Danube Island Donauinsel
Vienna has to thank the scheme for the regulation of the Danube for the creation of Danube Island, the popular recreation area, which lies between the relief channel, the New Danube, and the main river. The island extends over 700ha/1,730 acres and includes woodland areas of grass, stretches of water and several kilometers of bathing beaches. At high tide, when the New Danube functions as a flood protection and the locks are opened, there is a bathing ban for two weeks afterwards. By then the water has become clean enough to swim in again. A brochure giving details of each section of the Danube and its recreational facilities is available from the tourist information office.
Danube Island Map
The northern part of Danube Island is a paradise for yachtsmen and surfers as the wind coming from the Vienna Woods blows most strongly here. There are surfing schools and yacht harbors; bicycles can be hired as can rowing, paddle and electric boats (motor boats are not permitted on the New Danube). There are good facilities for swimming and sunbathing and, as in the other parts of the island, restaurants and cafeterias.There are parking facilities at the main access point (via Langenzersdorf); at the north yacht harbor (vie Scheydgasse); on the Überfuhrstrasse and by the Florisdorfer bridge. There are cycle paths on the Florisdorfer bridge, on the Jedleseer footbridge and on the main access road.
As befits their function as a flood barrier, the banks of Danube Island are reinforced with boulders and concrete, but in a few places suitable for bathing a layer of fine gravel covers the stones and there are special areas with shallow water for children. Full-size football pitches, an 800m/ 880 yard long waterski lift and a water chute are available and there is a school for diving, sailing and canoeing. Further attractions include a roller skating rink and a "fun" cycle area. Cyclists can reach the island via the Nordbahn and Brigitenauer bridges, the Reichsbrücke, the Praterbrücke and Weir 1. There are parking facilities by the Reichsbrücke and in Raffineriestrasse.
Here in the south part of Danube Island there are facilities for naturalists and the handicapped. A 1,500m/ 1,650 yard long cyclodrome provides a venue for cycle, roller skating and wheelchair races.Sites are available for summer barbecues, and anglers can find peaceful spots for their sports (a fishing permit is necessary) - some of the best fishing in Vienna is from the banks of the Danube.The "Toter Grund" (dead ground) with its pools and reeds is a protected area in this part of the island.There are parking facilities along the left bank of the New Danube with display boards showing the number of free spaces.
Visitors can reach the south section of the Danube Island by ferry from the right bank of the Danube at Lindmayer's restaurant (Dammhaufen 50) and visit the "Peace Pagoda" at the same time. The pagoda was erected at the restaurant by Elisabeth Lindmayer, the proprietor's daughter, who is Buddhist. In 1982 two monks of the Michidatsu Fujii Order visited her; members of their order had already erected some 70 peace pagodas in Japan, Sri Lanka, India and the U.S. during their pilgrimage for world peace. Elisabeth Lindmayer had the first peace pagoda in Europe erected on the banks of the Danube in 1983. The bell-shaped pagoda is a monument rather than a temple and contains an almost 3m/10ft high seated statue of Buddha under a dome decorated with a band of ornaments and reliefs.
Map of Vienna Attractions