There’s nothing like escaping to a spot where you’re surrounded by nature. Where the sounds of traffic are taken over by the birds and the wind in the trees. It’s good for a recharge and to reconnect to good ol’ mother nature, especially during the warmer months when everything is in full bloom.
Here are 6 super special nature spots in, or around, Vienna to escape to:
The wine hills – Escape to nature in Vienna
Vienna and wine go together like… ummm, cheese and wine. Can you believe we’ve been asked more than once if it’s a coincidence that Wine and Wien are so close in spelling? Moving on – the famous Viennese wine comes, of course, from the wine hills surrounding it, and you can hike through the glorious vines producing the wine grapes for miles and miles. The easiest to reach wine growing region, and maybe the spot sporting the most spectacular views, is in the wine hills of the 19th district.
With this nature escape, you can get out into the green, go for a hike, check out some awesome views over the city and sip at some very good wine when you’re ready to come back into civilisation.
Some of the best views in the city can be had at spots like Kahlenberg, Nussberg, or Am Himmel, which are located close to the forests around the city. And after you’ve experienced such great heights, you can choose to go back to town either through the woods, or by winding your way through the wine hills (preferably with a bottle of wine in hand).
Bike enthusiasts can also find some pretty adventurous tracks, and hikers can trick their boots on a Sunday into thinking they are actually doing some serious trekking. Check out some of the walking trails that will have you doing the wine walk, here.
Alternatively, you can also practice our other favourite sport in the woods: blanket wining. It’s when you lay on a blanket, with a bottle of wine, and… well, you get the rest. Freestyle versions of this sport can see the wine exchanged with beer, and the blanket with somebody’s lap.
Where: there are several wine growing regions surrounding the city, but we’d recommend you explore the 19th wine hills on the hiking trail Nr. 1. Find more details, here. Or we’d suggest you begin at the Buschenschank Mayer am Nussberg and follow the path heading over the hill from there until you’re lost and discovering another of the famous wine taverns the Viennese call, Heuriger.
The forest in the Prater park – Escape to nature in Vienna
The Prater is the behemoth of all of Vienna’s parks. The 6-million square meter park (think 2,420 football fields) has plenty of green meadows for you to lay down your blanket, or your lover. One thing that few know is about the great nature escape of a small forest to get lost in up near the Lusthaus coffeehouse end of the Prater Hauptallee boulevard. Don’t expect something big when heading here, but you will find yourself wandering alone here most times of the day, besides the odd person riding a horse (the Fiaker – horse and cart – horse stables are close by). It’s a great central urban escape.
How to get here? you can catch the tram Nr. 1 to the end station, Prater Hauptallee, and walk up the boulevard (in the opposite direction of Praterstern) and enter the forest near the Lusthaus coffeehouse.
Hidden in the Wienerwald amidst giant pine trees, finding the Neuwaldegger Bad is like finding a summer Neverland – you’ll never want to leave (especially after you pay 16€ to get in!). For 30 years, Eva Dolezal has taken care of this small, charming swimming pool hidden in the nature of the Hernals neighbourhood. And the personal touch she lends to the place makes it feel like home for all who visit. There’s one pool with a shallow area for kids surrounded by green meadows and old wooden sun chairs. A restaurant, set in a charming wooden hut, is located right next to the pool where you’ll find all your grandma’s specials: Gulasch, Reisfleisch, stuffed peppers, or homemade Kuchen.
To finish off the picture of this being a place frozen in time, Neuwaldegger Bad has two FKK areas – one for ladies and one for gentlemen, so everyone can feel comfortable doing their thing in the nude… like naked volleyball… and naked tennis… and maybe some naked tree climbing. Whatever you’re into. Neuwaldegger Bad might not be pure nature, however it made it into this list as it’s a swimming pool truly immersed in the woods and nature.
Some call this the jungle, or swamp of Vienna, and while we wouldn’t worry too much about running into tigers, or angry baboons out here, we do appreciate how wild this national park is. Lobau is full of basically untouched nature spread for miles and miles. The Lobau is part of the National Park Donau Auen and houses more than 800 types of plants and over 100 bird species. Also don’t be surprised if a naked person randomly crosses your path out there. Yes, the Lobau hosts a couple of beautiful lagoons that are favoured by those who like to do their swimming in the nude. Why not? This is an opportunity for you to truly get back to nature (wink, wink).
You can explore this natural jewel on your bike, by foot, or by kayak (they run tours from the national park’s visitor center – find more info,here)
How to get there: the Lobau is 13km from the city center, so a 20–30 min drive from Vienna, depending on traffic. The buses 93A and 92B will leave you at different entrances of the park (depending where you need to get to). You can even reach the Lobau by boat from the Donaukanal, by booking ahead here.
Wienerwald – Escape to nature in Vienna
We bet you’ve loing noticed how Vienna is surrounded by nature, a big part of it being the Wienerwald (The Viennese forest). Surrounding the city, this green oasis not only provides us with the precious clean air (for a big city) we breath in every day, but also some stunning views to take in when going out and about on short hikes. They are also one of the best nature escape options in the city. Here are some of our favourites:
Hütte-hopping and hiking on Stadtwanderweg 2
Start location: Catch the bus 39A to the last stop, Sievering. At the bus stop is a sign with a map on it. Head left onto Agnesgasse, onto Salmannsdorfer Höhe. From here follow the signs. Difficulty level: will get the calves burning in sections with a few steep hills, but pleasant nonetheless
This trail is for those that enjoy a Hütten-hop when they hike. Starting in the charming streets of Sievering, it’s not long until you’re onto a trail with a spectacular view. There’s a few hills on this very clearly marked trail and it hosts a good mix of forest, open fields a variety of beautiful views, and, once again, Hütten to take a break. We mean, what’s more rewarding than a beer or spritzer when your sore body is telling you that you’ve earned it. We’d recommend stopping at Häuserl am Stoan, and Gasthaus zum Agnesbrünnl.
Behind the woods on Stadtwanderweg 4
Start location: Catch the tram 49 to the stop Bahnhofstraße, walk up Dehnegasseuntil it becomes the trail (you’ll see a sign) Difficulty level: 7 kms of trail as well manicured as your pubic area (which we hope you’ve been maintaining)
This is the kind of walk during which you can stop, listen, and hear nothing but the wind in the trees, the birds, and that whistling noise your nose makes when you’re exercising. For most of the trail, you’ll be away from any roads, weaving in and out of woods on a dirt trail. Once again, the trail is very well sign posted, meaning it’s pretty hard to get lost, even if you try.
Where: Several forrest walks in and around Vienna
Perks: the seclusion, the view, the adventure in getting there.
Donauinsel – Escape to nature in Vienna
This artificially made island is literally perfect for people wanting to escape the city into the green. With no cars allowed, and plentiful trees and green space, the Donauinsel is a great spot for all sorts of recreational activities that are best done in nature. We recommend exploring the island on a bike as then you can really get to the more secluded spots where it will just be you, the wind in the trees and the water. You can check out a bike tour we created for the island, here.
How to get there: There are many ways that lead to the Donauinsel. You can catch the U1 metro line to the station, Donauinsel, or the D tram will also take you out there if you sit on it long enough. However, like we said, exploring the island by bike is the way to do it.