Tyrol with kids - best things to do during summer family holiday in Austria

Best Summer Activities in Austrian Tyrol with Kids

In Austria, Europe by JurgaTHIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS

Tyrol (Tirol) region in Austria is one of the best holiday destinations for families with kids. Period. You have to experience it to appreciate what it truly means to travel to a place that is so focussed on giving both adults and kids the best vacation ever.

We are just back from our summer family trip in Austrian Tyrol and now we finally understand why this region has been the favourite family vacation destination of many Germans, Dutch, and Belgians for many decades. Half way through our holiday we already started making plans to come back…

There are so many reasons to visit Tirol with kids that it requires a separate article. In the meantime I want to tell you about some of the best things you can do in Tyrol with kids in summer. Find out!

We visited Tyrol in collaboration with Visit Tirol and this list of the best summer activities for families is based on recommendations that they gave to our family. There is so much more to see and do in Tirol for families with kids than you could ever do in one trip, so this is in no way a complete list. Rather a few suggestions based on the activities that we personally tried and recommend.

We loved our time in Tyrol and will be definitely going back to the region, so I might update this list with even more fun family activities in the future. But in any case, this should give you plenty of ideas on what to see and do during your family vacation in Austria.

So without further ado, here are some unforgettable experiences that you just have to try when visiting Tyrol with children in summer. Find out!

How to Spend an Unforgettable Family Holiday in Austrian Tyrol with kids in summer

 

Alpine coasters and summer toboggan runs

Summer tobogganing is very popular in Tirol with at least 9 different alpine coaster routes in the region. I put it as our number one thing to do in Tyrol with kids, because 2 of our 3 kids chose it as their personal favourite activity (the other one chose the adventure park – see below).

We tried one of the longest toboggan runs in Tyrol – a 1.3 km ride with 40 curves and turns down the scenic Marienberg mountain in Biberwier and just loved it. We have done several alpine coaster rides in the past, but this one was simply the best. What makes it really fun is that it’s so long, so you have plenty of time to truly enjoy the ride.

Alpine coaster in Biberwier in Tyrol

Alpine coaster in Biberwier

 

It takes about 10 minutes to get to the top of the mountain by a chair lift from which you can admire the beautiful mountain scenery and check out the toboggan run from above. Once on top, you take a sled, get some instructions on how to use it, and set for a long thrilling ride down to the valley. Don’t worry – it doesn’t go fast if you don’t want it to – you are always in complete control of the speed and can do it in a way that feels the most comfortable for you. TIP: ride carefully, keep your knees and elbows inside, and don’t underestimate the speed in the curves.

Practical information: You can find this toboggan run at Marienberg cable car in Biberwier. It’s open daily from mid May to mid October. You can find prices, opening times, and other info here. Our youngest kids are 7 and they were allowed to use a sled on their own, with adults in between them; younger kids can also share a sled with their parents.

Summer toboggan in Tyrol with kids - alpine coaster in Biberwier Austria

Summer toboggan in Biberwier

 

Highline 179 suspension bridge

Highline 179 is the world’s longest pedestrian rope bridge Tibetan style. It is 406 m (0,25 mile) long and connects Ehrenburg castle ruins (don’t miss!) with Fort Claudia (can also be visited, but requires a separate ticket).

Visiting this suspension bridge is without any doubt one of the highlights of any trip to Tyrol! It looks really high and a bit intimidating from the bottom, but once on top it’s not scary at all. Its construction is such that you don’t really have to worry about coming here even with small children and the scenery is amazing. Must do in Austria, with or without kids!

Kids walking on Highline 179 suspension bridge in Austria

The view from the bridge

 

Practical information: Highline 179 is open daily from 8AM till 10PM. You have to walk up the hill (15-20 min) in order to get to the bridge, but it’s a wide path and is easier than it looks at first sight. We saw families with strollers here as well. You can find more practical information for your visit here.

Highline 179 suspension bridge in Tyrol Austria

Highline 179 as seen from the valley

 

Adventure parks

We just recently discovered adventure parks with kids for the first time and it has quickly become one of our favourite things to do as a family. Adventurous high ropes courses and zip-lining is such a great way to unplug and spend quality time with your kids!

