Going by the way June started out, we can safely assume this summer promises a lot of sunshine and warm temperatures, ideal for outdoor activities, especially those that involve water. What better way to cool off during a hot summer day than by taking a dip in a swimming pool, pond, or lake? Vienna may not be known for its ponds and lakes, but along the Danube’s banks, you will find numerous spots to soak up the sun and go for a swim in the designated spots. If you take your swimming water with a little bit more chlorine and in a smaller basin (no judgement), Vienna has quite an impressive selection of public and private swimming pools, where you can cool off in the water or practice your swim strokes.
Whether you are planning a staycation this summer or if you will be visiting Vienna, we have put together this practical guide of top swimming pools you can visit. Keep in mind that due to the current restrictions surrounding the pandemic, they operate at a reduced capacity to ensure the distancing requirements, which means that reserving a spot is usually mandatory. Check the traffic light system set up for availability and booking your ticket in advance.
Without further ado, here is our selection of the top pools in Vienna to visit this summer:
A hidden gem nestled in the Schönbrunn park, this Strandbad is the place to be if you wish to get a tan in the place where Emperor Franz Josef learned how to swim – or so the story goes. In the 19th century, there used to be water reservoir above the Obelisk Fountain, which was later converted into an imperial swimming school at the turn of the 20th Century. With the new millennium, it changed to a private ownership, which operates the Bad to this day.
Schönbrunnerbad also has three heated outdoor swimming pools, making it possible for the pools to stay open even outside the city’s summer schedule. Among its amenities, it boasts a fitness and wellness area (with infrared cabins and sauna), a beach volleyball court and a wellness restaurant in a beautiful pavilion, serving light summer dishes. Patrons have the option to bring their own beach towel or to rent lounge chairs around the lawn or on the sun terrace. While there is no designated play area for children, families may be thrilled to bring their little ones to the small pool (one-meter deep) for a swim or just frolicking in the water.
The entry fees may seem a bit steep, with a day ticket costing 15 Euro (13 Euro if you arrive past 13.30 hrs. or 10 Euro after 17.00 hrs.), to which additional charges for a cabin, lounge chair, fitness and wellness area can be optionally added. The area is easily accessible by car, although the Bad itself does not have parking facilities. It can also be reached by public transport with the U4 line to the Schönbrunn station, from where it is about a ten-minute walk through the park in the direction of the Obelisk Fountain.
Top Tip: LUV Beach Club
Holiday flair like in the hip hotspots on Mykonos & Ibiza in what is probably the most exclusive outdoor pool in Austria.
The ambience: Greek glam meets Schlosspark
The culinary concept: delightful breakfast, best of bowls, sexy salads & fine summerfood
The other highlights: lots of events from pool yoga in the morning to “Rosé Friday” to “Saxophone Night”
LUV Beachclub Schönbrunn
Schönbrunner Schlosspark 1, 1130 Vienna
More Information visit their official Website: https://www.luvbeachclub.com/
Can you imagine being at the top of a water toboggan and just before you allow yourself to slide down, you catch a glimpse of Vienna’s skyline? At Schafbergbad, you don’t need to use your imagination, as this is the exact view you can expect. Situated at the foot of the Potzleinsdorfer Schlosspark hill, this terraced public summer Bad offers an amazing view, a family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of amenities.
Right next to the large basin, you will find a water slide and a diving tower. There is a heated pool as well as another one for children. The meadows provide ample space for relaxation between swims and for soaking up some sun, while the sporty types will be happy to know that there are some amenities to get the body moving outside the pools: courts for volleyball, football and ball games, table tennis and trampoline. Families would greatly enjoy the playground as well as the parent-children area. Bonus: if you reach the pool and realize you forgot a swimwear piece, you can shop at the Bad directly, and naturally, for your appetite, there is a restaurant as well as a kiosk.
The entry fees are quite standard for a public swimming pools, meaning 3 euros for adults and 2 for seniors and youths. The area is accessible by public transportation with the bus 42A, which you can take from Hernals. For those driving, there is a parking lot nearby, where costs would go up to 5 euro per day.
Yet another pool that is appropriate for all age groups and preferences, the Kongressbad offers you a sports basin, as well as a regular basin, which you can jump into coming off the 64-meter long water slide. There is a shallow spot ideal for children, who would also love the designated area with a playground. In between cooling off in the water basins, sporty pool-goers would enjoy the football and beach soccer pitches, as well as the beach volleyball court and an outdoor fitness area. Brainiacs would be delighted by putting their sharp strategic minds to the test by playing chess with the large pieces. And naturally, there is a spacious meadow for sunbathing, as well as a restaurant and buffet.
