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Your guide for where to go swimming this summer – the top 5 swim spots near Vienna
Despite being a landlocked country, devoid of what any beach loving Aussie would call ‘real’ beaches, you can find relaxed places to go swimming in Vienna this summer and relax by the waterside.
We’ve done some solid ‘research’ the last few weeks (laid by the water in the sun) to gather below the top 5 swim spots near Vienna. Most are 90 minutes or less from the city centre by public transport. We’ve tried and tested each of these over the past few summers to ensure their quality and access to snacks & coffee.
Each place has its own perks and personality, but all will satisfy your craving for summer vibes and have you feeling like you’ve escaped the city. Most importantly they’ll get you out exploring Vienna’s surrounds to really make the most of your summer and satisfy your beach vibe cravings.
Let’s reveal the Top 5 places to go swimming this summer in Vienna!
Let’s get the obvious one out the way first, shall we? The Alte Donau is a Viennese playground and summer residence, with multiple summery activities and endless options for relaxing by the water and swimming if the weather and geese allow you to.
There’s a very long stretch of swimming options and public pool areas along Arbeiterstrandbadstrasse that have varying levels of entrance fees and perks for access, but our favourite spot on the Alte Donau is actually a free area that’s marked as ‘Arbeiterinnenstrand’.
It’s a decent 15-minute walk from the Alte Donau U1 ubahn station, but once you get there it’s a beautiful lush green meadow, with public picnic tables, trees to hang hammocks from (we love our Ticket to the Moon double purple hammock!)
The real perk of this spot is the amazingly retro cafe/pub over the road for ice cream and food breaks – Drunter & Druber is a true authentic working (wo)mans restaurant, with an honestly terrifying Snow White wall art and the cheapest, most delicious ribs and potato salad you’ve ever eaten. Ok that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement but just trust me, the place is hilariously good/bad!
The bar restaurant feels like it’s stuck in about 1993, which was likely it’s heyday, but the food is excellent, the service gets chirpy if you banter and you will always find a few locals perched by the bar in a haze of smoke. Don’t worry though – sitting outside on the terrace watching the world go by is the best part!
If you want something more family-friendly and manicured, our second choice for Alte Donau swim days is Gänsehäufel, a gorgeous well kept swim spot with beach volleyball courts, on-site restaurants, a view across to the United Nations offices and options to swim in the pools or the Alte Donau. You could easily set up camp here for the day and feel a million miles away from city life.
The only downside is that getting here is a bit of a bugger with public transport, you would need to get the U1 u-Bahn to stop Kaisermuhlen VIC, then a bus, then walk for 15 minutes. If you have a car, or it falls within the Drive Now service zone you can drive there. Just prep yourself for it to be a little trickier to get to – but definitely worth the effort!
Overall, the Alte Donau is a reliable option for fun swim times in Vienna – it can get crowded on weekends or during heat waves, but most people are friendly and it’s never too competitive to find a grassy patch to lay your towel down.
If you’re lucky you might even have one of the roving Spritzer sellers come by and offer you an afternoon refreshment – and who could resist?
How to get there: Take the U1 u-bahn in direction Wien Leopoldau, and get off at ‘Alte Donau’ stop. rom there you will likely be pulled by the crowd along Arbeiterstradgasse twards all the best swim spots.
Neufelder am See
If you’re a diving fiend you may have already heard about this spot, a surprisingly swift 40-minute train ride outside of Vienna. Neufelder am See is actually a man-made lake, from the site of a former mine, which sounds way creepier than it is because you guys, this spot is gorgeous.
Clean and lush grassy areas, funky coffee spots, food stalls and miles of clear fresh water for swimming in. The lake itself is, according to Wikipedia ‘self-cleansing’ as it has a natural spring at the bottom and the depth varies by a few centimeters yearly, so the water is always super clear and clean.
