Mountains in Vienna

Berge in Wien

Mountains in Vienna

Although Vienna is not in the heart of the Austrian Alps, it is still close to some interesting hiking destinations. From late spring onwards, the Viennese head to Vienna's local mountains (also called the Viennese Alps) to stretch their legs and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Vienna's local mountains include the Schneeberg, the Raxalpe, the Schneealpe, the Semmering, the Wechsel, the Hohe Wand and the Gutenstein Alps. Most of these hiking destinations are at least an hour away from the city.

For the most beautiful hikes near Vienna, we recommend the Raxalpe and the Schneeberg.

This guide exclusively describes the best hikes in the Vienna mountains. Another wonderful hiking destination near Vienna is the Wachau. You can hike in the Wachau all year round. We particularly love the hike from Dürnstein to Krems with a view of the Danube valley.

Hiking at the Semmering Pass

Of all the regions in the Vienna Alps, Semmering is undoubtedly the best destination for casual hikers. Of course, that doesn't mean there's nothing to do or see for experienced outdoor enthusiasts. Semmering was my personal choice for my first trip to the mountains from Vienna and I've been coming back ever since. There are many reasons for that.

Firstly, Semmering has good connections to Vienna. You don't need to take a bus to get to the heart of the region, the train will take you straight there. Semmering train station is located at 895 m above sea level, and the Semmering Railway is considered the first true mountain railway in the world. For this reason, most of the best hiking routes are along the railway. It connects two Austrian federal states: Styria and Lower Austria. It marks the border between the Rax-Schneeberg group and the Mürzsteg Alps above. This means that the landscape of the Semmering Pass is defined quite precisely.

Secondly, in the long years of its popularity, Semmering has had more than enough time to develop into a tourist powerhouse. Quite apart from what you can do in Semmering, the combination of culture and nature is simply great for hiking. The Semmering Railway transformed the mountainous area into a historic health resort where there are hardly any old grand hotels and every building offers a view of the Vienna Alps. You can't be any closer to tamed mountains.

The Semmering Bahnwanderweg is a long but divided hiking trail that stretches along the entire railway line from Glognitz to Murzzuschlag. It is probably the most popular of all the hiking trails near the Semmeringbahn.

Hiking in the SchNeeberg Alps

The region around Puchnberg and Schneeberg has more than 80 km of hiking and alpine hiking trails. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful natural areas in Lower Austria and certainly my favorite region for hiking in the Vienna Alps. After all, there is something romantic about climbing. Even if climbing the Schneeberg is not for everyone, there are numerous hiking routes in Puchberg am Schneeberg that you can choose from.

The Schneeberg is the highest mountain in Lower Austria and the easternmost and northernmost 2k+ mountain in the Alps. The statue alone is the reason for its popularity, but there is more that connects the mountain with the capital of Austria. If there's any truth to it, Vienna claims to have the best drinking water in the world, and that water doesn't come from anywhere other than Schneeberg.

After the hike, forest bathing is the order of the day.

Even the Habsburg emperors paid their respects to the mountain king of the Vienna Alps. The slightly lower summit of the Schneeberg - the Kaiserstein (2.061 m) - was in memory of the two ascents by Emperor Franz I. named in 1805 and 1807.

It was later decided, as part of the extension of the Puchbergbahn, to extend the tracks almost to the summit of the Schneeberg - Hochschneeberg (1.800 m) to build. Here Emperor Franz Joseph I. commissioned the construction of the chapel in memory of his late wife Empress Elisabeth (Sisi), who was murdered in 1898 by a 25-year-old Italian anarchist. The high snow mountain was literally as close to heaven as the technology of the time allowed. To this day, this is widely known and this tragic but romantic location is a very popular choice for many marriage ceremonies.

Hiking in the Rax Alps

Technically, all of the areas of the Vienna Alps listed so far, including the Rax, belong to the Rax-Schneeberg group. Nevertheless, the Rax, like Semmering and Schneeberg, offers a unique natural experience. Even the same hiking trails can have a completely different flavor from the other side of the mountains. Although the Rax Mountains are surrounded by settlements, there is a clear boundary between the human domain and the rocky giants. Crossing this limit can be a major challenge for many hikers.

