Strandbar Herrmann, is this Vienna’s best beach?  Hidden amongst the high rise office and apartment blocks, retro deckchairs nestle in the golden sand.  Tourist and locals alike, settle down into said deckchairs and take in the sunshine, beer in hand, not a care in the world.  Ah, urban beach bliss!

Strandbar Herrmann :)

Strandbar Herrmann

Woah woah woah woah WOAH!  Hold up just one minute, Vienna has beaches?  Actual beaches … with sand … in Vienna?  Sandy beaches you can lie out on and get a tan?  Sandy beaches you can sit and sip a cocktail on?  Sandy beaches you can build epic sandcastles on?  … Nah you’re telling porky pies surely?

No lies be told here my friends, its all true, there are in fact beaches in Vienna, quite a few in fact.  The Danube river, flowing through the Austrian Capital, offers enough water in the form of its canal (aka ‘the little Danube’), the Old Danube and Danube island, for clever people to create mini beach havens throughout the city.

The Danube in Vienna

The Old Danube draws the athletic types, swimmers, surfers and rowers.  Surrounded by beautiful gardens, it is sometimes refered to as an Oasis.

Danube Island is one of the largest recreational areas in Europe, 21 km long and reportedly hosting an impressive 1.8m trees and bushes, all split over 12 different sections.  Popular with families due to the designated family beach area, Danube island is said to accommodate up to 300,00 visitors on any blissful summer day.

The Little Danube flows through the Vienna old city and is accessible by footpath or by boat.  No a place for swimming, but lined with restaurants and bars, it was is the location of the Strandbar Herrmann beach my friends and I so very much enjoyed.

Strandbar Herrmann

I was lucky enough to toast my pale flesh on the Strandbar Herrmann beach one sunny day in April back in 2010, whilst on an awesome inter-rail journey around central and eastern Europe.  It was a lucky find rather than a planned sunning session.  Strolling around my friends and I spot something a little out of place in the distance, we were intrigued.  Upon further inspection we found soon found a tiny beach paradise and promptly set up camp for the day.

We sat sipping beer in classic style deck chairs whilst swapping a few travel tales from the few days before we met up in Vienna.  With the sand in between our toes and the sound of the water a transient musical backdrop I could have sworn we were on a proper beach, not on a man made, canal side beach bar.  It was fantastic!

Strandbar Herrmann

Strandbar Herrmann

Strandbar Herrmann

Strandbar Herrmann

Strandbar Herrmann

5 or 6 beers later and slightly tipsy, we decided that whilst we loved this beach, if there were one next to our place of work, very little work would get done and we’d probably be given out P45’s fairly swiftly for being inebriated in the workplace.  A space as nice as this just minutes from your desk could be very dangerous … and in fact a few office peeps seemed to be having a VERY long and social lunch whilst we were there.  I bet their afternoon back in the office was fairly unproductive.

If you’re in Vienna and get the right whether I cant stress how important it is that you treat yourself to a day on the beach.  In and around central Europe you’ll see countless architectural masterpieces, endless museum exhibits, thousands of talented street performers … but its not all that often you’ll come across a beach.  Treat yourself and check out one of the below for an amazing day at the beach.

Beaches and beach bars in Vienna