Day trips from Vienna
and points of interest not to miss near Vienna
The capital of Austria, Vienna, is a popular tourist destination in Europe. This exquisite city is considered as a center of music and art. It is a must-visit if you are planning your next trip to Europe. Do not miss out on the attractions that are on the outskirts of this ancient city while you are traveling through Vienna. The beautiful scenery of the places around Vienna is a sight to behold.
This article is going to be your one-stop guide to the most popular tourist spots outside of Vienna. And a brief history behind them. Should you be planning to spend time in Vienna city, read our post about how to spend 2 days in Vienna.
The countryside of all major cities in Europe is adorned with beautiful castles and historic buildings. Vienna is no exception. The Liechtenstein Castle is situated in the middle of the lush woods. It is a great place to see and learn, how the royalty lived back in the 19th century. The various artifacts showcased inside the castle offer a complete experience. It also provides a spectacular view of the Vienna city.
Why Liechtenstein Castle
- It is an iconic landmark of the famous Vienna Woods.
- It is a great chance to experience European history.
- The iconic 1993 movie “The Three Musketeers” was filmed there.
- The castle is merely 20 minutes away from the city, making it an ideal option for a day tour or a stop en route to other European cities.
- Guided tours are available every hour. Tours provide insight and understanding to the castle and its history. You do not need to bring the guide from Vienna.
Vienna Woods is a perfect getaway spot for the Viennese or the explorers who want to get closer to nature. Anyone strolling through these woods is bound to feel overwhelmed with a gentle wave of calm. One can find himself immersed in the magic of this serene woodland. Trees creaking and swaying in the crisp air, the lush greenery soothing the eyes, and the melodious, chirping birds make this place no less than a fairytale wonderland. These woods are perfect for a relaxing day trip.
Why Vienna woods?
- Kahlenberf is the mini-mountain, which is roughly 500 meters high. The top of the mountain gives a view of the Vienna city. The region of Schneeberg and Little Carpathians can also be viewed from the mountain top.
- On top of the mountain also lies the St. Joseph Church. The Church has a rich history behind it. It was completed in 1683 but was heavily damaged during the Turkish siege. The Church was then reconstructed, but it again fell into ruin due to poor maintenance. It was again renovated in the middle of the 19th century and kept in order since then.
- Another piece of history found in the Vienna Woods is the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz. The abbey, which was constructed back in 1133, remains the oldest Cistercian monastery in the world. This abbey is a pure symbol of Austrian Gothic because of the ribbed vaulting, 13th-century choir, and the vaulted Romanesque nave.
- Mayerling, the hunting lodge, was a significant chapter in Austrian history. It was the place where Crown Prince Rudolph (son of Empress Elizabeth) was found dead. Those, who are interested in the history behind this tragic event, must visit this place.
- The Liechtenstein Castle is found in the Vienna Woods. So, you might as well take a stroll through these woods if you are visiting the castle.
It is the largest underground lake in Europe and has become a significant tourist spot. The lake was initially a gypsum mine. An unfortunate blasting incident occurred in 1912. Due to that incident, the lake mine got filled with millions of gallons of water. This made the mines useless for any further mining activities. The mine had no drainage system; as a result, the water stayed inside, and it converted into a lake.
Why Seegrotte Hinterbrühl?
- Seegrotte Hinterbrühl is the largest underground lake in Europe.
- The boat rides and guided tours during visiting hours offer a fun-filled excursion with the children.
- It provides an excellent opportunity to learn how the mineworkers worked in the 19th century.
- It is just a 10 mins walk from the Lichtenstein Castle, making it easier to visit for travelers exploring the castle.
- Tourists coming to Vienna Woods can visit the lake and the castle in a single day.
- The tours cost 10 Euros* person and start every 20 minutes. The tour lasts for about 45 minutes. It includes the visit of the rooms miners used as a wine cellar and a chapel, the cavernous lake and also the common rooms. (*The entrance fee as in January 2020)
The Kreuzenstein Castle is a 30-minute drive from Vienna or 60 minutes, if you are using the train to get there. The train journey requires additional 35-minute walk from the station to the castle.
Similar to Liechtenstein Castle, the Kreuzenstein Castle also lies outside the city and offers a fantastic day trip. If you are on a lookout for a Hogwart’s style castle, then you’ve found it! Walking through the winding paths of this castle, you are bound to feel as if you have been placed in the pages of a storybook.
Why Kreuzenstein Castle?
- The Habsburg family owned the castle for more than 250 years. The Swiss Army later overran it in the 30 years war. The castle was then restored by the Wilczeks (An old Polish noble family).
- Its massive drawbridge, the powerful, royal towers, and an extraordinary collection of medieval armor transfers you into the medieval times of enchanting settings!
- On a bright sunny day, the other castles nearby, such as the Greifenstein, Leopoldsberg, and the Klosterneuburg Monastery, can also be viewed from this castle.
- The Kreuzenstein castle has been acknowledged as having the most extensive, private collection of weapons in Austria.
- The castle houses some of the fantastic pieces of art with more than 100,000 objects and also boasts a remarkable library.
- Guided tours of 45 minutes are held at the top of every hour. The cost for adults is 10 euros while its only 5 euros for the kids.
Tourists who are not fazed by spending a couple of hours on a day trip should head out to this incredibly beautiful city of Budapest. The city is 2.5 hours away from Vienna city, via a car or by train.
