Austria is very family friendly and offers excellent accommodation, restaurants and amenities along with breath taking mountain scenery, history, culture and a range of culinary delights
Austria is frequently cited as one of the best places to live in Europe, and it is not difficult to see why. It is remarkably safe and clean and offers plenty of affordable culture, natural beauty as well as an efficient public transport system.
A Very Baby Friendly Destination
Austria has an abundance of family friendly restaurants and hotels. ‘Kinder hotels’ are specifically geared towards parents with babies or toddlers. Kinder hotels are a great option for families with younger children as they can supply all your baby and toddler requirements from food, to play areas to child care.
Where to go
Austria’s cities, such as Vienna and Salzburg are very family friendly and are popular during summer and winter with families. Home-grown musical icons Mozart, Schubert and Strauss are championed everywhere. Other draws to the cities include stunning architecture, contemporary art, cutting-edge architecture, innovative cuisine and of course, the delicious hot chocolate! You can also visit great works of art by Rubens, Raphael and Rembrandt, and marvel at Hundertwasser House in Vienna – a fantastical housing complex characterised by its vivid patterns and mismatched colours.
Things to do
If your kids are bored with museums and architecture there are also loads of parks and child friendly museums and amenities. Toddlers and kids will love the snow and ice skating on the lakes in winter. During the summer you can take hikes or have a picnic in one of the wildflower meadows. If planning a holiday in the warmer months you can take boat trip on the Danube River where you can see plenty of castles and the town of Durnstein where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned.
During the Winter months Austria is popular for skiing. There are special kids ski camps arranged during the winter months where kids aged 3 and up (sometimes 4 and up) will learn to ski while you take on the more advanced slopes. Many of the kinder hotels mentioned above will be close to the ski resorts. Another great option for the winter months are the Christmas Markets. Salzburg’s market is often described the best in Europe and kids will love the lights, Christmas trees and entertainment.
When to go
Austria enjoys a moderate continental climate: summers are warm and pleasant with cool nights which makes it perfect for younger kids. Day-time temperatures in July and August are around 25°C (77°F), but can often reach 35°C (95°F) so take care and use sun protection and bring a sun parasol or buggy shade.
Winters are sunny, with snow levels high enough for widespread winter sports. Ski season is from December to March. Winters are cold in the lowlands and very harsh in the Alpine region with temperatures often dropping below -10°C (14°F). Wrap up warm and when walking around take frequent breaks from the cold if you are travelling with a baby.
The best time to visit Austria is June to September for those seeking sunshine and low rainfall, whilst November to March are ideal for winter sports.
You will be able to find loads of family friendly restaurants in Austria. In fact most restaurants are very family friendly and kids will be welcome.
Cafes and restaurants are generally baby friendly and will offer high chairs and many will have baby changing facilities. A lot of cafes will also have toys for children to play with and some will have outdoor play areas. It is always safer to bring a fold away high chair just in case you find yourself in a restaurant without a suitable one. Please see our regional sections for recommendations on where to eat.
High-end restaurants are a different matter, particularly in cities. High-end places in the country tend to be more relaxed but double-check.
Austrian food is distinctive and delicious, and is traditionally of the stodgy, hearty “meat and dumplings” variety. Wiener Schnitzel (a bread-crumbed and fried veal escalope) is a national dish, and Knödel are a kind of dumpling which can be made either sweet or savory according to taste. In Vienna the Tafelspitz (boiled beef with potatoes and horseradish) is traditionally served on Sundays, and is normally accompanied by clear broth with dumplings and herbs. Apart from these, Austria is renowned for its pastries and desserts, the most well-known of which is probably the Apfelstrudel. Almost every village has its own bakery, offering a large choice of freshly baked sweet and savoury rolls daily.
Where to Stay
Most hotels in Austria are baby, toddler and child-friendly except for a few luxury hotels. Most hotels will provide a cot and many have family rooms with a double bed and two singles, or can provide an extra bed for a small charge.
Kids under 2 are usually free and larger hotels may allow older children to go free, otherwise the standard discount is thirty per cent.
Kinder Hotels are a great option for families with younger kids as they are specifically geared towards parents with babies and toddlers. These hotels are dotted around the countryside and offer baby food, crawling rooms, playgrounds, baby sitting services and some even have midwives on staff. Farm stays are another option worth considering and offer endless space to run around with activities such as cycling and riding included.