If you plan to spend several days exploring Vienna, Austria and want to venture outside the city there are plenty of great options within reach.
Whether you want to escape to the mountains for hiking or relax in the wine country and try local wines—there is something for everyone.
Best Day Trips From Vienna
Vienna has plenty to offer for everyone—from Opera concerts, shopping & museums, to indulging in superb Austrian cuisine—and if you are on a tight budget there are plenty of wonderful free things to see within Vienna. This means you don’t have to break your budget when exploring the city.
If you are only traveling through Vienna for a few days there are not must not miss sights that you should put on your list.
Summer is the high season in Vienna and you’ll likely find yourself outside most of the day enjoying the many parks, open cafes or the Danube waterfront. On the flip-side, wintertime in Vienna is equally enjoyable with plenty of things to do including Christmas markets, seeing the Vienna State Opera, or nerding out at one of the seemingly endless museums.
After getting a taste of Vienna you may want to venture further into the Austrian countryside to experience a more laid back and authentic Austria.
We’ve broken down some of the best days trips from Vienna by both short day trips consisting of 1-2 hour journeys and long day trips that will take 2-4 hours to reach.
The Wachau Valley
West of Vienna along the Danube you’ll find the Wachau Valley which offers awe-inspiring landscapes and views of this spectacular wine region seeped in history. It’s best know for it’s rolling hills, vineyards, and castles.
A highlight in this region is Dürnstein, a cute village located just above the Danube with small cobblestone streets filled with local eateries and cafes.
If you head up the river valley another 30 minutes you’ll reach the charming town of Melk which showcases one of Austria’s most stunning churches, the Melk Abbey. It sits just above the town center on a hilltop overlooking the Danube and is worth checking out if you are in the area, not to mention it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photo via Flickr user Cha già José by CC BY-SA 2.0
The Klosterneuburg Monastery (Stift Klosterneuburg) is a stunning twelfth-century Augustinian monastery of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s located just 20 minutes from Vienna in the town of Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria.
Founded in 1114 by Saint Leopold III of Babenberg, today the monastery overlooks the Danube river on a hill.
National Park Lobau
Just 15 minutes from the center of Vienna you can reach the National Park Lobau. The park is offers pure nature and solitude and is perfect for nature walks, trail running, swimming, and cycling.
Photo via Flickr user McArthurGlen Designer Outlets by CC BY-SA 2.0
Parndorf Shopping Outlets
If you like to shop-till-you-drop, the Parndorf Factory Outlets are a top spot within reach from Vienna.
This outlet center is one of the largest in Europe with over 160 brand stores and it’s architecture is even designed to look like a traditional Austrian village.
Vienna to Hallstatt Day Trip
One of the most famous and picturesque mountain villages in Austria is Hallstatt. This quaint village sits along Lake Hallstatt’s western shore at the base of Austria’s Salzkammergut mountains.
Its 16th-century Alpine houses and small alleyways are perfect for wandering and taking photos.
If you are heading to Hallstatt you may want to consider adding a stopover in Salzburg before returning to Vienna. It’s possible to do it as a long day trip, but adding a night in Salzburg it well worth it and will give you a change to explore the lovely city and everything it has to offer.
Vienna to Prague Day Trip
Prague offers one of the most stunning historic city centers in Europe. Although it is certainly one of the longer day trips from Vienna, it can be done if you leave early. In my opinion you won’t be giving the city justice with less than 2 full days of exploring.
The easiest way to day to trip Prague from Vienna is by train or bus. Both journeys take approximately 4 hours one way and there are many scheduled trips each day. For budget savvy travelers taking the bus is the best option as prices can be as low as 10-15 Euros.
Vienna to Red Bull Ring
If you are a motorsports fan visiting the Red Bull Ring to view the Austrian Gran Prix can make for an exciting day trip from Vienna. The race circuit is located in Styria, which is know for is stunning countryside and landscapes.
The Red Bull Ring is located is a rather rural area, nested in valley approaching the Austrian Alps. Since it is rather off the beaten path, the easiest way to visit the race track is to drive the roughly 2 hour trip from Vienna by car. Although it is possible to make it there by bus or train.
Typically the Austrian Gran Prix is held in the middle of summer, so expect warmer temps and bring sun protection. If you have extra time you can stop over in Graz or head further into the Alps for mountain sightseeing or hiking.