GARDENS AND PARKS OF VIENNA
The Viennese have gone to great lengths to brighten the urban landscape with leafy green spaces. There are several parks along the Ring (including the Stadt- park, Resselpark, Burggarten, and Volksgarten), as well as many in the suburbs. The gardens of SchloB Schdnbrunn and SchloB Belvedere are particularly beautiful.
ALONG THE RING. Established in 1862, the Stadtpark (City Park) was the first municipal park outside the former city walls. The oft-photographed Johann- Strauss-Denkmal monument is in the center of the park. (U4: Stadtpark.) Clockwise up the Ring, past the Staatsoper, the gorgeous greenhouses of Burggarten (Palace Gar den) were reserved for the imperial family until 1918. Abutting the Hofburg, the romantic Volksgarten (People’s Garden) is best viewed at sunset.
AUGARTEN. Northeast of downtown is Vienna’s oldest public park. Originally a formal French garden, the Augarten was given a Baroque face-lift and opened to all by Kaiser Josef II in 1775. The WWII Flaktiirme (anti-aircraft towers) that now dominate the center of the park make it less fashionable than it was. (Take tram #31 up from Schottenring or tram N to Obere Augartenstr. and head left down Taborstr.)
ON THE DANUBE. The narrow Donauinsel island has miles of bike paths, soccer fields, and restaurants. The northern shore, along the Alte Donau, is lined with beaches. (Ul: Donauinsel. Open May-Sept M-F 9am-8pm, Sa-Su 8am-8pm. Beach ‚4.) For a view of Vienna at its best, go after sundown to Donaupark and take the elevator up to the revolving restaurant in the Donauturm (Danube Tower) near the UN com-plex. (Ul: Kaisermiihlen, exit towards Schuttaustr. and follow signs to the park. Tower open daily lOam-midnight. ‚5.20, students ‚4.20.) The area also hosts the Donauinsel Fest, the largest open-air festival in Europe (see Festivals, below).