Hot in the City

Vienna has no sandy beaches like Cannes or Genoa, no romantic river walks like Budapest or Paris, no central harbour like Hamburg, Trieste or Marseilles. But don’t be fooled! There is plenty of water in Vienna, and lots of ways to enjoy it – particularly (but not only) along the Old Danube, where shaded walks and bike paths wind along past vast grassy beaches under ancient oaks, public docks and boat launches with wooden steps down to the water, with swimming, boating and sailing clubs of every description. Here are a few tips to get you started.



On a fresh, early summer’s day, there is a special pleasure in gliding along a beautiful stretch of water in a canoe. You can rent a boat on the Alte Donau, or even book a five-day training course at ASKÖ Wien (, where you will get an introduction to the boat, paddle and further equipment and learn some basic strokes. Besides after several days practice on the river, your week will end with a whitewater tour as the crowning achievement. Shorter courses are also available, but like anything else, it’s more fun when you know what you’re doing.


Water Polo 

Stroking powerfully through the water and tossing the ball, a bonk on the head and and a tempest of frantic splashing: that’s water polo, offered to people of all ages at the IWV Summerstage ( The club’s aim is to connect players from all over the world to share the fun of the sport. From October until June, training takes place at the university’s sports centre Auf der Schmelz or at the Stadionbad where all the action shifts in the summer months.



But for something really different, check the Wakeboard Lift at U2 station Donaustadtbrücke.

This is a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing techniques on a four-pole zip-line cable of 832 m in length and a dizzy 11 m in height. Some ski jump-like obstacles along the course guarantee a lift-off and can add a few high jinx for those seeking a serious adrenaline rush. Open to anyone 8 years or older – although you’ll need both top fitness and good nerves! Membership not required.  €16 for adults; €13 for youth. Reservations required.

 VR_13_6_p5_© Jacqueline Klooster_WEB

Underwater Rugby 

For what may be the world’s weirdest team sport, you might try underwater rugby. Like traditional rugby only in name, Underwater rugby takes place in a pool 3.5 to 5 m deep as two teams with six players (plus six substitutes) battle for a ball, filled with saltwater.  Heavy and sloppy to handle, it is still fit for passing (or dropping) and scoring by getting it somehow into the opposing goal, a metal basket of 40 cm diameter. It’s a fast and exhausting game; therefore, the subs replace their players on the fly. Strength, speed, mobility and long breath are all important. One special attraction: It is often played in mixed-gender teams to help fill the roster of this quirky pleasure. Check UWRC-Wien for a Schnuppertraining visit.


Canoe: ASKÖ Wien,

Water Polo: IWV Summerstage


Underwater Rugby:

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