In Tyrol we visited adventure forest in Bichlbach. It has 5 courses of different levels of difficulty and a newly opened 90m (295 ft) long Flying Fox. This adventure park is truly a place for the whole family. Even the easiest routes have some places that are a bit too high to reach for young kids, so adults have to go with them to be able to help where needed. That being said, it’s a really fun park where even the youngest kids can do quite a few really fun and more adventurous courses. Our boys loved it! Zip-lining on the Flying Fox was so much fun too!

Bichlbach adventure park in Tirol

Our kids really enjoyed all the activities at the adventure park in Bichlbach

 

Practical information: I asked at the park about the age limit and they told me that it’s quite flexible and depends on each child and their parents. Normally, it’s for kids from about 5-6 years old, but always with adult supervision. As I said, it’s a real family activity, so embrace it and you’ll have a wonderful day spent together with your children. You can find opening times and prices here.

Kids ziplining in Bichlbach kletterwald - adventure park in Tiroler Zugspitz arena in Tyrol Austria

Ziplining in Bichlbach adventure park

 

Family-friendly hikes with kids’ activities

As I said, Tyrol is truly a place for families, so you can find plenty of easy walking paths and family-friendly hikes. Often, there are all kinds of games and activities to keep the kids busy and interested along the way. It’s a perfect way to discover the beautiful mountain scenery of Tirol with your family.

We tried two such hikes in Tyrol, both in St. Anton Am Arlberg region. The first one was a visit to Verwall Valley (Verwalltal) – a recently opened mountain valley with walking and biking paths, a lake, suspension bridge, playgrounds, and lots of stories and activities for kids along the way. There is a free shuttle bus running in the valley, so you can drive one way and walk the other. The road is also accessible to bikes and strollers.

Hanging bridge in Verwall Valley in St Anton - Tirol Austria

Hanging bridge in Verwalltal

 

The second one was an alpine Mutspuren Trail that can be reached by Gallzigbahn gondola, also in St. Anton. This is a real mountain hike, so it’s a bit more challenging. However, it’s just about 5km in length and has lots of entertainment and playgrounds to keep the kids happy along the way. You can find more practical information here.

Family with kids hiking on the Mutspuren trail in St Anton in Tyrol Austria

Hiking along the Mutspuren trail in St Anton

 

TIP: No matter which area you are visiting in Tirol, they definitely have at least a couple of easy fun hikes for the children. Ask any local tourism office and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Archery

Boys will be boys. The moment our kids saw a picture of bow and arrow when researching St. Anton summer card activities, they wanted to give it a try.

Archery is so much fun, you guys, and not just for the children! We spent 1,5hrs practicing our archery skills, shooting (or at least trying to) targets, balloons, and fake animals. The time flew by and kids didn’t want to stop.

The good news is that they have bows of different sizes for the whole family and it doesn’t take long to learn how it works. Of course, it takes time and lots of practice (or lots of luck) to actually hit the target, but it’s just a really fun activity for the whole family. Recommended.

Archery was one of our kids favourite activities in Austrian Tirol in summer

Kids loved practicing their archery skills in St. Anton

 

Torch-lit hike

Torch-lit hikes seem to be a very popular activity in many places in Tyrol. Many mountain resorts organise torch hikes, in summer and winter, so inquire at a local tourism office. Often it’s an activity that is included with a guest card that most resorts offer to people staying in one of the hotels of that area. It was the case in St. Anton.

What kid wouldn’t want to stay up late and go on the evening walk with a torch in their hands… Of course, our kids were enthusiastic to explore St. Anton in the dark. Torches are provided and the walk is usually easy and can be done with kids of any age.

TIP: Our torches were made of paraffin wax and the kids’ pants and shoes were full of it after the walk, so don’t wear your best clothes. Of course, theoretically, you could tell the kids to just be careful, but in practice… Anyway, luckily it comes out quite easily with some help of hot water and a little brush.

Torch-lit hike with kids in St Anton am Arlberg Tyrol Austria

Our torch-lit hike in St Anton am Arlberg

 

Playgrounds

Now, I wouldn’t normally include playgrounds in a list of things to do in any region, but you really have to plan some extra time for a playground when visiting Tyrol with young kids. They sure do take playgrounds seriously in Tyrol. No matter where you go, there’s always a playground nearby. And not just a playground!

