Vienna is a gorgeous city, but if the crowds and bustle are a bit overbearing, you may wish to head off to nearby refreshing destinations in a day trip.
From viewing stunning castles to gorgeous cities, read our guide to the best day trips from Vienna, an amazing selection of places to visit.
1 – Salzburg
On the border with Germany don’t miss Salzburg! A peculiar Austrian city where art and architecture are the masters. You should definitely visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress, as well as the Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
In Getreidegasse N. 9, you can visit Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Birthplace, where he lived until the age of 17. Get lost around the city, and lastly, don’t forget to spend some time at Café Tomaselli, one of the most ancient in the whole of Austria.
2 – Wachau Valley
Probably not known by many, the Wachau Valley is one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Danube Valley. A World Heritage Site, it is filled with monasteries and castles. The Wachau Valley is also well-known for its endless expanses of vineyards. Thus, why not relax and drink a good glass of wine.
Additionally, it is one of the most popular locations to visit close to Vienna. One of the major attractions is the Melk Abbey.
A recommended solution may be to book a boat tour. There are many companies that provide these day trips around the Wachau Valley, including a visit to the Melk Abbey, as well as, other attractions.
3 – Budapest
The Danube divides Budapest into two main parts: Buda and Pest. Some of the main attractions are located in Buda as the Buda Castle, the Heroes’ Square and the Matthias Church.
In Pest, visit the Jewish Quarter and the Dohány Street Synagogue. A distinctive art installation is represented by the Shoes on the Danube Bank, in commemoration of the Holocaust.
Before you leave, enjoy a relaxing moment at the Széchenyi Bath. It is the largest thermal bath in Europe!
4 – Melk Abbey
The Melk Abbey is a great Benedictine abbey built near the town of Melk. It is a monumental building located at the top of a hill. You should definitely add this spot when visiting the Wachau Valley!
5 – Liechtenstein Castle
This is an interesting castle situated not far from Vienna. It is deeply scenographic from the height, perched on a hill.
You could also take this opportunity to visit Mödling and Seegrotte Hinterbrühl, namely, underground water caves.
6 – Bratislava
Bratislava is a great option if you don’t have much time. It is a pretty small city, although full of several interesting attractions.
Here, some of the major attractions that you should see: the Bratislava Castle, St. Martin’s Cathedral, as well as, Michael’s Gate, the Old Town, the Church of St. Elisabeth, and the Hlavné námestie, one of the most well-known square.
7 – Esztergom Basilica
Cross the border with Hungary if you want to visit Esztergom Basilica. It is the largest Hungarian church and it is definitely worth it. Hence, if you have some time, just rent a car and head to Hungary!
8 – Prague
Praga has always been a charming city. Simply enjoy the richness of history and culture, and get lost around the streets of its Old Town. Have a walk on the Charles bridge and don’t forget to taste the famous Trdelník. It is a traditional dessert sold by many stands around the center.
9 – Prater
Put aside some time to enjoy Prater. It is loved by both adults and children. Why go there? It is open 24 hours and is free of charge! One of the major attractions is the famous Viennese Giant Wheel: you will see the entire city from the top.
10 – Zagreb
The capital of Croatia is not that far away from Vienna. In addition, it can be easily explored in one day with a good plan. For sure, you don’t have to miss out the Cathedral of Zagreb, the Museum of Broken Relationships and the St. Mark’s Church.
11 – Ljubljana
If you decide to enjoy Ljubljana for a one-day trip, you should definitely visit the Ljubljana Castle, as well as, the renowned Tivoli City Park. Maybe the travel journey will take a while, but it is possible to have an overview of the city in just one day.
12 – Lake Neusiedl
This is the largest lake in the whole of Austria. Lake Neusiedl is located in the south-east of Vienna and has a lot to offer. That’s the perfect spot for a cycle-tourist with several bicycle routes, for instance. You can certainly visit Neusiedl am See, the picturesque town that overlooks the lake. The towns of Rust and Mörbisch which surround the lake are peculiar for the production of wine. During summer, the latter arranges a delightful festival with a stage on the lake.
