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What would Vienna be without its Prater and what would the Prater be without its Giant Ferris Wheel? Probably like a visit to Vienna without a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel: Half as nice as it could be.
Vienna’s famous Volksprater lies in the heart of the city in the district of Leopoldstadt and offers visitors the Giant Ferris Wheel erected in 1827 as well as many attractions such as carousels, halls of mirrors and laughter, ghost trains and rollercoasters, or the little Liliputbahn, on which visitors can enjoy a tour of the amusement park.
The Wurstelprater – as the park is still lovingly referred to by the Viennese – also has something to offer on the culinary front. A must for culinary globetrotters: The famous Vienna Schweinstelze (knuckle of pork) and the Lángos - a leavened dough specialty of Hungarian cuisine, which is brushed with lots of garlic water and eaten on the go.
Of course, the Prater is not just a pleasure park. The Prater also includes the adjacent Stadtpark, considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Here, in the middle of nature in the heart of Vienna, visitors find themselves far from the hustle and bustle of the city. The landscape of water meadows was once a popular hunting ground of the Habsburgs. Today, visitors stroll along the Hauptallee, the main avenue that runs from the Praterstern to the Lusthaus beneath groups of poplars past meadows and dense undergrowth.
One of the biggest attractions in this part of the Prater is the chestnut blossom. While the trees flower in delicate shades of pink in May, the Hauptallee is filled with walkers and cyclists as well as joggers and riders, the children romp around on the playground and youngsters meet on the BMX and skating track or throw themselves into the sand on the beach volleyball courts.
In winter, the Jesuitenwiese meadow in Vienna’s Prater becomes a big playground. A snow-making machine provides enough of the white stuff for a proper snowball fight. In addition to cross-country trails, there is also a tobogganing hill, which was created from the ruins of houses bombed during the Second World War.