|National parks in close proximity to large conurbations are not subject to the normal conflicts between conservation and ecological tourism but to those between conservation and urban recreational requirements. The Danube Floodplains National Park, Lower Austria is situated to the east of Vienna, the capital city of Austria, with a population of 1.6 million. Between June 2000 and May 2001, visitors were monitored in the Lower Austrian part of the National Park. An analysis of the results of the interviews, as well as their integration with the results obtained using long-term video monitoring, counts by human observers and route analysis, led to the identification of specific visitor categories with individual behavioral patterns and spatio-temporal distribution. In particular, regular recreational visitors from adjacent residential areas were very concerned about overcrowding and would react to the high visitor frequency through a change in their habits. This alteration of visiting habits would lead to grave problems for the environmental management of the National Park.