Kahlenberg – The best-known viewpoint over Vienna

Part of the Vienna Woods and a sight of Vienna

Hast du vom Kahlenberg das Land dir rings beseh’n, So wirst du was ich schrieb und was ich bin versteh’n.

Trans.: If you had seen the country all around from the Kahlenberg, you would write and understand what I do.

This was written by poet Franz Grillparzer. To this day, the Kahlenberg remains popular for a day trip in Vienna.

From the Sauberg to the Kahlenberg

Until the 17th century, today’s Kahlenberg was uninhabited. Its original name was the Sauberg or the Schweinsberg (Pig Mountain). This name came from the many wild boars living in the former oak woods. In 1628, Ferdinand II bought the mountain from Klosterneuburg Abbey and named it Josephsberg.

On the neighbouring mountain – at that time, called the “Kahlenberg” – Leopold I had a chapel built as a donation and in 1693, this was devoted to St. Leopold. As a result, the original Kahlenberg was renamed the Leopoldsberg and the Josephsberg ultimately got the name of Kahlenberg.

View of the Danube of Vienna and the Saint Leopold's Church on Leopoldsberg. The Vineyards in front are from (viewpoint) Kahlenbergerdorf, a part of Döbling
Leopoldsberg as seen from the Kahlenberg © Creativemarc /

Reach the summit on foot, by bus, or by car

The Kahlenberg is part of the Vienna Woods, making it a popular destination for a day out, especially at the weekend. By way of the City Hiking Route 1, you can reach the summit in approx. 4 hours. Those who would rather cycle, can travel by bus or car. In good weather conditions, the top (484m) offers a view of the whole of Vienna. The 22m high Stefanienwarte at the highest point of the Kahlenberg boasts a view that extends to Lower Austria.

Throughout the history of the Kahlenberg, all kinds of buildings were built where the restaurant stands today. After a monastery hermitage, a rack-and-pinion railway, which carried visitors up the mountain from 1874 to 1921, a hotel restaurant, a private clinic was unable to secure financing, and finally, an apartment block was built in 2007. Next to it is a highly modern restaurant with a viewing platform, which can even be used for wedding receptions.

St. Joseph’s Church is a Baroque, single-nave church. The foyer is dedicated to the historical events of 1683.

360-degree panoramic view of the viewing terrace on the Kahlenberg

Kahlenberg is also one of the most important wine regions of the city.