Cycling in Vienna, AUstria:
Explore Vienna by Bike

A group of tourists on bicycles explores the Stadtpark of Vienna - the Strauss memorial in the background

Just like you would expect it from the local tourism council, the one of Vienna praises the city for its bike-friendliness: Cycling routes along the Danube are great, the Ringstraße is best explored by bike, and there are no faster means of transport available. Most of this are shameless exaggerations and propaganda for the sake of selling Vienna as being perfect for every niche-tourist one could possibly think of.

In fact, the Viennese hate to cycle and Vienna is the least "bicycable" city in Austria - some facts and figures to provide evidence: In Salzburg, people pass approximately 20 percent of all transfers by bike; in Graz, it is still 14 percent; in Vienna, it is a mere four percent. This is not only due to differences in the size of the cities: Munich has a rate of 16 percent.

However, Vienna is relatively easy to explore by bike: There is a very good network of cycling routes (approximately 1,000 kilometres), many Austrians do cycle and therefore, car drivers are used to cyclists, and at rush hours, the bike can actually be the fastest way to get to one point from another. On the other hand, Vienna is still a metropolis with over one and a half million residents and about two million people living in the wider area of the city. There is a lot of traffic in the city, coming with the side-effects of air pollution and smog. Compare to other (smaller) cities in Austria, cycling in Vienna isn′t that much fun after all - at least not if you rely on it as a mean of transport.

Cycling Routes of Vienna: Best Roads

But to be fair, there are nice cycling routes off the main traffic lines if you are interested in it as a sport. If you fancy a combination of fumes, heavy traffic and sightseeing, try the cycling route at the Ringstraße: Much of it follows a route under trees, but in some sections, cycling is a pain in the butt. This applies even more so to the sidelines, which often follow major roads that spread from the city centre.

However, cycling along the Ringstraße allows you to easily span the slightly over five kilometres of the boulevard, and at the same kind, you can stop whenever it pleases you (unlike the tram, which is the alternative for lazy bones). The route along Ringstraße takes you to a fair portion of Vienna′s finest attractions. If you are a total newbie to Vienna and want to explore the city by bike, think about doing a guided bicycle-tour. They are done by several companies (some do "normal" guided tours and arrange cycling tours only upon request). If you prefer to cycle by yourself, get yourself a decent map of Vienna - there are free ones available at most hotel lobbies.

Renting a bike costs fairly little - four Euros an hour for a rather bad device, with open end for advancing professionalism. The city of Vienna copied an idea from other cities: Providing "Citybikes", bicycles available for a symbolically small amount to everybody who fancies using them. They can be easily recognised from their original yellow colour - a courtesy to the main sponsor of the project, the Raiffeisen bank.

Where to Get City Bikes in Vienna

A Citybike can be rented by every registered user - registration can be done at one of 50 so-called "bike-box" terminals, which can usually be found near subway stations. The Citybikes are considered a public mean of transport, the current number of available bikes at any particular bike box can be checked online. The registration costs only one Euro and can be done at the terminals. Rental fees for the city bikes are exceptionally low: The first hour is free, the second hour costs one Euro, the third hour costs two Euros and every additional hour (up to a maximum of 120 hours or 5 days) costs four Euros.

If you keep the bike for longer than five days or longer (eg. because you lost it or it was stolen), you are charged the full value of a citybike, which is 600 Euros. Warning: Bicycle theft is very common in Vienna, even though the characteristic yellow appearance of the Citybikes make them less attractive for thieves than other bikes. You should always lock your bike and are well-advised to refrain from using a cheap lock.

back to "vienna travel guide"


Vienna by District

District Overview - 1st (Innere Stadt) - 2nd (Leopoldstadt) - 3rd (Landstraße) - 4th (Wieden) - 5th (Margareten)- 6th (Mariahilf) - 7th (Neubau) - 8th (Josefstadt) - 9th (Alsergrund) - 10th (Favoriten) - 11th (Simmering) - 12th (Meidling) - 13th (Hietzing) - 14th (Penzing) - 15th (Fünfhaus) - 16th (Ottakring) - 17th (Hernals) - 18th (Währing) - 19th (Döbling) - 20th (Brigittenau) - 21st (Floridsdorf) - 22nd (Donaustadt) - 23rd (Liesing) -  Ringstraße - Surroundings

Further Reading

Cycling in the surroundings of Vienna

Official Website of the Vienna City Bike

City of Vienna provides Information on the Vienna City Bike

City of Vienna: Traffic Rules for Bikers