Jul 18 – 23, 2022
University of Vienna
Europe/Vienna timezone

Outdoor activities

Vienna provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities during summer. On this page we provide you with a few suggestions. For more suggestions don't hesitate to ask a local of your trust.


Hiking

There are a number of well-marked hiking paths ("Stadtwanderwege") in the immediate vicinity of the city, which are easily accessible by public transportation. 
A detailed description of these paths can be found here, which largely coincides with those on the official (somewhat less appealing) webpage. 
These are marked along the way with "Stadtwanderweg # " . 
An app with GPS guidance can be downloaded on mobile devices, search for "CityHikes Vienna".

On the free afternoon Wednesday July 20, we will offer 3 guided tours:

  • Nußdorf to Fuhrgassl-Huber
    We will meet at 15:30 at the tram station "Nußdorf, Beethovengang", the final destination of the tram line D. Alternatively, one can also take the local train S40 to "Nußdorf" and walk 5 min. The path leads through beautiful neighborhoods of Vienna, vineyards, along the hills near the city and will conclude at the location of the conference dinner. The walking time is about 2.5 to 3h, but as there are plenty of views along the way, the tour will take longer for sure. While the hike follows along easily treatable paths for its majority, there is one very short section which might prove difficult for people with mobility issues. For the 260m climb you should bring enough water, but it can be refilled at the halfway point at the "Cobenzl". There one can also cut the hike short by taking the bus line 38A down the hill.

  • Stadtwanderweg 2
    
We will meet at the bus stop "Agnesgasse" of bus 35A at 15:00, and hike up along some local vineyards and into the Viennese forest. The entire hike is a closed loop which takes around 3 hours walking time, with approx. 300 m altitude change. Bring plenty of drinking water! 
However you can take it easier (especially if is very hot), as there are a couple of nice rest stations on the way with the possibility to buy drinks or food (cash only), where you might decide to stay and return later on your own to the start of the loop. From there, the conference dinner is within easy walking distance.
    View of the Wienerwald

    © Michael Kranewitter, CC BY-SA 4.0

  • Stadtwanderweg 9
    We will meet in front of the planetarium near the historic Ferris wheel in the Prater at 14:00. The near station "Praterstern" can be reached via several modes of transportation, most prominently the subway lines U1 and U2. This is the easiest hike, as it is completely flat and inside a large park (the "Prater") in the city. The estimated walking time is 3 to 4h and the path consists mostly of paved roads. Especially in the middle part of this circular hike, there are a few opportunities to buy food and drinks. Since the path is flat and largely near or through foresty areas, heat should not be a big problem, but you should still bring enough water. After the first third of the path, there are plenty of opportunities to cut the hike short, either by taking the bus or the subway U2. On the way back, one can take a small detour through the "Wurstelprater", the amusement park that houses the Ferris wheel. Getting to the location of the conference dinner might take up to 50min depending on the chosen connection.

If you are more ambitions, for a nice hike on a nearby mountain we recommend the following:

  • Rax
    This can be reached by public transportation by taking the Regionalexpress 1, 3 or 9 from Vienna Central Station to "Payerbach-Reichenau". From there you take the Bus 341 to "Hirschwang an der Rax Raxseilbahn", the final destination. Timetables and other routes can be found here. There is a cable car which can take you up and/or down the mountain and provides easy access to some beautiful alpine meadows. However, you may need to place a reservation for the cable car (also going down!), which can be done online. Note that the shop page is only available in German.


  • Höllental
    From the same starting point as above, one can hike between the Rax and the Schneeberg through the „Höllental“ (which means devil’s valley in German). It is a comfortable hike that leads to the origin of the 1st Viennese Water Line that still supplies Vienna with drinking water today. This round trip leads mostly through forests and shaded areas. Therefore, it is a nice escape from the Viennese summer heat and provides many opportunities to take a refreshing dip in a river that runs next to the hiking path.


  • Schneeberg
    The Schneeberg ("snow mountain") is the highest mountain in Lower Austria, the region that surrounds Vienna. There are plenty of routes to discover, and there is also a rack railway going up to the peak. The easiest access point for hikes and for the railway is the town Puchberg am Schneeberg, which can be reached by public transport from Vienna in about 1.5h. For routes and timetables refer to the webpage of ÖBB with the final destination "Puchberg am Schneeberg".
 For anyone with more experience in mountaineering or looking for a challenge, there is also the „Fadensteig“. Its starting point is best reached by car but can also be reached via choosing "Puchberg am Schneeberg, Sesselbahn Talstation" as final destination.


  • Hohe Wand
    This is a nature park near Vienna that is compromised of a cliff formation, providing a stunning view over the flat lands below. There are many paths on top of the elevated part of the park and also several attractions, such as a wild animal park, a petting zoo and a skywalk. To climb up the cliffs one can start from the station "Maiersdorf an der Hohen Wand Mauthaus" which can be reached in 1.5h from Vienna with public transport.


  • Baden
    For a more gentle hike closer to Vienna, one can again follow the 1st Viennese Water Line, now in the section from Mödling to Baden. Mödling Main station can be reached in 20min from Vienna Central Station and the hiking path along the Water Line is signed from there on. The full hike to Baden takes around 4h, however, there are plenty of little towns, some with train stations, along the way, where one can sit, eat and drink something.

Biking

Vienna is a remarkably cycle friendly city and it is often easier to cycle than to drive or to even use public transportation. There are plenty of cycling trips that one can undertake from Vienna, ranging from easy to difficult. A few classics are listed below.

