Recreation in the great outdoors in a magnificent floodplain landscape with a venerable old amusement park rich with modern attractions all add up to what in Vienna is called the Prater. Its diversity and vastness offer something for every taste, from sport to restaurants, colourful curiosities and nostalgia.Vienna is famous for its wealth of parks and green spaces. In fact, half of the area of the city of more than a million inhabitants is green. The Wiener Prater, mentioned in documents as far back as the High Middle Ages, is an especially expansive public recreation area in Vienna's second district that attracts both locals and visitors to Vienna in large numbers every day of the year.
The Wiener Prater is officially borderlessWhere exactly the Prater begins or ends, nobody really knows. The Prater does not have any clearly defined or even officially determined borders. The various areas attributed to it have changed again and again down through the centuries. This is perhaps because it simply doesn't matter as long as the Prater can offer recreation, fun, abundant vegetation and lots of freedom of movement for those who want to use it for anything from a romantic stroll to some strenuous exercise on the Prater's own sporting facilities.
Anyone seeking some nostalgic flair can take a ride on the Liliputbahn. The Prater has its own narrow gauge railway with a length of around 4 km. Good to know: the Liliputbahn likes to hibernate and generally runs from March to autumn.
Guaranteed – no brown bears todayOnce used as imperial hunting grounds for birds, foxes, deer, brown bears and other game, today the Prater is a peaceful floodplain landscape. Some of its waters and trees were declared as natural monuments decades ago. More than 4 km long and straight as a die, the Hauptallee or Main Avenue was built in the 16th century as a direct connection to Palais Augarten.
Looking for fun?When people talk about the "Wiener Prater" they are usually not referring to the whole park area, but to the colourful amusement park on the north-west tip which is popular with both young and old and known as the "Wurstelprater".
Friends of halls of mirrors, roller coasters and ghost trains, carousels – or Ringelspiele, as they are known in Vienna – and bumper cars will find plenty of amusement at the Wurstelprater as well as an extensive range of cafes and restaurants with a certain pig's knuckle and candyfloss character.
The Viennese branch of Madame Tussauds, the Wiener Riesenrad, a modern planetarium, as well as a 5-D cinema – with drive wind and lots of other special effects – make this area an experience hotspot densely packed with attractions for all the senses.
Tip: You can reach the Wurstelprater by public transport, for example, with the U1 from Praterstern Station.