- It’s a great chance to visit the capital of Hungary and explore this fantastic city.
- The city is a mix of German, Jewish, Balkan, and Habsburg heritage.
- The journey to Budapest itself is impressive because of the scenic beauty you encounter.
- Budapest has been called the “Paris of the East.” It has some worth seeing UNESCO worlds heritage sites such as the Vajdahunyad Castle and Matthias Church.
- The most famous sites tourists must-visit are the Chain bridge, Castle Hill, Opera House, and Fishermans Square.
- The city has some beautiful buildings with fantastic architecture, such as the parliament building.
- The city woodland park, also known as the Budapest City Park, is near the city center. It is another major attraction of the city that has a rich history behind it.
- Concise city tours are also available, which take you around the city. They introduce you to the city’s main attractions in a short amount of time.
- The city is a host to several Turkish baths and is an ideal place to while away the hours.
The journey to this beautiful city at the border of Germany is a must. If you are looking for a day’s adventure outside of Vienna, then this is it! The drive takes a little less than 3 hours, and the destination is undoubtedly the prettiest you could find in Europe. The train journey costs start at 24 Euros per person each way. Our minivans and cars are available door to door at fixed prices.
- Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria and a great spot for day trips.
- The beautiful Mirabel Palace and its gardens should be a must on your itinerary when you visit Salzburg. The palace was built in 1606 by its then prince and archbishop Wolf Dietrich. The exotic backdrop of the castle and the gardens makes this palace a regular host of wedding and various ceremonies. The Grand fountain, Rose, and Dwarf garden are some of the major attractions of the Mirabell garden. It also has the famous Marble hall, which served as a banquet hall in the past.
- The city is the birthplace of the iconic composer Mozart and has a museum dedicated to him. Mozart’s birthplace and his residence are also open to the public.
- Old Town Walking Tour is also available, which gives an insight into the Old Town of Salzburg (Altstadt). The robust history and the surroundings of the Alpines make it a tourist hotspot.
- The famous 1965 movie “The Sound of Music” was also shot in this city. You can visit all the locations the film was shot at.
Wander along the Salzach river or visit any of the Renaissance time churches to make this trip into a memorable one!
If you are looking immerse yourself in some breathtaking sceneries, then a transient tour to the Danube valley and Melk is a must. Melk is one hour away from Vienna by train, and the traveling time would be similar by road. The best way to travel is by taking the Danube cruise from Krems. It will take you to Melk on a 2 hours 50 minutes cruise with views worth watching.
Why Danube/Wachau Valley?
- The valley is located west of Vienna and is a 40 km stretch between the villages/municipalities of Krems and Melk.
- The river stretching from Krems to Melk is considered as the prettiest stretch of the Danube river in Austria.
- The valley is bordered by sky-high castles, magical villages, and lush vineyards from all around. This region produces some of the best wines you can find in Austria.
- The stunning scenery you get to witness, makes the trip worthwhile, irrespective of what mode of transportation you take.
- The valley’s beauty is signified from the fact that it is a part of the World Heritage Site, thanks to its jaw-dropping beauty.
- The Melk Abbey has been bestowed with the accolade of being the “Best Historic Destination in the World.” The abbey, which sits atop a mountain, provides some breathtaking views of the valley. The abbey houses some priceless pieces of art and has some of the most beautiful gardens one can find. The abbey was built in the 11th century, but the buildings we see today were built in the early 18th century.
- The abbey is a perfect example of High Baroque architecture with its ornate towers, opulent interiors, and 20 stories high dome. All of this makes the fans of Baroque architecture fall in love with the abbey.
- Once you are done visiting the abbey, you can head down to the town for a lunch or quick snacks and get an astounding view of the abbey from down below.
- It also has fun themed cruises available to make your trip memorable.
Despite being a more extended day trip than others, the excursion to Prague makes for one fascinating journey. Prague is about 300 – 330 km away from Vienna. The ride takes 3.5 – 4 hours by a car or a minivan and about 4 hours and 15 minutes on a train. One can smoothly go to Prague and get back from Prague to Vienna in a single day while getting a great exposure to the city.
- The fairytale city of Prague is a favorite tourist destination. People have been flocking here to experience this city for decades.
- It’s a preserved town, and because of its beauty and history, it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
- The famous Old Town of Prague should be on top of your list when visiting Prague. The Old Town has been well preserved and is an ideal place to embark on a walking tour. It’s during this walking tour that you will come across Jewish quarters and the famous Tyn Church.
- Tyn Church was built during the period of the 14th century to the early 16th century. It is an iconic religious building in Prague depicting gothic architecture. The Church serves as a gallery where large pieces of art are displayed. The Church also houses the oldest organ in Prague, which dates back to 1673. It is also the tomb of the astronomer Tycho Brahe.
- The city is host to some of the famous castles and Basilicas, such as the Prague Castle, Old Royal Palace, St. Vitus Basilica, and St. George’s Basilica.
- Wenceslas Square is a major city square of Prague. The square has a historical significance, and significant celebrations and public gatherings also take place here. The National Museum also lies here, so it’s an excellent opportunity to learn about the Czech Republic.
- Various organized tours take guided day trips to Prague on the bus. Be sure to catch the one which suits your travel plans. The tours are well-planned and take about 14 hours to complete. They take you on a guided city tour of about 2.5 hours and show all the significant sites, buildings, and attractions.