Vienna’s Danube island is a nearby escape for an easy cycle that involves calm moments, beach bars, as well as the weird and wonderful sights that make this island special.
Here’s a bike tour for those that like to take their pedal adventures easy, with drinks in beach bars in between:
Difficulty: It’s as flat as Holland – no problems taking grandma.
Duration: 2–3 hours
Directions: Follow the line on the map and the words below.
Start your tour on the Reichsbrücke. Yes, it’s a little difficult to get up there, but put that bike into first gear and drag yourself up there. The view on top of the bridge is totally worth it. It’s also the perfect sundowner spot, so if you time it for this, you can bring a date with you on this bike tour, but don’t tell anyone. We don’t want all those madly in love couples making sloppy kissing noises in our ear while we’re watching the sunset.
Once you leave the bridge and roll onto the island, ride towards Kahlenberg (the hill in the distance). So you’ll turn left. And now for the difficult part – ride straight. All the way. We repeat, keep going straight. If you turn to the left or to the right there is only the river and we don’t want to be responsible for any floaters, or hearing any reports of hundreds of bikes ending up in the river. If we do, you’ll find us in Mexico, running a new online magazine called La Ciudad de México taco stand.
If you feel like a beer early on, stop at the rough looking bar, Porto Pollo, or the Summer Station. The Station sometimes plays some quite good Electro music when things are kicking, and sitting on their little beachy part will make you feel like you are on a real island. Aruba, for example. Okay, the flamingos are missing, but use your imagination – take your shoes of, close your eyes, imagine flamingos all around you and feel the sand between your toes. Still no Aruba-feeling? Get back on your bike then!
Now, guess which direction you should go next – yep, straight ahead. While you slowly pedal your way along the island, weaving in amongst the paths, listening to the calming sounds of crying children, and moving out of the way of the real hardcore cyclists who keep dinging at you with their bells, you will pass the Eissalon da ponte near Floridsdorfer Brücke. You’ve already biked for three kilometres. Yes, is the answer, you deserve an ice-cream!
After trying to eat that ice cream faster than the sun melts it, continue your way in the direction of Kahlenberg (that hill in the distance, remember?) and after a little while, stop and listen… no crying children anymore, no cars, no stressed out wannabe bike racers in their disturbingly revealing lycra suits. It’s only you, and the sound of singing birds celebrating the sun and the sound of the shallow water finding it’s way down the river.
It’s time to breath, our friend. You’ve now reached the quiet part of the island, find a nice little spot where you can just sit for a while and be. Whether you prefer sitting on the grass or a sand – you can do it here. You might have to share it with some majestic swans, or some scattered lost Donauinsel souls, but they won’t bother you. It’s a lonely island out here.
If you bike a little further, you will reach the tip of the island. Before turning around, just appreciate yourself for a minute and reflect on how far you’ve come. Then continue your way back on the Transdanubien side of the island. Soak in this calm part of the island one last time before it gets busy again and you wish you were one of the kites floating above.
As you are, strictly speaking, not on the Donauinsel anymore, you will have to turn right at some point to actually get back on it. We chose the Floridsdorfer Brücke, but if you prefer any other one, we won’t judge.
After crossing, keep left and you’ll find yourself amongst the volleyball courts and vibrant heart of the island. If you’re feeling thirsty again, we’d say a stop at the Sansibar is in order – it’s all about latino music, cool drinks and pretty people partying, or chilling waterside, here.
Carry on and you’ll be back at the the Reichsbrücke. If you’ve still got the energy in you, keep going straight – but beware, beyond this point naked people roam free in what is infamously known in Vienna as a FKK (aka. nudist area) of the island. Or there’s also the chilled and funky vibe at the Vienna City Beach Club to ride towards.