Austria with Kids

Author: Dan Brewer

Last Updated:

Traveling to Austria with kids unlocks a magical world of enchanting mountain landscapes, rich cultural experiences, and endless adventure. We chose a family vacation to Austria as it offers a blend of city exploration and natural wonder, from Vienna’s imperial splendor to the captivating Austrian Alps.

Whether it’s diving into history at majestic castles, engaging with interactive museum exhibits, or hiking or biking in the great outdoors, Austria offers memorable experiences for families.

In our three weeks in Austria with kids, we discovered it’s a place where fairy tales come to life, with opportunities to explore grand palaces, discover ancient treasures, and meet a variety of animals at top-tier zoos and aquariums.

As we take you through our family trip to Austria, we’ll highlight must-visit spots, family friendly attractions, the best hiking trails and share tips to ensure your family vacation the best it can be.

an 8-year old boy hiking while on a family trip to Austria.
A family hike in Innsbruck.

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Planning an Austria Family Vacation

When to Visit Austria with Kids

Our recommendation on the ideal time to take your family holiday in Austria is pretty typical for family trips to Europe. Like many families, ours included, summer is the prime season to travel to Austria, coinciding with your children’s school break. However, it’s worth noting that there are also numerous advantages to exploring Austria with your little ones during spring or fall.

High Season in Austria

High season for Austria is July – August, in the heart of the most pleasant summer months. The average temperatures in the main Austrian cities ranges between 20 – 30°C (68 – 86°F), while in the Alps, it can often be up to 10°C (30°F) cooler.

In exchange for the best weather of the year, a visit to Austria with kids in high season also means expensive accommodations and big crowds at the top tourist destinations in Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and in the mountain resort towns. We advise you to book your accommodations as early as possible if you are planning a family vacation to Austria during high season.

an 8-year old boy enjoys the views from Nordkette while visiting Innsbruck on a family trip to Austria in summer.

While this post about visiting Austria with kids is geared towards the warmer summer months, it’s also important to note that Austria has a second high season in the winter months. Between December – March, visitors flock to Austria for some skiing at some of the best ski resorts in the world. Given we live in the Canadian Rockies and we love winter sports, we can’t wait to return to Austria with kids in winter!

Shoulder Season in Austria

Shoulder season for visiting Austria with kids tends to be either between April – June and September – October. If you can schedule your Austria family vacation during shoulder season, you will enjoy milder weather, fewer tourists and more affordable accommodations.

How Long to Visit Austria with Kids

Austria is blessed with a wide variety of destinations for families to choose from. Families visiting Austria with kids can choose from the beauty, culture and history of Salzburg and Vienna, or the world famous mountain playgrounds in the Austrian Alps.

the Brewer kids, from the Family Can Travel blog, take a funny picture at the Nordkette cable car, near Innsbruck, Austria.
Our kids can’t resist these funny photo ops!

With so many incredible tourist destinations to choose from, you could easily visit Austria with kids for over a month and still not see everything. Of course, traveling with kids this long isn’t typically realistic, so coming up with the best Austria itinerary for your family will depend entirely on your interests and how much time you have.

We spent a total of 24 days on our family holiday in Austria. We arrived in Innsbruck via a sleeper train after spending 3 days in Amsterdam with kids. We then began an 11 day family road trip through Austria taking us from Innsbruck to Salzburg. We continued our trip with an amazing 7 day self-guided family cycling tour through Austria. Then, after a very enjoyable two weeks in Slovenia with kids, we returned to Austria with 3 days in Vienna before flying back home to Canada.

an 8-year old boy enjoys a family hike at Krimml Waterfall while on a summer vacation to Austria.
The Krimml waterfall was so beautiful.

As with each of our family trips, we created our Austria itinerary by focusing on the interests of every family member. For example, Celine and I wanted to be active with our kids in the beauty of the Austrian Alps, so we booked the family cycling tour. Our kids love beaches, so several days in the mountain resort town of Zell am See was a great addition to our Austria itinerary.

Thankfully Austria is a pretty small country, so the travel times in-between destinations isn’t often that long, especially if you have a rental car.

Below we share our 3-week Austria family trip itinerary. You can easily modify it to make it a 2-week itinerary for your Austria family holiday, by removing parts of our trip which may not appeal to you.

Celine Brewer, tickles her son while on a family hike at Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria.
Hohe Tauern National Park.

Getting Around Austria with Kids

It was really easy to get around on our family trip to Austria. We managed to get around the country easily with a series of easy train rides and on an 11-day family road trip through Austria.

The main train operator in Austria is OBB. We found it very easy to find and buy train tickets in Austria, and it was just as easy to actually ride the trains. The OBB trains in Austria are clean, efficient and usually on-time. We love traveling by train on our family trips to Europe, and getting to see the incredible Austrian scenery made it that much more special.

We also had a rental car for an 11-day Austria road trip with kids. We started in Innsbruck and ended in Salzburg, with stops in Zillertal, Zell and See and Hallstatt along the way. It couldn’t have been easier to drive around Austria with kids. The drivers are sane and the roads are in great shape, meaning your only real danger is being distracted by the epic scenery as you drive around Austria with your family.

An aerial view of the winding road on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road scenic drive in Austria.

Browse train tickets and car rentals in Austria.

Where to Stay in Austria with Kids

One things we’ve learned from our family vacations to Europe, is that there is a huge variety of family-friendly accommodations. We’re sure you will find the perfect place to stay for your family in Austria.

If we stay in a location for several nights, we like to have more of the comforts of home, so we generally opted for vacation rentals. It’s easy to find food in Austria for even the pickiest of eaters, but we like to have kitchen facilities to be able to eat a healthy breakfast and arrange a healthy lunch. We generally ate dinners out, but it was nice having the kitchen in case we got tired of restaurant food (which can happen after traveling for a while).

Celine Brewer, from the Family Can Travel blog, has a meal with her kids at her summer vacation rental in Zillertal, Austria.
Our house rental in Zillertal had amazing views!

In addition to kitchen facilities, we also enjoyed additional family-friendly amenities such separate bedrooms and as laundry facilities. Don’t underestimate the value of separate bedrooms – not only can you have some privacy at night, but when your kids are well rested, they are much better travelers.

Now that our kids have travelled enough, they have figured out that hotels typically come with big buffet breakfasts and swimming pools. So, we snuck in a few family-friendly hotels on our Austrian family vacation too. We were able to find hotels with family rooms, adjoining rooms and ones with bunk beds for the kids.

the Brewer kids, from the Family Can Travel blog, relax at the hotel swimming pool after a good day of cycling in Austria.
We had some great hotels on our cycling tour.

You can browse vacation rentals and family-friendly hotels in Austria. Or, for more detailed insights on our stays in Slovenia, check out our specific destination posts.

Austria Road Trip Itinerary

Here is our three-week Austria itinerary with kids. As mentioned previously, our family trip was a combination of trains, cycling tours and a self-drive road-trip itinerary for Austria.

Family travel is all about finding balance. Although we planned many family friendly activities in Austria for the kids, we also added activities we love to do (like hiking and cycling) to our itinerary. You’ll see our 3-week Austria itinerary tried hard to achieve a good balance, hopefully making parents and kids happy and satisfied.

a 10 year old on a family road trip through Austria soaks in the mountain views.
Zell am See.

Austria Three Week Itinerary Overview

  • Day 1: Innsbruck
  • Days 2-5: Zillertal
  • Days 6-10: Zell am See
  • Days 11-12: Hallstatt
  • Days 13-14: Salzburg
  • Days 15-20: Alpe Adria Family Cycle Tour
  • Days 21-24: Vienna

24 Day Austria Itinerary & Best Things to do in Austria with Kids

We loved our summer holiday in Europe and we especially loved our three weeks in Austria with kids. Our itinerary gave us sufficient time to explore each area and find some of the best things to do in Austria with kids.

Day 1: Innsbruck

After visiting Amsterdam with kids, our sleeper train pulled into Innsbruck bright and early. We were able to drop off our luggage at our kid-friendly hotel near the train station, allowing us to go exploring this former Winter Olympics host city.

We had a very enjoyable walk through the small, but charming town centre of Innsbruck. We were excited to be in Austria for the first time, so we grabbed some apple strudel from a tempting bakery as we made our way towards our main activity for the day.

The Brewer family, from the Family Can Travel blog, carries a bag of apple strudel on their way to Nordkette for a family hike.
Carrying our apple strudel on our way to Nordkette.


