Vienna is a runner’s city: No matter if you are on vacation or a business trip, there is always a chance to run – either with like-minded people or on your own. The old imperial city itself is a place of contrast and a true feast for the eyes. You can admire the architecture and charm of the different centuries in the city center and at the same time feel the young multicultural vibe in each and every corner. Additionally the many green spaces as the Prater Alley and Danube Island are great places for both runners and any other athletes.
The guide below should give you a good overview of the running scene in Vienna;
- Sightrunning Tours
- Running Races
- Running Routes
- Running Stores
- Running Clubs
- Running Climate
Sightrunning Tours in Vienna
Running Tours are the perfect way to get to know Vienna, if you are on your own, in a small group or just new to the city. There is a different running tour for every taste and each one is carried out by a local running guide.
For starters the “Vienna Downtown Tour” – the classic, the must see! A tour going right through the heart of the city and along the majestic Ring Road, where you will see most of the classic highlights of Vienna. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the parliament and Hofburg just to name a few. But there is more: You’ll also visit City Park and get a hold of the urban flair of Vienna running along the Danube Canal with its street art and bars.
If it is your first time in Vienna and you want to have a lot of sights covered and get a hold of the city, this tour is the one. It also comes with two distances to choose from. There is the 7k: For beginners or if you should not have that much time to spare – fitting for a quick run in the morning, when it is still nice and quiet. But there is also the 11k, in case you want to run a little longer and spice up the tour with a baroque castle and church.
Second there is the “Danube Island Tour” – a 15k in the Danube area. It is not as classical as the previous one, but has a lot of other pros to offer. The highlights being Prater, Danube Island and the more modern parts of town. Overall it is a rather quiet tour with a lot of green spaces, but also with some fine modern architecture. Perfect for runners looking for a longer workout while experiencing a different side of Vienna.
Then there is the “Vienna XL”. It’s actually really simple: a combination of all the other tours. The perfect tour for runners either training for their (half-)marathon distance or eager of seeing the whole of Vienna in one big tour – or both. These are just three of many tours, you can choose from.
Vienna Running Races
There are also a lot of official running races in Vienna, which make the city attractive to runners from everywhere. First and most of all the Vienna City Marathon, which takes place each year in April and hosts thousands of enthusiastic runners. You have the possibility to either run full distance with 42.195k, half distance with 21.0975k or relay distances.
Vienna also participates in the Wings for Life World Run on the 5th of May: a global charity race, where you can run with fellow athletes from all over the world any distance you like – at least until the “Catcher Car” gets you 😉
One of the smaller races would be the Vienna Night Run on the 24th of September – a 5k long charity run along the Ring Road on a pleasant late summer night. No cars, no stress, just the old buildings in the middle of Vienna with music and drums on the side. For more information check out the article on Running Races in Vienna.
Vienna Running Routes
Vienna also offers some easy to go and navigate running routes, if you want to go for a session all on your own. The two running hotspots in the inner city would be the “Hauptallee” in the green part of Prater and the “Donaukanal”.
The first one is the running nirvana of the city – a 4.5k long road with no traffic and straight as an arrow plus you can choose between pavement and mulch ground as surface. There is no chance there won’t be at least one other runner waving or nodding at you – no matter the season or time. Also, it’s super simple to get there. Just take the purple subway line (U2) to “Praterstern”, it’s a puddle jump from there.
The “Donaukanal” is even closer to the heart of the city. It is the border between the first and the second district of Vienna and has a real urban vibe to it with its clubs, beach bars and street art. Four out of five subway lines go there at some point on their journey through Vienna, the best starting point would be at “Schwedenplatz”. It has a total length of 17k, offers a lot to explore on the run, but it has to be shared with the local cyclists.
If you are looking for a shorter run, it is worth it to head to castle Schönbrunn in the west of the city. You can get there easily with the green subway line (U4 – station “Schönbrunn”) and explore the castle park in your running shoes. If running a little uphill is your thing, you are in for a special treat: an amazing view over Vienna and its woods. Speaking of running shoes…
Vienna Running Stores
All the cool and new running gear of Asics you can think of – shoes and clothing. You’ll get friendly staff and an ultramodern treadmill analysis, if you so wish. Also as a Go Running Tours Vienna customer you’ll get 30% off.
The independent running store hidden in the 6th district of Vienna is an institution in the Viennese running world. Every local runner visits “wise man” Blutsch at some point to get the perfect pair of shoes.
Similar to Blutsch, everyone in Vienna knows Tony, who helps runners to find the perfect fitting shoe for over 35 years now in the 2nd district of the city.
Vienna Running Clubs
The guys from Runtasia offer a free “Friday Night Running” once a month. The distance is between 10k and 15k and there are two different pace groups with 06.30/km and 05.30/km.
Wienläuft also organizes regular runner meetups. Every Thursday at 6PM there is a warm up followed by a run through Prater. Starting point is sector C of the Ernst Happel Stadium, the weekly training takes around 1.5 hours and is free of charge.
If you have had enough
Vienna Running Climate
Weatherwise Vienna is a typical Central European city and you can basically run all year round. Ideal for a run are of course the early mornings during summer, then the city is nearly empty and shines in a beautiful light. You won’t need much, just your shoes and light running gear. The temperature doesn’t fall below 12° Celsius and can reach up over 30°during the day. Spring and autumn are also good for an early start and a good time to see amazing sunrises. At these times a light running jacket can come in handy. Temperatures are between 6° and 15° and Vienna can be quite windy at times. Also in April there can occasionally be spring storms. During the winter months you’ll want to start your run a little later than usual in order to get some light and warmth. Multiple layers of running gear will help you to stay warm. Although the temperature only falls slightly below zero, it can become quite cold in combination with the wind. Therefore you’ll experience a winter wonderland, if you are in luck.
I hope you enjoy running in Vienna and if you need company, then book a running tour and let me show you Vienna.
Steffen – City Manager of Go! Running Tours Vienna