Getting back to nature is a good way to escape the stress and anxiety floating around the city right now, and Vienna has some beautiful places to do it. Here are some of the most beautiful:
1. The Lainzer Tiergarten
The vast meadows and forest areas of the Lainzer Tiergarten work as the perfect spot to stretch your legs and breath in some fresh air. The current opening hours are from 8am–5pm, and hopefully they will stay the same throughout the period of the lockdown (but be sure to keep an eye on them). To complete the 4km track around the park, it’s best to make a loop walk from the Nikolaitor all the way back to your original starting point.
The 24.50km² nature reserve also allows for nice undisturbed jogging routes, or quiet walks below the ever so tall trees.
How to get there? You can reach the park’s entrances via public transport: Lainzer Tor, Gütenbachtor (40min. walking distance to the gate), Laaber Tor (15min. walking distance to the gate), Pulverstampftor, Nikolaitor (10min. walking distance to the gate), Sankt Veiter Tor
The hiker’s experience: wearing good shoes during the colder season is a must. You’ll enjoy beautiful woodlands and attractions like the Hermesvilla (currently closed)
2. The palace gardens of Pötzleinsdorf
Walking around the vast wooded areas of Pötzleinsdorf won’t only increase your daily steps, but will also give you a newfound appreciation for this gem amongst Vienna’s beautiful parks.
The 3.9km walking path is pretty straight forward, so you won’t get lost. If you’re looking for a more adventurous path, you can take up the trail in the Pötzleinsdorf forest area.
Even during the colder months, it’s just as pleasant to walk amidst the frosted tree branches and iced lakes.
How to get there? on weekdays, the main gate is open from 7am and can be accessed by car, or public transport (bus 41A)
The hiker’s experience: on busy days, walking in the upper area of the park will give you the peace and quiet you’re looking for. This park is ideal to experience on a sunny winter day
3. The scenic Steinhofgründe
The seemingly endless fields at the plateau sitting above the city, the Steinhofgründe, isn’t only an opportune spot for a cosy winter picnic (bring a lot of blankets and dress warm!), but also a starting point to journey through the mysterious Dehnepark, and (if you’re feeling fit) you can walk all the way to Hütteldorf.
You can arrive, and also leave the vast grounds of Steinhof via public transport. The real adventure begins with the ‘rundumadum’ (all around) paths that start from the ‘Feuerwache Steinhof’.
How to get there? Public transit (46A & 46B buses will get you there), enter through Feuerwache Steinhof, Großes Schutzhaus Rosental, Ecke Heschweg/Rosental, or the Otta-Wagner-Spital (temporarily closed)
The hiker’s experience: once through the gates, the trail will lead you downhill. The path is quite uneven around the Dehnepark area
4. The walk around Neustift
Are these the woods from a Brothers Grimm fairytale? Definitely not, since fairytales have plagues and not pandemics. However, we understand how you could reach such a conclusion while admiring the tall and dense forests of Neustift am Walde. Walking through this neck of the woods will seem like a refreshing winter breeze. The hiking path is an estimated 2.7km long walk and can be conquered from the 19th district Rathstraße, through the Neustift graveyard, and finally ending near Salmannsdorferstraße.
Although it’s known for its many wine fields, this Döbling hillside will have nothing but empty grapevines during the colder season. On your winter hiking trip, you can admire the Neustift wine graveyard, as we so befittingly decided to name it.
How to get there? Public transport (bus 35A & 39A), walk approx. 20min. from Neustift am Walde station (or Agnesgasse) to your desired starting point
The hiker’s experience: a nice loop to take, a beautiful view of the city from the highest point at the tavern ‘Häuserl am Roan’
5. From Sievering to Hermannskogel
You can begin many hiking adventures in the 19th district neighbourhood of Sievering. If you’re not prepared to wake up in the wee hours of the morning, then you better clear your afternoon schedule for this 3 hour trail. From the Sievering neighbourhood, you can head into the Wienerwald, walking along a beautiful path that follows the Agnesbründl spring. You’ll also spot along the trail the snow-white chapel known as ‘Sisi Kapelle’, and the lookout tower Habsburgwarte, which is situated on Vienna’s highest hilltop, the Hermannskogel. Your trekking route then finally ends aloft the fields of Cobenzl, which has a path that will eventually leads you down to the bus stop at Sieveringstraße – back to where you began.
With an altitude difference of 408m, Hermannskogel may not be Mt. Kilimanjaro, but the uphill walk during these colder temperatures, and the rewarding city view that follows, will definitely give you that feeling of being on top of the world.
How to get there? public transport (bus 39A), near the vineyards of Salmannsdorf, your hiking tour can start wherever you like.
The hiker’s experience: the trails become slightly intense once you reach the forest. The red-white-red markings along the way will help you find your way.
6. The cold woods of Zugberg-Maurerwald
While the hiking trail, Stadtwanderweg 6, isn’t difficult to follow, it may be a bit of a challenge for newbie hikers. The 12.5km path takes approximately 4.5h to complete.
The well-marked woodland trail will take you up to the heights of Zugberg, where you can gaze upon the frost-bitten countryside of Vienna and realise for a moment just how relatively insignificant all of our quarantine problems are.
After taking in that moment of solitude, it’s time to get back to reality and make your way back down into the city. Following the hiking trail number 6, you can either take a short cut at Schießstätte, which will bring you closer to the tram, or you can hike it out until the end near Ketzergasse.
How to get there? Public transport (tram 60). Your trail begins at the Rodauner church
The hiker’s experience: asphalt walking paths, that turn into rougher stony parks. You’ll walk through lots of meadows and forest areas.
7. Inner-city hiking at Panozzalacke
The nature around Panozzalacke is known as a popular spot for a swim in summer. But during the colder seasons, it’s a lovely area for some hiking, as it’s set in the upper areas of the Lobau.
Walking the 3 hour route is easy-peasy for even the weakest of walkers, no matter the weather conditions. After hopping off the bus you can stroll to Mühlwasserstraße, grab a brief impression of the Lobau woods, before reaching your starting point at the lake. If you’re good on time, you should be able to complete the route that leads to Biberhaufenweg ( it will take less than 2 hours). The only thing that may hold you back from completing your hike may be all the time you spend gawking at the beauty of the icy lakes of the Lobau nature reserve.
Some prefer walking straight on and not straying from the paths, but others will be tempted to venture off of them to explore. For safety’s sake, we won’t tell you to explore, but we’re also not going to tell you not together 😉 An icy skinny dip, anyone?
How to get there? Public transport (bus 92A & 93A), or you can reach it on foot from the U2 station, Donaustadtbrücke
The hiker’s experience: the trails are flat and there’s plenty of nature’s beauty to enjoy while you take your leisurely stroll