A visit to Vienna’s historic Prater Vienna with kids delivered a delightful day of thrills, spills and squealing fun.
A large public park in Vienna’s lovely second district, Leopoldstad, The Prater is a gorgeous green space of flat meadows and woodland that is particularly popular with cyclists. It’s also home to the most famous amusement park in Vienna, The Prater Wiener. Packed with history and charm, the famous fun park is free to enter and its colourful avenues are dotted with vintage attractions and fast-food stalls selling some of our favourite Viennese food.
The park’s most famous attraction is the Wiener Riesenrad, a Giant Ferris Wheel built with 30 gondolas to mark the 50th jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1897. After sustaining fire damage during World War II, the Riesenrad was reconstructed with just 15 gondolas before becoming an accidental Hollywood star in the Orson Welles film The Third Man and The Living Daylights with James Bond.
The oldest still-operating Ferris wheel in the world, it was once the tallest of its kind at 64.75 meters but has since been dwarfed by Big Wheels such as the 250-metre-tall Ain Dubai and 135-metre London Eye. While the Riesenrad does offer panoramic views in all directions of the city, it’s not exactly speedy, with a top speed of 2.7 km/h and average revolution, when considering stops for passengers to alight and disembark, can take up to 12-15 minutes.
Popular for both tourists and locals, a visit to the Prater Vienna with kids provides an irresistible wonderland of rides and attractions for all ages, including coasters, carousels, arcades, and other traditional fairground rides
Our kids particularly loved the wet and wild Wildalpenbahn rafting ride, the largest and longest of its kind in the world, which looks far tamer than it is. They went back over and again for the Luftikus swing ride and the Autodrome bumper cars, and got spooked on The Hotel Psycho Ghost Train.
Lovers of thrill rides aren’t forgotten though with more looping, lurching and laughter packed rides than we could fit into a day.
Favourites included the high-speed Boomerang Roller Coaster, the snaking 80km/per hour Black Mamba, 100-metre-tall Prater Tower Chain Carousel, stomach-churning Aqua Gaudi log ride, indoor Insider coaster, and the Super 8er Bahn, the largest steel-based roller coaster in Austria.
Other highlights of the fun-filled park, which is easily accessible via Praterstern station, include go karting, An Inflatable adventure park, Prater Museum, Madame Tussauds Vienna, the Planetarium, and the Butterfly House.
The Prater Vienna
1020 Vienna, Austria