Running – Jogging – Walking in Vienna
One of Vienna’s rarely stated quality factors is the city’s walkability. It may take a while, but moving by foot through the city has its comforts. Not only is it safe but walking paths and biking trails have been built into the city’s infrastructure and are therefore well developed. These conditions make the city ideal for walkers, runners and joggers alike. Whether it’s to get started in the morning or to clear your head after a long day of work, running not only keeps you physically fit, but is also relaxing and cathartic for a stressed out mind.
Before we point out the best routes, we want to share some useful advice for running in the city.
- (1) beware of bicyclists – Pedestrians aren’t the only ones enjoying the city’s infrastructure and share their paths with cyclists. Usually the bicycle lanes are separated and marked, but be aware when crossing them, especially when you are distracted or have earphones in. Just keep on the right side, so you can be passed easily and you avoid annoying “ding dings”.
- (2) bring some change – Whilst there are wells and drinking spots on most of the common running routes, it is always good to carry some change for beverages or bathrooms, just in case.
- (3) make your mobile phone your personal trainer – If you want to improve yourself apps like Runtastic help you to track length, duration, speed of your run. This helps to measure your training progress and animates you to improve yourself, but keep in mind, it is not about competition!
Running Routes in the City
There are of course hundreds of possible running routes in Vienna and nearly every park has the potential, to be a suitable running spot. (e.g. Augarten, Türkenschanzpark, etc.) We’ve decided to pick some popular routes for you, which add a little bit more to your workout experience:
The Donaukanal with paths and trees alongside its shores is an ideal running spot. From the U4 station Heiligenstadt to Schwedenplatz or even the Prater the paths are easily accessible by public transport and offer a high grade of flexibility and length of your personal running route. Whilst the western side (Heiligenstadt – Rossauer Lände) is rather grassy, wider and landscaped the southeastern path (Rossauer Lände – Schwedenplatz) is bordered with beach bars, boats and pretty interesting graffiti – which is legal, alongside the canal – and overall more “urban”. From Schwedenplatz on heading east the path becomes grassier and greener again. Numerous bridges allow Runners to pick individual paths and add variety to your running routine. Especially in summer there is a constant and highly welcomed breeze coming off the water, which makes it perfect after a hot day.
Schönbrunn is not only a tourist attraction, but also a free park as well. There are wide paths around and through the whole perimeter, which allow to run without taking a detour. The Gloriette also offers some uphill – downhill variation. In addition the paths are made of gravel, which most runners prefer to running on paved ground. The zig-zag paths offer a lot of variation and with the U4 station nearby, Schönbrunn is easily accessible and a beautiful running spot, which lets you forget that you are in a big city.
The Prater is known for the amusement park (“Würstelprater”), though the much bigger part is a huge public park, which used to serve as the imperial hunting grounds. There is a wide and paved road called Prater Hauptallée through the whole park, which is comfortable for running and tracking the distance, though the Prater also offers hundreds of small paths through the whole area, which are less busy. There are several restrooms and small cafés and shops along the Hauptallée, which provide you with all necessities. The prater is easily accessible at the trainstation Praterstern a traffic hub with several options for public transport (U1,U2, Schnellbahn and several bus and tramlines).
The Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark is the ideal location for nature lovers, who like to leave the city behind while running. The paths are rather shady, with a lot of wood and small lakes. There is even wildlife in the form of deers (behind a fenced area). The area offers a variety of running routes and altitude to fit your perfect route. The Schlosspark is located at the end of the 41 tram line in the 18th district.
Around the Ring
The most central and probably diversified route is right around Vienna’s famous “Ring”. With several gardens like Volksgarten, Burggarten and Stadtpark, water like the Wienfluss, and Donaukanal and the imperial flair of buildings like the Opera, the Hofburg, Parliament the Ring-route offers a bit of everything of the inner city. Most of the paths are public walking (and biking) trails, but the route also includes a fair amount of sidewalks. The main route can get very crowded due to tourists visiting the famous spots of the city, but it is very easy to take different routes and detours through the parks and the areas around, so that interruptions of your running routine can be minimized. Due to its famous location the Ring route is very accessible from all sides and highly recommended if you like to experience Vienna’s finest buildings while working out.
If you are looking for a mix between hiking and running Wienerberg is an ideal solution. The big recreation area in the south of the city offers woods, small likes and numerous walking paths with predefined running-checkpoints. It’s rather rear location allows a great view on the south of the city and makes it a calm and comfortable spot to run. Though it is not as easily accessible as other running routes in the center with the 65A, 261 and 265 bus lines.
Obviously the Donauinsel with its total length of more than 20 kilometers is very well suited for running. If you prefer running in a straight direction, without any distractions or traffic, there is no better spot. You can choose between paths alongside the shores of both arms of the danube or on the center of the island. Between the U6 line in the North West and the U2 line in the east you find public restrooms, cafés and small shops for drinks and ice-cream everywhere, outside of these areas there is less infrastructure, but also few people, it that is what you prefer.
If you don’t want to go for a run alone best thing is to look for Facebook Groups like “Running on Vienna” (which is explicitly for expats) to find running companions.