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The best spots to recharge on the weekend in Vienna

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
The best spots to recharge on the weekend in Vienna
The Peace Pagoda in Vienna, Austria. Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

There is no shortage of options for relaxation and recharging in Austria's capital. Here are a few suggestions

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Vienna has a number of excellent places for its residents to enjoy over the weekend. 

A government focus on improving the quality of life for the city's people created a capital with an extensive public transport system leading to several parks, commerce, culture and much more.

Many of these are entirely free to visit, and some have affordable rates.

A walk through Schönbrunn's gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for example, is free, while coffee in one of Vienna's most famous and traditional coffee houses, where people like Trotsky and Freud would sit to read the latest newspapers, would set you back €3.80. 

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From parks to cafes, spas and even a Buddhist monument, here are a few of the best places to unwind and recharge over the weekend in Vienna.

Schönbrunn garden, Lobau and Setagaya

One of the most touristic places in Vienna is also one of the best for a hideout, as incredible as it sounds. The parks of the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace the Habsburg summer retreat are free to enter and open all year round since 1779.

It extends for 1.2km from east to west and approximately one kilometre from north to sound. Together with the palace, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

There are many monuments, fountains, benches, and spots in nature to sit and relax.

The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria Photo by Akshaye Sikand on Unsplash

The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. Photo by Akshaye Sikand on Unsplash

Vienna is surrounded by parks and woods, some more famous than others. They all offer great areas for recreation, hikes, and just chilling by their benches.

The Lobau park, located inside Danube-Auen National Park, is also known as Vienna's jungle. A 2,300-hectare area east of the capital protects one of the last major floodplain landscapes in Central Europe.

It's an excellent place for biking, hiking, and observing different species of plants and animals.

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A smaller and more peaceful option is the 4,700sq/km Setagaya park in the 19th district of Vienna. The area was planned by Japanese garden designer Ken Nakajima almost 30 years ago and is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms, ponds and bamboo gates.

The park, however, is closed in winter and will open in April for visitors - no dogs are allowed. 

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Indoor nature

Those looking for indoor places but still wanting to be close to nature have many options in Vienna. From the Schmetterlinghaus, where you can walk in the middle of butterflies, to its neighbouring Palmenhaus, where Viennese can enjoy coffee and a piece of Topfenstrudel surrounded by palm trees, there are many options. 

The city's aquarium, Haus des Meeres, is also a great place to walk among monkeys and birds and pretend like you are in a tropical city. Perfect for the cold and windy Viennese days. 

Vienna is also the city of coffeehouses. You can spend your days roaming through the different and beautiful spots without visiting any of them twice.

A waitress steps out of the Cafe Sperl in Vienna. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

The Cafe Central is the call for a more famous and traditional option. Those who prefer to recharge in a cosy environment can go to Vollpension, where senior citizens bake delicious treats. When days are cold, Cafe Jelinek offers armchairs by a fireplace. 

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Therme Wien Oberlaa

Austria is famous for its thermal areas, with stunning mountain spas, especially in the Alps. But for Viennese, Therme Wien, also known as Oberlaa, is undoubtedly the place to go to unwind and recharge. There are several zones: spa, sauna, tranquillity, adventure, beauty, relaxation and more.

The complex also offers different options and services for booking, including an "after-work" ticket for around € 30 to explore the various pools, saunas and jacuzzis.

Vienna Peace Pagoda

The Vienna Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist structure located near the water, or better yet, by the Donau in the city's second district.

https://mobile.twitter.com/lindinger/status/1261202031508893696

The white monument symbolises unity in peace. The Pagodas are created to "spread love and peace" and share a "message of compassion and peaceful coexistence".

Not a bad message to share, especially in times like this. 

READ MORE: How the New Danube protects Vienna from catastrophic floods

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