Although the Old Danube is connected neither to the New nor to the main stream of the Danube, for a long time it was one of the many branched arms of the Danube. The Old Danube lies northeast of the main stream and is now one of the city’s most popular recreational areas, also thanks to good public transport links. Several beach resorts, a climbing park, boat rentals, restaurants and a water park offer visitors a wide range of leisure activities.
Old Danube – The Genesis
In the area between the present Old Danube and the New Danube, the river was formerly very branched and formed a far-reaching Augebiet. By the Danube regulation of 1870-75 the “Old Danube” was separated from the main arm and has since been an inland water. Here the first Danube steamboat of Austria was built.
Since the end of the 20th century, there are increasing environmental problems due to over-fertilization and consequent algae formation. Therefore, the old area has been connected to the main arm again since 2016 via a biological soil filter and since then has been enjoying high water quality again. Several renaturation measures in recent years have also led to increased biodiversity, which has enabled the reintroduction of endangered plant and animal species.
Leisure and recreation area
The Old Danube is popular with people from near and far. Every year, around 1.2 million bathers come here to enjoy the urban recreational area.
You can swim here almost everywhere. You can bathe for free at several sunbathing areas such as the Romaplatz, the Rehlacke, or the Kaiserwasser. In addition, there are four summer baths, such as the Gänsehäufel or the federal bath “Alte Donau”, all of which invite you to swim. On the eastern side of the Danube are three bathing jetties, which were equipped with reclining furniture of the “Sinus wave”.
In addition to swimming, there is also a large cycle path network and walking paths along the shore. There are also two sailing and surfing schools, stand up paddling, pedal boat, canoe and kayak rental, the possibility of a boat trip and numerous Schanigärten. Once a year a fireworks display takes place at the lower part, admired by thousands of spectators from the shore.
Location and Map “Alte Donau”: