by Elena Masterova, MA student in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy
No wonder Vienna has been called one of the best cities for living for many years—its music, charming atmosphere and green areas are attractive for both visitors from around the world and people who wants to settle down here. The beautiful city of Vienna is definitely a place where you can not only enjoy the opera and small fancy cafeterias, but where you can also enjoy long walks—both in the city and in its outskirts.
First and foremost, the city centre. All of the first and second districts with the world-famous Graben Street, National Library, Hofburg Palace, Albertina Gallery, Stadtpark, Karlsplatz and the Belvedere Palace—are definitely a must-see and the bare minimum for walking in the city to familiarise yourself with the famous Viennese architectural style. No doubt, if you are an experienced urban explorer, this walk can be extended to the Schönbrunn Palace, although this landmark is so big that the Schönbrunn walk can become a separate walk itself lasting 2-3 hours.
Another gem of the city is located at the Donau (Danube) riverbanks — both Danube Island (Donauinsel) and the Old Danube (Alte Donau) area. Swimming, picnics, having a drink in one of the bars, running, cycling or just walking — everyone can find the most suitable leisure activity for themselves. Amazing walks can be done for about one or two hours there. Winter walkers should be aware of the chilly air that can prevail in the winter, as for summer walkers — remember to bring your swimming suit, it’s a pleasure to take a dip in these locations!
If you are the mountain type, Vienna has plenty of options for proper hikes as well that can be easily found via search engines or on the Komoot app. For example, the 1st City Hike (Stadtwanderweg 1) will lead you to the beautiful area of Kahlenberg where you can enjoy a rendezvous hidden among grape trees, enjoy a glass of Viennese wine from the local wineries or even swim in a swimming pool while observing the entire city from above.
These are just a couple of recommendations from a student who has only spent around 9 months in this beautiful city, therefore, you can use it as a starting point for exploring this tremendous city with many more interesting spots remaining to be discovered!