Beyond Mozart, the Habsburgs, Freud, and Mozart, there lies in Vienna a landscape on the outer edges of the city replete with rolling hills, forests, castles, and vineyards. That within a short train journey you can transport yourself into some exquisite outdoor territory makes Vienna one of the best cities in Europe for hiking. And in it’s outmost district cushioning the Danube, there are vineyards and several routes that take up to stunning vistas that look out across the city, along famed trails and to various Heurigen (wine taverns) that serve up fresh, delicate regional whites.
Nussdorf– Kahlenberg- Nussdorf
Vienna’s reputation as a wine city is built upon centuries of cultivation and tradition. Within the city limits there are over 600 hectares of vineyards that produce predominately whites – Rieslings, Chardonnays, Weissburgunder, along with the notorious local delicacy, the Wiener Gemischte Satz.
Hiking through the vineyards is a local pastime, and actively encouraged. In September there is even a day you can join in on the Wiener Weinwandertag, where you have the opportunity to explore all of Vienna’s wine districts, sample everything on offer, and just generally have a big blast along with everyone else.
But in reality, there’s no real need to wait until Wine Day to make your way to the outer districts. And although it’s best to visit the area in late summer, you’ll find that many Heurigen are open for most of the year. Even in winter time the landscapes and scenery is stunning enough to warrant a wander.
The Kahlenberg Day Hike
Now there are many hiking options to explore in Vienna, and if you have the luxury of having lots of free time to spend in Vienna, then why not just head out to the 19th District and start making your own way round. Areas worthy of note include Ottakring, Bisamberg, and Mauer – far out to the West. But if you have just one opportunity, then I’m going to point you to the direction of Nussdorf and the Kahlenberg region.
The route’s foundation is essential built on the Stadtwanderweg 1a and starts in the idyllic village-like suburb of Nussdorf. It’s your quaint, rustic little area with cobbled roads, and a great little path that runs alongside the river. From here you follow the signpost and deviate upwards towards Leopoldsburg and the Vienna woods.
Upon reaching the peak at Kahlenberg, an extremely modern terrace looks out across the vineyards, over the Danube into the centre of Vienna. And from here the fun really begins, as you start to traipse next to and through the wondrous local vineyards. It’s along these routes where you’ll find some of the city’s most acclaimed Heurigen, including Mayer am Nussberg, Wieninger am Nussberg, and Heuriger Hirt. These offer you a great opportunity to sample locally produced, mineral wines that taste as fresh as the limestone-rich from whence they came. The walk back into the village mirrors the excellence of the passing vineyards, with equally stunning views of the woods, and local fields.
Overall, it’s an easily accessible route that opens up an entirely new area of the city for you to explore. The arrays of wine on offer are exceptional, and there’s very little leeway for you to take a step wrong, whether it’s on foot, or by the glass.
Header image by Peter Rigaud / Copyright: © WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud.jpg