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11 Stunning Day Trips from Vienna

11 Stunning Day Trips from Vienna

Vienna, Austria is a one of the most popular destinations in central Europe and is often included on many European itineraries. This is of no surprise given its history and position of power less than 200 years ago.

Whether you are visiting Vienna for the cafes or classical music, or maybe to visit one of the many breathtaking palaces sometimes a bit of a day trip helps recharge the batteries.

There is a lot to see outside of Vienna and in surrounding countries. Below you will find a range of day trips from Vienna that you can take a bus to in less than an hour to a more signficant road trips through vineyards.

Read | 2 Days in Vienna, Austria

11 Day Trips from Vienna, Austria

Below many wonderful bloggers from across the globe have helped contribute their favorite day trips from Vienna. I love doing collaborative posts because it also inspires me to visit places I’ve never considered. Share your appreciation to contributors by giving their link a click!

Eisenstadt

Eisenstadt, day trip from Vienna

Contributed by Marina of Places of Juma

A lovely place for an unforgettable day trip from Vienna is the charming town of Eisenstadt. It’s the political and cultural center of Burgenland. Visitors just love the mix of a long history, cultural events, and the modern outlook. Actually, there is a lot to see in the city center between the pedestrian zone, the palace park, and the parliament building. The whole inner city is stuffed with lovely details and many highlights.

The main attraction in Eisenstadt is the Esterházy Palace. It dates back to a fortified 13th-century Gothic castle. For more than 40 years, the composer Joseph Haydn was inspired by Esterházy Palace’s special atmosphere to create exceptional music to accompany historic events. The Haydn Room, named after the composer, is still one of the world’s best – acoustically – and loveliest concert halls.

Lovely are also the beautiful palace grounds. On a walk, you will enjoy the lovely botanic garden, a small lake, and even a public pool area. On any case, don’t miss the Gloriette (the Esterházys’ former hunting lodge), Haydn’s House, and Haydn’s church, which contains Haydn’s mausoleum and the Stations of the Cross are all worth visiting too.

It’s easy to organize the day trip from Vienna to Eisenstadt:  You can ether take the train (1:10 hour), the bus (1:20 hour) or the car/taxi (45 minutes).

Linz

Linz, day trip from Vienna

Contributed by Cazzy of Dream Big, Travel Far

If you’re looking for a unique day trip from Vienna, then Linz is the perfect place to visit. Located just 1 hour and 40 minutes from Vienna, Linz is easily accessible via train or renting a car and driving. Linz is the 3rd largest city in Austria which means there are plenty of great things to see and do.

Some of the highlights of Linz include the charming Old Town which features the wonderful Hauptplatz with its many restaurants and cafes, a perfect spot for lunch. Make sure you visit the “New Cathedral”, also known as Mariendom (which is actually the largest church in Austria) for beautiful views over Linz from the 135m spire.

Other great spots to visit in the city centre include Linz Castle, the many great museums on offer (Schlossmuseum Linz is a popular choice), and don’t forget to check out the Mural Harbor for some pretty cool graffiti art. Another great activity located not far from Linz town centre is a trip to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. This is a painful, but necessary and very informative place to visit that will allow you to delve into the history of this Nazi concentration camp. It’s only 30 minutes from the town centre of Linz and accessible via bus.

Hallstatt

Hallstatt

Contributed by Vaibhav Mehta from The Wandering Vegetable

Located in the mountain region of Salzkammergut in the Gmunden district, Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful villages in Austria. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most visually pleasing villages/lake towns in the world. It is a popular day-trip destination for travellers and has to be included in your Europe trip itinerary. Hallstatt is situated about 288 km away from Vienna.

You can get to Hallstatt from Vienna either by car or by train. It takes about 3.5 hours to get to Hallstatt by car and a little over 4 hours to reach by train. To get to Hallstatt by train, depart from Wien Hauptbahnhof, make a transfer at Attnang-Puchheim train station and arrive at either Hallstatt central station or Obertraun-Dachsteinhöhlen train station.

The lake town greets you with such stunning scenery that you feel like a day’s less to explore the place. It looks like a fairytale town straight out of your childhood storybook. Strolling around Hallstatt and getting lost in the charming streets is an experience of a kind.

There are several things to do in Hallstatt like walking along the Hallstatt Lake Promenade, visiting the lovely Market Square and having a nice meal at a restaurant/cafe, exploring the iconic Hallstatt’s Salt Mine (Salzwelten), enjoying the paradisiacal alpine view of Hallstatt from the Hallstatt Skywalk, visiting the Catholic Church of Hallstatt, and touring the Welterbemuseum Hallstatt.

Do not miss out on doing a boat ride across the Hallstatt Lake. It is one of the most calming and memorable experiences you’ll ever have. If you’re a foodie, then do visit the Rudolfsturm restaurant for some fresh seafood, a delicious garlic soup, and a picturesque lake view.

