Home to the settlement Ala Nova of the Roman Empire, the city was first mentioned in a document in 1334. The meeting at Schwechat of Emperor Leopold I with Jan Sobieski in 1683, after the liberation of Vienna, is commemorated by an obelisk. The imperial troops defeated the Hungarian insurgents in a battle fought here in October 1848.
In 1724, a textile factory was established in Schwechat. Schwechat profited massively from the Austrian industrialisation wave of the 19th century, many of the companies established then still existing today (like the famous Dreher Brewery, founded in 1796 by Franz Anton Dreher the Younger). Schwechat became a city in 1924 and was incorporated into Vienna in 1938. The city’s oil refinery was a bombing target of the Allied Oil Campaign of World War II, with the southern aviation plant complex of the Heinkel firm (Germany-based at Rostock-Schmarl as Heinkel-Nord, the Schwechat offices/facility was called Heinkel-Süd) also targeted in late 1943 and lasting through the spring of 1944.
Schwechat became an independent city in 1954. Since 2017 it belongs to Bruck an der Leitha District because Wien-Umgebung was dissolved at the end of 2016.