Pondering Prater in Vienna

As if a full day of sighting-seeing on foot in Old Town Vienna wasn’t enough with Grandparents and toddler in tow, we thought it would be a good idea to ‘stop by’ Prater Park on our way home.   Prater park was once the Emeror’s hunting grounds that he donated to the people of Vienna as a public park, but now it houses an old amusement park.

Let’s be perfectly clear.  Vienna is known for it’s royal palaces from the decades it was ruled by the Hapsburgs….and the decadent Sacher torte (chocolate cake)…and it’s coffeehouses (they make a mean “cafe melange”)…and it’s music (Mozart lived here too) and more recently it is known for its museums.   Did we indulge in these things?  Besides a good caffeine-charge, no not really.  No, we went to an old run-down amusement park in the evening.  Because…..we….have….a….toddler.  And he LOVED it, of course.

Thankfully, Prater Park was only one subway stop away from our apartment but pulling a nearly three-year-old away from this gigantic park was quite a struggle.  Lastly, I will just mention, that it is know for it’s historic 220 foot tall ferris wheel (Riesenrad) with it’s own museum….because it is really THAT old- this is no London Eye!  (see here for our London Eye Experience).

So, let’s begin with the most cheesy photo of the day.

The Mize-walds ide the 1897 Wiener Riesenrod!

The Mize-walds ride the 1897 Wiener Riesenrod!

I know these computer animated photos are silly and only a money maker for the park, but look how happy Eliot looks!  I couldn’t resist forking over the Euros…

Here we are, more cheesy photos of a really happy kid.

Here we are, more cheesy photos of a really happy kid.

The ferris wheel did promise great views of the city and surrounding hills, and provided a cute little museum on it's history.

The ferris wheel did promise great views of the city and surrounding hills.  But, we decided it would be our last stop.

My overall impression of Prater Park is mixed.  It varies from a tired, worn-out park with cricket-y old rides, to a vintage park with classic-old-rides.   Then, they throw in a brand-spanking-new ride that towers over the entire place.  I mean TOWERS- check out these swings.

The Praterturm- 117 meters (>380 ft) tall, you just SIT in the swing!  Crazy.

The Praterturm- 117 meters (>380 ft) tall, you just SIT in the swing! Totally nutz.

But, first, the toddler rides.  Bumper cars for kiddos.

But, first, the toddler rides. Bumper cars for kiddos.

Bonus: there is no entrance fee, so you pay per ride.  Kind of a vintage way to do it…

Another look at the giant swing, and this Boomerang rollercoaster was GREAT fun, I do love a good coaster.

Another look at the giant swing, and this Boomerang roller-coaster was GREAT fun, I do love a good coaster.

Eliot was oozing with happiness.

Eliot was oozing with happiness.

Cheesy rides abound.

Cheesy amusements abound. What IS that gorilla thing??

And, a LIVE carousel.  Cruel or cool?? not sure.  The smoker-operator really adds to the ambiance.

And, a LIVE carousel. Cruel or cool?? not sure. The smoker-operator really adds to the ambiance.

Thank GOD there is an oasis of a restaurant for dinner.  Rick Steves even recommends this, Schweizerhaus, as a “local-style family dinner with great Czech beer…classic conviviality.”  And, he was right, it was very tasty with a lovely biergarten to boot!

They only sell Czech Budvar, NOTHING like our Budweiser thank God!

They only sell Czech Budvar.  Thankfully, NOTHING like our Budweiser.

Prost!

Prost!

for an explanation of Reed’s Ampelmanchen shirt, see our Berlin post, here…

Dusk approaches...

Dusk approaches…

So, it is TIME.

So, it is TIME.

We enter the old car (Gulp).

We enter the old car (Gulp). Look closely inside this one.  You can actually have a romantic candle-lit dinner! (LOL)

Going up....

Going up….

Prater Park at night!

Prater Park at night! (yes, they offer a smaller and newer ferris wheel for those afraid of heights)

Another fun shot at night.

Another fun shot at night.  Check out the height of those swings on the right! Seriously.

Vienna evening view from da wheel.

Vienna evening view from da wheel. Such an impressive city.

Vienna's financial district, far from the character of Old Town.

Vienna’s financial district, far from the character of Old Town.

All in all, if you have extra time, check out Prater. If you have a kid, how can you NOT?

All in all, if you have extra time, check out Prater. If you have a kid, how can you NOT?

Yours in swings and coasters,

Kim

Advertisements

One thought on “Pondering Prater in Vienna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s