We signed up for the Niederösterreich Card, which gives you access to a bunch of places for free. One of those places is the Donauturm – the largest tower in Austria – which is in the middle of a large park on the Donau (Danube River).
We had never been to the tower before, so we decided to go with the kids one morning this week. It was a little bit windy and cool, and looked like it might rain. In the end, it was the perfect day to go out. It never rained, and the skies were clear and beautiful from the breeze. On the way to the tower, we found a really great playground. This seems to happen whenever we go somewhere new in Vienna, but this one was really, really amazing!
It is in Donau Park, a large beautiful park with multiple playgrounds, many different flower gardens, a pond, and plenty of grass and trees. I think this might be the most beautiful park I have been to yet.
There was so much cool playground equipment, we were surprised when the kids spent almost the whole time at these cute little houses. They had a great time climbing about on the roofs, and making up stories and games together. We are totally going to build little houses like this in our backyard in Utah.
It was hard to get them to leave, but eventually we convinced them that the tower would be cool and that we could come back to this park another day.
These two videos are just brief testaments to how cool the park fixtures are in Vienna. And it’s a chance to play with the phone’s slow motion setting.
On the way to the tower we passed this interesting sculpture. James called it, “The Tool Thing”, but it is actually called, “Das Goldene Kalb die Technik als Apokalypse”. The kids spent a little while contemplating what that might mean.
We finally went into the tower! The woman who worked there was super nice, which was unexpected. The kids were very excited to go up the tall elevator, and there is a cool graphic that shows you where in the tower the elevator is. There is a staircase with around 970 stairs you can climb instead, but we opted for the elevator. Oliver was a little scared and said he wanted to do the stairs, but we said no way. The elevator has a glass ceiling so you can watch while going up (which I couldn’t do the whole time without feeling super weird in my stomach). It only took 30 seconds to reach the observation deck which is 150 meters up.
It was super windy at the top. At first James felt scared of the wind, but after some hugs and seeing the other kids giggling about their clothes and hair blowing wildly in the wind, he decided it was pretty funny.
You can see from this video the kids were absolutely giddy about the wind conditions. The video is both in slow motion and normal playback to appreciate the full intensity of giggling children.
The views from the top were amazing, and it was the perfect day for it. It was fun to walk all around with the kids and look for different favorite landmarks.
We decided to go to the cafe at the top, because this may be the only time we ever go up the tower. There is a cafe and also a nicer restaurant above it. We opted for the cafe, and were quite surprised when we realized that the cafe was moving. It actually rotates (which gave a couple of us a slightly sea sick feeling), but it is very slow and mostly you can’t tell except that your view changes throughout the meal. There are also handy signs above your head on the ceiling which point out various sights as you rotate past them. The food was pricey, but pretty tasty and we all enjoyed the experience.
This was one tourist attraction that I thought was well worth the visit. We really enjoyed the whole experience, and will definitely come back to this beautiful park. We are excited to try out some other fun new places with our Niederösterreich Card. Maybe we will find some other new favorites!