We decided to spend our summer vacation in Austria with kids to spend time in their incomparable mountains, so it didn’t take us very long to begin our mountain adventures. After walking through the historic town centre, we bought our Nordkette tickets and hopped on the Hungerburg funicular to the Hungerburg cable car station. In a matter of minutes we were 2,200m / 7,200 feet above sea level enjoying spectacular views of the Austrian Alps and the town of Innsbruck below.

Celine Brewer, of the Family Can Travel blog, sits with her daughter at one of the Nordkette viewpoints near Innsbruck, Austria.

We began our Innsbruck mountain adventure with a short, but very exciting hike along the Geotrail. It begins from the observation deck on the highest cable car and follows a ridgeline for about 1 km / 0.6 miles. The hiking trail follows some rocky cliffs, with amazing mountain views along the way. This easy family hike was an excellent introduction to Austria.

the Brewer family enjoys the Geotrail hike at Nordkette while on a family vacation to Austria.
Amazing views from the Geotrail!

On our way back down, we stopped at the middle cable car station for some fun at a playground before enjoying yet another short family hike – this time on the Path of Perspectives. This downhill hike also offers amazing views on the way to a fun viewing platform.

Days 2-5: Zillertal Valley (Beginning of 11-day Austria Road Trip with Kids)

After our short stay in Innsbruck, we grabbed a rental car and began our family road trip through Austria. For the first stop on our road trip we chose the Zillertal Valley – a family-friendly adventure hub just 90 minutes away from Innsbruck and Salzburg. This picturesque area, rich in ski resorts, offers abundant summer activities for families, from hiking and biking to cable car rides to mountain peaks for fun family experiences.

Celine Brewer, of the Family Can Travel blog, goes hiking with her kids in the Zillertal Valley while on a family road trip in Austria.
Beautiful hikes in the Zillertal Valley.

We stopped at two fun family-friendly activities on our way to the Zillertal Valley.

Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Museum)

Our first stop was the Swarovski Crystal Museum – not far outside Innsbruck. Everyone loves Swarovski Crystals, but there’s much more to it than than a crystal museum; it’s a super cool art and play space.

Imagine seeing the world’s largest hand-cut crystal or entering a room with real falling snow. Our kids loved the Crystal Dome as well as the Hollywood room with crystals from famous movies.

a 10-year old girl is amazed at the indoor falling snow at the Swarovski Crystal Museum just outside Innsbruck, Austria.
Real snow – inside!

The outdoor area features an awesome Crystal Cloud made of 800,000 crystals and a really fun playground tower. The Swarovski Crystal Museum is fun for all ages, and yeah, there’s the world’s biggest Swarovski store too (prepare your wallet!).

Schwazer Silberbergwerk

Another must-do kid-friendly attraction near Innsbruck is the Schwazer Silberbergwerk silver mine. We geared up in fleece jackets and hard hats as it’s chilly and damp inside, even in summer!.

Entering the Schwazer Silberbergwerk silver mine was thrilling, and riding the tiny mining train through the dark, tight tunnel was a wild ride, although our kids were a bit spooked at first! The walking tour deep in the belly of the mountain was great, with mannequin miners and watermill demos. It was an awesome, slightly spooky adventure the kids ended up loving!

two kids cuddle for warmth while on a silver mine tour at Schwazer Silberbergwerk just outside Innsbruck, Austria.

Zillertal Canyoning

We love family adventures in the mountains and one of our favorite mountain activities is canyoning. We were very excited for the chance to go canyoning with our kids in Zillertal, Austria.

All geared up in our water suits we hit the river. Walking upstream, we entered a stunning stunning canyon with towering rock walls and lush greenery, and the water was this amazing emerald color.

The Family Can Travel team wears wetsuits while sitting under a waterfall while canyoning in the Zillertal Valley in Austria.

Our group had three families, and our guide was awesome with the kids, keeping everyone safe and engaged. We waded, swam in deep spots, jumped off rocks, slid down natural slides, and explored caves. The guide was considerate enough to take lots of pictures, so we have cool memories of this wet and wild adventure!

Nature’s Ice Palace – Hintertux Glacier

We awoke to rain one morning, so we decided to outsmart the wet weather and enjoy a rare opportunity to play in the snow in the middle of summer. There are not many places in the world you can do this, but you can at the Hintertux Glacier in Zillertal Valley!