Durnstein

Durnstein

Contributed by Laura of Cruise Lifestyle

Dürnstein is just an hour’s drive from Austria’s capital, making it a great option for a day trip from Vienna.  Its location on the banks of the Danube means it can also be visited on a river cruise.  Dürnstein is a quaint, fairy-tale town, best known for it’s vineyards but there are many other things to do here if visiting for the day.


Stift Dürnstein is the most iconic landmark of the Wachau region, recognised by its ornate white and blue steeple.  You will come across the former monastery during a walk through the town centre and is definitely worth pausing to admire the architecture.


The town is perfect for a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets, dotted with little shops and cafes.  The region is known for producing apricots and most of the shops sell apricot wine, brandy, liqueur, and jam.  You can sample these if you choose to take a tour of the nearby apricot vineyard; I can confirm that the brandy is very strong!
It’s definitely worth walking to the top of the main street (Hauptstraße) where you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Danube and the Wachau Valley

For authentic Austrian cuisine, I’d recommend stopping at Gasthaus Kuenringer, which has a pleasant outside terrace for dining al fresco during the summer months.  I enjoyed drinking a refreshing ‘Hugo’ aperitif, which combines Prosecco, elderflower syrup, sparkling water and mint leaves.


Active visitors can explore Durnstein on the walking and cycling paths on the river bank or even take a canoe along the Danube to admire Dürnstein from the water along with local birds and wildlife.

Salzburg

Salzburg day trip from Vienna

Mozart’s birthplace or setting of the Sound of Music are most likely one of the reasons Salzburg is on your radar. Austria’s second largest city? is often looked over but it is the perfect size for a day trip with plenty to do that you might find yourself staying the night.

Start your day wandering the UNESCO World Heritage awarded Old Town of Salzburg. Here you will find narrow winding streets with colorful buildings and hanging signs. In the middle of the Old Town is a bright yellow building with the words “Mozarts Geburtshaus” which translates to Mozart’s Birthplace (Getreidegasse 9). It is possible to tour the home, as well as his residence (Makartplatz 8).

Castle and palace lovers will have absolutely no shortage of things to do in Salzburg. Between the commanding Hohensalzburg Fortress towering over the city, the flower-filled gardens at Mirabell Palace, or the impressive rooms of the Salzburg Residenz all the way to the trick fountains of Hellbrunn Palace.

End your day with a stop at Restaurant Stiegl-Keller for a meal (and pint!) with a view over Salzburg.

Graz

Graz

Contributed by Lina of World of Lina

Graz is Austria’s second-largest city and the capital of the wonderful state Styria. The best way to get there is either by public transport which takes around 2.5 hours or by car. There are direct train and bus connections available a few times a day.

On top of a small hill and overlooking the city, you can spot the Uhrturm – the city’s main sight. To get up there, you can either climb a few hundred very small stairs, follow a windy road on the backside of the hill or take the cable car called Schlossbergbahn. If you’re a bit of an adventurous person, I recommend sliding down the highest underground slide worldwide which can be found inside the Schlossberg hill. It’s not only the fastest way down but also a hell lot of fun!


Another place you shouldn’t miss seeing is the Kunsthaus. It’s a modern art museum where you can admire different exhibitions of contemporary artists. Due to it’s strange look, locals also call it the “Friendly Alien”. For lunch or a good cup of coffee, check out the vegan restaurant Ginko Greenhouse that is located near the main square. It has a great variety of amazing dishes and the best vegan cakes ever!

If you have some time left, make your way to Schloss Eggenberg where you can take an extensive stroll in its beautiful surrounding park.

South Styria

South Styria wine road

Contributed by Lori of Travelinmad

If you’re longing for a unique day trip from Vienna to a less-traveled locale, head south… to South Styria, an easy 2.5 hour drive.


South Styria (Südsteiermark) is home to charming small towns, rolling hills and enchanting vineyards — a lovely destination anytime of year, though foodies and wine enthusiasts particularly love it in the fall. One of the best things to do is go wine tasting along the 44-mile long South Styrian Wine Road, which rewards road trippers with beautiful scenery, small town wine festivals, and excellent local food and wine.

Winding through quaint towns with inviting wine taverns, the route is reminiscent of Tuscany with its rolling green hills adorned with lush vineyards. If you came for the day but decide to stay, you have your choice of lovely Sudsteiermark buschenschanks. These country inns along the Wine Road serve local food, their own wine and an overnight stay is easy to arrange.


For lovers of local food, a stop to the Vinofaktur Genussregal in Vogau is on the way and highly recommended. It’s the largest wine shop in the region and features all sorts of delicious foods, beer, and wine produced locally in Styria. For a nominal fee, take the tour and sample your way through the store. Be sure to try the pumpkinseed oil. It’s one of Styria’s most famous local foods and it’s drizzled on everything from meats, cheeses, salads, and even ice cream — delish!