We have three kids and have spent more time in the playgrounds all over the world than I would have liked to, and never have we seen such a big variety of playground equipment as in Austria. From activity and climbing towers to swings, slides, and countless other things that I don’t even know the name of… to the most creative water playgrounds you can imagine.

Children's playground at Galzigbahn in St Anton in Tyrol, Austria

Just one of the many playgrounds in Tyrol

 

You better plan a lot of extra time for the playgrounds when visiting Tirol with children, because there is no way you’re getting them out of there before they thoroughly discovered every corner of every playground you come across…

Our kids’ favourite water playgrounds were along the Mutspuren Trail in St. Anton. There is also a whole water experience trail that you can do in Ehrwald; it’s called Wassererlebnisweg ‘Zugspitzi am Gaisbach’ (more info here). Once again, there are countless options, these are just a few examples from the areas that we visited.

Kids playing at a water playground along the Mutspuren trail in St Anton in Tirol

Water playground along the Mutspuren trail in St Anton

 

Hiking with kids

One of our favourite things to do in the mountains is of course hiking to some of the most beautiful places that are not accessible otherwise. Tyrol is a real hiker’s paradise! The good news is that there are many truly beautiful hiking trails that you can do with children as well. I suggest hiking to a nice lake – water is always a big success with kids; and it just gets better if you find a nice playground or even some ducks there. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find some snow along the way. It’s always special to find snow in summer and our kids can never pass it without organising a snowball fight (luckily it’s usually aimed towards their dad rather than me…).

Kids playing - a snowball fight in Austrian Alps in summer

It’s always fun to find snow in the summer

 

The most beautiful hike we did this summer in Tyrol was Seebensee near Erhwald in Tiroler Zugspitz Arena. It’s a relatively easy and family-friendly mountain hike to one the most beautiful lakes of Tyrol. It took us about 3,5 hrs in total as we didn’t stay long due to the very unstable weather with lots of rain. The good news was that we did get just enough sunshine to be able to experience the stunning colours of the lake against a truly spectacular backdrop. We had the lake practically all to ourselves, which will not be the case if you come on a sunny day. But don’t let it stop you! Pack a picnic and make an unforgettable day of it! You can find more practical information about this hike here.

Seebensee - one of the most beautiful lakes in Tirol Austria

Seebensee is one of the most beautiful lakes in Tirol

 

Tyrol also has many beautiful gorges that you can easily explore with children. The hikes are usually not very long and relatively flat, so it’s easy to do as a family. Last year I visited Kaiserklamm – a beautiful mountain river gorge you can easily visit with kids. Here you can find all my suggestions for a wonderful family-friendly day at Branderberg.

Family friendly day trip it Tyrol Austria - hiking Kaiserklamm in Brandenberg area

Kaiserklamm

 

Take a gondola to the top of the mountain

If your kids are too young for a longer hike in the mountains, there are of course easier ways to enjoy the majestic scenery of the Alps. Take the kids on a gondola ride to the top of the highest mountain in the region. It’s such an easy way to enjoy the beautiful mountains and kids always love going high above the clouds.

We visited two mountain peaks with kids in Tyrol this summer: Zugspitze in Ehrwald and Valluga in St. Anton am Arlberg.

Zugspitze mountain is Germany’s highest mountain and can be accessed from both, Austria and Germany. In fact, it’s quite an extraordinary place to visit as you cross the Austrian – German border on top of the mountain. You actually pass an old border control post where in the past skiers had to show their passports in order to access the ski slopes on top.

There are several viewing platforms on top of Zugspitze and on a clear day you can see 4 countries and even see up to Munich that is 130km away. There is also little museum showing the construction of Tyrol’s first cable car some 100 years ago and you can watch a beautiful 3D movie that will inspire you to come back to the beautiful Tiroler Zugspitz Arena area in every possible season. The peak of Zugspitze was partially covered in the clouds when we visited (despite having sunshine in the valley), so we couldn’t see the whole view, but it was a very enjoyable visit nonetheless.

View from the top of Zugspitze mountain in Tirol Austria

View from Zugspitze mountain

 

The other peak we visited was Valluga mountain in St. Anton am Arlberg. It takes 3 cable car rides to reach the top of this 2,811m (9,222 ft) mountain from where you have 360° views over the Alps. On a clear day you can see 5 different countries from here: Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Germany.