Celine Brewer, of, hugs her son in the snow on top of the Hintertux Glacier in Austria in July.
We wore every layer of clothing that we brought to Austria.

Getting to the Hintertux Glacier was an adventure in itself, with three gondola rides up the mountain offering breathtaking views of the Alps and waterfalls all around. In the heart of July, it was surreal to see snow and skiers around us – skiing’s a year-round thing here!

The trek to the ice cave involved a slippery descent down a hill, but it was worth it. The caves were incredible, with tunnels of ice lit up in cool ways. We occasionally had to navigate around some water, but the views of ice formations and icicles were unreal. The cherry on top? A boat ride inside the cave, ducking low ceilings and all. It’s a summertime experience we won’t soon forget!

the Brewer family from the Family Can Travel blog enjoys the ice cave tour at the Hintertux Glacier while on an Austria family road trip.

Zillertal Arena Coaster

We love mountain coasters and try to ride them every chance we get, so we couldn’t pass up a chance to ride the mountain coaster at Zillertal Arena. Imagine the thrill of riding in a single car down the mountain on a gravity powered roller coaster track, controlling your speed (or not!) with a brake as you zip down thrilling tracks.

We loved how inexpensive it was, so we decided to go for three mountain coaster rides each. Starting with a scenic ascent, the real thrill kicks in on the descent, twisting and turning down the mountain. It’s a rush, especially if you dare to go fast.

We let the kids burn off their excitement at the large playground at the bottom of the Zillertal mountain coaster. It was such a fun thing to do in Zillertal with kids, that we even bought a fun souvenir photo!

Celine Brewer, owner of Family Can Travel, and her daughter have a great time on the kid-friendly Zillertal Arena coaster.

Krimml Waterfall

After an amazing time in the Zillertal Valley with kids, we had an unforgettable experience on our way to Zell am See. Celine and I have seen some epic waterfalls around the world, but hiking to Krimml Waterfall with our family was unforgettable.

the Krimml Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Europe.

At 380 m / 1,250 feet high, the Krimml waterfall in nearby Hohe Tauern National Park is Europe’s tallest waterfall. It features a surprisingly family-friendly hike with 11 viewpoints where you can get sprayed by the mist, perfect on a warm day. The first view is spectacular, and the path, while mostly uphill, was very manageable, even for our kids.

The round trip family-friendly hike up Krimml Waterfall took us just over 2 hours, with the descent being much faster. An amazing family adventure near Zillertal Valley!

the Brewer family, from the Family Can Travel blog enjoys a family hike at Krimml Waterfall on a summer trip to Austria.
Dobongsan Trail Map on AllTrails

AllTrails Map

We used AllTrails to help us navigate the family-friendly hike up Krimml Waterfall.

See the rest of our adventures and get details on where we stayed in our blog post on visiting the Zillertal Valley with kids

Days 6-10: Zell am See

We recently visited the French Alps with our kids and one of our favorite spots was a beautiful mountain resort town with a lake. We enjoyed visiting Lake Annecy with kids so much that we looked for an equivalent lake resort town in Austria. Zell am See was perfect!

Our stay in Zell am See with kids was the perfect place to ensure everyone in the family had something they enjoyed. The kids got to swim in Lake Zell a few times, while we got to go on a few epic family hikes in the surrounding mountains.

Grossglockner High Alpine Road

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road was a must-see on our Zell am See trip. Sure, the main reason for driving this scenic road was hiking the Pasterze Glacier Trail, but the drive itself is a showstopper.

Starting from Zell am See, we journeyed south to Hohe Tauern National Park. After the park’s entrance, the real thrill began: winding mountain roads, sharp turns, and jaw-dropping vistas of towering mountains and waterfalls.

a 10-year old girl on a family road trip in Austria checks out the views from the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

We stopped at several breathtaking spots, but the views from the top of the mountain pass were unmatched. Ending at the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe visitor center, we realized why this is dubbed Austria’s most scenic drive. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is absolutely a highlight for families visiting Zell am See!

Hiking to the Pasterze Glacier

Driving the Grossglockner High Alpine Road was just the start; we were after a family adventure. At the road’s end, the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe visitor center in Hohe Tauern National Park offers stunning views of Austria’s tallest peak and the vast Pasterze Glacier.