Schwarza Valley

The center of the Rax Mountains are the historic health resorts of Payerbach-Reichenau, which lie next to each other in the valley of the Schwarza River at the foot of the Alps. This river is perhaps the only reason why there are two names for the Rax-Schneeberg group. Over the millennia, the Schwarza has carved out even the toughest mountains like this famous duo of the Vienna Alps. The evidence of this can best be observed from the south side. The clear separation between Rax and Schneeberg can be seen from afar.

Rax cable car

Technically, the railway line connecting Vienna to Payberbach-Reichenau Station is part of the Semmering Railway, but it may not be the most important piece of human engineering in the area. The Rax cable car characterizes most hikes in the Rax Mountains. It will take you to more than 1 in just an instant.000 m altitude, with the mountain station 1.600 m above sea level. The Rax cable car is an absolute novelty. Once you're up on the Rax, it's like you've never breathed fresh air. It's a different world. For this reason, many outdoor enthusiasts choose the mountain station of the Rax cable car as the starting point for their hikes.

Once you're at the top of the Rax, you don't really want to go back. Therefore, hut hopping is a very popular way of hiking up here.

Hiking on the Hohe Wand

While it is impossible to get to Höhe Wand by train, it is at least possible to get to the surrounding area of ​​the wall, which is more than enough for some of the best hikes this part of Austria has to offer is. Persistent hikers can even climb the mountain and enjoy the famous view from the summit of Hohe Wand (1.135 m). Despite some smaller mountains, such as the Kienberg, the Hohe Wand faces the Viennese plain and offers an exceptionally wide landscape. In good conditions, an attentive eye can even see Lake Neusiedl from the Hohe Wand.

The most popular areas of the Hohe Wand, such as the Skywalk and the Wildlife Park, are primarily used by day trippers by car. Luckily, the huge area at the summit is enough for everyone. The best train stations for hikes around the Höhe Wand are: Grunbach am Schneeberg, Rothenberg and Willendorf from the Schneeberg side; Waldegg from the Gutensteiner side.


The Hohe Wand not only offers a breathtaking view, it is also a sight in itself. There is probably no better place to embrace the Hohe Wand than from a small mountain right in front of it - the 650 m high Kienberg. Its summit can be reached in an hour from Willendorf or Rothengrub train station. To climb the Kienberg it takes approx. 2.4 km on foot and approx. 250 m climb required. Most of the hike leads through a very quiet pine forest at the foot of the mountain, near Willendorf.

Hiking in the Türnitz Alps

The Türnitz Alps lie on the outside of Europe's most famous mountains and rise only 1 on the Großer Sulzberg.400 m. Nevertheless, this mountainous region offers countless hikes through its wild forests. The Türnitz Alps are hardly populated, so they are almost completely covered by trees. This feature makes this part of the Alps distinctive and could only be confused with the neighboring Gutenstein Alps.

Given this, it's not entirely clear where you should travel for the best hiking experience in the Türnitz Alps. The regional center, the town of Türnitz, is an obvious choice, but places like Lilienfeld or Schrambach are much more accessible. It's also possible to take a round trip as far as Mariazell, but the Türnitz Alps may not be the most interesting hiking destination from the picturesque Styrian village.

Hiking in the Gutenstein Alps

This magical region is often overlooked by many outdoor enthusiasts. Not because the Gutenstein Alps lack charm, but because they don't have as much of an online presence as their cousins. Some may find the Gutenstein Alps unattractive due to the lack of rocky high mountains, but that was not the case for many artists, who found inspiration in the region's green, idyllic valleys carved out by the Piesting and other rivers. Yes, the Gutenstein Alps are the lowest of all the mountains on the list, but that is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

Myra Waterfalls

If there is only one place in the Gutenstein Alps that is worth visiting, it is the Myra Falls. These beautiful waterfalls are only about 3 km from Pernitz-Muggendorf train station if you follow the Piesting's tributary - the Myrabach - upstream. This protected natural wonder stretches over 600 m horizontally and 70 m vertically. It wouldn't be Austria if there wasn't a hiking trail over the Myra Falls with countless bridges over cascades, allowing you to view all the waterfalls from all possible angles. Even with an entrance fee of €5, this natural wonder is full of visitors. It is certainly the most popular excursion destination in the Gutenstein Alps.

Once you reach the top of the Myraffals hiking route, be sure to climb the Hausstein (668 m) to enjoy a surprisingly beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and the Myrabach valley.