Taking walks is not only a great way to balance the stress of studying, it gets you a little active which is important for your health. If you live and study in Vienna, the most livable city in the world, consider yourself really lucky. Get to know Vienna in all it’s diversity with great views, endless fields and hiking trails, which can all be done on foot. Time to give your legs a stretch!
Cobblestone streets, intricate courtyards and a whole lot of history- Something you can’t miss when walking through Vienna’s first district. The inner city is not only a feast for the eyes for history buffs but anyone who can appreciate the flair of the then, imperial and royal monarchy which still feels very omnipresent. Additionally, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to walk through one of Vienna’s many well-kept parks/gardens. These include Vienna City Park, Burggarten and Volksgarten. Apart from that, let yourself wander through the streets and be taken by the magic, you will certainly come upon things of interest. If the weather isn’t optimal, don’t worry. The 1st district has a special atmosphere when it gets wet, foggy and mysterious. If it starts to pour rain, simply pop in to one of the many quaint coffee houses. That’s how the Viennese do it!
If you walk along the Danube Canal, you can look forward to a relaxed atmosphere, especially in the warmer months. In addition to the pleasant coolness of the water, you can enjoy all kinds of street art along the urban arm of the Danube. The Danube Canal is 17 kilometers long in total and is ideal for exploring on foot or by bike. For a quick break, there are plenty of casual bars and trendy restaurants featuring international cuisine along the canal. The quickest way to get to the Danube Canal is by underground – Get off at the stops between Schwedenplatz (U1, U4) and Friedensbrücke (U4).
If you turn towards the city centre while walking along the canal (at street level) you will end up reaching Vienna’s Ringstraße. You can follow it all around the 1st district up until Urania observatory. On a stretch of approximately 5 kilometers and separated into 9 sections, including Schottenring and the Universitätsring, you will encounter one magnificent building after another: The Stock Exchange, the Votivkirche (church), the University of Vienna main campus, the Vienna City Hall, the Austrian Parliament and even the Vienna State Opera. If you want to take a shortcut, you can always take tram line 1 to enjoy the impressive architecture in ease.
Vienna Prater, which features a giant ferris wheel is world-famous. However, the area of Prater doesn’t just include the fairground, the restaurants and the Prater Hauptallee. The central street leading from the underground station Praterstern (U1, U2) to the Lusthaus, is filled with trees, spacious meadows and plenty of corners to escape the crowds who go there to walk, skate or rollerblade. If you are enrolled at the University of Economics or Sigmund Freud University, you can head there conveniently, right after class. Students at our student residence MILESTONE Vienna Campus can also enjoy the close proximity to this oasis of peace.
If you’re picturing a morbid, creepy atmosphere, you’ll be glad to find out you’re mistaken! Every day, many people visit the Vienna Central Cemetery to enjoy the nature and the rich fauna of the 2.5 km² area. There is plenty to discover: The imposing Lueger Church with the presidential tomb in front of it and a multitude of graves in honour of Falco, Udo Jürgens, Beethoven and more. The list of famous personalities found at the Vienna Central Cemetery can be found on the website. If you need help planning your walk, you can use an audio guide app to guide you through. The best way to get to the Central Cemetery is to take the S7 train (Zentralfriedhof stop) or tram lines 11 and 71 (Zentralfriedhof 1.Tor to Zentralfriedhof 3.Tor).
The former hunting ground of the Habsburgs is now open to everyone as a nature reserve known as Lainzer Tiergarten. Exuberant walks in the wooded sections between streams and ditches invite you to unwind. The Hohenauer Pond, the Hermes Villa and various restaurants can be included in your itinerary. Due to the land reaching almost 2,500 hectares, you probably won’t be able to walk through the whole area in one day. You can even enter the Lainzer Tiergarten via various entrances, for example via the Nikolaitor, which is close to the U4 and S-Bahn station Hütteldorf.
On the edge of the 19th district, a special vantage point awaits you: Kahlenberg. Even though it’s a bit of an uphill climb and you might get a little sweaty, the walk up to Kahlenberg is a classic in Vienna. Take tram line 19 to the Nußdorf terminus. From there you simply follow the eleven-kilometre Vienna City Hiking Trail 1, which leads you up to the vantage point. Thirsty for a drink? You can stop by a Heuriger (traditional winery) on the way.
Vienna City Hiking Trail 5 starts right at Stammersdorf terminus (tram line 31). The approximately 10 kilometre long loop takes you to the so-called Bisamberg, as a highlight, and then back to the tram station. For a spectacular view and some holiday vibes, you may just have to put up with that steep incline after all!
Would you like to know more about the other trails for hiking through Vienna and the surrounding area? Then read on!
We have mentioned a few hiking trails already. But if you want to get to know Vienna step by step and visit different corners of the city, you should put all the Vienna city walking trails at the top of your list. A total of 13 routes take you through the federal capital, conveying Viennese Charm and what it’s like to live like a local. The Urbane Gemeindebau-Wanderweg (Stage 11), for example, is the shortest 4 kilometre route and presents the concept of affordable, social housing, which is unique in Europe. If you think of grey concrete masses here, you will probably be surprised by the varied flora and fauna. If you’d rather spend a few hours on the road, take the longest Vienna city walking trail, number 7. On this 15 kilometre route, you can explore the entire south of Vienna with the beautiful Oberlaa Spa Park, Laa Forest and Bohemian Prater. These three places are definitely worth a visit individually!
120 kilometres make up the circular hiking trail around the entire capital. Divided into 24 sections, this is certainly something that will require more than a day. Each section has its own unique charm and the total trail is great for completing in stages. If you manage to finish it, no one can ever question if you’ve explored the city enough. By the way: Vienna’s hiking trails are all connected to the public transport network of the Wiener Linien. If you’re a bit more ambitious or simply enjoy the experience, get yourself a hiking pass. This way you can have your achievement confirmed at the respective stamp stations of the city hiking trails and receive a hiking pin for your success.
Looking for more leisure tips for students in Vienna? Find out everything you need to know about the best day trips in Vienna.