Although most visitors don’t venture far beyond the viewpoint, we took the family-friendly Pasterze Glacier Trail, opting to hike rather than use the funicular. Alongside breathtaking glacier views and mountain scenery, we spotted a marmot and admired wildflowers, with waterfall sounds as our backdrop.

the Family Can Travel team hikes the Pasterze Glacier Trail.

The Pasterze Glacier Trail also sparked conversations about global warming, as signs mark the glacier’s alarming retreat over recent decades. The trail led us close to the glacier, where we experienced the chill and the unforgettable sound of the ice cracking. The Pasterze Glacier Trail was a truly memorable family hike with educational twists and incredible natural beauty!

Rather than turn back, we continued hiking a more challenging route, which won’t be suitable for all families. I give all the details in our full post on Zell am See with kids.

Pinzgauer Spaziergang Trail – Trassxpress Cable Car

Our summer trip to Austria was all about enjoying the Alps, and the best family-friendly hike in Zell am See is the Pinzgauer Spaziergang hike. Catching the Trassxpress cable car, we were treated to stunning views of Zell am See and Lake Zell before hitting the trail.

The Pinzgauer Spaziergang hike, known for its breathtaking mountain scenery, runs about 17 km / 10.5 miles one-way, but families can choose to turn back anytime. Starting with a challenging uphill stretch, the trail then levels out, offering panoramic views of the mountain peaks in Hohe Tauern National Park.

Celine Brewer, from the blog, enjoys a family hike on the Pinzgauer Spaziergang trail near Zell am See, Austria.

Halfway, cloud-covered mountains unveiled their beauty, making the gondola ride up worth every penny. Our adventure included a humorous encounter with some affectionate cows, making it a memorable turn-back point. While it ranks just behind Krimml Waterfall for family activities in Zell am See, the Pinzgauer Spaziergang trail was an unforgettable family hike in the Austrian Alps.

Zell am See Beach

In addition to the amazing mountain activities on offer, the main reason we chose to visit Zell am See with kids was the lake. The Zell am See beach is located right in town, nestled on a picturesque peninsula with stunning lake and mountain views.

There’s no sandy beach at Lake Zell, but that didn’t stop our kids from having fun. Kids can dive into Lake Zell from platforms, splash around in a large pool with a slide, or enjoy a kiddie wading pool.

The highlight? Our kids loved the inflatable Wibit platforms on the water, including a floating trampoline which was a huge hit with our daughter. Our family loved Zell am See beach so much, we went twice! It’s the perfect spot for a family day out in Zell am See.

an 8-year old makes a big splash in Lake Zell while on a family trip to Austria in summer.

For even more family-friendly activities and a detailed 5 day itinerary, read more on our time in Zell am See with kids

Days 11-12: Hallstatt (End of our 11 day Austria Road Trip)

From the first moment I saw the iconic image of Hallstatt, with its charming waterfront church set against the Austrian Alps, I knew I had to visit. It’s a scene that captures the essence of Hallstatt, making it a renowned destination.

Including Hallstatt in our family road trip in Austria was a no-brainer. To dodge the crowds, we spent two days in Hallstatt, allowing us one morning to arrive early to enjoy its tranquility before the tour buses. This approach served us well, offering a more peaceful experience. If your Austria trip allows, I highly recommend spending a couple of days in Hallstatt for a serene family adventure.

Here are the highlights of our two days in Hallstatt with kids:

The Hallstatt Church Photo Viewpoint

It’s always exciting when you knock something off your travel bucket list. The walk through the charming town of Hallstatt was very enjoyable, but I was also eager to go to the viewpoint to get that iconic Hallstatt church photo.

Just a short walk outside central Hallstatt, we found the small but famous photo spot. It was thrilling to capture the iconic view ourselves. Early in the morning, it was peaceful and nearly empty, a stark contrast to the bustling town center by midday.

an 8-year old and a 10-year old pose for a picture while on a family vacation to Hallstatt, Austria.

Our kids might not have grasped its significance, but for Celine and I, it was a special moment. If you’re heading to Hallstatt, I recommend visiting early (as we did) to enjoy this magical spot without the crowds.

