Longer days and warmer temperatures have us yearning for some fun and sun in the sand. Vienna might not be blessed with natural beaches, but don’t let that stop you from slipping on your swimmers and sinking your toes into the sand at these places.
We’ve selected our 7 favourite sandy beach bars in the city.
Another city oasis can be found a 1-minute walk away from the metro station, Schottenring. The familiar face of the Tel Aviv beach bar never ages, and they’re back this year looking better than ever. They’ll be doing their sexy thing, filling up with bronzed bodies and bikinis on a daily basis. Their menu has an international look to it with burgers and filled pita breads amongst the mix. And they’re hosting more and more events this summer so keep an eye on their website. This central little beach babe started off with plans to only stick around for one year, but this year marks 10 years of summer love between Tel Aviv and Vienna. Most evenings you’ll see it filled with the sort of crowd that wear makeup to the beach and guys that don’t like wearing a shirt, all enjoying cocktails with umbrellas in them and sinking their toes into the sand, while watching the sunset over Danube.
We recommend… the TLV Beach Teller is definitely not to be missed, and we also recommend combining it with a Großer Limetten Spritzer (a big lime Spritzer).
If Moses won’t go to the beach… bring the beach to Moses! Sorry, we’re not sure what we mean by that either. This oasis in the heart of the city, Strandbar Herrmann, is located on the Donaukanal next to the Urania. The bar beckons all who pass it with its deck chairs, hammocks, loads of sand, music, cool cocktails, delicious food, funky crowd and it’s unique setting on a point sticking out onto the water, with a unmatched view upstream of the canal. The sun overlooks the bar till the sun goes down, so it is a great place for sun bathing throughout the day, and dancing into the early hours of the morning. It has regular DJ gigs with all kinds of the finest world dance music.
Besides beach chairs and sand to settle into, you will also find proper tables and chairs where you can have a bite to eat or sit up like civilised people (wink, wink)
Plus: drinks are relatively cheap (8–10€ euros for a cocktail) and stomach-filler snacks beach style is served everyday till 11pm.
This is one of our favourites in the Sunken City crowd of bars. Palmar offers up some damn fine happy hours, and a real holiday vibe. They also have a second beachy area in the back with a few palm trees that offers a bit of privacy. One tip in saying this – discreetly fool around in the hammock after finishing your drink (we’ve learned this the hard way).
Make sure to… stay until it gets dark when multi-coloured lights come on, and you’ll be magically transported to those holiday vibes. Keep an eye on your belongings though as the area can get quite crowded, especially on weekends.
The perfect mix of relaxed and lively, this intimate waterside location will make you forget you’re in a bar and like you’ve got your own little garden by the river. Complete with sun chairs and a coveted hammocks, this is the perfect spot to get your chill on. Meanwhile, the graffiti on the gate and walls depicting dancing chickens (pollos locos, get it?) and flowers lends a strong hippie vibe.
Drinks are relatively cheap, but heed the strict no BYOB policy – be sure to finish your liquid provisions well beforehand.
Make sure you… party hard after dark in the pavilion to electro sounds, while setting fire to the sand with your dance moves. Then you can cool down with a swim in the river. But don’t try to steal one of the boats anchored in the tiny harbor opposite the beach area, no matter how tempting it may be after your third beer. Trust us, we speak from experience.
Opening times Daily: 2pm–12am (April 20 – September 2)
An excellent choice to meet for afterwork drinks. Located directly opposite the U4 metro station, Stadtpark, is a beach wonderland of epic proportions. Located on an area that becomes an ice skating rink in winter, during summer, this area transforms into a great sunshine chillout spot. Sand in the City has a mellow vibe, with music in the background, people playing beach volleyball on the courts provided, and you lounging in a beach chair. With no less than four cocktail bars, you’re sure to find your favorite (bar tender) here that you will remain loyal to throughout the whole summer. There’s a large selection of food stands, ranging from Asian to classic BBQ. The Freiwild stand offers some excellent snack platters to share.
Make sure to… play a game of volleyball if you’re feeling sporty (be sure to reserve a court, here). Playing beach volleyball against an urban backdrop, can’t be beat. Reward yourself with a drink after – you deserve it.
The Sansi Beach Club is situated directly on a pier over the Danube, so you can blow smoke rings over the river as you indulge in a fancy shisha and listen to fashionably outdated hip hop hits and Latino music. During the happy hour between 6pm-8pm, cocktails are 5.50€ each. Conveniently, you can also order an “XXL jumbo version” of all alcoholic drinks (dangerous, but hey, you only live once) priced between 15–18€ for 0.86l. Quite the economical hangover, we’d say.
Make sure to… cross over the wooden boardwalk to the Sansibar pavilion perched over the water where some crazy parties go down once the sun has gone down – dancing is encouraged.
Opening times Open daily: 11am–4am (from May to September)
This is where you can find the real riviera feeling in Vienna…on a river. This area, situated just below the Reichsbrücke on either side of the river, hosts several beach bars and restaurants where you can drink and eat, and maybe even make a little sand castle in the sand when you get drunk and silly enough. The iconic Ponte Cagrana pontoon bridge connects the Copa beach with the Sunken City, located on the shores of the Donauinsel. While plenty perceive this place as plain mainstream, attracting a (insert insulting words here) kind of crowd, the city is working at rejuvenating this riverside playground and one visit make most realise this beautiful spot is underrated.
Good to know… you can rent a small boat for up to four people at the Booteria until midnight if the weather is good. Rates start at 16€ per hour.
Where: a short walk (approx. 250m) from the Schottenring U2 station heading towards Schwedenplatz
Opening times Daily 11am–1am
The veteran drinking dock of Vienna’s waterway, the ADRIA Wien, has had its annual makeover, and has also put on considerable weight. Still with its rugged DIY look of wood and steel rods, the ADRIA’s sandy stretches now spans the length of a modestly-sized dairy farm along the water’s edge. Its orginal bar is serving up pasta and burgers, and a vast range of drinks (including their popular house creation, the ADRIA Spritzer). The staff are down-to-earth friendly here, and the atmosphere is all about lazy days with toes in the sand, head in the clouds.
Two baby bars are located in its neighbouring sandpits filled with deck chairs, with one of them serving up ‘craft drinks.’ Meanwhile, directly next to the funny looking glass house, burgers (including vegetarian) and burritos are being served up by the street food crowd from Les Tartares. At anytime of day, ADRIA has the feeling of a wharf with ship horns blaring, rocking ships in the dock, and seagulls squawking.
We really like… how they offer free self-service flavoured water at the bar.