Biking Vienna, Austria
Ode to Strauss

Last month I was on a weekend trip with my two sons for a family event in Vienna. Long ago, I briefly lived in this city, and I’m always happy to return.

One thing that many visitors may not realize is that Vienna is a great city to see by bike. The city boasts over 1400 kilometers of bike trails.

Despite the iffy weather, my kids and I rented bikes and rain ponchos  and decided to explore from the vantage point of two wheels.

Biking Vienna, Austria
Stadtpark

The most obvious place to start is the Ringstrasse, the ring street surrounding Vienna’s old city. This route boasts many of the city’s most famous monuments and pretty parks (a note: walk your bikes in the parks, or lock them up outside and stroll).

We’ve been quite a few times to Vienna, but my boys loved seeing all the familiar points from atop a bike, and starting to understand the geographical layout of the city.

Biking Vienna
The Ferris wheel at Prater park

It helps that everything is so well organized and clearly marked. Even if you don’t know your way around Vienna, it’s easy to follow the bike signs.

After the historic center, we biked out to the Prater park – not surprisingly, the kids were in seventh heaven.

We went back later that evening to go on the Riesenrad (the  historic Ferris wheel) and other, less historic, rides.

The park has a wonderful, wide car-free boulevard – once used for carriage strolls for fashionable Viennese at the turn of the century, and now perfect for less fashionable bikers.

Biking Vienna, Donauinseln
On the car-free Donauinseln

After Prater, we biked on to Donauinseln, the Danube Island. This is a paradise for bikers. It’s all car free and there are kilometers an kilometers of bike trails along this river island. Unfortunately, during our biking time, the rain started pouring down. Our handy rain ponchos worked well, but we still cut our visit short. Next time…

My son’s brakes gave out, so we had to bike over the Danube River to the neighborhood of Kagran (where the UN is located) to find a bike mechanic. Luckily, he was quick and we were soon back on our way to then old town.

Biking Vienna
Along the Donaukanal

There we biked along the artificial Donaukanal – Danube Canal – and then back to the picturesque Ringtstrasse – passing the Votivkirche, the university, Parliament, and the Museums of Art and Natural History on our way back to the bicycle rental.

All in all, a great day out biking Vienna. Take advantage of all those amazing bike trails and clear directions on your next visit to Vienna. My little cyclers and I can’t wait to get back.

For more Vienna tips, see my earlier posts on Vienna cafes, eating Wienerschnitzl , visiting the Palmenhaus ,  Vienna’s plague art, The Spanish Riding School, and visiting Vienna during Christmas. I’ll never grow bored of this elegant city…