We tested one of the free beaches of the city. And loved it.
Vienna is famous for many things, like architecture, classical music, eccentric artists, Hapsburg heritage. The list is long, but I am sure only few people would put beaches on it.
Vienna has a great number of natural waters, and you can swim in many of them. Unfortunately, most of the information about this opportunity is in German about, but here is an English language page that can be a starting point to discover the locations.
We tested one of them recently.
Romaplatz is a free of charge bath at Alten Donau (Old Danube). Actually it is the old riverbed of the Danube, now a backwater with holiday homes, recreation areas, sports facilities. As it is rather a lake than a river the water can get really warm in summer.
Romaplatz is just a good walk from the underground station Neue Donau, not too far from the city center.
Do not expect seaside promenades or high-tech infrastructure, these do not seem important here. There is a public toilet, some buffets where you can grab some drinks or food, a large grassy place where you can put your towel – and picnic basket – under the trees. And there are some narrow paths leading to the water.
Get prepared, there is no changing rooms, it is up to you how you solve this challenge. Viennese people are not too shy.
On Sunday morning there were only a few people there in the morning, but in the afternoon, it became rather packed with visitors.
Besides German we heard a lot of Slavic words and some English, probably foreign student and expats, just enjoying the sun, the water and the laid-back atmosphere in nature.
If it is summertime and you have a half day in the Austria Capital, take a dip in a natural water in Vienna is. It is a low cost and unique experience.