By bus or on foot on the Vienna local mountain
The Kahlenberg, one of Vienna’s most popular local mountains and a favourite destination for excursions, is easily recognisable, even from a distance: the 165-metre-high radio transmission mast erected in 1974 makes it unmistakeable. By bus the Kahlenberg is extremely easy to reach, but if you decide to climb it via one of the many hiking trails you’ll get to know Vienna a little bit more closely.
“If you’ve seen the land around you from the Kahlenberg, you’ll understand what I write and who I am.” Viennese author Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872)
Trip to Kahlenberg
Starting point is at Nussdorferplatz and then along the oft-serenaded Danube and through the romantic Kahlenbergerdorf, a mediaeval settlement with an ancient tradition of wine-making, and idyllic restaurants. You can fortify yourself here a little if you’d like, because the “Nasenweg” (“nose path”) can be pretty challenging. Those with enough stamina will be rewarded by magnificent views over the Danube and the fertile vineyards of the city. After about half an hour you have the most strenuous part of the hike behind you, and you’ve reached the summit of the Leopoldsberg, the slightly smaller brother of the Kahlenberg, with its little white church.
Another 30 minutes along the Höhenstrasse and you’ve reached your goal: the Kahlenberg. On clear days it can get quite hectic here on the summit: the panoramic views over the city as far as the Schneeberg region and the Lesser Carpathian mountains attract lots of Vienna’s residents and their guests to the 484-metre-high Kahlenberg.
The views are garnished with a little history thanks to the small church of St Josef: here in 1683, a mass was celebrated for the Polish king Jan Sobieski and his cavalry, before they proceeded to the battle of Kahlenberg against the Ottoman Turks.
From here it’s a relaxed walk back through vineyards and along country lanes – either via the “Eiserne Hand” (“iron hand”) to Kahlenbergerdorf, or Kahlenbergerstrasse to Nussdorf. With a good glass of Gemischter Satz, the typically Viennese wine, and a decent Jause (snack) at a “Heuriger”, there is really no better way to end a perfect Vienna day-out.
Text: Kornelia Kopf, Fotos: Christine Wurnig