My opinion? The lake water was the right balance of fresh but not freezing, not too reedy and full of grass (the Alte Donau can get a bit ‘messy’ with the grasses that keep the water clean) and the bed of the lake was manageable to walk on if you are a gimp like me who always falls over stones and pebbles. I have had many awkward exits from lakes where my feet stumble over rocks at the worst possible time! Here, the lake bed is a good mix of sand and some stones.
The facilities are fantastic, making the €5.70 day ticket price worthwhile. There are beach volleyball courts, kids swimming pools, boat hire, the on-site dive school & rental but honestly, the huge expanse of pristine lake and space to sunbake or sit under the shade of the trees beside the water is alluring enough.
My dive specialist friend Viki also let me know that this lake is the biz-ness for anyone keen on diving, being the closest and deepest lake near Vienna, they have a great setup and from the amount of divers we saw, it is definitely a hot spot.
We loved this lakeside swim spot and will be returning throughout the summer, as it takes almost as long for us to get to the Alte Donau as it does to here, and the space and water quality was quite lovely!
If you really want to make a holiday of it, Neufelder am See is also a camping site, where many families, couples in caravans and visitors stay overnight to enjoy a lakeside break. You can check the pricing details for camping by clicking here – but it would be a lovely mini-escape from Vienna when the sun is shining.
How to get there:
The easiest way to get out here is to take a Regional Express (REX) train from Vienna’s Hauptbahnhof station to Neufeld/Leitha Bahnhof. A return ticket was €9 per person (but check the OEBB website for up to date pricing by clicking here).
From the train station, it’s a 500-meter walk, past an adorable vintage steam train, to get to the swimmbad area. As the express trains go only every 90 minutes or so, I’d recommend getting an early train so you can arrive about 10ish, spend the day, and if you leave by 4:30-5pm you can be back in Vienna in time for dinner.
Ok, let’s get this out the way early – Neusiedlersee is a shit lake for swimming.
I will never forget (forgive?) that this was the place for my first ever visit to an Austrian lake. Austria’s lakes were long-hyped by Stefan as the most beautiful in the world to me – we left early in the morning and he convinced me that I would ‘get used to’ swimming in lakes. Lo and behold we arrived at Neusiedlersee and it was…knee deep, muddy, lukewarm water. Stretching for miles.
So, do I think you should go here for a swim day? Hell No.
HOWEVER (before the haters come at me in the comments) it’s a great spot for watersports, activities, picnicking, cycling, boating…just about anything else you can imagine doing on water. Hell we’ve even ice-skated here once!
It is beautiful here and absolutely the lake to come to for activities – which as we know, Austrians love some activities alongside their relaxation. So come here for kitesurfing, paddleboarding, boating, cycling, walking, you can even find some pretty adorable Heuriger’s and restaurants.
Neusiedlersee is beloved by the Viennese as a city-escape spot in winter and summer, there’s a broad collection of Pensions and B&B’s to stay in if you want to make a short break out of it. The atmosphere here is relaxed and feel a world away from Vienna. It’s a perfect option for sporty types and families who want to get out of sweaty Vienna!
How to get there: There are regional express trains from Hauptbahnhof that will get you to station Purbach/Neusiedlersee in under an hour. Check tickets and timing at the OEB website here.
To view all swim spots on this list, you can click this link to view a custom Google Map with them already saved.
100 Tage Sommer
This magical oasis has been mentioned before on the blog, but after a return visit recently, even in kind of dodgy weather, it still remains one of my favorite ‘hidden secret’ getaways of Vienna swim spots. It is also, most definitely the closest thing to a beach you are likely to find in Vienna.
100 tage Sommer is a stunning swim spot, man-made beach and electro chill day bar – complete with luscious sun beds and loungers – located right opposite the SCS shopping centre.
It’s a very easy tram ride on the ‘Badner Bahn’ tram, direct from the city centre, followed by a ten-minute walk to uncover this mini paradise.
