The Best Places To Experience The Vienna Woods (Wienerwald)
There are two magnificent parts to exploring the city of Vienna; while they both provide a very different experience, in my opinion, they are each as beautiful as each other and shouldn’t be overlooked. For anyone who has made the trip to this magical city, it is very important that you experience them both, to truly maximise your experience so you can get the absolute most out of your trip. It would be such a shame to come all this way and miss out of half the fun!
This first part is pretty obvious – it’s what the majority of people come here for – and that is the incredible abundance of fascinating architecture, the city’s illustrious history, the countless art galleries and museums, and of course, the food, cafes and the fabulous coffee houses scattered throughout the city’s famous 1st District – YUM!!!
The second part, however, is often disregarded by most people… THEY MUST BE CRAZY!!!
Maybe people think they don’t have time? WRONG!
Maybe people think it’s too hard to get to? WRONG!
Maybe people think it’s a waste of time? WRONG!
I’m of course talking about the world-famous Viennese Woods – known as the “Wienerwald” to the German speaking locals – which is the majestic and untouched natural wonder located right on the edge of the city’s border. If you haven’t already heard about it, or if you haven’t made plans to visit throughout your trip, as a foreigner who has come to this city and lived happily now for several years, I can safely say that the Viennese Woods should be right up there at the top of your “Things To Do In Vienna List” – WITHOUT DOUBT!
There are so many amazing places to experience the Wienerwald, and it’s just not possible to use the excuse “it’s too hard to get there.” There are busses and trams that will deliver you right to the doorstep of this spectacular forest, from all over the city, and they will get you there in less than 30-minutes! That’s right – LESS THAN 30 MINUTES!!! So, as you can imagine, it’s hard to say you couldn’t find the time… If you we’re in Paris, would you say you couldn’t make the time to see the Eiffel Tower? No, I don’t think you would! So, while the places listed below might not be quite as iconic as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, they are indeed a very special place to the Viennese locals, and they are certainly worth the effort.
Now that that we know how quick and easy it is to get there – for those who don’t already know – you might be asking “why should we take time out from our trip to see this?” Well, the Viennese Woods are fascinating; they are quiet and calm, they are perfectly relaxing, they are filled with the beautiful sounds of nature, and they are void of the loud annoying tourists that, by now, you have probably come to hate! The Wienerwald is the number one way to escape the rush of Vienna, for so many of the city’s residents each weekend, and it’s the pure serenity that draws them here time and time again. Honestly, what could be more important to experience than this?
There are spectacular hikes for all abilities, which range from short leisurely strolls to extended trails that take an entire-day. If you don’t’ want to hike, each of the locations listed below also provide endless stretches of lush green meadows to relax in. Why not take a blanket and have a picnic for the day? Or, partake in some physical sporting activities in the wide-open spaces! Whatever you decide, the only thing you must do, is get there!
Breathe in the crisp clean air.
Feel the warm summer sun on your face.
Relax with a picnic in the endless fields and meadows.
Take in the natural serenity of the majestic forests.
Listen to the magical sounds of the wildlife, hidden among the rustling leaves of the woods.
Discover a part of Vienna that most tourists never even know exists. YOU WON’T REGRET IT!!!
Below are my top seven locations to experience the Vienna Woods (Wienerwald), each with their own particular flair. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have in the past!
Lainzer Tiergarten is located on the edge of Vienna’s city limits, where the suburban sprawl meets the spectacular Viennese Woods (Wienerwald). This magnificent weekend playground – just a short journey from the city centre – is a perfect cross between a city park and pristine countryside, and is just waiting to be explored. The park is not only free, but it also has something for everyone; playgrounds for the kids, wide open-meadows to run around, or relax in, wild forests filled with the sounds of nature, hiking trails of all lengths and difficulties, cafes and huts serving traditional Austrian cuisine, and for those who want to bring their own food, an abundance of picnic areas and park benches throughout! This is the perfect way to experience the Viennese Woods!
Leopoldsberg is arguably Vienna’s most famous hill, standing around 424-meters tall, overlooking the mighty Danube River which flows below at its base. This stunning location is well-known for its picturesque hiking trails through the Viennese Woods, as well as its unobstructed views of the city which are nothing short of breathtaking. Take the day to explore these pristine natural surrounds, then rest for a meal in one of the area’s traditional wine cellars and restaurants, called “Heurigen”. It’s a way of seeing Vienna that most people don’t get the opportunity to experience, and it should not be missed!
VIENNA WINE WALK (NUSSBERG)
The Vienna Wine Walk is one of the city’s most famous walking trails, located on the mountain of Nussberg, on the outskirts of town. Take the short tram ride to the village of Nussdorf, and begin the walk up the hill towards the local vineyards. The trail is a wonderfully tranquil experience, as you trek through the countless rows of the vineyards and gaze over the beautiful city of Vienna, with unobstructed views as far as the eye can see. There are several small wine taverns along the way, so you can take your time, and sit back and relax with a glass of the local produce as you take in the picturesque scenery which surrounds you.
Am Himmel – roughly translated to “In The Sky” or “In Heaven” – is a stunning parkland set on the edge of Vienna where the city meets the magnificent Viennese Woods (Wienerwald). Am Himmel is a fantastic place to escape the city and spend a day relaxing in the natural beauty of the surrounding green forests and lush meadows, especially in the summer time when the sun is out! With amazing views over Vienna, and with many great hiking trails in the area, Am Himmel really is the perfect place to get away from the hustle-and-bustle or the regular Viennese tourist destinations.
Located on the western-outskirts of the city of Vienna, boarding with the magnificent Viennese Woods (Wienerwald), you will find the beautiful open grassed meadows of Schwarzenberg Park, a picturesque parkland which is largely unknown among tourists. Schwarzenberg Park is where the Viennese locals come to get away from the city, with endless hiking trails through the surrounding forests, and large areas of uninhabited meadows which are perfectly suited to relaxation.
Vienna is well known throughout the world for the abundance of green parklands which can be found on the outskirts of the city, many of which blend into the majestic Viennese Woods (Wienerwald); Steinhofgründe is yet another example of one of these natural and wild parklands in which to escape the hustle-and-bustle of Vienna. Take the short tram and bus ride, and you can join the many local residents as they relax in the lush meadows throughout the warmer months, and enjoy the fantastic year-round hiking trails through the surrounding forests.
Kahlenberg is a small hill on the outskirts of Vienna, which stands 484-metres tall and is located in the heart of the Viennese Woods. Make the journey to its peak by public bus, where you can experience fantastic unobstructed views of the city, take a short stroll through the many surrounding vineyards, or even hike some of the area’s most tranquil walking trails. There are also several authentic Austrian restaurants on offer, called “Heurigen,” so it’s very easy to make a full-day of it and experience Vienna in a way most tourists don’t get the opportunity too, away from the standard run-of-the-mill tourist trail!
Cities & Towns