from the past period until nowadays. The most interesting experiment from this museum was one orchestral simulation. With the help of one wand, you must stay in the front of a screen on which is projected one orchestra and you need to conduct the orchestra in the way you want it to sound. You have the option of choosing the piece of work you want to be interpreted by your orchestra, and it will be played faster or slower… according to the movements of your wand. If after some minutes of chaotic movements of your hand, the orchestra doesn’t succeed in playing, the soloists will stand up protesting against your choir master qualities…but if you will be able to maintain the rhythm of your chosen melody, by the end the orchestra will stand up and applaud you ( I was able to succeed it – and I’ve started to think that maybe I’ve mistaken my carrier J )
10. Vienna Christmas Market
The Christmas Market starts from the last week of November until Christmas. Details can be found in a distinct article.
11. Aqua Park from city’s central area
In my opinion this is very suitable for little children and scholars (until the ages of 12 and 14). We have chosen one day of the week, and remained alone in the water basins.
The combination of two sights in one day will make the kids tired, which will make them lose their interest further on. Thus I recommend one day for each attraction I mentioned before (maybe excepting 8 and 9 that can be combined). Many of these places offer you the option of having lunch at the site.
We are being left for our next visit the following attractions:
(12) Mozart Concert
… and maybe to revisit some of the places we have already seen, places that remain the same, but we’ll see them with new eyes!