Swim in the Danube in Vienna — kind of

by Tara Isabella Burton

Photo Andy Christiani / Getty

IT’S midnight in Vienna. The operas are over; the amblers along the Ringstrasse have long since retired to bed. But on the canal, the beat goes on.

Apart from an eye-catching swimming pool, Badeschiff is also a nightclub on a converted freighter in the Danube. It embodies the anarchic, grunge-inflected hedonism of Vienna’s riotous young. Electronic music blares over the beer garden until long after the clock strikes midnight; an enormous public pool runs the length of the freighter’s roof.

Vienna’s best open-air nightclub

During the day, it’s a bucolic pleasure-boat: a place for harried mothers to bring their easily-distracted children. But it’s in the evening, as the Danube Canal transforms into Vienna’s best open-air nightclub, that the Badeschiff really shines.

Loud, smoky, crowded — boasting three-euro Jaeger shots — the Badeshiff is hardly the Opera Ball. But tonight, in this warm autumn breeze that is given Vienna a Mediterranean atmosphere, there’s nowhere that I’d rather be.

Badeschiff is at Franz-Josefs Kai in the Inner Stadt.