12 Day Trips From Vienna, Austria

While there is a great variety of attractions to fill your time in this beautiful Austrian capital, it is also a perfect base from which to explore a number of other popular European destinations.

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Situated close to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary,  Vienna affords travelers plenty of cross-country getaways with less hassle and expense. With the reliable European rail lines, Vienna is also an ideal starting point if you want to see more of Austria’s idyllic countryside villages, stunning castles, vineyards with wine-tasting opportunities, and breathtaking mountain landscapes.

Here is a selection of day trips from Vienna, with details about each destination. These can also be extended to an overnight or weekend stay, so you can make the most of your getaway.

12 Day Trips From Vienna, Austria

1.Hallstatt

Hallstatt Austria

Regarded by many as one of the most beautiful places on earth – Hallstatt is situated between the lake and the hills. A great base for hiking or trekking, Hallstatt offers not just a unique experience for a day trip out of Vienna, but unparalleled views and stunning landscapes as well.

Aside from its picturesque town center, there are a number of unique places to visit in Hallstatt. One of the most popular attractions is the Beinhaus or the Bone House. It is a small church that’s a delight for those who are into the strange and macabre, as inside this structure you will find human bones and skulls adorning the walls. With Austria being known for its ‘death culture’, relatives of those who passed on whose remains are used as church decor say it is their way of honoring their loved ones.

Another must see in Hallstatt are the salt mines, considered to be among the oldest in the world, dating back over 7,000 years.  The historic significance of these salt mines was why Hallstatt made it to the UNESCO Heritage list and it’s worth the excursion if you have the time, just make sure you book tickets in advance.

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2.Wachau Valley

Wachau Valley Durnstein

Stretching for about 40 kilometers between the towns of Melk and Krems, Wachau Valley is about an hour’s drive from Vienna. The picturesque Wachau Valley lies east of the Austrian capital and is a World Heritage Site because of its spectacular scenery and rich history and culture.

The Danube River runs through the valley, past monasteries, castles, villages, and vine-draped hills. A must visit in Wachau Valley is the magnificent Benedictine Melk Abbey, perched high on a hilltop, which is known as one of the finest Baroque churches north of the Alps.

Wachau Valley is Austria’s premier wine region,  and a day trip from Vienna to the Wachau Valley is a must for wine lovers. Here you can sample some of Austria’s most prized dry Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners.

The area is also popular among foodies and is one of the most popular places to visit near Vienna.

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3.Budapest

Royal Palace Budapest

At just a few hours by train, this mighty city along the Danube makes for a perfect day tour from Vienna. Budapest is a must visit for those who love architecture, a good blend of history and culture and a vibrant nightlife. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful and enjoyable cities in Europe, with its rich history and diverse attractions.

Easily accessible via train from Vienna, culture and history buffs will love exploring the castle district. It is recommended to visit the Royal Palace and Fisherman’s Bastion, cross the iconic Chain Bridge, stand at the center of Heroes Square and spend time on the Jewish quarter and City Park.

Also a haven for foodies, Budapest has a Central Market Hall with numerous stalls that sell authentic Hungarian dishes, traditional sweets, and treats. Before heading back to Vienna, check out Budapest’s nightlife, specifically at a Ruin bar. Set in abandoned buildings around town, Ruin bars offer the best drinks and the best parties in town.

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4.Lainzer Wildlife Park and Baden bei Wien in Vienna Woods

Lainzer Wildlife Park Vienna

A haven for animal lovers and for those who want an easier more relaxed day trip, Lainzer Wildlife Park is a nature reserve built on the Emperor’s former private hunting grounds. It occupies 24 square kilometers of the Vienna Woods, and known as a place of relaxation and escape from the big city. The animals are here all year round but during summer, you can frequently see wild pigs, deer, and elk frolicking through the woods and grasslands. This important conservation area also includes more than 80 kilometers of footpaths and the 14-meter high Hubertuswarte observation tower on the Kaltbründlberg.

Another attraction in Vienna Woods is the spa town of Baden bei Wien, known for its thermal waters even back in the Roman times. Today, the town’s sulfur springs are still their source of six-and-a-half million liters of therapeutic warm water every day. Apart from being a place for relaxation, Baden bei Wien also has a number of historic attractions, such as the ruins of Rauheneck and Rauenstein castles; Beethovenhaus, a 16th-century house where the composer spent the summers of 1821-1823; and the Rollettmuseum.

