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Burgenland: Vineyards and Neusiedlersee
Photo: Hoepler Wines

Burgenland Austria: Top Attractions And Outdoor Activities

Burgenland Austria. For most travellers Burgenland is still uncharted territory. For us Viennese, the historic Land of Castles and its ancient Celtic wine culture represents a Southern escape: Thanks to lots of sunshine, vineyards, a rolling landscape, spas and Neusiedlerseee we use Austria’s warmest region for culture and wellness. Find out about Burgenland’s top attractions and outdoor activities, the best tours, and how to get to Burgenland from Vienna.

What Are The Top Attractions To Visit In Burgenland?

Esterhazy Palace

Esterhazy Palace in Burgenland AustriaBurgenland Austria. Like Vienna’s Schonbrunn, Esterhazy is Burgenland’s show palace. For centuries, the Esterhazy Princes ran a regional powerhouse, influencing politics, art and music in the former Habsburg Empire. 

While being far from provincial, their ancestral seat in Burgenland breathes aristocratic countryside style: Esterhazy Palace was built by the most popular baroque artists. If you compare them to the Hofburg’s pomp, Esterhazy’s elegant rooms are delightfully laid back. For decades, they were the home to a Liechtenstein, a Bavarian and an English princess, along with their Esterhazy husbands. The most original items are the ornated ceramic stoves. The other main highlight are the frescoes of the Haydn Great Hall.

bedroom at Esterhazy PalaceEsterhazy Palace also hosts regular Haydn concerts and a permanent exhibition about Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. Wine travellers should roam the vast underworld of Austria’s largest Wine Museum. It is packed with historic wine presses and barrels, and provides you with insight into local wine making and grape varieties.

Location: Esterhazyplatz 1, A-7000 Eisenstadt; the palace is right next to the centre of Burgenland’s capital.
Opening Times: Fridays to Sundays and public holidays 10.00 am to 5.00 pm;

Forchtenstein Castle

Burgenland Wine Esterhazy: Forchtenstein CastleBurgenland Austria. One of Burgenland’s 59 castles and fortresses, Burg Forchtenstein is the most brilliantly preserved castle from the Middle Ages. Not surprisingly, the 14th century fortress once belonged to the local Esterhazy power dynasty. Its baroque treasury is the only of its kind in Europe preserved in its original location. Expect proper ancestral halls with life-size portraits, 500-year-old cannons, rare silver furniture, and art objects from ivory and bone. A tour guides’ favourite is to tell the legend of cruel damsel Rosalia. The castle is a 20 min drive from the South West of Neusiedlersee, a great excuse to explore Burgenland’s Rosalia Mountains. Find out more.

Designer Outlet Parndorf

Burgenland Austria. Usually I don’t get excited at shopping malls. Therefore, on our way back from Neusiedlersee to Vienna, I didn’t event want to stop at Parndorf Designer Outlet. Eventually I remembered that I needed a pair of jeans, headed there and came back with three fabulous items for a bargain. Bottomline, you will find every great brand under Burgenland’s sun, from Armani, Bally, Gucci and Calvin Klein to Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. Although there are shuttle busses from Vienna, you can integrate Parndorf best in your day trip when renting a car.

What Are The Best Outdoor Activities in Burgenland?

Neusiedlersee

Burgenland Austria: Neusiedlersee at BreitenbrunnBurgenland Austria. Lake Neusiedl is the second largest steppe in Europe. We love to do boat cruises, sail and surf there. Sometimes we tour the shores by bike and hang out at traditional wineries. Some Burgenland vintners offer wine tastings of their red and white wines. Families like the wildlife nature reserve of Seewinkel, and weekenders relax at Hotel and Spa Therme St. Martin. Historic lakeside villages such as Rust have that Hungarian touch that is typical for Burgenland. (The Hungarian border runs right through Neusiedlersee’s Southern tip.) Find out more about Neusiedlersee and what to do there.