After you are done with the main Hallstatt church viewpoint, you may also wish to visit the Mullerstiege Viewpoint for another excellent view. I share the location of this additional viewpoint in our main post on visiting Hallstatt with kids.

Gosau Lakes Hike

We decided on a family trip to Austria mainly for kid-friendly hikes in the stunning Austrian Alps. For our arrival day in Hallstatt, we chose an easy hike through a valley southwest of the town, home to the picturesque Gosau Lakes.

The Gosau Lakes Trail winds past three scenic lakes, offering breathtaking mountain views along the way. Our walk around the Gosau Lakes featured flat, wide paths ideal for families, with lake views, enchanting forest sections dotted with waterfalls, frogs, and wild berries.

a 10-year old girl stands on a large tree stump near the shores of Rear Gosau Lake, while on a family hike near Hallstatt, Austria.

For families visiting Hallstatt with kids, the Gosau Lakes Trail is a gem, blending easy hiking with alpine beauty.

Echernatalweg Hike

Despite trail closures thwarting our plans to hike up Rudolph’s Tower trail, we found an excellent alternate adventure on the Echernatalweg Trail just outside Hallstatt. This family-friendly hiking trail weaves through quaint suburbs, past fields and an ivy-covered church, leading us to the cool, misty air alongside the Waldbach River.

The highlight of the Echernatalweg Trail was the Waldbachstrub Waterfall, a series of cascades culminating in a spectacular view. We got drenched by the spray on the lower platform, a refreshing pause during our summer hike. Opting for a loop, we returned via the scenic Malerweg Trail, making a memorable family hike with both river and waterfall views.

a brother and sister stop near a waterfall on the kid-friendly Echernatalweg Hike near Hallstatt, Austria.

Hallstatt Cemetery / Hallstatt Charnel House

Wrapping up our last day in Hallstatt, we took the kids to the Hallstatt Cemetery, an unexpectedly intriguing stop. Unlike any ordinary cemetery, this one boasts unique tombstones and vibrant flower beds, nestled on a hill offering beautiful views of the lake, mountains and town.

the Hallstatt Cemetery.

For a slightly unusual twist, we also checked out the Hallstatt Charnel House. Here, painted skulls and leg bones are displayed, a tradition born from the cemetery’s space constraints. It’s a quick visit but a fascinating glimpse into local customs. If your family is curious, it’s a memorable way to explore cultural practices.

Get the exact locations of the Hallstatt viewpoints, attractions and hiking trailheads in our post on visiting Hallstatt with kids.

Days 13-14: Salzburg

We dropped off our rental car early in the morning on our first day in Salzburg with kids. This marked the end of our family road trip through Austria and the beginning of a new and exciting Austria adventure – this time on two wheels.

Salzburg, renowned as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace, is a picturesque city in Austria. Its quaint Old Town and the stunning backdrop of the Austrian Alps add to its charm. Following an unforgettable family road trip across Austria, we dedicated two days to exploring Salzburg with our kids. Our short visit to Salzburg was packed with activities, uncovering plenty of kid-friendly fun in Mozart’s hometown.

Salzburg Marionette Theater (Salzburger Marionettentheater)

One of the most unique cultural experiences you can share with your children is the Salzburg Marionette Theater, a UNESCO-recognized piece of Austria’s cultural heritage.

Instead of going to a lengthy evening performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” or “The Sound of Music,” we opted for a family-friendly matinee. The 35-minute “Puppetry Highlights” performance showcased the best scenes from both Salzburg Marionette Theater shows.

a collection of puppets on display in the lobby of the kid-friendly Salzburg Marionette Museum.

Our children were captivated by the vibrant marionette animals in “The Magic Flute” and delighted by the marionette version of “The Sound of Music,” sung in English. The Salzburg Marionette Theater is a must-do for families in Salzburg!

Puppetry Highlights Tickets

Fortress Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Fortress)

Perched high on a hill overlooking Old Town, the Salzburg Fortress dominates the cityscape, its unbreached walls standing since the 11th century.

We chose to hike up to the fortress rather than take the funicular, soaking in the breathtaking views. Visiting early, we virtually had this top Salzburg family attraction to ourselves, spending three hours exploring every corner.

the kids from the Family Can Travel blog sit on top of a stack of cannonballs while visiting the Salzburg Fortress on a summer holiday in Austria.

