If in Vienna you’d be mad not to visit the famous Prater Amusement park. Also called “Wurstelprater”, it is the oldest amusement park in the world and dates back to the 11oos during the reign of Friedrich I as a hunting ground and later in 1766 it was officially given to the people of Vienna by the current ruler at the time, Emperor Joseph II. Much of the original vintage amusements exist but the park itself has expanded and offers visitors a number of thrilling rollercoasters and cinematic-simulators.
The amusement park is also home to the Wiener Riesenrad or Vienna’s great wheel. The views from the Ferris wheel are amazing and the giant wheel dates back to 1897 and has become one of Vienna’s landmarks ever since. It is also home to Vienna’s planetarium or Haus der Sterne (House of the stars). Unfortuntely I never got the chance (or time) to enter but the park itself is spectacular, not only for thrill seekers like me but for history too and the old/vintage parts of the park are so beautifully ornate.
In the old centre of the park is a large statue dedicated to Basilio Calafati, the so-called ‘wizard of Prater’ – a magician known for bringing stone statues to life! If rollercoasters or fair rides aren’t your thing – the park is free to enter and you can simply walk around and enjoy the atmosphere as well as picnic or make the most of the many food vendors – you’ll be spoilt for choice … it is after-all named: Wurstelprater as in ‘wurst’ for sausage as the food stalls originally made the park it’s popular landmark in the first place.