Prater Park in Vienna

Evening view of the illuminated Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel at Prater Park in Vienna, with vibrant neon lights adorning the rides and stalls against a dusky sky.

A Day of Delight and Discovery: Exploring the Magic of Prater in Vienna

Prater, a vibrant and historic amusement park in Vienna Austria, is a destination that embodies a seamless blend of nostalgic charm and modern thrills. It’s a place where the past and present coexist, offering a unique experience for every visitor. Rooted in the heart of Vienna, Prater isn’t just an amusement park; it’s a cultural icon, a green oasis, and a playground for all ages. The sprawling grounds, home to the iconic Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel, invite visitors into a world where joy and history intertwine. This guide aims to take you on a journey through Prater’s leafy paths, thrilling rides, and historical avenues, ensuring your visit is as enchanting as the park itself.

History of Prater

Daytime photo of Prater Park with the iconic Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel in the background and the vibrant, art nouveau style entrance of the park, with visitors milling around and a pink trackless train in the foreground.

Prater’s history is as fascinating as its attractions. Originally an imperial hunting ground, it was opened to the public in 1766 by Emperor Joseph II. This transformation marked the beginning of its journey to becoming the beloved public space it is today. The pivotal moment in Prater’s history was the construction of the Wiener Riesenrad in 1897, a symbol of Vienna’s ingenuity and elegance. Over the years, Prater has witnessed wars, reconstructions, and numerous changes, yet it has retained its charm and appeal. Each attraction in the park, whether old or new, tells a part of this rich history, inviting visitors to not just enjoy the amusements but also to appreciate the historical journey that led to their creation.

Best Times to Visit Prater

The best time to visit Prater is during the spring (April to June) and early fall (September to October). These periods offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and the full operation of all attractions. Summer (July and August) brings peak tourist season, vibrant summer fairs, and extended opening hours, but also larger crowds. Winter has its charm with festive decorations and a quieter atmosphere, although some attractions may be closed. Visiting during local events, like the Wiener Praterfest in spring or the Halloween celebrations in October, adds a special flavor to the Prater experience.

Top Attractions

Natural Wonders

Aerial view of the verdant Prater amusement park in Vienna, showcasing a large roller coaster with yellow tracks, the lush tree canopy of the park, and the city skyline in the distance.

Prater is not just about man-made attractions. Its vast green spaces, including the Prater Hauptallee, a long, tree-lined main avenue, offer a serene escape from the city’s bustle. The Praterauen, comprising meadows and ponds, provides a natural habitat for diverse flora and fauna, making it a delightful spot for nature lovers.

Architectural Marvels

The Wiener Riesenrad, an architectural marvel, offers a panoramic view of Vienna. The historic roller coasters and carousels, with their intricate designs, also speak of the architectural prowess of the past.

Cultural Experiences

Overhead view of Prater amusement park showing a blue water slide winding around a grey rock structure, with a backdrop of the city streets and colorful roller coasters under a clear sky

The Prater Museum, nestled within the park, showcases its historical artifacts and narrates its intriguing history. The nearby Vienna State Opera and the MuseumsQuartier offer a deeper dive into Vienna’s rich cultural scene.

Local Cuisine and Dining

Must-try Dishes

Prater is a haven for traditional Austrian cuisine. Must-try dishes include Wiener SchnitzelKaiserschmarrn, and local sausages from street vendors. The Schweizerhaus, famous for its Stelze (pork knuckle), is a culinary landmark.

Cultural Etiquettes

Understanding and respecting local dining etiquettes, like tipping customs and table manners, is crucial. Austrians appreciate politeness, so a friendly ‘Guten Appetit’ before a meal is a nice gesture.

Travel Tips for Prater 

Twilight descends over Prater Park, casting a warm glow on the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel and a looping roller coaster, both framed by a sky painted with sunset hues


Prater is generally safe, but it’s wise to stay vigilant, especially in crowded areas. Keep emergency numbers handy and be aware of your surroundings.


A day in Prater can vary in cost. Budget travelers can enjoy the park for around €30-€50, mid-range spenders for €50-€100, and luxury seekers can easily spend over €100, especially if dining at upscale restaurants or staying in nearby luxury hotels.

Unique Stays

For a unique stay, consider boutique hotels in Leopoldstadt or accommodations that offer traditional Viennese charm.

Local Secrets

Explore beyond the main paths to discover hidden gems like smaller, quaint rides and quiet spots offering a respite from the excitement.

How high is The Prater Turm (Prater Tower)?

The Prater Turm (Tower) in Vienna, Austria, is a notable attraction in the amusement park. It is a Star Flyer type of ride and, at its opening, it was one of the tallest swing rides in the world. The Prater Turm stands at a height of approximately 117 meters (about 384 feet), offering riders not only an exhilarating experience but also spectacular views over the city of Vienna.

Concluding Thoughts and How to Get to Prater

Prater is not just an amusement park; it’s a slice of Viennese culture and history. Accessible by public transportation (U-Bahn U2 and U1), it’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a blend of thrill, culture, and tranquility. Whether you’re riding the Riesenrad, enjoying a quiet stroll, or savoring local delicacies,it promises an unforgettable experience. You should visit our blog about best things to do in Austria!

How to Get to Prater in Vienna?

Getting to Prater in Vienna is relatively straightforward, thanks to the city’s efficient public transportation system. Here are the main ways to reach Prater:

By Public Transit

  • U-Bahn (Metro): The most convenient way to reach Prater is by using Vienna’s U-Bahn system. The Praterstern station is served by U-Bahn lines U1 and U2. From this station, it’s just a short walk to the entrance of Prater. The U-Bahn network connects Prater with major parts of Vienna, including the city center, making it an accessible destination from almost anywhere in the city.
  • Trams and Buses: Several tram lines (such as 5, O, and 1) and buses also stop at Praterstern, offering alternative routes. Trams and buses are a good option if you’re coming from areas not directly served by the U-Bahn.

By Car

If you’re driving to Prater, it’s important to note that parking can be challenging, especially during peak times. There are parking facilities near Prater, including paid parking lots. Be aware of the parking regulations and fees. Here is the google maps link of the route.

By Bicycle

Vienna is a bike-friendly city with extensive bike paths. If you’re staying in the city, renting a bike and cycling to Prater can be a pleasant experience. There are designated bike paths leading to Prater, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride.

From Vienna International Airport

If you’re arriving at Vienna International Airport and heading straight to the amusement park, you can take the City Airport Train (CAT) or the S-Bahn (local train) to Wien Mitte-Landstraße, and then transfer to the U-Bahn U4 line to Schottenring, where you can change to U2 line directly to Praterstern.


If you’re staying in central Vienna, you might enjoy a leisurely walk to Prater, especially on a nice day. The walk from the city center to Prater can take about 30-45 minutes, depending on your starting point, and it’s a great way to see more of the city.


  • Public Transport Tickets: Ensure you have a valid ticket for public transport. Tickets can be purchased at U-Bahn stations, on trams, or via mobile apps.
  • Check Timetables: Especially if you’re traveling early in the morning or late at night, check the public transport timetables to ensure availability.
  • City Maps and Navigation Apps: Use a city map or a navigation app on your smartphone to find the best route from your location to Prater.

By following these guidelines, you can easily and conveniently reach Prater, ready to explore all the exciting attractions it has to offer.

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