If you’ve yet to explore any of Vienna’s many lovely parks or gardens, it’s time to head outside for a breath of fresh air in one of the city’s lush and historic scenic spots.
Andreas Tiefenbacher, a medical resident at the Medical University of Vienna, said he highly recommends Lainzer Tiergarten. He described it as an “extensive natural landscape at the western city border and former imperial hunting grounds. It’s great for long walks in nature and superior views of the city.”
He also suggested cocktails at the Hermesvilla, the former mansion of Empress Sisi, while in Lainzer Tiergarten.
“Take care, wild boars might join you,” he said jokingly.
If you prefer northeast views of the city and a tour of vineyards, Dr. Tiefenbacher suggested heading to Kahlenberg, a 484 meter mountain in Vienna Woods that can be scaled by car, bus or, if you’re a fitness buff, an 11-kilometer (6.8 mile) hike. The peak affords views of the entire city and even the Schneeberg, where the city’s spring water comes from.
But the most popular recreational area for Viennese people, according to Dr. Tiefenbacher, is the Donauinsel, an island on the Danube River that has a nature reserve and 42 kilometers of beach. It’s not far from Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center.
“You can rent a bike and explore the island on your own. It offers many publicly available bathing spots and places to have lunch or dinner,” he said.
The Prater, a large public park is also a short walk from the conference center and features an amusement park with the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel, which was built in 1897 and served as the world’s tallest extant Ferris wheel from 1920 to 1985. Today, it symbolizes the city for many Viennese residents. The park also includes The Hauptallee, a main path lined with horse chestnut trees, the Liliputbahn, a small steam and diesel powered tourist train, and the Republic of Kugelmugel, a small domed structure that serves as a nation unto itself. A planetarium and the Prater Museum can also be found in The Prater.
Stadtpark, a 19th-century English-style park with a gilded statue of Johann Strauss and a river with ornate bridges, is a leisurely 2-mile walk from the convention center. It extends from the Vienna Ring Road (Ringstrabe) in the first district to the Heumarkt in the third district.
Volksgarten is a bit farther away from the convention center. It consists of a manicured public park with rose gardens, temples, and fountains and was once part of the Hofburg Palace as well as the site of a performance by Johann Strauss with his rival Joseph Lanner.
There’s also a park for the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Known also as Votive Park, it features a circle of 15 trees, one for each European Union member in 1997, surrounding a granite table and chairs, one for each of the 10 new members that joined during the 2004 expansion. The tree circle was expanded to 18 trees earlier this year when Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania joined the union.
Check out the City of Vienna website for a full list of city parks.