Urban vantage points along the Danube
A common phenomenon the world over is for visitors to a foreign city to seek out vantage points. This is often driven by a desire to get an overview of that foreign city and orient themselves.
From above, you can see the big picture – the systems and dimensions that make up a city. You take on the role of an observer, getting an overview of the loud, colourful chaos below in the crowded streets full of people. Pöstlingberg hill often immediately comes to mind when people visit Linz. Perched on the northern bank of the Danube, it promises breathtaking views over the city. But hiking Linz’s local hill is not the only worthwhile pursuit here. Be sure to enjoy the views from the other hills near the city as well. One of these hills is Freinberg. Pöstlingberg’s counterpart on the southern bank of the Danube is wooded. The shaded city park features Franz Josef tower and boasts views over the Danube city that are at least as fantastic as those seen from Pöstlingberg. So it’s worth it to explore the city off the beaten path. Visitors to Linz will have an easy time exploring – there are more than a dozen well-signposted city walks that show off the many different sides to Linz.
A royal view of the place where the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers meet is best seen in Passau from Veste Oberhaus or the Mariahilf pilgrimage church. You can see the entire city centre of Passau from this vantage point atop the Oberhausberg (also called Georgsberg) mountain, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the historic old city hall, the new Stadtturm (city tower), Ortspitze park and Mariahilf hill with its monastery. From here you can also see the two rivers, the Danube and the Inn, converge – each a different colour. And as if that were not enough, you can even hop aboard a hot-air balloon after climbing the Veste and enjoy the amazing views over the Danube valley in Passau and Upper Austria. Look out over the surrounding countryside, with views that would surely be the envy of the emperors and kings of yore.
Those who believe Ferris wheels are not only for fairs and folk festivals will enjoy a ride on Vienna’s giant Ferris wheel, the Wiener Riesenrad. Built to celebrate Emperor Franz Joseph I’s 50th jubilee, the wheel has been a beloved fixture for more than 100 years and is a classic destination for visitors to Vienna. With a terrific view over Austria’s capital city, the imperial splendour of Vienna is best viewed from atop the ride. The view from one of the two towers of St. Stephen’s Cathedral is truly classic. The viewing platform atop this Viennese landmark is the best way to see the landscape made up of the city’s magnificent roofs.