Tag Archives: day trips

BADEN and the Vienna Woods or just take a Bath

20160327-15-25-50-DSC_3126-Edit

Taking the family out on a day hike in the Vienna Woods is a great way to get out of the house for a day.

20160327-15-14-46-DSC_3121

The wide paths make it easy to avoid stares if you are pushing a stroller. Longer and steeper paths can also be found for those who like to hike.

20160327-17-30-26-DSC_3157

Another attraction is to stroll around the quaint city.

For more information see:

Wikipedia

Take a bath

Google Map

Day trip to Kahlenberg

One of the most visited day trip locations near Vienna is Kahlenberg. It has a vast view of the city and lots of easy hiking trails for the whole family.

20160521-16-34-57-DSC_4991

The drive to the top is also easy or you can choose to hike.

 

For more information see: Heavenly views from the Kahlenberg

And http://www.kahlenberg.eu/en

Google Map

Waldseil Park

20160521-15-59-49-DSC_4988

Waldseil Park in Kahlenberg is a great place for a family day trip. It’s almost as adventurous as Zip Lining, but well organized, and quite safe.

They have a English language website for the latest information: http://www.waldseilpark-kahlenberg.at/en/

 

 

 

Hrad Karlštejn

Hrad Karlštejn is a castle located in the village of Karlštejn, which is about a 40-minute drive from Prague. It is open to visitors daily except Monday; exact opening times vary by season. Entry to the castle is with a guided tour only (CZK 270/$13.75, kids under 6 years free), and English language tours are available. Once you complete the tour you are free to wander around the castle walls, etc. at your leisure.

The castle.

The castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The courtyard of the castle contains a snack hut that sells hot drinks and a few basic snacks, and there are a few stands set up where vendors sell Czech specialties such as honey products (including honey hot cocoa – yum!) and smoked cheese. In early afternoon a trio in medieval costume also set up shop to play some old-fashioned music, but I do not know if this is a regular thing. And yes, the castle does have clean, indoor WCs available to use for CZK 10.

Castle courtyard

Castle courtyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you arrive in the village there is a parking lot with a few souvenir shops. You have to park here and either walk the 2.5 km path up to the castle, or pay for a taxi or horse-drawn carriage to drive you up. Since I was 8 months pregnant when we visited, I insisted we pay the 400 CZK ($20.25) for the taxi to take us to the top. We walked back down, however, and I can report that the path is an easy walk: it is paved, the incline is not so steep, and it is lined with souvenir shops and restaurants so you have many opportunities to pause and rest.

We opted to have our meal at Restaurace U. Karla IV, which is the last restaurant that you come to before you reach the castle gate. We chose this one because it accepted credit cards, but it turned out to be a fantastic choice. First, it had a children’s play area complete with an IKEA play mat, table and chairs, and toys. Second, it had a “dungeon” (what looked like an old kitchen, but it was recessed in the wall and gated off), which kept our childrens’ imaginations going. Third and last, the food was terrific. Long story short, I ended up racing to eat my food because both my kids were also eating my lunch as fast as they could. And normally we have to coerce our kids to eat their meal!

Overall, this was a great day for our family. The castle was in very good shape and the tour was so interesting that even our 4-year old son was engaged. The tour guide was super-friendly and not bothered at all when our son started peppering him with random questions about the castle. The kids had a lot of fun exploring the castle walls after the tour, and the walk back down to the village was actually quite nice. I highly recommend this as a day trip from Prague.

for more information:

Travel guide – Sopron

Reviewed by Mary: My family and I have taken a couple day trips to Sopron, Hungary, but thus far our activities have been limited to what is outside. I’ve included links to some of the city’s museums, but we’ve not visited them (yet!) so I cannot speak to them first hand.

Driving to Sopron from Vienna:

Sopron is an easy, one-hour drive from Vienna along the A3. I know that you need a Hungarian vignette to drive on their major highways (i.e., if you were headed to Budapest), but once you cross the border into Hungary you are on a secondary/non-highway road. We have thus never purchased the vignette for our excursions into Sopron and we have not experienced any problems. (But if someone reading this knows for a fact this is wrong and you do in fact need a vignette, please correct me!)

We have always parked at the parking garage by the Petőfi theater on Petőfi tér: it is very inexpensive, and an easy (less than 10-minute) walk to the historic city center from here. As a bonus, if you walk to the city center from the garage along Széchenyi tér, you will pass by a bakery offering all manner of tempting sweets at a very low price. The staff at the bakery speak German as well as Hungarian, and will accept payment in Euros.

Things to do:

As you walk towards the Firewatch Tower, whose gate leads into the old inner city, you will see remnants of the city’s old defensive walls. My children spent a large amount of time running along the walls, imagining they were defending the city. As we were following them along the wall, we noticed three interesting things: multilingual signs along the wall that explained the history of the city and the remaining structures; the open air museum of reconstructed Roman walls and remains of some Roman buildings, and; the walking path that leads you around what remains of the city’s perimeter wall.

Along the city wall

Along the city wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open air Roman museum (behind the gate)

Open air Roman museum (behind the gate)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as we are sure that Sopron is safe from “the bad guys,” we spend the rest of our time in the city eating and exploring the city’s historic center.

Street leading to Firewatch tower

Street leading to Firewatch tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main square

Main square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sopron also boasts a pharmacy museum, bakery museum, and chocolate factory.

Restaurant Recommendations:

1. Fogas Étterem, located on Előkapu. As I mentioned earlier, we follow Széchenyi tér into the old part of the city, and this restaurant is located right before you get to the church and fire tower. The restaurant is very family-friendly: there is a play area in the back of the restaurant where the kids can play as you wait for your food. The bartender (?!?) kindly made our children hot chocolate, though it was not on the menu.

The restaurant’s specialty is seafood, but there are other hearty offerings. We had a platter that consisted of five huge pieces of various grilled meats situated atop a mound of fries. It was enough to feed our entire family, and it was very inexpensive. The restaurant accepts payment via credit card, Forint (the Hungarian currency), or Euro. The staff did not appear to speak English, but they did speak German.

2. Corvinus-Generális Étterem, Fő tér 7. Another location where you can get a large portion of hearty Hungarian fare for a very low price, payable in either Forint or Euro. The staff were very friendly, and I really appreciated how they greet you with a bowl of Erős Pista and a basket of warm bread.

Last but not least…

There is a Tesco Hypermarket located on the outskirts of Sopron. Tesco is a large British grocery store chain, and the one in Sopron is more akin to a Super Wal-Mart in that it sells household goods as well as groceries. We find the prices there to be lower than those in Vienna, so we always bring a cooler and stock up on grocery staples before we leave Hungary. And beer lovers, save space in your grocery cart for a case of the local Soproni beer.

for more information: