From Vienna it will take you at least 3 to 7 hours to go to the western part of Austria. It’s the mountain area where skiing started. The best skiing resorts in the world are located in Tyrol. Austria’s highest mountain is the Grossglockner with 3,798 m. In summer it’s a paradise for hikers and other sport activities and the fresh mountain air is very healthy.
Further to the South lies Klagenfurt on the lake Woerthersee, approx. a 3-hours ride from Vienna. Every Friday and Saturday Klagenfurt Tourismus organizes guided tours through the old city center free of charge. Kids love Minimundus, the miniature world at Lake Woerthersee. The about 150 models of famous structures, trains and ships take visitors on a trip around the world.
When Lake Woerthersee opens for summer end of April, it starts on Friday with a Light Show on the lake and a Big Band Festival and ends with a Jazz concert. As for kids, all the bathing lakes in Carinthia, like the Millstaetter See, the Faaker See or the Klopeiner See are warm and clean and the weather in the South is usually very sunny.
The capital of the province Salzburg is also called Salzburg, the town of Mozart and the Salzburg Festival. The kids enjoy most Palace Hellbrunn with its trick fountains. The world’s largest ice cave, the Eisriesenwelt is located at Werfen. Even walking up and riding on Austria’s steepest cable car is an adventure.
Salzburg’s Top 7 excursion destinations
St. Michael im Lungau has beautiful flowery houses and friendly people. With the free Lungau card you can take several cable cars going up different mountains and visit several castles and other attractions without charge. On foot of the Mauterndorf cable car, there is the children park Smarty Land. In bad weather, Therme Amadé at Altenmarkt offers Austria’s only water looping slide.
Another beautiful city is Innsbruck, Tyrol’s capital surrounded by mountains reachable by cable car and famous for the Golden Roof in the city center. The Winter Olympic Games were held twice at Innsbruck: 1964 and 1976; the Youth Olympic Games only in 2012. With a shuttle bus you can reach the Swarovski Cristal World within 20 min. introducing you to a magic world.
Steinach am Brenner with its Bergeralm cable car is a paradise for mountain-bikers in summer and for skiers in winter. On top of the mountain there is a children’s playground with many stations called Baerenbachl. Steinach is only 15 min. from South Tyrol, which once belonged to Austria and is now a bilingual part of Italy. With the railjet it just takes 4.15 hours from Vienna.
Vorarlberg is the province most west of Austria. As it will take you around 6 hours to go there from Vienna it’s a good choice to split up the journey. On the way there you could stop in Salzburg and on the way back in Tyrol. Another possibility is to pack your car on the railjet and enjoy the children’s cinema until Feldkirch or take the overnight train.
Bregenz is the province capital of Vorarlberg lying on Lake Constance which seems like an ocean bordered by Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Bregenz is the second smallest province capital with 28.000 inhabitants, but has a middle-aged old city center with a pedestrian zone and a mountain with cable car: the Pfaender.
In summer celebrities of the neighbor countries visit the world-famous Bregenz Festival staged on the lake. If you want tickets, you got to order in time. From Bregenz it takes just 20 min. to go to Germany, Switzerland or Liechtenstein. For example, visit St. Gallen’s Abbey Library with the world’s oldest books.
Highly recommended for children in the nearby mountains is the Jufa Montafon near Schruns with a big indoor playground and a Plus Card with many advantages. The Montafon valley offers many attractions for children like the Montafon Aktivclub. The adventure mountain Golm has a children’s trail with English explanations, a flying fox, a forest rope park and an Alpine Coaster.