Opening Hours

15.Mar.2019 to 31.Oct.2019
Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00
on holidays, 10:00 – 18:00
Closed in winter (from the beginning of November until Easter time)

Admission Fee

Young people under 19 – Free
1st Sunday of the month: Free admission

Contact Information

Address:Lainzer Tiergarten, 1130 Wien

Phone: +43 1 4000 49 200 

Email:

5.Bratislava

Bratislava Slovakia

Located along Danube River and surrounded by mountains where castles, old churches, and historic plazas are a common sight, a day trip to the Slovakian capital Bratislava is something you should experience. Bratislava is not only a stunning historic city, but one filled with beautiful natural wonders as well. If you only have a day to spend, make sure you check out the Old Town, an 18th-century village filled with bars and cafes. Check out the Church of St. Elisabeth or the “Blue Church”, and features an impressive Art Nouveau style design; the Clarissine Churc, which showcases unique Gothic architecture, and St. Martin’s Cathedral, another Gothic-inspired church that’s considered the largest and the oldest church in Bratislava.

After you’ve said your prayers, look out for Bratislava’s quirky inanimate ‘residents’, sculptures that were made to make the city a livelier place. There’s Čumil the Peeper, who seems to be coming out of a manhole; the Paparazzi by Radko Macuha, Schone Naci and Napoleon’s Solder, both created by Juraj Melis.

When in Bratislava, it is a must to catch a glimpse of Michael’s Gate, the only remaining part of the medieval fortifications that once surrounded Bratislava and is now a famous tourist landmark. Another definite must do is to climb up the Bratislava Castle. Located on a hill along the Danube River, the castle also houses artistic and historical exhibitions of the Slovak National Museum and offers a  stunning view of the city and the nearby areas.

Slow down and relax after all the walking and climbing by trying some Slovak food like the Slovak potato salad and beef stroganoff, then see if you can get tickets to a show at the Slovak National Theater. A strange, but interesting way to end your day in town is to head over to the UFO Observation Deck in central Bratislava. The viewing area shaped like a flying saucer is reachable by an elevator ride that will take less than a minute. The best time to come here is during sunset until late at night.

To book, click here.

6.Danube Valley

Danube Valley Vienna

One of the most picturesque areas in Central Europe, even the scenic drive to get to Danube Valley is something travelers look forward to.  Just a couple of hours outside of Vienna, Danube Valley is dotted with charming villages, vineyards, ancient castles, hills and forests, colorful towns and rolling hills.

It is also packed with hiking trails and tracks. Make sure you hike through the forests and make your way up the mountains for stunning views of the Danube and nearby areas.

A trip along the Danube river by boat, through the Danube Valley, gives you the chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery around Vienna. Upstream during the cruise, the Danube leads to the Wachau Valley or to Melk with its famous abbey.

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7.Graz

Graz, Austria

At present a lesser known destination for travelers who go on day trips from Vienna, Graz is a charming old town that’s best suited for those who enjoy a lot of walking or hiking. About two hours by train from Vienna, Graz is located in the region of Styria and is a picturesque town with traditional flair and hip restaurants, bars and shops. It is situated in an Austrian region that’s known for its beautiful forests, lakes and mountains, chilled-out wine tastings, hot spas, and Baroque-style architecture, which you can enjoy during a visit to Graz.

Whether you want to shop or just enjoy the scenic town center, the area around Herrengasse and Hauptplatz is a haven for stunning architecture. Make sure you visit the Kunsthaus, which regularly hosts modern art exhibitions. Also, a must see when you explore the center of Graz, you won’t miss the ones at Hauptplatz / corner Sporgasse.

For the active types who want to enjoy a panoramic view of Graz, you can walk up the Schlossberg from Sackstraße. Make your way up the mountain and explore the area around the famous clock tower, which is seen in most photos that feature Graz.

8.Slovenia

Lake Bled Slovenia

One of the emerging destinations for those either touring Europe or going on weekend trips, Slovenia is a haven for those who like romantic sceneries, charming landscapes, and sightseeing while making sure each stop is documented via photos and videos. If taking a day trip from Vienna, going to and from Slovenia is less than four hours by car or train. To maximize your day visit, most tours highlight two destinations — Bled and Ljubljana.

Bled is a quaint town surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, and historic landmarks, with a lake running through it. Lake Bled is a famous attraction in the region. Situated in the middle of the expanse of its emerald green waters is a small island with a bright white church perched on top. For the active outdoorsy types, a visit to nearby Triglav National Park is a must. It has trails and tracks perfect for hiking and trekking, and afterward, you can swim in the natural pools while enjoying scenic views of the town.

Ljubljana, meanwhile, is the capital city of Slovenia, full of history and culture. Exploring the Old Town is a must when in Ljubljana, a place that is nestled between Castle Hill and the Ljubljanica River. The Old Town is where you’ll find a variety of shops and pubs, as well as beautiful squares, the Robba fountain, and it is also connected to New Town via the Triple and Dragon Bridges.

