Weekend Getaways: Naturpark Sparbach, Vienna

In Slow Travel, Vienna, Vienna Local Experiences, Weekend Getaways by Carly10 Comments

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As a travel addict who constantly talks about, works in, lives and breathes to travel & have adventures, I often struggle with sitting in one place. Tour guiding for 3 years gave me a wicked case of itchy feet. Plus, with all the incredible travel blogs I follow*, it can be hard not to occasionally be overwhelmed with FOMO and think ‘I need more holidays NOW’. This is normally followed by me descending into a frenzy of last minute booking website searches that will result in absolutely no decisions and a helluva lot of frustration. Sound familiar to you?

Luckily, I have been able to overcome this curse with one simple solution;


Weekend Getaways are my lifeline, a way to soothe those itchy feet and keep my travel inspiration going while living in one place. With so many gorgeous destinations to discover in Austria and the surrounding countries (i.e ALL OF EUROPE) we’re spoiled for choice – all it takes is a bit of planning and motivation. Yes, I could spend the rainy Sunday binging Netflix or finally putting the laundry away and cleaning the bathroom, but lets be real – that’s never going to happen.

I thought it might help other travel-addicts like me to hear about some of the most accessible ‘mini-holidays’ you can have on a weekend, to soothe that FOMO beast and keep your travel bug satisfied. For previous trips you can check out these posts. This week, I’m sharing with you a fairytale getaway just outside Vienna!

We made an impromptu trip to Naturpark Sparbach, located just a short 30 minute drive to the south west of Vienna. If, like us, you don’t have a car, you can take some pretty straightforward public transport options to get there (details below). The bonus of public transport is you get to wait for the local bus in an adorable bus stop like this one in Hinterbühl:

BushaltstelleIt’s like a mini-house! With flower pots!

Naturpark Sparbach is within the Wienerwald, otherwise known as the Vienna Woods. There’s no better beginning to a fairytale than ‘I’m off to the woods today’, and I was pretty convinced we’d have our own little fairytale adventure here – I mean, it’s the WOODS right? Home of Little Red Riding Hood and 3 little Pigs and all the good stories!

The Weinerwald itself is a huge area surrounding Vienna and into lower Austria that some call the ‘lungs of Vienna’ because of all the greenery and forest that keeps the city air fresh. The air is so clean out here you can feel the difference. I’m not a country girl at all, so walking through here the oxygen felt different and actually took a bit of getting used to. The walk itself is pretty tame though – even I could manage it.

IMG_1456The always handy park maps – letting you know just how much torture your Austrian guide has in mind.

I’ve been tricked by my Tirolian mister before when going for a walk – he has a habit of massively understating the height of a mountain and the distance remaining during our walk. So ‘one more turn’ often means ‘one more gigantic turn up this huuuuuuge mountain’. (Can anyone verify if this is an Austria-wide trick? Or is it just his ‘humour’?) Because of his terrible lies habit, I’m always very suspicious when he says ‘It’s just a short walk and a small hill’,  but luckily on this occasion it was actually true.

Flat hiking paths

Blessedly flat paths


Friendly wildlife

Duck hutsLuxury duck living – that’s a terrace, hutch and waterside ramp in a pond. For a duck. I want that ducks life.

Our walk lead to the ruins of a Castle Johannstein, and as you guys know I am unable to resist a good castle ruin. Cue excited castle photos and clambering up the crumbling stone walls like a 5 year old. The original castle was built in the 12th Century, as a part of the defences of the Woods, but allegedly housed ‘no nobles of any significance’  which I’m interpreting as ‘some pretty unpopular nobles with a kickass Castle in the woods that everyone was jealous of’.

Castle JohnsteinI’d be jealous – just look at that fairytale ruin!

castle wallsWaiting for the walls to share their secrets

Our little fairytale walk continued as we explored off the main path and came upon a completely deserted meadow – all to ourselves. If the castle wasn’t enough, the meadow proved it – everyone can have their own fairytale moment in the Woods. This place had no noise, no trace of people or traffic – the perfect antidote to a week spent in the city madly rushing around.

magical Meadow

StillnessIt looks just like a regular grass field – but this spot was magical, silent and calming

Sometimes just a quiet spot in a meadow can be a living fairytale. Here, we could be still, and enjoy the silence with no expectations – just fresh air, an untouched field and the sky. A perfect happy ending to a weekend getaway adventure.

How To : Naturpark Sparbach


From Meidling main train station in Vienna, take the S1 Strassenbahn to Mödling. From Mödling station take bus 364, direction Grueberau Schusternazl,and get off at Sparbach Ortsmitte.

Total travel time with train and bus appoximately 1 hour from the city. Beware the cost of bus tickets once you get to Mödling!

Alternatively, by car will take 30 minutes and is directly down the A21 highway


Sbahn ticket Meidling to Mödling return:€4.80

Bus 364 return ticket: €9 per person!!

Entry to Naturpark Sparbach is €5 per person

Coffee: €4 for a latte

Total per person: €22.80 – budget €25 per person for snacks, we packed our own.

Suitable For

Huge playground and barbecue area for kids and families

Wildlife, walking tracks and castle ruins for couples and adults

Flat walking paths and areas to sit suitable for older travellers



*I follow a LOT of excellent blogs. Incredible big-name travel bloggers like Adventurous Kate, Legal Nomads, Expert Vagabond, Almost Fearless and the Everywhereist. Inspiring ladies who travel full time like Vik from Chronic Wanderlust, Marta at A Girl Who Travels, Nina at Berries & Passion and Glo at The Blog Abroad. To really get your travel bug fired up I wholeheartedly recommend subscribing to all of these blogs!*



  1. Happy to confirm that the “one more turn” thing seems to be common to all Austrians – my (Upper Austrian) husband is famous among our UK relatives for his proclamation “fünf Minuten noch!”, which basically translates as “five-hour trek up precipitous mountain track”.
    Love your blog, keep up the good work!

    1. Author

      Omg mine says ‘5 minutes more’ too!!!! Do you think they learn it at school?? Haha thanks for reading glad I’m not alone in this 🙂

  2. as a native Tyrolean: it is something that is done to us from a young age by our parents. So we just pass it on ..

  3. Dear Carly,
    Great blog!! Your article on Naturpark is so nice. Wish I were there.
    I subscribed to Austrian Adaptation two days ago and I must say it is lovely. So much to learn from a foreign culture.
    I’d like to ask you a favour. As I intend to visit Austria this coming December would you be so kind to suggest some hotels in the region of Golling where we could stay? Or some other region, places that perhaps you have already stayed at. Nothing fancy. I have already booked rooms in Vienna and Salzburg. There are still seven empty days.
    Thank you very much for your attention.

    Brasilia, Brazil

  4. It looks like a great park for a weekend Gateway. I have never been to Austria but we have been planing on visiting Europe quite sometimes and surely, we will check it out. You have a great blog and will check it out once in a while. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  5. I’m pretty sure that “5 minutes” thing is part of Austrian genes.

    I do it to my teenagers *all the time* – and I’m only 1/2 Austrian, born in Australia.

    They get rather suspicious, too.

    1. Author

      Haha oh god so it’s contagious? I’m pretty sure I’ll be saying it in a few years!

  6. This article is amazed me!, great review against the naturpark, I am going to visit this park this weekend and I hope your review will correct about this park, I will share my review too on the comment

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