Going Green: Public Parks in Vienna - Part III
12.) Donauinsel or Danube Island
This island is not only home to Europe′s largest annual open-air festival, but also a popular destination for sports, swimming and going out. The latter one is particularly popular in the so-called "Copa Kagrana", which is a wonderful place to hang out in the company of "worst of working class" fellows. The most famous club on the Donauinsel is the Flex, but there are plenty more alongside with facilities for surfing, water ski, diving and all sorts of related watery things.
13.) The Cobenzl, Kahlenberg & Leopoldsberg
These are my favourite destinations of the ones presented here. Cobenzl, Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg offer direct access to the Vienna Woods as well as the vineyards stretching out to the hills surrounding the city. Even better, they also border to the Heurigen area of Grinzing and provide excellent vistas over Vienna. I described them in more detail on my article on "Vienna from Above".
14.) Pötzleinsdorfer Park
Not too far from the two sites mentioned above, the Pötzleinsdorfer Park is located in one of Vienna′s poshest areas. What most Viennese will not acknowledge (or simply not fully appreciate) is that this is an English-style landscape park. Particularly nice in spring, when many of the bushes are in bloom, the park also has some quite impressive redwood trees to offer.
15.) Lainzer Tiergarten
The term means "zoo", but in fact, this is the former hunting reserve of Emperor Joseph II and now the most natural one of Vienna′s parks. A few kilometres east of Schönbrunn Palace, the Lainzer Tiergarten connects the city limits of Vienna with the Vienna Woods. In the 18th century, it was enclosed by walls of some 25 kilometres. Today, the Hermesvilla is a chief attraction, which houses temporary exhibitions by the Wien Museum. The Spanish Riding School has a small stud nearby.
16.) Parks & Green bits outside of Vienna
For more nature, try the town of Mödling just south of Vienna. It grants easy access to the Naturpark Föhrenwald, a nature reserve of Mediterranean-like hills and fir tree forests. For a very extensive formal garden, to a bit further to Laxenburg, where the Habsburg′s had one of their summer castles. For wild and romantic river landscapes including swamps and mosquitoes, try the Nationalpark Donauauen following the Danube downstream of Vienna. The town of Baden has a Kurpark not dissimilar from the Stadtpark in Vienna, but more authentic as the city is a proper spa town.
Apart from this selection of larger and more formal parks, there are of course many smaller ones and other green bits. For example the Ressel Park in front of the Karlskirche Church, the park in front of the Votivkirche Church, or the green bits between the Kunsthistorisches and the Naturhistorisches Museum.
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