We arrived in Vienna on a crisp, winter afternoon. While the snow had not yet arrived, you could feel it in the air. As we walked to our hotel, the architecture became more and more stunning and as we rounded each new corner, a new spectacular façade came into view. Even the kids stopped in the streets a few times to admire an ornate doorway or balcony. I knew then, it would be easy to entertain my kids in Vienna. I had a list of must see Vienna attractions, but I think letting them walk around while munching on a treat would have kept them happy for hours. Now, if it wasn’t so cold!
As I predicted, on our first morning in Vienna, we woke up to snow on the ground. It was just a light dusting that first day but the kids were beyond thrilled. We bundled up and started marking Vienna attractions & Christmas markets off our list. Yes, there was an actual handwritten list 🙂
Must See Vienna Attractions
We started off our first full day in Vienna at the Hofburg Palace. This was the residence of the Habsburgs for over 600 years! The former winter residence of the imperial family now houses offices of the Federal President, the ministers and secretaries of state as well as museums. During our stay, we visited the Silver Collection, Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments.
The Imperial Silver Collection was interesting. The collection showcases dining services, centerpieces measuring up to 30 m in length and examples of tables set for imperial banquets. Some of the sets were gorgeous and you could see where they were actually used by the imperial families. Lucy and I liked the set with artichokes and pea pods on top.
We did the shortened version of the tour as the kids were only happy to look at the collection for so long.
The Sisi museum was intriguing. We learned that Elisabeth, known as Sisi, became Empress at 16 years old. She didn’t conform well to court life and eventually started spending a great deal of time away from Vienna. Throughout the museum are personal objects on display which attempt to shed light on the life of Sisi. The commentary, with diary entries from her daughter, brought a nice, personal touch to the story. Lucy especially enjoyed seeing the reproductions of Sisi’s dresses.