Plenty of places in Vienna let you sip a coffee with a slice of cake while you watch the world go past. The Donauturm does too, though life goes past far below, not outside.
- Extensive views of the city & surrounds
- Viewing platform at >150m
- Revolving tower restaurant & café
- …feature local specialties
- Book tower tickets* online
- See also:
(NB: The café is temporarily not rotating at the time of writing, pending arrival of a new drive mechanism.)
The Danube Tower
(Press photo © Donauturm)
Coffee with a view is a remarkably accurate description of the Donauturm. Austria’s tallest building looks out across Vienna and the Danube river.
Once inside the tower, express lifts take you up over 150m to the split-level viewing platform. This offers a 360° view across the entire city and beyond, with both open-air and weather-safe viewing options.
From here, you can see, for example:
- The United Nations complex
- The Danube (hard to miss, it being long, wide, watery, and river-shaped)
- The wind farms beyond the city limits
- Various landmark buildings, including:
- Stephansdom cathedral
- The Votivkirche
- The Giant Ferris Wheel (not quite so “giant” from up here)
- The Prater entertainment complex
- The Spittelau incinerator with its remarkable contemporary design
- The Steinhof church built by Otto Wagner, which glints gold in the distance on the hills to the west
- My apartment building (probably not on your must-see list)
Interactive multilingual touchscreens let you zoom in and learn more about individual buildings and what it is you’re actually looking at.
Food and drink
(Press photo © Donauturm)
A café sits above the platform with a restaurant even higher up (170m). Both venues revolve, taking around 24 minutes to do a full turn: just about long enough for a cappuccino with a view.
The entire façade moves, which means your field of vision always remains clear because the window turns with you. The décor has a simple retro look and feel.
(NB: At the time of writing, the rotation function for the café had been suspended pending construction and implementation of a new propulsion mechanism. Check locally for when the café starts rotating again.)
On the culinary front, the offerings are what you might call a reflection of Vienna and its environs, with local, traditional and seasonal specialties, wines from the region, etc. The prices aren’t cheap, but that reflects the logistical difficulties faced by such an establishment.
I had no time to stop, but the thought of a relaxing beer in the café, watching the anthill of activity below, was one I’ll turn to reality sometime.
Incidentally, the tower also has a pub-restaurant on the ground floor, too, though with more limited opening times.
Ticket and visitor tips
Tickets are available, for example, from the tower direct or online sources.
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
- I visited during the day, but I imagine Vienna by night on a clear evening provides quite a spectacular view.
- If you do want to eat/drink when there, check locally for seasonal opening times and whether reservations are necessary. Last time I looked, for example, the restaurant needed a reservation
- On that topic, the Donauturm is one of my suggestions for a romantic dinner location, especially given the evening view. They have romance packages available.
- Check your accessibility needs before visiting. The Danube Tower is a listed building so it’s not possible to adapt it to all accessibility requirements
- The Vienna Pass (see a review) gets you up the tower once for free
- If you have time, enjoy the park around the tower, too. The Donaupark has gardens rich in bees and butterflies, water features, a miniature railway, small sculptures, and wide grassy meadows particularly well-suited to tiring out kids
- Walk a couple of minutes to the northeast of the tower to find the Alte Donau
The huge Alte Donau lake was once part of the actual Danube and has lakeside cafés and restaurants (like The Bootshaus), boat hire, walks and cycle paths along the banks, and (in warmer seasons) public lidos and other bathing opportunities.
How to get to the Danube Tower
The tower sits between two subway stations:
- Take the U1 to the Alte Donau station
- Take the U6 to the Neue Donau station
Once at either subway station, catch the relatively sporadic 20A bus line to the Donauturm.
If you’re up for a 20 minute walk, go to the Alte Donau station and wander northwest along Arbeiterstrandbadstraße, then through the Donaupark (Danube Park) to the tower.
For rather obvious reasons, spotting the tower from afar is not a huge challenge.
Address: Donauturmstraße 8, 1220 Vienna | Website