Old Town is home to a variety of restaurants, and if you wish to sample local cuisine, try the Slovene-style horse burger paired with a glass of local wine.

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9.Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Castle

From the Austrian capital, it takes almost four hours to get to and from Prague, Czech Republic, but it remains a top place to visit among travelers who take day tours from Vienna. A city that’s a must for history buffs, those into architecture, and good beer – Prague has a beautifully preserved old town that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the largest cities in Central Europe and has a rich and diverse history. It is famous for it’s unique, medieval architecture, Old Town’s charming streets, and winding alleys.

When exploring Prague, some must visit include the iconic Astronomical Clock; Josefov, the historic Jewish Ghetto; and, Prague’s Dancing House. Make sure you also see the old churches, such as the Týn Church, St. Vitus Basilica, and St. George’s Basilica.

While in Prague, it is a must to visit Prague Castle, the Old Royal Palace; and explore Wenceslas Square in the New Town, Make time for a stroll across the famous Charles Bridge and try to see a performance at the National Theatre.

After all the walking and exploring, take a break by going into a pub (or hospoda) and indulge in the Czech Republic’s favorite pastime: drinking beer!

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10.Brno

Špilberk Brno

Brno is another city in the Czech Republic that is a must-see for anyone interested in history and culture, as told by its centuries-old structures. The historical center of Brno is crammed with sites to make the most of your day trip. A good way to start getting to know Brno is by climbing up Petrov Hill to the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The twin neo-Gothic towers is seen in practically every part of Brno and have less ostentatious Baroque interiors compared to many churches of the era.

On another hill is the Špilberk Castle which was once the most feared prison in the land. At present, the castle houses the Brno Museum and an exhibition that documents its chilling history.

 If you’re into the strange and macabre, visit the Ossuary of St. James Church, which has walls and ceilings adorned with human bones. Next to the Catacombs of Paris, the Ossuary of St. James Church is Europe’s second-largest ossuary.

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11.Croatia

Zagreb Croatia City

A stay in Vienna offers travelers many options to venture out of the city and explore nearby towns and regions and even another country. One of the best day trips you could experience is when you go to Croatia from Vienna, where you get to enjoy the scenic journey as you cross the border.

The capital of Croatia is Zagreb, a unique town that has its main areas divided between an upper and lower part. When you arrive in Zagreb, you first see the Lower Town, and you are greeted by the beautiful Ledeni Park and Art Pavilion. This great yellow building represents the architectural style of most structures around the city. As you walk further, you will reach the center where you will see the Ban Jelačić Square, and eventually Upper Town.

Lower Town Zagreb is more sprawling than Upper Town its streets and buildings bigger and it’s also where the major museums and cultural attractions are, such as the Mimara Museum and the Modern Gallery.

Meanwhile, the streets in Upper Town are small and winding. Here is where you will find the Museum of Broken Relationships, a place dedicated to failed romantic relationships. Its exhibits include personal objects and mementos from former lovers, with brief descriptions. Another must-see is the St. Mark’s Church, which has a colorful tiled roof that looks incredible against the backdrop of the bright blue sky.

One of the coolest spots in Zagreb is Dolac Market, which is situated between the Upper and Lower Towns. It has both indoor and photonic outdoor stalls and a haven for those who want to sample local cuisine or buy delicacies to bring home.

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12.Salzburg

Salzburg City Austria

Located in the heart of the Alps, in central Austria, Salzburg is more than just that city where ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed. Only two and a half hours by train, Salzburg is bound to be an enchanting day trip from Vienna especially if you’re looking for a perfect blend of history and culture. Famous for its baroque architecture that can be seen throughout the old town, Salzburg survived World War II with very little damage, so most of these old, Baroque buildings remain in their original condition. In 1997, the city of Salzburg was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A great place to begin exploring Salzburg is from the Residenzplatz, one of the city’s largest squares and home to the Residenzbrunnen, an impressive marble fountain by Italian sculptor Tommaso di Garone. Next, you should see the rest of the Old Town, with its beautiful Baroque architecture as seen in the Salzburg Cathedral and Hohensalzburg Castle where you can enjoy a picturesque view of the city. Another must visit is Mozart’s Birthplace, one of the world’s most popular museums; and the gorgeous Mirabell Palace and gardens, where the Von Trapp children from the 1965 film. famously frolicked.

The city also has a number of palaces, gardens, a zoo and you can even visit the Mozart family home. As touristy as it is, no trip to Salzburg is complete without a visit to the filming locations of the classic ‘The Sound of Music’, which takes you to certain parts of the charming old town, lush lands, and rolling hills, covering dozens of must-see attractions around this timeless city.

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