Day Trips from Vienna: Salzburg City

Day Trips From Vienna Austria: Salzburg, Bratislava, Budapest, Wachau

Day trips from Vienna are incredibly varied. Essentially, half a dozen top landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage sites and European cultural capitals huddle together within a radius of 200 miles.  Let me share a few day trip ideas to neighbouring cities and the countryside with you. If you prefer to explore on your own, read my car rental tips below.

For a quick overview and customer reviews click on available day trips and excursions from Vienna.

Vienna Salzburg Day Trip

Day trips from Vienna: Salzburg's Mirabell GardensDay Trips from Vienna. Curiously, Salzburg and Vienna have that unspoken ‘snow white’ rivalry which of them is the country’s most beautiful city. You will see why when you go there. The small old town is another UNESCO World Heritage site, and great for a stroll, sightseeing, eating and shopping.

As for transport, you can go by private car transfer from Vienna, or train to Salzburg, or take one of these organised Vienna tours to Salzburg. Don’t feel your travel time is wasted. On your way there (if going by car) you will travel through Salzkammergut’s lake paradise.

Vienna Budapest Day Trip

Vienna Budapest Day Trip: Fisher BastionDay Trips from Vienna. If you have seen one city of the ‘Golden Triangle’ (Vienna, Budapest, Prague), you should see at least another one. They share a few centuries of common history under the Habsburg Emperors.

Actually, I love to compare Vienna with Budapest since they are strikingly similar and delicately different: from architecture and music to cakes and people themselves. Essentially, you can embark on a self-guided tour by rental car, train or bus, or book a guided day trip from Vienna to Budapest.

Vienna Prague Day Trip

Day Trips from Vienna: Prague's Mala StranaDay trips from Vienna. Prague is probably the farthest capital from Vienna that you can reasonably visit within a day trip. Having said that, you’ll need to be incredibly organised to make the most out of your couple of hours there. Landing on the wrong side of town can cost you a third of your time. Also, make sure you pick an enjoyable route to Prague.

I have joined a guided day tour to and within Prague. Read my review.

Day Trip To Bratislava

Day trips from Vienna: BratislavaDay Trips from Vienna. Can you imagine that you overlooked a beautiful spot just 56 kilometres from your door step for 41 years? That is exactly what I did. During the time of the Iron Curtain, Bratislava was further away for my local family than Rome.

After that, cities like Budapest and Prague had that magnetic lure… A while ago, I finally embarked on a 75-minute boat ride to the Slovakian capital for a day. So good I was there! Read what I experienced in Mini Danube Cruise.

Wachau Valley

Day trips from Vienna: Wachau ValleyDay Trips from Vienna. I love the Danube valley of Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for its terraced vineyards and apricot orchards, its historic villages, its top white wines and wineries, and castles scattered across its hilltops. I didn’t see much of it during my postgraduate at Wachau. Recently, I took the opportunity to join a small group tour on a history and wine tasting trip through the most scenic Danube valley. Read my tour reviews in Wachau Valley Tour (small group, wine tasting) and Wachau tour (biking, wine tasting). And don’t miss Melk Abbey.

If you prefer to venture out on your own but in private, consider hiring a private car and driver for 4, 8 or 12 hours.

Vienna Woods

Day trips from Vienna: Vienna WoodsDay Trips from Vienna. If you spend a day, or just a couple of hours, in the Vienna Woods, you will discover the Viennese’s historic outdoor and weekend destination. The Vienna Woods are famous for their wine and vineyards, the tragic incident at Mayerling, picturesque towns, spas and romantic hiking paths. They will also help you recharge your batteries before you leave for your next destination. 

Access my top tips on spending a day in the Vienna Woods, on your own or as part of a guided tour. Read my review of the Seegrotte tour review when I crossed Europe’s largest underground lake.

Vienna Alps

Day Trips from Vienna: SemmeringDay Trips from Vienna. Did you know that the Alps are closer to Vienna than Salzburg? At just an hour’s drive south the Vienna Alps provide you with Alpine feelings and a rich countryside. Whether at Rax or Semmering you can take a cable car up the mountain and go for a relaxed hike.

There are also private guides who take you there right from Vienna. In my post Vienna Alps I share my best tips for a day trip, and what to see and do.

Klosterneuburg Abbey

Vienna attractions: Klosterneuburg abbeyDay Trips from Vienna. To get to the bottom of Vienna’s origins AND wine barrels, leave the city centre. Head for a 900-year old abbey and wine estate close to the shores of the Viennese Danube. Stift Klosterneuburg hosts a microcosm of Medieval and Baroque art and lifestyles. It is the cradle of Austria’s and Vienna’s patron saint Leopold III and nearly became the Habsburgs’ Imperial residence.

When Regina, a locally living tour guide, took me there, I kept comparing this attraction to Melk Abbey in Wachau Valley. It is AS good and at just nine miles distance a great destination for exploring Vienna’s closest surroundings along the Danube. My favourites: the little green courtyards, the unfinished Atlas hall, and the altar of Verdun. You can do a guided tour, visit the abbey’s historic 36 metre deep wine cellar and do wine tasting. Learn more in Vienna art wine tour.


Day trips from Vienna: Hopler winery estateDay Trips from Vienna. Burgenland is the wine paradise of Austria. It is south east of Vienna and still an insider tip for many travellers. I love the lakeside villages and original wine estates around Neusiedlersee, Europe’s largest steppe. There is a lovely bike path along the lake. Many traditional wineries use the mild climate along the lake to cultivate some of the best wines in Europe. Some of them offer a winery tour at their estates. Esterhazy Palace in Burgenland’s capital Eisenstadt is an amazing countryside retreat you can visit on weekends. Rust village is picturesque and a paradise for storks, nesting on top of the chimneys.  Find out more. 

Should You Rent A Car?

Day trips from Vienna: rental carIf you prefer to run your own schedule rather than joining a tour group you could rent a car. Quite often you will want to explore other beautiful places along the way. Or you’d simply want to depart and arrive at a different time.

There are a few things that speak for renting a car: First, Austrian drivers are generally considerate and won’t make your life hell. Second, the vast majority of our roads are in very good condition. Third, renting a car easy and there are also good deals on offer. In any case, before renting a car find out about driving and parking in Vienna and surroundings in my Car Rental Vienna guide.

Day Trips From Vienna: Reader Questions

Click below to see questions from other visitors, along with my responses…

Travel Vienna: Tour to Wachau Valley
Day Trips From Vienna: Tour to Wachau Valley Hi Barbara, what an excellent website. My husband and I will be visiting Vienna from the 9th to the {dep} …

Wachau Valley Dinner Trains
Day Trips from Vienna: Wachau Valley Dinner Trains My wife and I are going to be in Vienna in mid May. We read about dinner trains that go to the …

find out more about the best Vienna Attractions
go to What To Do In Vienna – Must See and Do Tips By A Native
explore my favourite Hotels Vienna Austria – Where I Would Stay If I Was A Tourist

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