For centuries one of the greatest European capital cities, since the two world wars Vienna has been downgraded to the capital of a small country; it is now the seat of international organizations and a gateway between western and eastern Europe; traffic on the large roadways is heavy, although still lighter than in Italian cities. The historic center is mostly a pedestrian zone in which cyclists are tolerated, more or less.
The capital of Austria, provides an excellent network of bike routes; the highlight of this network is the bike path that runs through the trees of “the Ring” [the Ringstrasse], the tree-lined circular avenue that surrounds the historic center of Vienna.
Branching off from the Ring there are offshoots that follow along many of the avenues and on many of the walkways; for example, to reach the Südbahnhof [south train station] there is a good bicycle path which starts alongside the church of Sankt Karl and ascends along the walkway of the Argentinierstrasse.
Not all the offshoots are that good, though; for example, at the beginning of Mariahilferstrasse, a popular and busy shopping street, unfortunately open to motor traffic, there is a bike lane which disappears after a hundred meters [yards] leaving the cyclist in the middle of traffic.
An excellent biking vacation would include also the bike paths in the Prater [one of Vienna’s public parks], and those along the Danube and through the Donauinsel [Danube Island, a 12 mile long park in the middle of the Danube]; the latter two are part of the Donauradweg, perhaps the most famous bicycle route in the world.
Bike racks can be found, but they are not as plentiful as in Berlin or other northern cities; in the historic center they are quite rare and you have to make do by fastening your bike in the classic manner, to a lamppost; along Mariahilferstrasse there are bike racks only here and there, but they are abundant at the train stations. Donaustadt is better equipped since bike racks are common.
The use of bicycles in Vienna is quite widespread, many cyclists can be seen along the Ring, but the greatest number can be seen in the Prater and along the Danube.