So there you go (or should we rather say swim? Ok that was a bad one, sorry) – Here are 11 facts about all these cool pools we have here in Vienna:
Header image © MA 44/Stadt Wien – Bäder
1. There are 38 public baths run by the city of Vienna
These baths consist of different types: Freibäder (outdoor pools), Hallenbäder (indoor pools), Kombibäder (both in- and outdoor) and Strandbäder (outdoor with access to natural water, e. g. the Alte Donau). There are also two special types that are actually not made for swimming, which are Saunabäder (sauna baths) and one Brausebad (shower bath). In addition to all of that are a couple of privately owned pools that are open to the public.
2. The total amount of water in the pools is 33 million liters
We don’t really know what to do with this information either; just throwing it out there.
3. Gänsehäufel is the largest Freibad in Vienna
The whole area is actually an island located in the Alte Donau. It’s 330.000 m² large and offers space for up to 30.00o people. Besides just swimming and tanning in the sun, you can do a whole bunch of other activities there, like play football, basketball, beach volleyball, tennis, table tennis, mini-golf and they even have a high rope course on offer.
4. The longest waterslide can be found at Schafbergbad
102m of pure waterslide fun awaits you at Schafbergbad. Coming in at second position is the slide at Simmeringer Bad which is 78m long. But who actually cares about the second longest slide, right?
5. There are special pools around the city that are free for kids
These so-called Familienbäder (formerly known as Kinderfreibad) are not accessible for adults without children.
The pools are shallow and kids under 15 years of age get in for free. We also have a feeling that the concentration of urine in the pool might be a tad higher there, as well, but that’s just a wild guess.
So, this is one reason you might want to babysit your friend’s kid for a day.
6. Jörgerbad is the oldest (still running) indoor pool in Vienna
It opened up shortly before the First World War started. In case your history knowledge isn’t the best, that was in 1914.
7. Stadionbad has the largest artificial water area in Austria
8. You can actually live in a Freibad over the summer
Gänsehäufel, Strandbad Alte Donau and Stadionbad all have small huts that are known as Kabanen located on their grounds.
For a seasonal fee, you can rent them (entry into the pool area is included, of course) and use them as your summer residence.
The only ones that you can actually stay in overnight are the ones at Stadionbad, though.
Good news if you’re interested: anybody can register on a waiting list to rent one of these Kabanen. You should be a little patient, however, as the waiting time is typically several years.
9. There is a ship with a public pool on it
You probably knew that already since the Badeschiff is quite popular and makes up quite an obvious central feature of the Donaukanal. But did you also know that these types of pools have a long history in Vienna?
The first one of its kind opened up back in 1904. That was when good old Franz Josef still was the Emperor of Austria.
Who knows, maybe he even took a royal dip there some time.
10. Some of the pools are designed to simulate ocean waves
If you wanna get that proper sea feeling when swimming, then you should visit the Stadionbad, Gänsehäufel, or Laaerbergbad. They all have pools where big wave-making machines (that might not be the correct technical term for it, but eh), make, well, big waves.
11. The city’s pools play the same song by a popular Viennese band at the end of every day called ‘Badeschluss’
A Viennese band, 5 / 8erl in Ehr’n, penned the song Badeschluss in 2017, and ever since, most of the city’s swimming pools play it over their crackling old speakers to signal when it’s their official closing time. It’s the kind of song that you’d want to listen to before going to sleep, actually. Have a listen:
12. One of the pools is a family-run business and the owner cooks there for the guests on a daily basis
Hidden in the Wienerwald amidst giant pine trees, finding the Neuwaldegger Bad is like finding a summer Neverland. The people of this city have been bathing in this family-run swimming pool since the 1920s.
For 30 years, Eva Dolezal has taken care of this small, charming swimming pool in Hernals, and has also cooked and served up meals for guests. And the personal touch she lends to it makes it feel like home for all who visit it.
13. There’s a swimming pool in Vienna in which royalty learned how to swim (and possibly peed)
Located amongst the royal gardens surrounding the Schönbrunn Palace is the Schönbrunnerbad and boy does this place own some history. Kaiser Franz Josef himself mentioned it (well, it would have been another version of its current form today) in a letter to his brother Maximillian. He spoke of spending a whole day in a reservoir of the Obelisk (near the swimming pool) learning how to swim.
After the Second World War, when the English were using Schönbrunn as an administrative base, the soldiers also used it at their own personal swimming pool.
14. One of the most famous Austrian songs in recent years had its music video filmed at a Freibad in Vienna
Just a little fun fact to end this list; you might remember the legendary hit, Kabinenparty (and if you don’t, then fill in this gap in your musical education here). The whole video/party takes place at the Kongressbad in the 16th district.