The last gondola to the top of Valluga is really tiny – it only takes 5 people at a time, so it’s an attraction in itself. Once on top you can stay on the panoramic deck where you can find binoculars and informational panels with the names and the heights of all the bigger mountains you can see from here. You can also take a short but very steep walk down to a wooden bridge; it’s just too beautiful not to do it. We were lucky to visit Valluga on a sunny summer day and it was one of the highlights of our family holiday in Tyrol.

Kids at the top of Valluga mountain in Tirol Austria

At the top of Valluga mountain in St. Anton

 

TIP: Gondola rides, especially the ones that bring you to the most famous mountain peaks like Zugspitze or Valluga are quite expensive, especially if you are visiting with a big family. However, most places in Tyrol have regional guest cards that offer discounts for gondola rides, public transportation, and many activities in the area. It is therefore always better to stay in one region for at least several days – that way you can take advantage of all the discounts and make your family trip to Tyrol affordable. For example, in St. Anton we used St. Anton summer card. The basic card is offered to everyone who stays at one of the hotels in the region, or you can buy a premium card that includes more activities and unlimited cable car rides. It’s really worth it if you are staying here for several days. In Tiroler Zugspitz Arena they have a similar system with a basic guest card that offers discounts for local attractions, but also a premium version, z-ticket, that includes cable car rides and many activities in the region.

Mountain biking

Tyrol is a beautiful region to explore by bike. There are many biking trails that are easy enough to do with children and you can rent bicycles in every bigger town in the mountains.

If you want to try e-biking with children, you should know that it is not legally allowed for kids under 10 years to ride an e-bike in Austria. However, you can easily rent simple mountain bikes and there are many guided tours available for families as well.

If you are looking for some inspiration, you can read all about my e-biking experience in Alpbachtal.

My first time experience on a guided electric bike tour in Alpbachtal Tyrol Austria

E-biking in Alpbachtal

 

Go swimming in a lake or at one of the many swimming pools

There are many lakes in Tyrol where you can safely swim in the summer. Your best bet would be to ask locals for the best spots in the area.

In Tiroler Zugspitz Areana we stumbled upon a beautiful mountain lake Blindsee where you could go swimming. We were there in the late afternoon, so we just walked around the lake a bit, but we saw many people sunbathing and swimming.

Kids hiking at Blindsee in Tirol Austria

Blindsee – you can combine family hiking with a refreshing swim in the lake here

 

The nearby Heiterwanger See is a very popular place for swimming, boating, and paddle boarding as well.

Heiterwangersee - a beautiful lake for recreation in Tyrol Austria

Lake Heiterwang offers lots of recreational possibilities

 

Also in Bichlbach Sports and Recreation Park there is a small natural lake that is very popular with families. At the same location you can also find kids’ rafting, mini-golf, tennis, and the earlier mentioned adventure park. It’s a place where you can easily spend the whole day with kids! More info here.

There are also many swimming pools, wellness areas, and even water parks in Tyrol. It looks as if every bigger town has a swimming pool in Tyrol and every pool we visited was really nice. The swimming pool in St. Anton is really great for kids – it has an outdoor pool, a small slide, and also a water playground.

Family water fun at a swimming pool in St Anton am Arlberg in Tyrol

At a swimming pool in St. Anton am Arlberg

 

Local festivals and celebrations

Summertime is the perfect season to attend a traditional celebration or a local event in Tyrol. There is so much going on everywhere! When we visited St. Anton in July, we happened to be there for an annual village party. It was fun to see all the locals in their traditional lederhosen and dirndls, try traditional Tyrolean food, and just enjoy the easy going atmosphere of the festivities.

My top tip for families with kids would be to try to attend Almabtrieb if visiting Tyrol towards the end of August – mid September. Almabtrieb is an annual cattle drive at the end of the summer that you can experience in many villages all over Tyrol region. Here you can find more information about Almabtrieb in Tirol, Austria.

Cow with decorative headdress at the traditional cattle drive Almabtrieb celebration in Tirol Austria

Cows decorated for Almabtrieb in Austrian Tyrol

 

Best family resorts

Tyrol is famous for its family-oriented hotels and resorts. If your budget allows it, I can strongly recommend staying at a family-oriented hotel when visiting Tirol.