Easy (5 - 20km):

Tours within the city:

  • Prater Park - Danube
    Prater-Hauptallee

    © Wien Tourismus/Julius Hirtzberger

  • Donauinsel (The Danube Island)


  • Wienerwald (The Viennese Forest) has many nice routes. However, these cycling routes often involve cycling on the road beside motor vehicle traffic.
     

More information can be found here.

Medium (20 -  120km):

  • Tulln (en.wikipedia.org)
    A nice, quaint town about 40km from Vienna along the Donau. One can reach Tulln by either cycling along the Donau or through the Wiener Wald. A return to Vienna by train along with your bike is also possible.
    A ticket to transport your bike between Tulln and Vienna is required. 


  • Wienerwald (www.wienerwald.info)


  • Lake Neusiedl (www.bikemap.net) (If you plan on cycling the entire lake, please take your passport with you as you will be crossing an international border into Hungary.
    It is, however, not recommended, that you cross the border. Expect difficult head wind.)


  • Krems: (en.wikipedia.org)
    A gorgeous town about 80 km from Vienna renowned for its wine and beautiful views along the Donau, that is the gateway to the Wachau valley. Krems can be reached by continuing along the Donau past Tulln. It is often possible to transport your bicycle by train. A ticket to transport your bike by train will be required.

    Krems-Stein
    Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Difficult (> 120 km):

For recommendations related to more difficult cycling routes, please get in touch with Abhiram.

Abhiram is also leading a party to cycle up a part of the Grossglockner (Austria’s tallest mountain @ 3798m) followed by hiking/trekking up the last part of the mountain. Kindly contact him if you are interested in this. This is planned for the weekend after Strings.

Notes:
Cycling rules and regulations in Austria are strict and you can be fined for breaking the cycling rules. Most common fines are issued for cycling without reflectors and bike lights in the dark, cycling while inebriated (legal limit is 0.8 mil). Police checks are not unusual for cyclists. Click here for more information about cycling in Austria.

1) It is highly advisable to wear a helmet and have bike lights AND reflectors (at night).

2) If you would like some assistance in renting a bike, please get in touch with Abhiram.

3) Please make sure you are comfortable with the distance and cycling etiquette before embarking on cycling trips.

4) City bikes can be rented rather easily for cheap and are usually free if the bike is returned within a certain amount of time.

For more information regarding cycling (and also mountaineering):
Please contact Abhiram at abhiram.kidambi@ipmu.jp

Climbing

Quasimodo
"Ursprungbuam ft. Quasimodo" (8a) at Niemandsland © Max Riegler

While not being as well known as other famous places in Spain or Italy, Vienna is actually a prime climbing destination with thousands of routes (and boulders) to climb in a 100 km radius around the city. While most crags can only be reached by car there are also some crags that can be reasonably well accessed using public transport.

Lead climbing: The "Höllental" (en.wikipedia.org) is a prime climbing destination for escaping the Viennese summer heat since the air temperature is usually ~10°C lower than in Vienna. The Höllental can also be accessed via public transport and offers beautiful hikes and refreshing swims in the river "Schwarza" for those who just want to enjoy a beautiful day in nature. A very small glimpse of some of the crags in the Höllental can be found here.

God says Go crag
"And god says go" (8a) at Kippwandl © Max Riegler

Bouldering: The "Boulderbar" offers rental crash pads (10€ per day) that can be rented at all of their gyms. Vienna also has a long history of "Buildering" (bouldering on buildings) and some information (in German) on some of the boulders can be found here. There are numerous outdoor bouldering areas around Vienna out of which some information (in German) is publicly available at https://www.blockbusters.at. A small number of these areas (in particular the boulders around "Scheiblingkirchen") can also be easily accessed via public transport.

For more information do not hesitate to contact Max Riegler (max.riegler@univie.ac.at).

Disclaimer: Rock climbing and bouldering are inherently dangerous activities that can lead to serious injury or worse. You should not undertake these without proper training or equipment. By using this information you acknowledge that the information therein may be out of date or inaccurate and you agree that the organizers of Strings 2022 cannot be held liable or accountable for any damage that may be caused by the use of this website and the information provided therein.

Swimming

One of the top activities for Viennese during the hot days of summer is to enjoy a nice swim in the Danube. Most areas are unsupervised so please be sure that you know what you’re doing. Here is a list of places where swimming is possible. Most places are accessible by public transport or by bike.

  • Anywhere on the North bank of Donauinsel (Danube’s island). This is a car free island approx. of 20 km length- ideal for a bike ride, skating, jogging, … There are a couple of bridges and two metro stations to access the island. On the North bank, there are pontoons along the island from which jumping in the Danube is a must . You’ll experience the Danube (light) drift but be aware the river is deeper than a standard human. Perfect place for a good swim and workout. 
     
    Donauinsel

    © Wien Tourismus/Christian Stemper

  • Lagerwiese Romaplatz or Kaiserwasser. These are beaches (in first approximation) on the Alte Donau.  There is an easy slope to enter the water and it is not very deep. There is barely any current (as this is a closed part of the Danube).

  • Alte Donau - Strandbad Gänsehäufel https://www.wien.info/en/gaensehaeufel-132638
    There is a fee to enter this complex. There are several beaches, volleyball pitches, … 

  • Coming from the station Donaustadtbrücke, go along the North bank of Alte Donau (old Danube).  You’ll find on your left several wooden pontoons to access the water (water is deep there). Nice place for sunsets. 

I hope you find your perfect spot for swimming. Don’t hesitate if you have
a question (czwikel@perimeterinstitute.ca), I’ll do my best to answer. 
Enjoy Vienna