One arm of the Danube river caresses the very centre of Vienna. And this “Donaukanal” is home to an annual urban festival full of riverside food, drink, culture, and entertainment: the Donuakanaltreiben.
- Party time down by the waterfront with numerous live acts
- More than just music. For example:
- Street food market
- Flea market
- Boat tours
- Art and design market
- Sports and kids activities
- 2020 dates: TBA (May 24-26 in 2019)
- See also: How to find the Danube
Festival on the Danube canal
The Danube’s a bit of a mystery in Vienna. It’s not where you expect it to be. And where you expect it to be is something else: a river but not THAT river. Sort of. This article explains.
Anyway, part of the Danube does indeed run along the top end of Vienna’s centre. It’s what’s left of the original route before the geography gods decided to shift the river further north.
This channel is the Donaukanal (Danube Canal) and provides a little bit of downtown waterside relaxation for the Viennese, with boat moorings, cafés, clubs, and bars. Once a year, the Donaukanaltreiben turns this stretch of water into a party location, with a colourful mix of entertainment that celebrates urban life.
The festival features an eclectic mix of things…
For example, various local bands, DJs and other musicians perform live on open-air stages or at “aftershow” parties.
Take a boat tour, browse the flea market, visit the art and design market, watch the water sports, or simply relax at the waterside.
Quite apart from the food and drink outlets that dot the river banks, there’s the Vienna Food Market with street food, snacks, drinks, and more.
Think of Donaukanaltreiben as an opportunity to soak up a little local atmosphere and join the Viennese as they worship at the altar of urban culture.
2020 dates and tickets
I’ve not confirmed 2020 dates, yet (watch this space). In 2019, Donuakanaltreiben ran from Friday, May 24 to Sunday May 26, 2019.
(Entry is free.)
For more details on specific locations and activities, see the official festival website (you may need to use Google translate).
My tip: just drop down in the afternoon or early evening and see what’s going on as you wander along the banks of the Donaukanal.
How to get to the event
The festival locations typically stretch from Spittelau (at the NE end of the Donuakanal), along the central wharf and down as far as Franzensbrücke. Walk northeast from the city centre and you hit the water relatively quickly.
Various subway stations also pop you out alongside the canal. For example:
- Schwedenplatz (U1 and U4 lines)
- Schottenring (U2 and U4)
- Roßauer Lände (U4)
- Friedensbrücke (U4)
- Spittelau (U4 and U6)