The Salzburg Fortress sparked our kids’ imaginations, especially with the Explorers Pass activity books guiding us through a Panorama Tour. Highlights included the dungeon, panoramic city views, medieval exhibits, and interactive sections like making armor and learning fortress construction techniques with foam pieces. The Salzburg Fortress was an engaging, fun-filled activity for the whole family.

Salzburg Fortress Tickets

Salzburg Natural History Museum (Haus der Natur)

After enjoying some ice cream in Old Town, we headed to the Salzburg Natural History Museum and were blown away by its extensive, high-quality exhibits across five floors. Our kids were particularly captivated by the aquarium on the first floor, home to sharks, stingrays, clownfish, seahorses, and even axolotls (my daughter’s favorite animal).

They also loved learning about different birds, including seeing a Dodo skeleton. Having recently explored Hohe Tauern National Park, the exhibit on its wildlife was a hit. Plus, the space exhibit offered a cool opportunity to discover our weights on different planets. The Salzburg Natural History Museum is a super fun, educational outing for the whole family!

an 8-year old boy stands inside the massive fossilized jaw of a sea creature.

For even more things to do with kids, and the location of an amazing local favorite bakery, check out our post on visiting Salzburg with kids.

Days 15-20: Alpe Adria Family Cycle Tour

Have you ever thought about exploring Austria with kids on bikes? We love family-friendly cycling tours, so we did a ton of research to find the best family-friendly self-guided cycling tour in Austria. We decided on the family-friendly version of the Alpe Adria cycle path which runs north-to-south from Salzburg to Villach.

We chose this cycle route as it offers a less challenging journey through the heart of the stunning Austrian Alps, perfect for family cycling holidays. It’s an excellent way to be active as a family and immerse in Austria’s breathtaking landscapes. Europe is brimming with excellent cycling destinations, but Austria stands out for its scenic beauty and kid-friendly paths.

Celine Brewer and her son are all smiles while on the Alpe Adria cycle path in Austria.

Each and every day of our family cycling tour through Austria had new adventures. The scenic Austrian Alps are the true star of the show, but there’s many additional highlights you’ll encounter on this Austria cycling tour including:

  • A high ropes course outside Salzburg: Our kids love high ropes courses and we couldn’t resist stopping for this awesome one just outside Salzburg. We love how these challenging rope courses build confidence in our kids, while they get great exercise and have fun.

  • Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave: A natural wonder just outside Werfen, Austria, the Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave was incredible. Venture 1 km / 0.6 miles into the belly of an enormous cave with jaw-dropping ice formations along every step.

  • Groppensteinschlucht Gorge: One of our favorite family-friendly hikes in Austria, the Groppensteinschlucht Gorge is a ton of fun. Follow elevated boardwalks over a raging river, visiting a series of waterfalls – each more impressive than the last.
Two kids on a summer vacation to Austria take a break from their family cycling tour to admire a field of wildflowers.

For more details on this amazing Austria cycling tour, including daily trip details and the name of our tour operator, check out our post about cycling the Alpe Adria trail with kids.

Days 21-24: Vienna

Once we arrived in Villach to end our family friendly cycling tour through Austria, we then crossed the border for 2 weeks in Slovenia with kids. After an amazing time in Slovenia, we returned to Villach to take a train to Vienna for a three day visit to conclude our summer trip to Austria with kids.

A truly stunning city, Vienna was the perfect location to end our family vacation to Austria. Our summer visit to Vienna with kids was a blend of indoor cultural experiences and outdoor adventures, making it a standout on our European journey.

a 10 year old girl admires some public artwork while on a family holiday to Vienna, Austria in summer.

We highly recommend Vienna to families seeking a mix of culture and fun, as the city is packed with activities suited for children. From museums to parks, Vienna offers so many incredible options that choosing what to do can be the biggest challenge! Here are just a few of the many highlights of our time in Vienna with kids:

Schönbrunn Zoo (Vienna Zoo)

To be honest, we normally skip the zoos when we travel with our kids – it kinda feels like you’ve seen one and you’ve seen them all. But, we heard such great things about the Vienna Schönbrunn Zoo, that we decided to give it a try, and we’re glad we did.

