Sport in Austria is a serious business. The Austrians are dedicated to many sporting activities ranging from the traditional Skiing to Football and the recent craze for Nordic Walking.
Austria will also be joint host of the Euro 2008 competition with Switzerland and is looking forward to hosting the contest. Happily in order to under pin this love of sports, the facilities available in Vienna are excellent. The list below should provide you with an overview of what is available.
Sport Facilities in Vienna
When visiting Vienna, don't forget about getting a little bit of physical exercise in addition to sightseeing tours. The city offers many diverse sport facilities, so you will definitely be able to practise your favourite sport. Families can head for Diana Pool where, apart from taking swimming lessons, children can enjoy the wave pool, mysterious pirate ships and water slides that run uphill! Adults might be more interested in other venues, such as the Golf Club am Wienerberg or the Golf Club Wien, where golfers will find fine golf courses as well as restaurants and shops with golfing accessories. There are also many fitness clubs, spa salons and ice rinks in the centre of the city, but most of them operate only in the winter.
University Sports in Vienna
You can find many sports possibilities in the city. One of the best places to check for all sports-related issues is the Universities Sports Institute.
USI University Sports
USI The University Sport Institute USI - Universitätssportinstitut Wien offers an immense number of sports courses at very competitive rates. The sports provided range from various team sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball and rugby - just to name a few) and fitness trainings to martial arts (such as Judo, Karate, Capoeira, Tae-kwon-do), watersports (E.g. Sailing, Canoeing, Rowing, Scuba Diving) and different outdoor sports (Mountainbiking, Bouldering, Fly Fishing,...). Entitled to enrol in these courses are basically all students registered in Austria, faculty staff and graduates.
You can find an up-to-date list of all courses offered online (including number of participants and max. participants).
Sports Centers in Vienna
Various sports compounds and fitness centers can be found in the city of Vienna. We would like to introduce two of our favourite places here:
WRC Schönbrunn The WRC Schönbrunn sports compound includes a fitness center with sauna, a large indoor gymnasium as well as outdoor facilities (soccer playing field, track and field facilities, beach volleyball courts). Entrance by day as well as monthly and yearly memberships (no registration fee). They have English speaking staff, non-smoking bar/facilities, a sports bar with all sorts of sports channels (Schönbrunn Palace chef in the kitchen!) and people of all ages as customers.
Club Danube The sports center chain Club Danube offers a broad range of indoor sports (various fitness opportunities as well as courts for squash, tennis, soccer, etc.) at ten different facilities all over Vienna.
Competitive pricing with various special offers, most of their locations are located within Shopping Malls or Park&Ride-Stations and thus well connected to public transport.
Recreation Areas in Vienna
You can find many parks and gardens in the city of Vienna. Being part of the "Vienna green belt" these recreation areas and green zones are well frequented by residents and tourists alike.
Some of the nicest places for leisure, chill-out and recreation in Vienna are the following:
Prater Vienna Definitely one of the largest public parks within the city limits, the Wiener Prater is located in Vienna's 2nd district Leopoldstadt. It includes large wooded areas as well as numerous meadows all of which are open to the public for recreation and sports.
Riesenrad Wien Close to the Riesenrad giant wheel and the Wurstelprater amusement park, the main boulevard Prater Hauptallee starts. This avanue is closed to traffic and lined with horse chestnut trees, leading to the Lusthaus. The paved strip is famous for cycling and jogging (and even part of the yearly Vienna City Marathon).
Donauinsel Vienna Built in the 1970ies and 80ies, the Vienna Donauinsel is an artificial elongate island dividing the river Danube (Donau) into two streams as it runs through Vienna. A vast recreation paradise to the most, it basically is a fundamental part of Vienna's highly sophisticated flood protection system. The island is about 21km long, features entertainment areas with bars, restaurants and nightclubs and provides countless sports opportunities from jogging, cycling and rollerblading to swimming, canoeing and waterski.
Lainzer Tiergarten Deer The Lainzer Tiergarten is a large mostly wooded wildlife preserve in the southwestern part of Vienna (within the city limits), entirely surrounded by a wall. Originally established as a hunting ground for the royal family, it has been opened to the public at the end of the Habsburg area in 1919. Apart from great hiking possibilities, surprisingly abundant wildlife can be found (within fenced enclosures as well as moving around freely in the park) including wild boars, fallow deer, mouflons and even elks.
Lainzer Tiergarten Map The area is open from early February to early November (shortened opening hours during winter) and can be accessed via one of six gates.
Refer to the Lainzer Tiergarten Map and make sure to check the seasonal opening hours to plan your walk. Enjoy!
Amusement Parks in Vienna
Have you ever been to the famous Wurstelprater in Vienna? This amazing place right off the city center is definitely a must-see for every visitor - a lot of fun is guaranteed in this theme park!
Wurstelprater Vienna Located in Vienna's 2nd district Leopoldstadt next to the Wiener Prater (one of the largest public parks within the city limits), the Wurstelprater is the largest and most traditional amusement park in Vienna, featuring the famous Riesenrad giant ferries wheel and tons of different rides and restaurants!
Böhmischer Prater Vienna You prefer a somewhat smaller and quieter environment? Then the Böhmischer Prater is the place to be! Located in Vienna's 10th district Favoriten, this small theme park offers some rides, restaurants, minigolf and more in a unique setting with very relaxed family atmosphere - with a lot of tradition, as this place opened up in 1882.
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