Vienna City Guide

As the second-largest German speaking city and former centre of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Vienna’s urban landscape is iconic. Freud, Beethoven and Mozart called the city home, streets composed of Baroque architecture within a short ride of rolling hills that make up the Danube catchment. Its athletic reputation also ranks highly with world-class sports facilities and a piece of urban infrastructure chosen to assist Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2-hour marathon effort in 2019.

To make the most of this Vienna city guide for endurance athletes, note a few patterns and features. Facilities are broken into categories according to their running, cycling or swimming focus, with a separate section highlighting quality gym facilities in Vienna. Exact hours aren’t indicated unless very restrictive, and prices are also omitted in the knowledge that no listed facility charges more than €20 for day access. Instead, a full directory of telephone numbers is provided in the final Directory section, so you can call ahead to confirm your intended training time. The place names in Directory link directly to the venue’s Google Maps profile – click on the venue’s name to generate directions. Finally, the Sleeping & Eating section towards the end of the guide provides an insight into good places for sleeping and fuelling during your time in Vienna.

Orientation & Logistics

To get a general overview of Vienna’s layout, note some of the important spots. Prater Hauptallee is located in the centre of Vienna, a central axis with options for runners, cyclists and swimmers. This linear strip is accessed via the U1 and U2 underground lines. A second that will be referenced is Donauinsel, the island along the Danube, also providing easy access to underground U1.

In Vienna, daytime temperatures during summer can rise to 30°C, so training in the morning or evening is the smart scheduling. At the height of summer, sunrise is at 6:30am and sunset is around 8pm. Temperatures during the winter are decidedly cold and continental – around 0°C or even lower is no exception.


The best Viennese running track is Cricket Track in the middle of the Prater Hauptallee – central enough and accessible to the public. Its 400m oval is in excellent condition. Another track is at Sportszentrum Marswiese, a good tartan surface, though less central – 30 minutes by car from the city centre.

Prater Hauptalle

Remember when Elliot Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon under two hours? He was running on the Prater Hauptalle in the middle of Vienna. A 4km straight road with barely any elevation difference – also the best place to do tempo runs in town. There are signs on the side of the street that mark every kilometre from 2km, and signage every 100m. No more excuses to avoid some honest training with a fast tempo session.

But the Prater Hauptalle offers more than that. For your easy runs, just follow the trails alongside the main road. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost – almost every trail leads back to the Hauptalle. But be aware of deer and wild pigs – you never know who you will meet in the woods in the middle of Vienna. Also, there’s a 4km long path with soft ground next to the main street, perfect for easy runs when you’re looking to save your joints and avoid impact.

For hill runs, either choose a bridge looping over Danube, or take the train from Praterstern station to Mödling, about half an hour away from Prater Hauptallee. In Melding there are plenty of possibilities for hill runs in the area of Castle Lichtenstein, about 2.5km away from the train station. If you want to train on hills within Vienna, there are many entrances that go downhill to the Donaukanal – good camber for hill reps. One is at the ending of the Donaukanal close to the so called building Urania.

If you’re looking for some running company and social runs, check out Lauf-Treff – they offer weekly running trainings with workout guidance starting at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion. They have beginners as well as advanced runners.


Vienna’s porous city borders make it easy to get out along a range of roads, with flat, hilly and steep tarmac within reach of the city centre. The way to ride out of the city is either the Donaukanal, or to ride from Prater Hauptallee to Donauinsel. If you want to go for a flat, easy ride, the Donauinsel is probably the right way to go. It offers endless bike paths along the Danube. Another convenient gateway for cycling is available if you ride along the Danube bike path in the direction of Korneuburg, then continue to Weinviertel. You’ll find a good mix of uphill and downhill there.

One idea is is to take the bike path towards Klosterneuburg. Once you are in Klosterneuburg follow the signs to Weidlingbach and ride to Steinriegl. It’s a slightly uphill course from there on. Depending on how far you want to go, you can either turn around there or go ahead in order to explore the Viennese woods with their beautiful roads in good condition with little traffic.

Another option is to ride further towards Tulbinger Kogel. To get there, turn right as soon as you are at the highest point in Steinriegl –  a T-junction From there on it goes downhill. At the next crossings you turn left and at after another fast descent you turn right. As you approach Tulbinger Kogel, you’ll leap up a short but steep uphill. From there you follow the signs to Tulbing and from there on to Königstetten where the bike path connects with Vienna.

