December 2023 Which Vienna walks will best roll out the city to you? First, almost all major Vienna landmarks and attractions line up within the three square kilometres of Old Vienna, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Second, not just the city centre lends itself to walks but also many central neighborhoods.
Walking through the likes of Wieden, Mariahilf and Josefstadt with their typical townhouses and shops will give you a good insight into local urban lifestyles. To help you plan your time in Wien I have pulled together my favourite Vienna walks which are also mapped out.
Is Vienna a walkable city?
As soon as you enter central Vienna you will notice its well-designed urban layout with wide pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, well-maintained streets, and numerous pedestrian zones. As one of Europe’s greenest metropolises more than half of Vienna’s city (53 percent) is green space. In a few parts of the city, designated pedestrian zones hand over the city entirely to walkers. Beyond the city center, many local neighborhoods such as Josefstadt or Mariahilf are pedestrian-friendly, with low traffice zones, shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions within walking distance. The sidewalks in Vienna are generally well-maintained and accessible, making it comfortable for pedestrians.
Interestingly, more than three quarters of local Viennese walk for more than 10 minutes every day (source: Mobilitätsagentur Wien, 2019). And more than 30 per cent of errands are done on foot.
Vienna Walks. The “Old Vienna Walk” is a popular self-guided walking tour that takes you through the historic heart of Vienna, allowing you to explore its rich heritage, iconic landmarks, and charming streets. Start your walk right at the heart, as most of the best in town accumulates here.
This walk combines sightseeing of Vienna landmarks, such as the Vienna Opera House, the Albertina and the Stephansdom, with my tips for Vienna coffeehouses and traditional snack bars, and the occasional must see shops that will cross your way.
Go toOld Vienna Walk.
Vienna Walks. ‘Vienna 1900′ refers to a period of significant cultural, artistic, and intellectual flourishing in the city of Vienna around the turn of the 20th century. This era is often associated with the Vienna Secession, a movement of artists and designers who sought to break away from traditional artistic styles and embrace more modern and innovative approaches.
Unfortunately for travellers Wien’s fin-de-siècle highlights lie scattered across town. There is no ‘Vienna 1900’ quarter nor are there street signs to help you trace the most exciting and fruitful era of Viennese art and literature.
Hence I have cut, trimmed and aligned my experience of the best places to explore Vienna at the start of the 20th century. The result are two neat day itineraries of museum, coffeehouse and bar visits, street walks, a shopping tour and tips on concerts with music from that era. Get inspired by these Vienna 1900walks.
To acquire a 360-degree understanding of the era, read my compact one pager about Fin-de-Siècle Vienna before your walk.
Vienna Walks. Vienna by night offers a different perspective on the city’s charm. Because Vienna is one of the safest cities in Europe do consider a walk after sun set.
Once you arrive in Vienna, even if it’s later in the evening, don’t think it’s too late to explore the city. In fact, it’s the most brilliant time. Streets, squares, architecture, sculptures and monuments have that magical glow that you will rarely find during the day. If you are a photo enthusiast like me you will find it’s the best time to capture the city’s architecture. I am sharing this Vienna night walk with you for inspiration.
Find out moreVienna by night.
Vienna Walks. If you are short on time to see fin-de-siècle Vienna, take the Art Nouveau walk. It is a condensed version of the two Vienna 1900 walks above. You will see key pieces of Vienna modernist architect Otto Wagner and of Vienna Secessionist Josef Maria Olbrich. Some of the more famous buildings of this style are scattered across Vienna, with a few of them in the outskirts. Unless you are an absolute fanatic, I’d recommend to focus on the great gems of this genre that you can find in the centre. Besides, you will be able to dive into Vienna’s most famous landmarked street market, theNaschmarkt.
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Vienna Walks. A courtyards walk through some of Vienna’s historic Pawlatschen houses takes you off the beaten track and gets you under the skin of Vienna’s urban life as it was 400 years ago, and is now. Some of the courtyards hide lovely wooden galleries such as the House of the Teutonic Order (photo) in Singerstrasse. Others, like the one of Alpenverein, include a climbing wall!
Find out more in Vienna Insider Walk.
Vienna Walks. Not only does Vienna house numerous world-class museums, galleries, and art institutions with an impressive collection of artworks spanning various periods and styles. Here’s a mixed itinerary that also connects you with local art and design shops.
Especially if you have a hang for interior design, art, fashion,music, architecture, multimedia design, advertising or marketing, you will feel at home during this Art and Design Walk. It is a very relaxed mixture of museums, art crowd cafés and artisan shops. You can easily scale it up or down, depending on the amount of time you would like to spend in one place. VisitArt Walk.
Guided Vienna Walks
If you want to add intellectual depth – and fun – to your walk, consider hiring a great licensed guide: All trained guides know the city center like the back of their hand, and will share many exciting stories. Besides, you could also join one of the regular small group tours. As for neighborhood walks, a few guides also cover out-of-centre areas like the ‘art walk district’ Neubau, Wieden and Alsergrund. And some of these guides will even let you fill your shopping bags, like this award-winning shopping guide. To visit the former Jewish quarter Leopoldstadt and Path of Remembrance make sure you hire a specialised Jewish Vienna tour guide.
Other Ideas For Self-Guided Tours In Vienna
Other than walking to explore Vienna, there are two further ideal means to roam the city just like a local: Either use one or more of Vienna’s 28 tramway lines, or rent a bike. In Vienna Tours, Self-Guided find inspiration for the best tramway lines and bike rental options to discover Wien.