The place is also large and spread out enough to account for all kinds of visitors – families play in the sand and shallow water, oldies lounge on the grassy expanses in the shade, while hungover ‘cool kids’ flirt and strut by the bar that comes complete with DJ and drinks specials. You’ll likely also find the decadent sun-lounger day beds, sprawled with a mix of hot young things and bold divorcees, cheers-ing their next hookup with a cheeky mimosa while flaunting toned abs and tans.
Honestly, it’s great for people watching.
What I like about it though is the super chill atmosphere, the availability of sun loungers, umbrellas, half-decent food from the restaurant and a lot of space to swim, nap, sunbake and if you wish, strut!
The water here is cool, clear and lovely and the setting of small coloured houses by the lakeside is like a storybook. The incongruity of this magical oasis hidden behind a carpark and almost-abandoned hotel is quite jarring – but that’s Vienna for you, always hiding it’s best secrets just around the next corner.
I’m not sure who you have to know to get access to one of the gorgeous beach boxes that sit on the lake itself, but they’d have to be worth their weight in gold!
100 Tage Sommer is an easy-access fun swim spot in reach from Vienna, that still manages to feel like a summer holiday, even if it is cloudy.
How to get there: The ‘Badner Bahn’ tram (officially the Wiener Lokal Bahn, in directionBaden Josefplatz) will take you station Vosendorfer SCS in approximately 30 minutes from the Opera/Karlsplatz station. Once there, follow google maps directions to get to 100 tage Sommer, you need to go behind the Pyramid hotel and along a side street for a few minutes, before you hit a giant unexpected carpark.
Once you see the canvas signs for 100 tage summer you’ll be fine!
I saved the best for last you guys – or rather, the easiest to access and best option if you just want to pop in somewhere that feels like the countryside, but is still easily accessible from Vienna.
Neuwaldeggerbad is a secret haven hidden in the 17th district that manages to be a cross between a lush green wild forest, and a 1950’s style swimming pool. There’s something delightfully retro about it that immediately makes you chill out.
Maybe it’s the old-fashioned swimming signs on entrance, the oaky wooden changerooms still accessible with keys, or maybe it’s because the pool is perched high up on a hill surrounded by villas and baroque architecture. Either way Neuwaldegger bad is simple relaxation done well.
BIG caveat with this though – it is a privately owned and run pool, and the entrance fees are steep compared to regular public pool Vienna prices. You’ll be forking out €17 for a day ticket, which is well above regular €5 Vienna prices. However, this also keeps the crowds at bay, and the expanse of area you get to enjoy, and feel like you’re in a timewarp private country club and personalized warm service does make up (almost) for the price.
So this may not be for everyone, but at least a handful of times a year, we make the trek out to Neuwaldegger bad to enjoy the refined atmosphere, the rolling hillside and the immaculately clean and refreshingly cold pool. There are occasions where weekends can get quite busy with families, but if you are early enough you can score a good position and there’s plenty of space to sprawl.
The prime spot here are the gorgeous rustic, double-bed sized wooden sunloungers that adorn one of the hillsides. Perfect for lounging about on and a step-hop distance to the pool.
I love Neuwaldeggerbad as a treat getaway in summer. The restaurant always serves delicious food- some of it homemade. The pool itself is large, deep and refreshing, and sitting under the terrace umbrellas and tables, or in the grassy knolls to unwind is a world away from Vienna.
Definitely worth a treat-yourself visit!
How to get there: Take the tramline 43 all the way to the end and alight at Neuwaldegger end station. From there it’s technically a short walk…but the carpark and pool itself is uphill, so brace yourself!
There are plenty of ways to get yourself feeling the summer vibes in Vienna with these summer swim spots – trust me, if I can find a way as a transplanted beach-baby Aussie, you can too. There’s a handy dandy map for you below to pick out which Vienna swim spot you’ll try this weekend, so please let me know in the comments what you’re planning and how you liked it!
To view all swim spots on this list, you can click this link to view a custom Google Map with them already saved.
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