Where to relax in Vienna when you just need some time off from studying.
by Patricia Jannack, MA student in the Department of International Relations
"When you feel this crazy society
Headin' to the strand
Take a straw to the nearest waters
And remember your place"
-- "Follow the Sun" by Xavier Rudd
Procrastination - a concept unlikely to be discussed in an IR concepts & theories class but well-known among students. I would describe it as the phenomenon where you have a never-ending to-do list with a very quickly approaching deadline, but instead you regard watching music videos as the most important thing to do. While procrastinating, I could feel bad about myself or, as I prefer, recharge my motivation in the nearby parks. Plus, spring is brightening up Vienna as its beautiful flowers blossom. So, let's worry tomorrow and take our comfy jogging pants for a walk through Vienna's romantic parks.
The first park I explored when I moved to Vienna was the Türkenschanzpark. Located in the 18th district, this romantic park offers a beautiful lake with English style benches that invite you to calm down and to get lost in your thoughts. The terrain is a little hilly, so it is perfect for some running exercises or bobby car races – whatever you prefer. Built in the 19th century, you can find several memorial statues of Viennese artists and a historical observation tower.
Another place where I like to hang out in Vienna is the Votivpark. It is a small urban park right by Schottentor in the Serviten quarter. It is perfect for relaxing from a long city walk, to enjoy the early spring sun while eating your healthy vegan Hawaiian poke bowl (or unhealthy Viennese custard tartlets as in my case). The park is named after the Votivchurch which is approximately 140 years old and one of the most important neo-gothic sacral buildings in the world. Currently, it is unfortunately covered with a massive ad due to construction. Anyway, it is still nice siting on one of its benches or simply on the well kept grass; nothing crazily special, but definitely worth a chill!
Finally, I definitely recommend strolling through the Schönbrunn Tiergarten. Strictly speaking, it's more a zoo than a park, but surely an excellent place to procrastinate and feel good about it. Though its entry fee is not necessarily student budget friendly, it is absolutely worth the price if you want to distract yourself from work. Schönbrunn Zoo is part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the oldest zoo in the world, and has been awarded as the best zoo in Europe five times. The variety of cute and fun animals will certainly make you feel refreshed for tnext deadlines!