9 Best Day Trips from Vienna | Complete Guide


From the super scenic Wachau valley, to the fairy tale like town of Salzburg, to the beautiful town of Budapest and a lot more, the city of Vienna is a fantastic base to cover many amazing places around it. Following is the list of the best day trips from Vienna.


1. Spend a day in the scenic Wachau Valley

Distance: 120 KMs, about 1 hour 30 mins drive
  • The super scenic Wachau Valley in Austria is about a 30 KM stretch between towns of Krems and Melk. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • This valley is famous for its rich history and culture, incredible wines and breath-taking landscapes. This valley is one of the most scenic day trips from Vienna. In this beautiful stretch, you can discover hills, monasteries, vineyards, castles and villages and much more.
  • Danube river flows through this whole stretch. The shore of this river if filled with small charming villages, castles, and some of the best vineyards in Austria.
  • You can start your tour with the town of Krems, then driving/cruising your way to the town of Melk. You can make spots at the small charming towns along the way. Many tour operators have different itineraries for this tour. So you can choose whichever suits you the best.

2. Visit the charming Melk Abbey

  • This is a Benedictine abbey which sits above the town of Melk overlooking the Danube river. The entire building has very stunning and eye catching architecture which will leave you in wonder as soon as you enter the building.
  • This abbey was home to the first ruling dynasty of Austria and has a 900 year old history. If you are a history buff, we recommend taking the guided tour.
  • The best attractions inside the abbey include an imperial museum, 18th century yellow church, the frescoes, Marble Hall and the beautiful gardens.  Overall, the spectacular architecture and paintings on the walls, the entire history behind it and the whole place, and the views from the abbey makes it one of the best day trips from Vienna.
  • You can visit the Melk Abbey as a part of a Danube River cruise, or you can take train directly to the town. The walk to the town from the station is about 15 mins. Entrance cost is 10 Euros for adults. For additional information, please visit the official website.

3. Salzburg

Distance: 2 hour 25 mins by train, or around 3 hours drive
  • The charming city of Salzburg is one of the most famous not only in Austria, but on Europe. This compact city looks right out of a fairy tale book. This city has beautifully preserved all its historical sights and its culture dating back to the middle ages. The city has so much to offer, and yet you can easily walk from its one end to the other. From a hill top castle, to beautiful churches, to the surrounding snow capped mountains, this city is simple stunning and unmissable.
  •  We would highly recommend staying in Salzburg for at least 2-3 days, as there are plenty of unmissable activities to do around Salzburg. For the list of those activities, please click here
  • The best way to get to Salzburg from Vienna is get a direct train which takes about 2 hour 25 mins. Driving also takes only 3 hours.


4. Budapest

Distance: 250 KMs, around 3 hours drive

  • The Hungarian capital is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe according to us. Home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, there is plenty to do in and around Budapest. Thus, we would highly recommend staying here for at least 2-3 nights rather than just coming for a day trip.
  • Some of the best things to do in the city include thermal springs, Buda Castle, Matthias Church, Parliament buildings, Fisherman’s Bastion and Heroes’ Square.
  • A direct train connects the 2 city centers and takes only 2 hour 45 mins per way.

5. Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Distance: 165 KMs, about 2 hours drive
  • A very saddening site overall, but also very fascinating for the history buffs, especially interested in the dark Nazi history.
  • Here the history: This site was home to the Stairs of Death. These stairs were a spot torture where prisoners were forced to carry stones heavier than their own body weight all the way up the stairs, and then pushed from there to death.  This spot was even worse than gas chambers as they would cut off prisoners tattoos and use their skin as lamp shades.
  • Entrance cost is free, not recommended for kids under 14 years old. The most recommended way of this is guided tours as not only they are cheap(approx 40 Euros), they 75 minute audio guide which will give you insight on the whole history of the place

6. Lainzer Wildlife Park

  • This is a wildlife reserve which dates back to 1561. It was built by an Austrian emperor as a hunting ground for his family to use. This is located in the Vienna woods.
  • This wildlife park is filled with numerous deers and boars, oak trees and and just pure nature. It is great place to loosen and relax yourself for a day and soak in the fresh air away from the city’s bustle. This park also offers some viewpoints from where you can get the splendid view of the whole park. For additional information, please click here

7. Vienna Woods

  • Vienna woods is forested highland region just outside the city of Vienna. This region consists of many small towns and offers many things to do and see. The most famous things to do include hiking, Mayerling hunting lodge and Wine tasting tours.
  • The Mayerling lodge is famous for a scandal that dates back to 1889. In this lodge, the crown prince of Austria Rudolf Archduke was found dead along with his mistress. Till date it is not clear whether it was a suicide or a murder. This fascinating history connected to the place makes it a worth visit.
  • Vienna woods also offers many vine towns. You can visit one of many wine cellars for wine tasting tours. This is one of the best day trips from Vienna.

8. See 600 years old bones at Eggenburg Charnel

Distance: 90 KMs, about 1 hour drive
  • Well is may be strange to think of seeing a charnel on a holiday, but if you are into history, this can be very fascinating for you.  This charnel dates back to the 1405 AD and contains the bones of 5,800 Austrians arranged in an artistic manner. It is  creepy and beautiful at the same time.
  • Because the bones are so old and fragile, you can only look at the crypt through a large glass wall. We recommend taking a guided tour to understand the history better.
  • Best way of getting there is by drive which is just 50 mins.

9. Take a underground lake boat tour at Seegrotte

  • The Seegrotte is a cave in Austria with an underground lake. Boating on this lake is a very unique and recommended experience.
  • This cave has a very interesting history. It was previously a gypsum mine was used to manufacture fighter jets at the time of World War II. For additional information, please visit the official website.

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