South Styria is an ideal day trip from Vienna, but even better with a few days or longer!

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava day trip from Vienna

Contributed by Matt from Two Tickets To

Bratislava, the charming capital of neighbouring Slovakia, makes for a perfect day trip from Vienna. This is a city on a different scale – easy to explore on foot, but packed full of enough sights to keep you very busy! An hour’s journey is all it takes to be transported from the sweeping grandeur of Vienna’s palaces and opera houses to the cobbled streets of Bratislava’s Old Town.

Perhaps my favourite thing about Bratislava is its contrasts. This is a city where you can stand under the shadow of a monumentalist Soviet war memorial whilst taking in a perfect view of the iconic renaissance-style Bratislava Castle, towering high above the Danube. At street level, you might walk past the Slovak Radio Building – perhaps the most wonderfully ugly building in Europe – before walking through the medieval-era Michael’s Gate, and into one of the many wonderful pubs and restaurants within the Old Town. 

If you’re looking to try traditional Slovak food during your brief visit to Bratislava, my recommendation would be Koliba Kamzik, which is nestled right in the heart of the action. However, you won’t be without choice in the city center, and you shouldn’t need to walk too far to find somewhere to suit any taste or budget. Once you’ve eaten your fill, dive back into Bratislava’s fascinating maze of streets before making the short trip back to Vienna by bus (shout-out to Flixbus), train or car!

Budapest, Hungary

hungarian parliament

One of the best parts of traveling around Europe is that in a couple hours you can be in a totally different country surrounded by new sounds and smells. In less than 3-hours you can drive or take a train from Vienna to Budapest, Hungary. While this beautiful capital city is best enjoyed over a few days it is possible to visit for a day trip.

Read | 3 Day Itinerary for Budapest, Hungary

I suggest starting your day admiring the Hungarian Parliament (pictured above) as it is the largest building in Hungary and difficult to miss. Next, cross the Danube to the Buda side of Budapest to wander the castle district. Here you will find The Fisherman’s Bastion built in the 1800’s to the chieftains of Hungary, Matthias Church which boasts an colorfully decorated ceramic tiled roof, and various museums housed inside Buda Castle.

When it is time for something to eat don’t miss out on lángos, a deep fried dough topped with sour cream, cheese, and sometimes meat and potatoes. If you are staying overnight then definitely don’t miss out on ruin pubs and street food from Karaván. To complete your day of exploring Budapest and to treat yourself, head over to the famous Széchenyi Thermal Bath for a dip in the healing waters.

Brno, Czech Republic

Brno, Czechia

Contributed by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports

Brno, Czech Republic is an easy day trip from Vienna. Located just across the Austrian border in the southeastern portion of Czech Republic called Moravia, Brno is worth visiting for at least one day. 

From Vienna, you can reach Brno by train or by car. It takes roughly two hours, which allows for plenty of time in Brno to hit the highlights. Like many cities in Europe, Brno has a picturesque old town area, with cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and stunning cathedrals.

Perched atop a hill in Old Town overlooking the city, the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul is the most notable cathedral in the city. For a small charge you can climb the cathedral’s spiraling towers and tour the crypt inside the church. But the crypt inside the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul is only one of the catacombs you can visit in Brno. The Capuchin Crypt is another must-see attraction in Brno.. Although certainly a bit morbid, the ossuary contains dozens of well-preserved mummies of former monks and nobility. 

End your day with a drive through the countryside of Moravia. One of the most scenic regions in Czech Republic, just outside of Brno, you’ll find rolling hills of vibrant green and yellow fields. It’s the perfect place to take in a little serenity and escape the busy city of Vienna for the day.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague day trip from Vienna

Prague is a 4-hour trip from Vienna, not exactly day trip material but if you are desperate to squeeze it in then I suggest taking the train or even staying over one night. It is one of the best-preserved Medieval cities in the world and a personal favorite.

The city also boasts the largest ancient castle in the world. The Castle District (Hradčany) dates back to the 9th century with plenty to see and do. St Vitus Cathedral is an impressive feat of construction with over 100 gargolyles decorating the outside, incredible stained glass windows, and a tower to get a bird’s eye view of Prague. After a wander down Golden Lane where you can peer into historic homes and shops that used to line the streets.

The Old Town Square boasts the oldest operating astrological clock at the Town Hall that goes off twice a day (9:00 and 23:00). A five-minute walk from the square you can arrange to visit the Klementinum to see a baroque library with antique books and globes as well as take a tour of the Astrological Tower.

Read | 3 Days Wandering Medieval Prague

When it is time to take a breather head into U Krale Brabantskeho, a medieval pub where you can enjoy a large glass of their own beer by candlelight. If you’re lucky you might catch the fire dancers and swordsmen!

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