Sports and recreation on the Alte Donau

The Alte Donau is a "green lung" for the people of Vienna, just a short underground ride from city centre.

small boat on a reed-shore

Up to 1.2 million people visit the natural beauty spot and highly popular recreation area every year in search of leisure and relaxation.

A total of around 500 sailing boats, pedaloes and rowing boats are available for use by visitors. Some 40 restaurants, cafés and bars and a busy programme of events add to the lake's attractiveness as a recreation area.

Overview of sports and recreation facilities

  • Surface area 1.6 square kilometres:
    • swimming, sailing, windsurfing
    • fish stocks: zander, wels catfish, pike, rudd, bleak, bream
  • Eleven public lidos with leisure facilities
  • Bathing jetties and rafts
  • Two sailing and windsurfing schools
  • Stand-up paddling
  • Boat hire facilities: electric boats, pedaloes, sailing and rowing boats, canoes and kayaks
  • Extensive grassy areas
  • Restaurants, cafés and bars, many with gardens and outdoor areas
  • Promenade with footpaths and cycle ways
  • Several dog zones and a dog exercise area at Ferdinand-Kaufmann-Platz

Swimming in the Alte Donau

When it comes to having fun in the water, the Alte Donau has something for everyone. Alongside several public lidos there are a large number of bathing places where visitors can swim free of charge. The outstanding quality of the water is regularly tested and verified to ensure unclouded enjoyment for swimmers.

Free bathing places

There are many popular free bathing places around the Alte Donau, including the sunbathing lawns at Romaplatz and Rehlacke, both in the 22nd district, around the Kaiserwasser arm, and the newly revamped ArbeiterInnenstrand sunbathing lawn, opened in 2015. The Alte Donau gained a further attractive free bathing spot with the opening of the new "Strombucht" sunbathing lawn on Dampfschiffhaufen island in July 2016.

Bathing jetties

Kagraner shore with stands, concrete steps and meadow terraces. In the foreground are reeds and water, in the background trees.

A total of eleven bathing jetties on the Alte Donau are available for sunbathing and swimming – including a newly designed bathing area on the lower section of the Alte Donau at the end of Große-Bucht-Straße that opened in 2012.

Comprising a gently sloping pebble beach, a shallow zone for paddling and a brand new bathing jetty, the spot is ideal for families with young children, while diving platforms along the large U-shaped jetty make the facility equally attractive for older children and teens. The extensive decked platforms and seating areas are perfect for sunbathing and relaxing.

The Kagran lakeshore was also given a new look in 2012, with a bathing jetty and adjacent grassy areas and terraces for recreational users. Sports lovers are also well catered for, with a link to the cycle way network and a finish area and spectator stand for rowing races.

The use of these facilities is free of charge.

Public lidos

The four public lidos around the Alte Donau lakeshore are great for a cooling dip in the summer season. A further seven lidos are run by clubs, associations or private organisations.

Logo of the LIFE+ Programme of the European Union: The word "Life" in yellow, surrounded by yellow stars

The LIFE+ Alte Donau project was funded under the LIFE+ Programme of the European Union as part of the "Environment Policy and Governance" strand.

Further information

Contact for this page:
City of Vienna | Water Management
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