South Burgenland

Burgenland Wine Esterhazy: vintner houses in HeiligenbrunnBurgenland Austria. Sipping Blaufränkisch and other wines at some of the top innovative vintners is particularly easy in South Burgenland. Among Austrian wine producers the new generation of vintners are the shooting stars, and compete well at international level. This means you can visit charming traditional wine estates alongside really innovative places: For example, the 17th and 18th century vintner houses of Heiligenbrunn are still covered with straw and clay. One of the most innovative wineries in the area is Szigeti. Their quality sparkling wines each come with a distinct taste of certain local grape varieties. Burgenland is still an insider tip among wine travellers so most organised day trips from Vienna are private wine tasting tours. (Get in touch if you need help.)

What Are The Best Day Trips To Burgenland?

Culinary Burgenland Tour

Das Fritz restaurant at NeusiedlerseeTo uncork culinary Burgenland this full day private tour lines up a program that pulls together regional gems. Between Neusiedlersee and the Hungarian border, you will roam through the wine cellar of the area’s best sparkling winery. There, the Szigeti brothers turn top grapes from all over Burgenland into a distinctively fruity sparkling wine. During your tour, you will taste a few varieties and learn to saber a bottle. 

After that Pannonian ‘new style kitchen’ will be served at Burgenland’s gastronomic jewel ‘Das Fritz’ right on the shore of lake Neusiedl. Expect refined local cuisine with lots of fish and fresh local produce. After lunch the guide and driver will take you to another local winery for more wine tasting. 

Note: At present, this small group tour is unavailable. If you would like an offer for a private guide and vehicle, drop me an email: barbara.cacao(at)vienna-unwrapped.com.

Höpler’s Wine Rooms

Hopler winery estateBurgenland Austria. There are a few private wine tours to Burgenland. If you think of blending wine tasting with a fun and informative experience you will probably end up at the Höplers in Winden, close to Neusiedlersee. That part of Neusiedlersee grows amazing red, white and dessert wines due to its location between the lake and Leithaberg Hills. At the family’s estate Christof and Louise will take you on a sensory wine tour through their Wine Rooms. You will taste several of their award-winning red and white wines.

The village of Winden itself boasts Austria’s oldest wine press. Winden and neighbouring Breitenbrunn are well known for their old half underground wine cellars. Read the story about my wine tour at Christof and Louise’s wine rooms, and more fun things to do in the area.

Burgenland Tour: Private Wine And Sightseeing Tour

Rust village at NeusiedlerseeThis is a great tour if you are on your way from Vienna to Budapest or vice versa. Traveling in your private vehicle with chauffeur/guide, you will do wine tasting at two wineries in Austria and Hungary. As one of the tour’s highlights, Neusiedlersee’s most popular historic village Rust is on the itinerary, as well as a visit to Esterhazy Palace in the regional capital Eisenstadt. Further down on your way, you will also explore the lovely Hungarian border town of Sopron. It mixes Austrian and Hungarian architecture and way of life and is a good shopping spot. Find out more about the tour.

How To Get To Burgenland From Vienna

A countryside trip to Burgenland from Vienna is just a 40 min drive / 50 min train ride away. What’s more, you can build it into your itinerary when traveling to Bratislava and Budapest. Here are places I have been to and can’t wait to see again.

Every day, regular trains from Vienna’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) take you to Eisenstadt, Burgenland’s capital, as well as busses to the village of Rust (though at 1.40 min they take quite long). If you look for private transfer and an exciting roundtrip to Burgenland, let me know.

Burgenland Map

Check all the places recommended above on this map. Click on it to view enlarged version.

 

find more wine and water in my Wachau Valley Tour Review – Wine Tour and Danube Experience
check wine tasting and biking in this Wachau Tour review – Wine Tasting and Biking Along the Danube

find out how other Vienna Unwrapped readers planned their trips in Vienna Travel Planning – Trip Planning and Travel Consulting by Vienna Unwrapped

get more great ideas for  Day Trips from Vienna
go back to Vienna Unwrapped homepage

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