Top 5 Parks and Gardens in Vienna
Although Austria is known around the world as a skiing destination, Vienna can get seriously hot during the summer months, so parks and gardens as places to cool down have a long standing tradition and there are plenty of nice spots all around the city.
Situated in Vienna’s 13th district on the western outskirts of the city, you’ll find a huge area consisting of woods and meadows, harboring regional wildlife like wild boars, fallow deer and European mouflons. A popular destination for hunting, hiking and leisurely walks dating back to the times of the Habsburg monarchy, this place is now one of the favorite summertime retreats for the Viennese people. With plenty of well paved walkways, it’s a great place for joggers and nordic walkers as well.
Initially a part of the Otto Wagner hospital, the Steinhofgründe were used as a garden and recreational area for patients and employees. Since then, it has been turned into a public leisure area, which is easily accessible from Vienna’s inner city and not as crowded as the more touristic spots around the center. You’ll usually be able to get quite a bit of strolling around in without stepping on other people’s toes every few meters. There is a good chance of spotting wildlife while you are there – deers, various kinds of birds and at dusk, you’ll usually get to see a lot of bats.
Schloss Schönbrunn, the biggest palace in Austria and one of the most popular attractions in Vienna, is not only one of the most impressive reminders from the days of the Habsburg monarchy, its vast gardens also create a beautiful and much needed natural retreat within the city. The area is big enough to host Vienna’s well-renowned zoo – Tiergarten Schönbrunn – which is a great attraction in its own right. It will take you quite a few visits to explore every corner of this massive area, but it is worthwhile to do so. Or just take a nice little stroll while taking a break from the office. The park is easily accessible with Vienna’s public transport all year long.
This park in Vienna’s second district is more than just a nice spot for an evening stroll, as it is also a popular location for events in Vienna’s vibrant (sub-)cultural life. You’ll find open air movie screenings, concerts and plenty of other exciting things to do. Apart from these activities, the Augarten is one of the more quiet parks in the inner city, frequented by locals mostly and always good for a little rest from the buzz in the city.
The Viennese Prater, a large public park, has a long history of serving as a recreational area for the people of Vienna and is big enough to still accommodate the “Wurstlprater” – the oldest amusement park in the world and home to Vienna’s signature ferris wheel – as well as Vienna’s biggest stadium, the Ernst-Happel-Stadium. The area is huge, providing lots of space for sport enthusiasts, as well as plenty of meadows and trees for shade for picknickers and strollers. On May 1st, the Prater serves as host for one of Vienna’s biggest free events, the Maifest. Paying a visit then is well worth a recommendation.