The lockdown was finally lifted, while it’s a good thing, we’re still being very careful when going out.
We arranged a meet up with friends outside of the city. We explored a market town in the district of Mödling, in the Austrian state of Lower Austria called Laxenburg, more particularly the castle park. It’s about 20 km (12 mi) south of the Vienna, and is famous for the Laxenburg castles, another summer retreat of the Habsburg monarchs beside Schönbrunn.
It takes about half an hour from Vienna’s Hauptbahnhof (Main train station) by bus or by car. Like Schönbrunn, the architecture is mostly in ochre yellow, full of trees, and a lot of spaces to walk about and have picnic at.
Laxenburg Castle Park for families
The Laxenburg Castle Park is open daily all year round and is worth a visit at any time of the year. For example, many families come back every autumn, when many paths are strewn with chestnuts. The kids like pony rides especially, which they can enjoy on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays when the weather is nice. The stand for the pony carts is located in the entrance area of the park next to the palace theater.
The Laxenburg Castle Park is one of the 56 gardens in Austria that is listed as Denkmalschutz (monument protection) with regard to its garden design ideas. The aim of the park maintenance work is to secure the park in its existing form and to carefully bring it back to its original design idea from around 1850.
Inside, you can ride the Laxenburg-Express, a Bummelzug (pick-up train), and it will take you around the palace grounds and garden faster. The Laxenburg Express runs from the end of March to the beginning of November between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. There are entry and exit points at the main park entrance (near the palace theater), at the boat rental (near the palace pond/pond buffet) and at the ferry station at the Franzensburg.
But our purpose was to walk since we haven’t been out a lot the past 3 months! There were creeks along the way, so we had to pass through small bridges and look out into the water to check if there’s fish, and there were if you look intently.
The little lake surrounding the castle is a relaxing view after all the walking, there is also the possibility to rent boats and explore the pond. There are also lounge chairs, beach chairs to relax in and mini-stores you can buy drinks from.
Crossing the Little Lake
The Franzensburg (castle) stands on a small island in the middle of the palace park. A ferry takes parents and children across to Franzensburg. The Franzensburg may only be visited with a guided tour. These tours take place daily from the end of March to the beginning of November at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Among other things, the castle guides are specially trained for informing children and youth tours of all ages. (It was when my older boy was in 4th grade when we did a tour of the castle.) A special guided tour takes families up the High Tower and over the roofs of the Franzensburg, starting daily at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
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