Last weekend in Vienna: Bike tour along U6 and on the other side of Danube / part 1

And after 4 months we finally came to the last week of my stay in Vienna. I have been writing into my diary and this was my 18th weekend or the week since I came here on 13th October. And right now I'm enjoying the last days of the 19th week.

So, what have I done on 13th and 14th of February? Firstly, I came home happy after having "my last day" at the studio on Friday. There is still some job to be finished but that is not going to be within the contract for internship anymore but like "freelancing" from Zagreb or somewhere else. Speaking of it I have to add that I have found a studio (or an agency) that I can work at again later. It is going to be in Graz and I have to find my room now quickly as I could start already from March and afford myself 3 months so far (unless some miracle happens). Thus the weekend was also a bit about this topic.

To-do list and Saturday

  • There were several things on my to-do list for the last days. I had to cross many of them and some plans changed. So far I still would like to visit Werkbund Settlement in the western part of Vienna but I guess I will not have enough time to go by UBahn to Schönbrunn, take the CityBike at the station and try to reach in an hour 4 and half kilometres away the Werkbundsiedlung in Veitingergasse, enjoy being in a historic place, take photos and document important things and go back. However though, things changed. First I want to visit the Instant Flohmarkt and I walked from Florianigasse to Kandlegasse but then read on Facebook that everything was closed. Actually, I have heard about it earlier from a friend of mine I was going to meet but maybe I just wanted to enjoy the sun and walk around without some pressure or need for the public transport. Thus I did around a mile and more on foot and went to Ubahn station Burggasse-Stadthalle. There I contacted my friend who was at the bar about my plans and he said he would join me at Schönbrunn. So we met there at Meidlinger Ubahn station and walked for an hour or so. I saw Schönbrunn for the first time during the sunny and relatively warm day and we climbed up to the Gloriette architecture on top of the hill in front of the castle.
  • Another thing I wanted to see and achieved it was Hundertwasser House. I went there a week earlier and my wishes were fulfilled and satisfied. It looks amazing and we do not have such buildings in Zagreb. It has a colourful, expressionistic facade with distorted or relief surface. Now, when I was out on the bike on Sunday (this weekend) I went to the north and saw the the building of Wien Fernwärme (district heating) it looked somewhat familiar and interesting - coloured with many textures and square. Pretty unusual for such a facility which usually look grey and boring. I had a visit from my Austrian friend and neighbour before writing this and she told me the same architect (Hundertwasser) designed the exterior of the Wien District Heating complex. No wonder! If you are driving in the metro or a tram you will surely notice it.
  • Among the things I had to cross are the Donauturm (Danube Tower) which is located on the Old Danube island or peninsula. According to the photos online it should have a fantastic view over the area... but I cannot afford it this time. Another thing are probably many museums and cool places such as Haus des Meeres (House of the Sea) that I saw every day on my way to the workplace and back..... followed by the Haus der Musik... both of them are expensive for me now. I also wish I had more time to visit Cafe Zartl where I heard one can play music - the piano. That has been my wish since the first week of being in Vienna... but I am not sure if it is worth a ticket or time to get there (pretty close to Hundertwasser House) and time is now very precious to me. I could add here now many museums. The Opera House is another thing I wanted to see... as well as Volkstheater (Theater) that is close to Museumsquartier and you can ge affordable tickets if you come earlier, recommended by my flatmate... but neither I had a person to go with nor time and not even money now.

Well, I saw many things again and should be thankful for it. In the end, I came to Vienna because of the internship so I should keep that always on my mind, nothing else matters. But now I have many connections and friends here and Vienna is never going to be a foreign city and place to me but like a second home where I feel comfortable going around and not feeling like a foreigner.

There is still some job to be finished but that is not going to be within the contract for internship with Erasmus but what I do from home and going to be paid apparently. I hope to be done with everything soon.

So, after leaving my friend after a walk at Schönbrunn I went at Längenfeldgasse to U6 and then stopped at Josefstädterstraße as I wanted to buy some food at the Brunnenmarkt. Unfortunately, the bananas there were not that fresh anymore so I did not buy them and had no idea of what else to buy. Ended up with one salad. "The potato guy" seller was not there, I wanted to make a portrait photography of him. I continued further 2 stops with the tram and went to Hofer which is in Lerchenfeldergasse, about 5 minutes walking from Josefstädter Street. And I forgot some other ingredients but who cares, will survive until the next week. In the evening transferring photographs and writing this blog, making plans for Sunday and... since my Swiss flatmate was leaving the other day I stayed until 2 h in the morning to make a little surprise - poster - for her since she has always been nice to me and helped more than I needed with everything. We made a deal to see each other still in the morning before she leaves around noon. And I had a plan to go out on a bike, either to Werkbund neighbourhood or document the ride with the Ubahn.

