Posted by: kimberlysullivan | July 14, 2015

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike … in Vienna

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


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…


  1. Perfect way of “wasting” time – better than using car an quicker than feet…😀

    • I know you’re a biker, too. Yes, we’re big walkers, but no way could we have covered those distances if we hadn’t been on wheels. It’s a fun biking city.

      • Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Vienna and Berlin is mentioned as the Top Five best bike cities among major european cities – while dutch Utrecht followed by dutch Haarlem cited as the best of all – outside Europe include argentinean Buenos Aires and american Minneapolis – never visited those two.

        Agree it’s a perfect way of sightseeing not least together with children…🙂

      • Strangely, don’t see Rome on that list. : ) A little skeptical about Minneapolis for about ten months out of the year, too … : ) : )

      • I only remember the first five in Europe among the greatest cities – don’t remember if Rome has been on the list which change every year.

        Amsterdam, Utrecht, Copenhagen, Strasbourg, Eindhoven, Malmö, Nantes, Bordeaux, Antwerp, Seville, Barcelona, Berlin, Ljubljana, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Vienna, Paris, Minneapolis, Hamburg, Montreal, Helsinki, Munich, Tokyo and Budapest as top twenty-five in 2015.

        I don’t know, but I believe most of the voters are from Europe…😀

      • Unless you have a death wish, I’m guessing Rome’s not anywhere on that list… Does look a little Eurocentric. America has lots of gorgeous bike trails, certainly not just in Minneapolis. BUT I do love biking in Europe.

      • Agree, does look a little (maybe more than a little) eurocentric – but the starting point is the city itself and traffic-friendliness – not the area around – this kind of surveys are also limited to only voting on what the person concerned know – in Amsterdam is 40 percent of the traffic using bike.

  2. I’ve never been but heard lots of good things about this city, so it should definitely be on my to-see list. Thank you, Kimberly.

    • I’m sure you’ll love it, Evelyne. With all of its culture and turn-of-the-century charm, it always seems to me like a companion city to Paris, albeit MUCH smaller. : )

      • Now you are really tempting me, Kimberly. 😊

  3. We went to Vienna a few years ago but went everywhere on foot. This looks perfect and much better for family sightseeing – didn’t realise there were so many car free paths. Love the sound of Donauinsel too!!

  4. […] already written in an earlier post about the fantastic time we had biking around Vienna, where we also biked through the Prater Park’s Grande Promenade, and admired views of the […]

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