Saturday – 6 June – Bratislava to Vienna

Saturday – 6 June – Bratislava to Vienna

We were back on the Eurovelo 6 today, with a fair number of other touring cyclists. The start of the route was alongside the river and periodically through wheat fields. We watched the Hainburg castle up on a hill coming closer and closer.

castle1      castle2

As we passed through Hainburg Kris realised we were in Austria. We hadn’t noticed a border – but the road signs were different and the cars had mostly Austrian number plates.

We also noticed an increase in the quality of bike path signs – with a number of routes referred to in detail.


Just outside of town, we were surprised by a long snake (at least 1m in length) lying sunning itself on the bike path. Some local cyclists (young sporty ones in lycra) coming the other way also stopped and turned to take a look, but it had slithered into the grass before I could take a photo.

We stopped to talk with a cycle touring German couple who had been riding in our direction for the past 10km or so. They had left their car in Vienna, toured to Budapest on one side of the river and were coming back on the other. They advised that we could do a side trip to see old Roman ruins if we stayed on the south side of the river instead of crossing over to the north side as per the usual Eurovelo route. So we decided to see the ruins.

There is an old amphitheatre in Petronell, built in the first half of the 2nd century, which was well worth seeing. The Austrians still put shows on in the theatre.

amphitheater                   plays

There is also the ancient city of Carnuntum which extends over an area of 10km2 – only part is visible today.


We had thought we could continue along in the same direction on the south of the river, but after a bit of to and fro discovered that we had to turn back and cross the Danube at at Bernstein Straße bridge – so that added about 20km onto our journey, extending it to a 98km day. The bridge is amazingly long (1.88km) and has a good cycle track on both sides.

The rest of track was along the stop bank, which had no shade and was very hot in the sun. An outdoor cyclists pub near the end of this stretch was a welcome sight, as we were running low on water.


We stopped for a beer and a conversation with a Viennese cyclist who we had passed on the track a few times. He told us how Vienna is numbered in an onion-like structure, with district one in the middle and 23 radiating outwards. Once we had cooled down and refilled our water bottles we set off again. Unfortunately we didnt look at the signs closely as we came out of the pub, so set off on a secondary path trough natural parks. We were feeling light-headed from the beer and the heat (a legal high) – so we ate lots of chocolate. The road eventually dumped us somewhere on the outskirts of Donaustadt. From there we made our way into the Vienna central city and eventually found the tourist info at around 4pm. We stopped at several hotels along the way and asked for tariffs and they were surprisingly expensive or full (we were discovering that Austria is comparatively expensive). We were happy when the tourist info could provide a booking for a reasonably priced place 5km from the centre (in district 7). It took quite a while to navigate there – the city is so big that the map they give you only names every fifth street or so.

Vienna is a huge city with amazing buildings throughout. It is so large that you cannot cover all the sights in a day – even on a bicycle.

We rode around in the evening a bit.

vienna2        vienna1      roof


monument      monument2     vienna3

Kris spoke to some people at an open source stand at a Vegan fair. We had a pizza and found the night life along the Danube canal. There was a football match on and lots of fans watching and cheering periodically. No more cheap beer here – they cost around EUR3.80 each, compared EUR1.20 in Slovakia. The prices for food are similar to what we would pay in Wellington. There were lots of young people sitting along the banks of the canal. Here is a photo of me sitting on the canal and drinking a beer.


canal1     canal2

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