13 – Mauthausen Concentration Camp
This is an important stop that you should not put aside when going to Vienna. Spend one day in this Nazi Concentration Camp located near the homonymous town, next to the Danube River.
14 – Hallstatt
Hallstatt is definitively worth it. You will breathe in an enchanted environment. The village is nestled amongst the homonymous lake and the mountains. You won’t regret it, even just for a walk and for the great view. An unusual attraction is Salzwelten, one of the most ancient salt mines reachable by a funicular.
15 – Baden
Baden bei Wien is highly renowned for its thermal baths. It is an elegant city, where even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart spent a period of his life. Additionally, Baden owns an important racecourse and the most ancient casino in Austria. The city of Baden also deserves for its prestigious production of wine. Don’t forget the cultural side: several important composers have drawn inspiration from such a lovely location.
16 – Krems
Part of the World Heritage by UNESCO, Krems is a small town in the beautiful Wachau Valley. This center surrounded by vineyards is the perfect spot to start a tour in the valley.
17 – Eisenstadt
The capital of Burgenland offers an absolutely deserving palace called Esterházy Palace. Above all, the Haydn house, where the well-known composer lived for 12 years, has been converted into a museum. If you choose the Christmas period, you should definitely visit the Christkindlmarkt, the typical Christmas stands all around the town center.
18 – Klosterneuburg Abbey
A few kilometers from Vienna, an interesting one-day trip might lead you to the Klosterneuburg Abbey. This is an ancient monastery located in the north of Vienna. If art and historical sites have always fascinated you, that’s a great choice.
19 – Laa an der Thaya
Laa an der Thaya is a hamlet located on the edge of the border with the Czech Republic. The main attractions are the Laeer Burg and the Kutschenmuseum Laa. Many tourists visit the town even to enjoy the renowned Thermal spa, located in the center.
20 – Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Visit the Abbey in the city of Heiligenkreuz. This is one of the most ancient Cistercian monasteries in Europe. The elegant interior on one hand, and the mixture of architectural styles on the other make the monastery a worthy place to visit.
21 – Wienerwarld
If you decide to enjoy a day-off near Vienna, you can even benefit from the proximity to Wienerwarld known also as Vienna Woods. This is a wonderful area surrounded by nature. In 2005, Wienerwarld was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
22 – Aggstein Castle
Aggstein Castle is located in the Wachau Valley. The ruins of this medieval castle are perched on a hill which overlooks the Danube River. While visiting the castle, you can even enjoy the great view!
23 – Schönbrunn
Austria flourishes of castles and great palaces. Schönbrunn Palace together with its park has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can find different types of tickets and tours, according to the duration and the areas of the Palace that you desire to explore.
24 – Linz
Linz is the capital of Upper Austria. Marked by baroque architecture, in 2009, Linz was selected as the European Capital of Culture. It is perfect for a one-day trip. Enjoy the fascinating atmosphere which distinguishes the center. If you leave on Saturday morning, you should swing by the Flohmarkt (in German), the antique market located in Hauptplatz.
25 – Dürnstein
Dürnstein is a small center located in the Wachau Valley. The history of its castle (Burgruine Dürnstein) is extremely unique since it is there that, Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned for some time. Today, there are only the castle ruins on the top of a hill.
26 – Schloss Hof
The great Schloss Hof is particularly close to the border with Slovakia. Once, it was a possession of Prince Eugene of Savoy. To visit Schloss Hof you can buy a daily ticket at the price of 15 euros, with an audio guide included. Moreover, there are family pass or combined tickets. Additionally, with Vienna Pass, you have free entry!
27 – Hermesvilla
Visit the Hermesvilla which nowadays is a venue for exhibitions. In the past, Emperor Franz Joseph donated it to Empress Elisabeth, his wife. Hermesvilla is located inside Lainzer Tiergarten, a natural reserve. Take a walk in the green and observe the several species of animals that live in the park.
28 – Semmering
Austria in winter is the perfect spot! For sure, it is full of plenty of amazing ski resorts. Here, we propose you the nearest ones. Semmering is just 1 hour by car from the capital.