We stayed at a beautiful Zugspitz Resort in Ehrwald and loved every minute of it. It’s one of the most kid-oriented hotels we have ever been to. Not only do they have big family rooms, indoor and outdoor playgrounds and swimming pools, but also special kids menu at the restaurant, all the equipment you may need when traveling with a baby or a toddler (including strollers that you can borrow for mountain walks), and a kids club with a variety of activities for all ages.

If you want a relaxing vacation that your whole family will truly love, look for a nice hotel like this and you’ll love your stay in Tyrol even more. Note that Zugspitz Resort will be closed for expansion in the summer season 2019 (March till December 2019), but there are also many others that offer similar family-oriented stays (check the TripAdvisor selection for some ideas).

The only drawback is that many resorts like this only accept weekly (Saturday to Saturday) bookings in high season, but sometimes there are last minute deals or shorter stays available as well. So check it out!

Zugspitz Resort in Ehrwald is a perfect hotel for a family holiday in Tirol

Beautiful Zugspitz Resort in Ehrwald is a perfect hotel for a family vacation

 

Best things to do with kids in Tyrol – locations on the map

To make your trip planning a bit easier I indicated all the places that I mentioned in this article on the map. It should help you to get a better idea of where everything is located and plan a fun family summer trip in Tirol.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a reply at the bottom of this article and I’ll try to help.

***Read also: Tiroler Zugspitz Arena in Summer – Top Holiday Destination in Austria with Kids***

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it for future reference and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

Best things to do in Austrian Tyrol with kids in summer

 

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Comments

  1. Wonderful post, thanks for the great suggestions. We are headed to Tirol next summer, can’t wait.

  2. That looks like an awesome region! I’ve never been to Tyrol, but it looks gorgeous and I really need to check it out. Those mountains are beautiful. Especially the Mutspuren trail and Valluga looks awesome!

    1. Author

      The mountains around St. Anton were incredible indeed. Valluga was one of our absolute favourite places as well, I guess it helped that we had such good luck with the weather and could enjoy the spectacular views.

  3. Hi Jurga, as always an amazing blog and even more an amazing holiday you guys had.
    With all your great blogs our future holidays are pretty much booked already 🙂
    thanks for sharing
    take care Corina

    1. Author

      Thank you, Corina, and thanks for following our trips along! Happy travels!

  4. Tyrol looks so beautiful. I bet your kids had a great time exploring all of the fabulous outdoor spaces. I would love to just waste away the days lounging by that pool – that hotel looks so nice and the view…

    1. Author

      The Zugspitz Resort was indeed amazing, Michelle. I think it just made our stay in Tiroler Zugspitz Arena even more enjoyable, because there was plenty to do at the hotel when the weather was too bad for any sightseeing or outdoor activities.

  5. Love your pictures as always! Would love to visit this part of Austria, it looks so beautiful! Would you say the summer is the best time to visit?

    1. Author

      I think any time is good to visit Tirol, Katie. 🙂 Winter is super popular for skiing and summer – for hiking, biking, and so many more outdoor activities. And then ‘in between’ you can still do a lot outdoors and if the weather isn’t optimal, visit the beautiful towns. So it really depends on your interests. I have now been to Tirol twice – autumn and summer and we are thinking of going back in winter.

  6. Hi Jurga, if you had to pick only one place to use as a ‘home base’ in Tyrol, what do you recommend? We don’t like moving around and packing unpacking when traveling with children. Thx

    1. Author

      Hi Paul, that’s a tough question as Tyrol is quite big and there is so much to see. If you are looking for a similar trip like the one we did, then pick any bigger area in the mountains and you’ll find plenty to do with kids for a week or even two, without having to drive around much.
      Our personal favourite this summer was staying in Tiroler Zugspitz Arena – it just felt like such a great family place with a big variety of things to do. We could have easily spent a week there. So why not try that? Ehrwald is one of the bigger towns there with lots of accommodation options. You can easily make day trips to so many other great places from there as well.
      If you’d rather stay somewhere more central with an easy access to the highway, then St. Anton is another great choice too. I think you really can’t go wrong with either. Maybe first look at the activities that interest you the most and then just pick a place that makes most sense to limit driving.
      Hope this helps

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