Vienna is known for being a cycling city. Still it was amazing to me to see just how many people bike to get around in their daily lives. You see men & women, young and old. People in spandex and people in business suits. It really is fantastic.
I took an overnight train from Prague and made it to Vienna around 7:00am. After dropping my stuff off at my hostel I had a lot of time to kill before I could actually check in. I hopped on a subway to the city center, Stephensplatz. Vienna is also known for beautiful architecture and plethora of gardens. It did not disappoint. The only problem was that my feet were still killing me from all that walking in Prague. Fortunately, Vienna also boasts of a great bike sharing system called City Bike. It cost me one Euro to register for the program. The first hour is free. I had a perfect afternoon biking aimlessly around the city center. Unfortunately, I did not take as many pictures as I would have liked because my camera battery was dying.
On day two I dropped by a bike rental shop right around the corner from my hostel. I already knew I wanted to cycle the Eurovelo 6 to Bratislava the following day. However, after talking to a lot of folks about Budapest I was trying to figure out how I could also incorporate a quick trip to that city. The woman in the shop was very helpful. She printed off maps to show me the path to Bratislava. It wasn’t going to be quite as simple as I thought, but still very doable as a solo trip.
I spent the rest of the day exploring Vienna’s extensive bike path network. While bike paths in Vienna are plentiful they can be a little confusing. Sometimes the paths are two way and other times they are just one way. Sometimes the path just ends seemingly abruptly and you may not be sure what to do. If this is the case, remember, NEVER RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK IN VIENNA! They are serious about this one. Even if you are turned around, confused, and can’t read the German signage DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! The thing that is immediately noticeable in Vienna is that there is a clear order to things and no one disrupts that order. The streets may be completely desolate, but still no one will jaywalk. If you step out of line, even if it is because you are lost or confused, you will be notified of your error by other bystanders. That is guaranteed.
During my bike exploration I wandered down to the canal and then onto the Donauinsel (Danube Island) and the Danube river banks. Beautiful! It was a warm day and everyone was out sunbathing and playing. There is so much to enjoy outdoors in Vienna. I really did not have enough time to soak it all in. After two tries I was pretty sure I knew how to make the 8km trek from my hostel to the Danube cycling path. Next up: My Big Bike Adventure!