Sunday - 25 km around Vienna and ESN Anti-Valentine's Day in Nachbar. The part one of the grand tour


So yeah, Sunday was pretty dynamic day for me. I had it planned to wake up earlier in order to have more time to go around the bike, especially to visit the far away Werkbund houses... but when I woke up around 8 h it was very difficult to get up from the bed (or actually at 7. 30 h)... so I was half-dead and half-alive. And spent an hour more in that condition. We both got out from our rooms at the same time, had breakfast and then I prepared my backpack to go out. I decided to change my route.


I took the fully charged digital camera, an apple and two packs of chocolate to help me in need. Headphones and the cap on my head and did not forget to bring the gloves too. They were more than welcome later on the bike. I decided to go to the Alser Straße Ubahn where was one CityBike station, it took me around 8-10 minutes to reach it. And it had lots of bikes available. After picking one up I was ready to go... somewhere, spontaneously. And the spontaneous decision was to see what is it if I follow the Ubahn railway line which goes to Floridsdorf though I had no such ambitions for that morning. I counted I have max 2 hours to get home in time to meet for the last time with my flatmate and help her with her stuff before she leaves, I certainly did not want us not seeing each other before her departure.


After Alser Strasse there is a nice bike road that goes for few kilometres following the metro road, sometimes going under it to the other side and back. When reaching the next Ubahn station - Michelbeuern-AKH the bike path stopped there and led into the streets. I spent next few minutes among some other streets and returned back to Ubahn WähringerStraße-Volksoper. After that the path does not lead you anywhere else and you can follow the metro system until reaching Spittelau.

I started here recording the scenery holding the camera in my right hand. It is certainly one of the awesome experience and feelings while listening to the music on the bike, no one is stopping you and there you hear the metro train passing above you parallel. At some points the metro bridge is pretty low but when approaching Spittelau it was really high and felt like a giant wall. And then I came to the end of Döblinger Gürtel (the street I was riding in) and Spittelau was in front of me. But the problem was that it was above me actually. I saw many bridges around, the main one for the metro, the second one for the passengers and the third one for the cars and other vehicles.

I was trying to find the way up and saw some stairs. Still was not sure if they led to the bridge (and they probably did) so I made a circle, climbed up the Radelmaybergasse and then twice left into Guneschgasse. There I saw the entrance to the passengers' bridge that was connecting us with Spittelau Bahnhof.

Spittelau Station and Wiener Fernwärme


I went on through this "shuttle" bridge and started recording my trip actually 50 m earlier and was curious what to see. While crossing the bridge there were both paths with signs for the pedestrians and the cyclists so I did not fear I was doing something against the rules and bothering the others on the road. Once on the bridge I could see the high way that goes through the city and also many other bridges I had seen from the bottom 5 minutes earlier. On my right side to the south was the Ubahn bridge that stopped at Spittelau station and under it the railway and tram station in the old buildings. I continued further and hoped there are no obstacles so I don't have to stop my video recording and getting off the bike.


Once passed the bridge I came to half closed area (the bridge was closed from above that is way I called it "a shuttle") and saw the huge Wiener Fernwärme (the heating). The facility caught my eye already earlier during my ride to Spittelau and it reminded me a lot of Hundertwasserhaus (and you know - it is the same architect who designed the facade of Wiener Fernwärme). I still continued with my video and found myself in the next 100 m in front of the entrance to the UBahn station and on the relatively huge platform I saw the CityBike station. I left my bike here later on my way back. But also had lots of troubles during the second round of cycling (more about it later). From this platform you can find at least two-three more roads that lead somewhere.

The first road is that actually turns into a bridge above the Danube canal and goes to the other side to the District Brigittenau. That was also my choice now. The second one led to the north of the Wiener Fernwärme building and was going slowly by the river down, first above the big road for the motor vehicles and then alongside it. The last one that I have not noticed at first but was of importance and my saviour later was the one that passed to the other side of the Wiener Fernwärme facility and was linked to the other roads.

I continued to the other side and met lots of people who were walking, running of cycling. There is also the parking lot, a huge garage on several floors and the drivers or anyone could go directly to this bridge (as it was connected with the garage) and simply go to the other side of the river or of course to the metro station. Now being in th middle of the bridge to my left (the north) was the other huge bridge, Gürtelbrücke, which served as a high way and one part of that bridge (before reaching the river) was going to merge with the one next to mine. Few meters to the left of ours was a road for the motor vehicles too. I still continued with my video.

Now on the other side! I had no idea where I was going or where precisely I was so I just decided to continue going on! I came to Brigittenau neighbourhood (I guess, there is no other name on the map... and Brigittenau was being mentioned at almost every corner). Now you notice that the area changed a bit.