The Vienna Zoo is a world-class destination featuring animals from every corner of the globe. Vienna’s zoo boasts an impressive lineup of crowd-pleasers like giant pandas, koalas, and even a super-cute cloud rat. Our children loved the variety of animals, from the adorable red pandas to the majestic polar bears and playful penguins in their expansive enclosures. While the orangutans were shy during our visit, the petting zoo and playground were perfect for ending our day.

a 10-year old girl, from the Family Can Travel blog, makes a new friend at the petting zoo at the Vienna Zoo.

Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Natural History Vienna)

We love teaching our kids about nature, so we couldn’t skip the renowned Vienna Natural History Museum. Starting with the dazzling mineral, gemstone, and rock exhibits, our kids were thrilled to explore crystals and fossils, sparking their curiosity early in the visit.

The interactive Earth history halls, complete with volcano simulations, were a hit. Dinosaur and amber displays fascinated them, especially with their recent interest in “Jurassic Park.” The anthropology section, featuring early human life and interactive transformations, captivated us all. The vast biodiversity showcased on the upper floor, from African mammals to exotic reptiles, made our visit to the Vienna Museum of Natural History both educational and unforgettable.

Haus des Meeres (Vienna Aquarium)

Another great activity for kids in Vienna which helps spark a love of nature is the Vienna Aquarium, uniquely situated in an 11-story building. This compact space surprised us with its extensive aquatic and land exhibits.

Our kids were thrilled by the manta rays, sharks, piranhas, jellyfish, and sea turtles. A humorous moment came when we expected a giant hammerhead shark but were greeted by two small ones instead, one taking a particular liking to our son.

a sea turtle at the Vienna Aquarium.

Beyond ocean life, we encountered an impressive snake section, creepy tarantulas, scorpions, and more. The leaf cutter ants exhibit, showcasing their entire lifecycle, was a highlight, reminding us of a recent family trip to Colombia.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

As much as we love nature, you can’t visit Vienna with kids and not expose them to some culture, right? With an overwhelming amount of choices, we decided on the Kunsthistorisches Museum, as we felt it had a very family-friendly collection.

Not usually museum-goers, we were drawn to the renowned Greek and Egyptian collections at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Our visit started among Greek antiquities, sparking some giggles at the sight of naked marble statues. The Egyptian section captivated us next, with hieroglyphics and gods intriguing our kids, and a mummified crocodile stealing the show.

an 8-year old boy hams it up in front of two Egyptian artifacts at the Kunsthistorisches Museum on a family trip to Vienna.

The entire second floor of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is dedicated to artwork. We raced through most of it, although we paused to enjoy a few masterpieces like Bruegel’s Tower of Babel.

For even more fun family activities and a glimpse at our itinerary, check out our post on a family trip to Vienna.

What to Pack for Austria with Kids

Believe it or not, Celine and I were able to pack for our entire 45-day summer vacation to Slovenia and Austria with our Cotopaxi carry-on backpacks. We believe that travel is much more enjoyable when you can pack lightly and bring only the bare essentials. (To save a ton of space, we did leave our bike helmets at home and had some delivered to an Amazon locker in Salzburg. The cost of buying helmets there roughly equalled what it would have cost to pay for checked baggage on our flights).

If you’ve visited our family travel blog before, you know we are a pretty active family. We believe in going outside to enjoy nature rain or shine, so we try to be as prepared for the weather as possible.

Celine Brewer, of the Family Can Travel blog, goes on a hike in the rain with her kids near Hallstatt Austria.

For traveling to Austria with kids in summer, we knew this would mean lots of active wear for everyone. We brought rain gear with us, and actually wore it quite a bit on our family cycling trip.

We enjoyed plenty of great summer weather in Austria too, spending our time in shorts and t-shirts, using lots of sunscreen along the way. Be sure to bring sunglasses, hydration packs and sun hats for everyone.

If you plan on some mountain top adventures, a fleece jacket is also a good idea as it’s always noticeably cooler at altitude.

Celine Brewer and her son each wear fleece jackets to stay warm on the Krimml Waterfall hike in Austria.

For the driving days on your Austria road trip we recommend having some audiobooks or kid-friendly podcasts to help your kids pass the time. We like this option as it occupies their brain, while still allowing them to look out the window to soak in the incredible Austrian scenery.

We hope you enjoyed reading about of summer vacation to Austria with kids. We hope you have an incredible family trip to Austria too!

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Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.

When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip).