Styria (Steiermark) with Children
Styria or the Steiermark is big, diverse and offers a lot to families that travel with children. The most important attraction is an area called "Steirisches Thermenland" (Styrian Spa Region), an area in the southeast of the province famous for its hot springs. In the past 20 years, a number of thermal spas (Thermen or Thermalbäder) were developed. They often emphasise how family-friendly they are and target children. Special facilities for young guests are common, just like professional staff that looks after your children at hotel-kindergartens. For details on individual spas, please see my article on the "Thermen in Austria". Otherwise, the Thermenland is ideal for cycling, walking or the odd day-trip.
Speaking of day-trips: The "Lipizzanergestüt Piber" is an Austrian institution - the stud where the Lipizzaner horses are bred before they go to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna (or into salami, but that′s a different story). The stud offers guided tours and great views on the country′s most distinguished breed of horses. Other animal-related attractions great for children are the Tierpark Herberstein and the Wildpark Mautern. For details, please see my articles on the "Zoos and Aquaria of Austria" and "Wildlife Parks of Austria".
Castles are a big deal in Styria. The province has been a stronghold of the Habsburg Empire against the Balkan and Eastern Europe for centuries, and so Styria is very rich in all sorts of fortifications. Particularly famous is the Riegersburg. Note that several of the Eastern castles of Styria are linked in the "Road of Castles" or "Schlösserstraße".
Entertaining Kids on a Styria Vacation...
Nature is great in the Salzkammergut area. Enjoy some hiking in the Gesäuse or the Salzkammergut around Altaussee. A special delight for all generations is the Narzissenfest ("Daffodil Festival") of Altaussee, when colourful statues made of daffodils are presented in a procession on the lake, with the dramatic scenery of the Austrian alps in the background. The salt mines of Hallstatt are long closed, but a visit in the show mines is great for children. Stop by at the museum dedicated to Hallstatt′s Stone Age time and you treat your little ones to the perfect day-trip.
The capital Graz has several museums and the famous Uhrturm (clock tower). Graz has a studenty flavour. It is packed with attractions (the city centre is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, after all); but I can′t really think of many attractions that will specifically appeal to children. A noteworthy exception is the "Zeughaus" or Armoury, packed with medieval weapons and armour. I remember one day when I was a child and my parents wanted to take me there - it was closed and I missed out on swords and other exciting stuff. The disappointment haunts me until today.
Other things: See my article on "Open Air Museums of Austria" and "Theme Parks of Austria" for further details on the respective topic; and note the many monasteries of Styria, several which rank among the countries most important tourist attractions.
Back to: "Styria Sightseeing Guide"