First time in Brigittenau

I replaced the greyish urban and concrete streets of the other side (the last 10 minutes before reaching the bridge) with the greenery. There was some park where I went through, Anton Kummerer Park, and followed straight Leipziger Street until seeing new Ubahn Station - Jägerstraße. I passed by it (and the street under 90' of the same name) and continued through Leipziger Street. Apparently it was relatively long one! I still had no idea where I was going and waited a little bit more until stopping and checking on the map. I could not see any familiar sign because I had never been there before! I continued until I saw there was some kind of parking lot enclosed by the wall and the crossroads between Hellwagstrasse and Nordwestbahnstrasse. I noticed to my left (Hellwagstrasse) there was a bridge with a train running over it. I did not think much but spontaneously headed into that direction. I went beneath the bridge to the other side and then randomly into one of the streets to my right.

I went through this Universumstrasse for a few hundred meters when going left to one bigger street with cars, the Dresdner Straße, and hoped to see some signs telling me where could I have been. I continued until seeing a pretty familiar area - the place where we meet the Traisengasse. There was another bridge. I remember going here 2 months ago but from opposite direction, when I got a little bit lost on my way to Praterstern but missed the direction. I stopped now and my compass in the head finally started to work and I was able to position myself on the map. Now I had around 20 minutes to leave the bike, which was more than enough, so I slowly turned myself for 180 degrees and headed back the same way.

Though it seems sometimes to be slower going back the way you already know rather then choosing the new path, this was pretty quick. I guess it took me around 10 minutes to be back on the bridge. I passed the same streets and paid more attention to the details. But without video recording now.

Recording the trip with Ubahn

Last weekend in Vienna: Bike tour along U6 and on the other side of Danube / part1

I returned to the Ubahn station around 10. 50-11h, left my Citybike there and headed inside the huge hall. Spittelau is not only place where you go on or off the U6 Sibenhirten-Floridsdorf but also U4 Hütteldorf-Heiligenstadt. I went upstairs to reach the U6 in direction of Sibenhirten and had 4-5 minutes until the train's arrival. I brought some chocolates I bought the day earlier at Hofer which helped me a bit to recover though I was not that tired and hungry yet. I had also another mission that was now or never. And apparently If I had not done that on Sunday right there I would have had no chance anymore to do it later and thus regret it until... I forget it.

So, I decided to take a video of the ride from Spittelau until Längenfeldgasse Ubahn station. Once the train arrived I was waiting at the bottom of the station and hoped that the last wagon was not going to be full of people. And my wishes were granted. I found one seat right behind the doors, quickly sat there, ate another chocolate and turned on my camera. I spent the following 10 minutes with my right hand next to the screen trying not to move and get the cool view from the Ubahn on the Viennesse streets and station. It was pretty fun and not that tiring as I feared. And it takes only 10 minutes from Spittelau to Längenfeldgasse.

So, I said earlier U6 is my favourite line regarding the view. I know (but have no recordings) of U2 which goes above the ground too from Praterstern until Station, far from that I have never been. The other line that enables you to see through the windows the streets and buildings is the U1 after reaching the Danube island. I saw the train from the bike road later during the day but unfortunately had no time to take a ride there. And lastly, the line U4 also gives you a bit of view from the bottom on the relation between Margaretengürtel and Pilgramgasse, and a bit between Pilgramgasse and Karlsplatz. For the rest I have no idea.

So, we passed by the Nußdorfer Starße, Währinger Straße, Michelbauern AKH, Alser Straße, Josefstädter Straße, Thalia Straße, Burggasse-Stadthalle, Westbahnhof, Gunpendorfer Straße until finally reaching with an astonishing view to Längenfeldgasse.

Back home to say goodbye to my flatmate

This station is also a crossing between the U6 and U4 so you have double platforms where the trains in two same directions arrive. Once I jumped out of it I went left to climb up and climb down on the other side for the same line but in opposite direction. There is also a Turkish fast food restaurant if you are hungry to get something quickly. Also, every time I stopped there I remember the unlucky moment I had after Halloween Party where I had some "problems" here and lost my Polish friend who left me accidentally behind. But it was fun.

I missed the line in other direction as I was not in a hurry and didn't run up and down the stairs to catch it. Here is a useful trick then: if you are in a hurry, you do not have even time to see if the ubahn is on the other side for the opposite direction, just run straight up and down and jump in while hearing "Steigen Sie nichts mehr ein. ".

There was almost no memory left and the battery of the camera had to be loaded so I calmly sat inside and waited until my Josefstädter Strasse station. There I left down and walked until home. It was around 11. 30 h when I reached Lederergasse and Florianigasse. It was time to say goodbye to my Swiss roommate.

She was leaving around the noon, before 13 h to be precise. And I did not want to miss the opportunity to see her and talk before she leaves. But luckily had plenty of time. After getting home I ate something, gave her my poster and took a portrait with my analog camera. If everything is going to turn out good, she will end up in my 'Hall of Fame' album. Soon she was about to leave, I gave her my presents for all the help and aid she provided during the last 3 months. Then I was left home alone, it felt a bit empty.

I slowly started making my lunch and I will write you an recipe that is good for everyone's pocket. My battery was loading and I transferred all the photographs and videos to my laptop in order to save memory. Soon started the plans for the second part of the bike tour. Time to visit the other side of the Danube.

Coming up soon !

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