Sick of riding on your own? Contact the VICC – Vienna International Cycling Club. They offer social rides as well as international memberships to make cycling even more fun. The VICC Sunday Rides take place every Sunday at 10am starting from Steinitzsteg, 1210 Wien (The Yellow Bridge). Email them at to make sure to let them know that you’ll join them on their ride.

You didn’t bring a bike to Vienna? No excuses – Starbike Vienna rent premium carbon roadbikes for rent. Send them an email at with your travel dates to find out about availability of models.


During the summer, make Stadionbad a priority. Located in the middle of Prater Hauptallee, this 50m swimming pool offers the best swimming setup in Vienna. Another decent outdoor pool is Laaerbergbad, found close to the underground U1, so comparatively easy to get to and also 50m in length.

Stadionbad 50m pool

If you’re looking for an open water session, you can go to alte Donau. It’s a long stretch of standing water on the Donauinsel. Access to the water from almost everywhere along the island is free, with a sectioned off area requiring payment on entry. If you want to go there in late spring or early autumn, don’t forget about your wetsuit!

During the colder months, visit Stadthalle, a indoor 50m pool. It’s a hot spot for many athletes and clubs. Another good indoor pool in Vienna is Amalienbad, located directly at the underground U1 and offers a 33.3m sports pool.

Swimming area at Donauinsel

If you want to join a bunch of people for your swim, get some technique advice or just have a good time training in company, contact The Sports Monkeys – they do offer coached swim training and guided swim sessions. Email them at – their swim sessions take place at Oswald, Redlich, Straße 44.


If you`re visiting Vienna in summer go and check out Zone X, an gym chain that has trains outdoors on Donauinsel during the summer. And don’t forget about booking a time slot as there are restrictions due to Covid-19. CrossFit Viertel Zwei is their most central location.

A great alternative is the John Harris fitness studio. It’s a very clean gym with all the tools you need in order to stay fit and get your training done. They sell day passes so you can go and train without committing to a membership.

Sleeping & Eating

As an endurance athlete you might be on the hunt for the perfect coffee. Balthasar Coffee Bar is close to the center of the city and an HQ for some of the best coffee in Vienna. Another nice Café is the so-called window café Fenster Café where you can order your coffee through a window on the street.

Photo: Nicky Webb

No matter if you are gluten free, vegetarian or vegan – Vienna offers many restaurants, so any active visitor can get fuelled. One of the best pizzas in Vienna at Pizza Mari. The space doesn’t come across as special at first glance, but their pizza is simply the perfect Neapolitan pizza.

An alternative is the Supermari which sells great coffee and Italian groceries. Craving for Asian food? Mochi is one of Vienna’s best sushi and remain restaurants. It’s pricy but the quality of their food is on a whole other level. Budapest Bagels (Facebook) is a good choice for when you’re in a rush. They different sorts of bagels – sweet, salty and vegan

For sporty people visiting Vienna, a hotel close to the Prater Hauptalle is the best choice for being as close as possible to endurance training, whether it’s swimming, cycling or running. Though The Courtyard by Marriott isn’t the most adventurous hotel brand in town, you can easily walk to the Prater Hauptallee from its entrance. They also have a 24-hour gym on site – a space for any jet lagged not sent to slumber by symphonies from Mozart or Beethoven.

Bedroom at The Hoxton

More exciting would be The Hoxton with rooms starting at $150 per night, ranging from Shoebox, Snug and Cosy options for soloists as well as Twin rooms for colleagues (join Dis-loyalty for discounts of up to 50%).  Zoku Vienna is another hotel option carving out the apart-hotel for longer stays in Vienna.


Amalienbad: +4316074747

alte Donau: no number

Balthasar Coffee Bar: +4319469536

Budapest Bagel: +436504880821

Castle Lichtenstein: no number

Cricket Track: +4317296910

Cross Zone Inner City 1190: +4313616800

Donaukanal: no number

Fenster Café: +4368184900024

Hoxton, The: no number

John Harris: multiple venues

Laaerbergbad: +4316882335

Mochi: +4319251380

Pizza Mari: Leopoldsgasse 23A, 1020 Wien

Prater Hauptallee: no number

Sportszentrum Marswiese: +4314897172

Stadionbad: +4317202102

Starbike Vienna+4312198560

Stadthalle: +4318901764890

Courtyard by Marriott: Trabrennstraße 4, 1020 Wien

Zoku Vienna: +43720987101

Supermari: +436766970294

Email Will Ross ( with questions or comments, and have a browse of other Zafiri City Guides. This Vienna City Guide was last updated in October 2021. Thank you to Viennese athlete Pia Totschnig for contributing to the guide.