Epic travel run! Not to be missed!
- Difficulty: Easy
- Terrain: well-groomed gravel/dirt trail
- Length: as long as you want!
- Flow: Good
- Scenery: manicured gardens, sculptures, forest, Vienna city views with Schönbrunn Palace backdrop
- Safety Issues: None
- Bathrooms: yes but cost money
- Drinking water: No
- Transit Access: Yes – U-4 metro ‘Schönbrunn Palace’
- Parking: not sure
- Night Access: closes between 5:30 and 9pm depending on the time of year check here
- Special Features: Amazing historical palace gardens. A one of a kind of experience!!
- Nearby Attractions: Schönbrunn Palace
One of my favourite run travel experiences ever was my run at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. I found it randomly while researching a trip to Vienna and reading about the palace as a tourist destination. I came across a tripadvisor review that was from someone who had run there; they had called it a bucket list run and I decided I had to do it!
Just outside of the main ring area of central Vienna and located with easy access to a metro line (line U4 stop is Schönbrunn), Schönbrunn Palace is a Baroque palace with over 300 years of history dating from the mid 1500’s. It is a wonderful tourist destination for any visitor to Vienna, and the palace itself makes an exceptional backdrop for those enjoying the 65 acres of gardens.
The trails are well groomed dirt and/gravel and run through everything. You can stick to the perimeter or zigzag through to see everything (which I of course did!) It is easy to find your way and hard to get lost with so many large landmarks along the way! There are large tall hedges, trees and the forest area to offer shade on hot days. The is a large flat area and then a hill that goes up to a forested area towards the back, so you can choose to make your run a little more challenging with hills if you like.
There is an incredible variety of scenery: the palace itself, the stunning manicured gardens, the tranquil forest on the hill, fountains, over 30 sculptures and even a faux Roman ruin From the in the edge of the forested area up on the hill there are wonderful views of the palace and Vienna beyond. I had to stop so many times to take it in! It’s like no where I have ever run before. I can definitely see why the runner who wrote on tripadvisor had called it a bucket list run: it’s a very special place.
We chose to stay in Vienna in the ring area, to be close to the main tourist sites. We only ran at Schönbrunn Palace once, and we did find some other nice running routes in the ring area. The day we ran Schönbrunn Palace, we got up early to take the metro. The ride was easy, and it’s a 5 minute walk from the metro to the entrance of the gardens. It is worth considering staying close to Schönbrunn Palace and taking the metro to the ring area to visit the tourist sites, either way works, and I noticed the accommodation near the palace were cheaper and bigger!
We brought our own water, as there was none available before the palace opened to visitors at 8:30am. Also, there were bathrooms available but they cost money so bring some small change.
The gardens open daily at 6:30am and the main tourist attraction of the palace itself doesn’t open until 8:30am, so for two hours, runners and walkers have the gardens to themselves. Clearly many locals enjoy this amazing place for their regular runs, and you definitely get that feeling: I am a Vienna runner. While there are a lot of runners in these sacred two hours, when we returned at another time to visit the palace during its open hours we were stunned by how many people filled the gardens. When you finish your run, these early morning hours are a special opportunity to take photos without a million people crowding them!
This is the run that inspired me to find more epic runs all over the world: bucket list runs! This is the run that made me realize how truly amazing running and travelling can be: an experience not to be missed!
Be sure to check out my other Vienna runs, which will be posted soon! Vienna is a great tourist destination for runners!!