As it is a public swimming pool, the prices are the same as for the other city-run pools. In terms of accessibility, it is easy to reach the pool by public transportation, as it a few minutes away from Hernals, where the tram line 43 and the S-Bahn S45 stop. If you arrive by bike, you can leave it in the bicycle parking space.
With a breathtaking view above all Vienna, this pool would definitely provide you a memorable experience when you wish to cool off in the water. And of course, with numerous pictures. Atop the hills of Dobling, the Krapfenwaldl Bad or “Krawa”, as it is affectionately nicknamed, has started to attract more visitors in recent years, especially among the younger crowd and those fond of taking snapshots for social media. Once you get there, it’s quite easy to see the appeal. The historical entrance has been retained and there are some modernist statues, which lend it a very Vintage Vienna air.
The pool is equipped with a sports basin, as well as a regular one for families and spa basin with massage jets. There is plenty of room to stretch and soak up the sun on the green lawns, but for those who like to keep active in the sun, there are beach volleyball and football courts, not to mention, a small playground for children. All this for the same reasonable prices of public swimming pools.
In terms of accessibility, the pool is accessible with public transportation, by taking the bus 38A from Heiligenstadt to the Krapfenwaldlgasse stop or by car. Either way, there is a bit of walking all the way to the pool.
Gänsenhäfel is a wide area dedicated to summery recreational activities in lower Alte Donau area. There are swimming basins available, as well as a wide area designated as a beach, where you can actually swim in this Danubian lake. Nudists may feel welcome here, as there is a designated area for them, with sauna and a buffet.
The island offers numerous recreational facilities, including the ones we have seen in other similar pool areas, such as beach volleyball and football courts, table tennis, a fitness area and a family corner. In addition, there is a high rope adventure course for children and adults alike, minigolf, a stand-up paddling center and a tennis pitch. Along the shore, there is an area designated for children in addition to the wider one for all groups. The water quality is always monitored and tested, which you can always check on this page, depending on your preferred location. If you are not fond of the idea of swimming in the natural water even with the testing, you can take a dip in one of the few basins, including one with artificial waves or you can slide down the water toboggan.
Sounds enticing, right? Let us tell you how to get there. You can easily arrive by car, bike, or scooter, as there are parking spots available for all these vehicles. By public transportation, you can either have a long walk from U1 – Kaisermühlen or take the bus lines 92A and 92B to the stop Schüttauplatz for a briefer route. The best thing about this entire aqua recreational area is that you can enjoy it all for the same low fees as the other public swimming pools in Vienna.
We saved our favorite (and possibly, Vienna’s favorite) for last. Oberlaa Spa is more than pools and sun-tanning. It encompasses the entire experience of spa, meaning the focus is on relaxation and tranquility, leaving your worries soak away in the warm 36 degrees thermal waters.
The indoor swimming pools range from tranquility stone to a grotto pool. You can dive practice your diving skills or you can enjoy pure bliss in the tranquility pool. Or, because it is summer, you can step or swim outside, where the water is the same balmy temperature and enjoy the massage jets. And naturally, there is an sports basin, in which you can enjoy cooler temperatures, while doing your laps. To cap it off, you can enjoy the sauna facilities or grab a bite or something to drink. Children would also find themselves amused indoors by the water slides, the adventure pool or even the toddler pool for the little ones, while outside they can enjoy all this in the “Wilderness”.
The full spa experience can include add-ons, such as fitness, aquatic group classes, massages, and treatments, either booked individually or for couples. With such incredible services, it can be expected that the rates are on the steeper side, with a price per ticket starting from 21.50 euro for an adult for up to three hours. A comprehensive offering and price list, as well as the instructions on booking in advance can be found on the spa website.
The spa has its own parking lot, which is great news if you are driving there. By public transportation, the extension of the U1 line all the way to Oberlaa means a very brief and convenient walk from the U-Bahn station to the spa entrance.
Which pool or Strandbad in Vienna is your favorite, or which one do you look forward to visiting the most this summer? How did you experience them this summer? We invite you to let us know in the comments. In the meantime, we wish you a sunny summer – don’t forget your sunscreen! – and an enjoyable time at any of the pools you may have been inspired to visit!
(c) Photo Credit: Drew Dau