On our first afternoon in Vienna, Austria, Amy was sick and Misha just needed some downtime. Sometimes travel is like that—travel with teenagers especially—and you just have to roll with the punches.
Bonus ~ we found some of the best nasal spray in Austria due to Amy’s cold!
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An Afternoon in Vienna, Austria
Chris, Kristen, and I decided to begin exploring Vienna anyway and ventured out with the voice of Rick Steves in our ears. As suggested by Rick, we saw St. Stephen’s church, ate ice cream, and then later enjoyed a chocolate mousse cake from Demel’s. We sat in the Michaelerplatz to enjoy the view and the cake.
A lot of Kline family travel is go go go. Yours too? We like to see as much as we can and often walk up to ten miles in a day.
Sometimes, though it is nice just to take it easy for a bit.
So, for your first afternoon in Vienna, press play on the Rick Steves tour, put on your headphones [affiliate], and jump on to Tram #2 for a bit of a listen.
Won’t lie, it was kind of nice to sit and sight see for awhile.
This particular Rick Steves’ tour requires the listener to change from Tram #2 to Tram #1 to complete the circuit. You don’t have to finish it all in one day if you plan to be in Vienna for a few days.
We opted to look for some dinner after getting off Tram #2 and then finish up the tour another day with our older girls. Be flexible.
Castilletos turned out to be a good choice for dinner. Too bad Amy and Misha had to miss out. Fortunately for them, we had enough food with all three of our meals that we were able to take a few leftovers back to them.
But before taking the bus back to our hotel, we sat on the stairs under the historical gate leading to the Hofburg Palace and listened to a trio perform under an arched gateway. The acoustics under the arch were quite fantastic.
Melk and The Wachau Valley
If you are interested in a little bit of traveling outside of Vienna, Melk and the Melk Abbey, the Danube River, and the Wachau Valley might be just what you are looking for.
It took a little bit of planning finesse on my husband’s part to get us to Melk, Austria.
You’ll want to take a bus, then a train, and then transfer to another train before getting THE train tickets for the day to the Wachau Valley of Austria.
At our last stop, a helpful station agent helped us coordinate tickets to Melk, and we didn’t even have to make a mad dash for the train.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. So many people around the world are willing to help. Many of them speak English as well if that is your native language.
We arrived in Melk, Austria around the same time as an English-speaking tour was starting at Melk Abbey. I would not recommend this if you aren’t in the best of shape, but we took off on an uphill hike that might have taken 30 minutes at a leisurely speed. At Kline-speed (and wanting to arrive in time for the tour), we reached the abbey in about 10 minutes.
Our girls were NOT pleased. Whew.
But we made it. Joining the english-speaking tour with Florian was our goal, and though it had already begun, AND we were a little breathless, we were still able to join.
The tour of Melk Abbey includes the royal wing, the great hall where lavish dinners were held, the library which housed over 100,000 books, the chapel, and then the gardens. It was all lovely.
When planning for this trip, Chris had discovered a bike ride from Melk to Krems, Austria.
Chris and I both do extensive advance research when we travel and find many amazing places to visit and activities to participate in. I often take pictures of him while on vacation where he is looking at his phone. People sometimes comment that “Chris is always on his phone.” Surely he must be bored with our vacation.
Not so. He is checking train schedules, making sure apps are downloaded, and keeping up-to-date on excursions. The cell phone makes it so much simpler. If you aren’t traveling with a cell phone, I highly recommend it.
So, after we finished the tour at the Abbey in Melk, Chris downloaded an app and then tried to get a code from a bike rental company. It took awhile for him to get things set up, but he finally got things squared away for an afternoon of bike riding along the south side of the Danube.
The Danube is not blue.
Riding Bikes Along the Danube
Let’s just say I fell off my bike within ten minutes of starting. Don’t do that.
I was bringing up the rear with my family and got held up when Kristen slowed down to go through a small entry way onto the bike path. I didn’t have anywhere to go at the last second as she slowed but into a column and down I went.
Got my elbow and knee pretty good, but I kept going to work out the kinks.
Now, let me just say that the blurb we read about this ride suggested that it was a nice, leisurely downhill coast. DOWNHILL. It was not, IN ANY WAY, leisurely or a downhill coast.
After a couple of hours and about 25 km, we finally stopped in a small town called Spitz, Austria. Our bike-riding muscles were worn out.
Though Chris was ready to ride a couple more hours until we reached Krems, his girls were not willing to go further by bike.
Again, my friends, be flexible. Especially when you are traveling with kids.
You can catch a bus to Krems.
By the time we arrived in Krems the town was pretty much shut down for the day. Boo.
After walking around for a short time, Chris (on his phone) found a train leaving from the Krems station back to Vienna. We only had a few minutes before it left and were all willing to run a little back to the train station to catch it. Sadly, we picked the slower train and it was two hours later when we finally rolled in to the Vienna station.
Chris and I ate Built Bars protein bars [affiliate] on the train as our pseudo dinner. Not the best meal. Sometimes you have to make do in a pinch. Our girls weren’t having any of that. Luckily we reached the station and found a small food court.
Bonus * Use Code SJTRAVELS at checkout for 10% off your Built Bar purchase.
While in Vienna, Austria, I suggest you add a tour of the gardens of the Schonbrunn Palace, the former home of Maria Theresa of the Hapsburg nobility, to your stay.
You’ll see rose bushes and rose arches, ponds, a zoo, Roman ruins, and the shady rows of trees in the extensive palace gardens. We ventured into the maze section of the gardens and had fun trying to find the right path.
There are activities for both the old and young.
Our lunch, much the same as our lunch most days involved fresh bread, cheese, meat, fruit, cookies, and drinks. We hopped a bus to a nearby grocery to pick up a few items and then returned to the gardens for lunch, sitting on a bench next to an emu enclosure of the zoo.
Planning for your meals is a something to consider. We like to go simple and easy at lunch time and many days, our lunch menu doesn’t vary.
We continued on to the Gloriette in the gardens and sat to enjoy the view of the palace and rest for a bit. Apparently, the Gloriette was built as eye candy to be viewed by the royalty from the Schonbrunn Palace.
Turns out it is just a nice place for you to relax, take some pictures, cool off in the shade, enjoy the afternoon, and do a little people-watching.
Final Thoughts on 3 Memorable Days in Vienna With Teens
Austria is simply awesome to explore whether you are riding bikes along the Danube for a new adventure or eating Demel’s chocolate mousse cake. Are you an explorer at heart? The articles below might help you to decide where your next trip will take you.
- My Favorite Photos of Austria in 2019
- 6 Charming European Towns to Explore
- 5 Spectacular Days in the South of France
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