City Hiking Path #9 – Prater

The city hiking path #9 starts close to one of the major hubs of Vienna – Praterstern (train station, subway U1 or U2). Don’t let yourself be led astray by the amusement park. This time it’s all about being off into the greens and not having fun on a rollercoaster ride.

You do not follow the main avenue for long and steer to the right on to less traveled paths with a lot less runners and cyclists. It’s still a lot like hiking through a park in the beginning though until you reach the “Lusthaus”. Designed and build as a hunting lodge, it is now used as a coffee shop and restaurant. However we rather grabbed something to drink at the Gösser Bierinsel next to it as this is were you get your stamp. And you already know: if you don’t have a stamp, there’s nothing to prove that you hiked here 🙂

After the Lusthaus you are getting farther into the “wilds” – less park style, more trees, small ponds and less trotted pathways. We even stumbled over a small church right in the middle of nowhere which – as it was Sunday – was visited well (sadly from a lot of people ignoring the current corona safety rules). I didn’t even know that Maria Grün existed or that it is actually a pilgrimage church founded in 1924. I find it surprising how much I can still learn from a city that I have been living in for 25 years.

This was not the only unexpected treasure on this trail – you can also find some amazing urban art on the walls of an underpass. I am quite a fan of urban graffiti as long as it’s not only writing (which I can never read) and this one you really have to see for yourself! So much detail, the concept is Viennese transport system related and it tells a great story painted on a huge area. I would not even be able to do it on a piece of paper …

Soon after this piece of art you are coming to the end of the hiking path. But before you rush off to your well deserved rest (and some nice food on the Prater Hauptallee), be careful when crossing the railway tracks. The Liliputbahn is a miniature train that provides a full-fletched railway experience for kids with a special station and 3,9 km of tracks with crossings and signals. There are 6 different miniature locomotives with two steam engines being my absolut favorites. Sadly those are only used on days with a lot of visitors and therefore are hard to see by chance. However here we were just in time to wait for the diesel engine D3 to pass by.

Last but not least I have to say that I was quite positively surprised by this 13 km hiking path. All the time I was amazed that we were actually hiking right in the middle of the city. It’s really a fast way to stick your nose into nature if you do not have time to travel far.

Want to hike it too? The tour and GPX data can be found here at my komoot account: https://www.komoot.de/tour/213108786

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