5 amazing day trips from Vienna by public transport

Vienna is a great city to explore, but there are plenty of marvellous places to visit outside it. The city has an excellent public transportation system, including a rail network, so it is easy to get around by train, bus, and boat. Vienna is known as the best-connected city by rail in Europe. Additionally, Vienna is close to countries like Slovakia, Hungary, and Czechia, which means Bratislava, for example, can also be a superb option for a day trip. I am providing a list of five wonderful day trips from Vienna by public transport that I personally experienced. I hope you will appreciate them as much as I did.

1 Melk Abbey

Why should you visit?

Melk Abbey is an expansive Baroque complex that has gained recognition around the globe due to its exquisite architecture. It is added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has been continuously inhabited by Benedictine monks since 1089. Melk town has been around for a long time and remains one of Austria’s most well-preserved medieval towns. It has an array of attractions to experience, most notably its old town situated on a hill.

Distance from Vienna city centre is less than 90 kilometres (55.9 miles).

How do you get there?

To get to Melk from Vienna Central Station, take a train to Salzburg and disembark at Polten station to switch to another train to Pöchlarn.  Get off the train at Melk station. The whole journey should take about an hour.

2 Klosterneuburg Abbey

Why should you visit?

The monastery is home to some of Vienna’s most iconic artwork and wine collections. It was integral in the formation of Austria as a nation and is the location of Austria’s oldest wine estate. The estate, picturesquely located amidst the vineyards, is known for the preservation of unique cultural artefacts as well as having served as an imperial residence for the Babenberg and Habsburg dynasties. The Klosterneuburg Abbey offers a captivating experience with its baroque architecture and winery. Art history enthusiasts and wine lovers alike will find something to enjoy there.

Distance from Vienna city centre is 25 kilometres (15.5 miles).

How do you get there?

It takes about 50 minutes from Hauptbahnhof Ost. First, take tram D to Franz Josefs Bahnhof, then board train S40 to Tulln/Donau Bahnhof, getting off at Klosterneuburg-Weidling station. Once you hop off the train from the train, look around and you will see the towers of Klosterneuburg Abbey. It is a short walk away.

Practical tip:  Check out the abbey website for their ticketing system and available guided tours. Some parts of the abbey are accessible only as part of guided tours.

3 Laxenburg Park and castles

Why should you visit?

Situated 15 kilometres (9.2 miles) south of Vienna, Laxenburg Park was historically designed to serve as a private summer residence for the Habsburg royal family. The park covering 280 hectares features a well-maintained landscape with a large lake, many walking paths, a grotto, and a footbridge. The two castles, Laxenburg and Franzensburg, are both located on the grounds and add to the park’s picturesque beauty. Franzensburg was constructed in the first part of the 19th century and is styled in a manner reminiscent of a traditional castle. It was commissioned by Emperor Franz and constructed on an artificial island near the existing Laxenburg Castle. I recommend visiting a museum located in Franzensburg Castle. It is open from Easter to November 1st. To get there, you have to take a short ferry ride.

Distance from Vienna city centre is 20 kilometres (12.4 miles).

How do you get there?

Take bus number 200 from Südtiroler Platz and you will get there in 40 minutes.

Practical tip

Franzensburg Castle Museum guided tours take place every day at 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. High Tower and Roofs guided tours take place every day at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

4 Eisenstadt with Esterhazy Palace

Why should you visit?

Esterházy Palace is a popular attraction in the city, renowned for its Baroque architecture. Joseph Haydn, a famous composer, was a court musician for the Esterházy family in the palace from 1761 to 1791. Music fans have the opportunity to experience the works of Joseph Haydn in the place where they were originally composed. Other popular sights of Eisenstadt include Calvary Mountain, St. Martin’s Cathedral, and the Gloriette. If you are a passionate music lover, you can attend an opera performance at the open-air stage in the Roman quarry in St. Margarethen, located 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from Eisenstadt. Keep in mind that the opera performances take place only in July and August.

Distance from Vienna city centre is 60 kilometres (37.3 miles).

How to get there?

Take train Rex 64 from Vienna Central T or bus number 200. The trip will take less than 1.5 hours.

5 Bratislava, capital of Slovakia

Why should you visit?

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is renowned for its fusion of history, architectural beauty, and cultural offerings. People may visit the city to see historical sites such as Bratislava Castle, St. Martin’s Cathedral, and the Old Town Hall. Additionally, the city is praised for its various styles of architecture, such as Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau. One of the most popular attractions in Bratislava is its array of life-sized sculptures located in the Old Town. The Cumil or ‘Man at Work’ statue is relatively recent, installed in 1997, but it is a favourite among both locals and visitors.

Enjoy a meal at the largest restaurant in the city, British Flagship, built on the premises of a former cinema. Make sure to taste bryndzove halusky while there – it is the most traditional Slovak dish, featuring potato gnocchi with sheep cheese and toasted bacon topping.

Address: Námestie SNP č. 8

Distance from Vienna city centre is about 70 kilometres (43.5 miles).

How to get there?

I recommend going one way by The Twin City Liner catamaran and returning by train. The fast catamaran, which runs from Vienna to Bratislava and back three times a day, can accommodate up to 250 people, with a trip in one direction taking 75 minutes.

Practical tips

If you want to go to Bratislava by catamaran, buy your tickets online at least one week in advance. To make the most of your Bratislava experience, I suggest taking a free walking tour of the city. This way, you will gain a great deal of information and receive valuable tips on how to make the most of the rest of your day.

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What did you think? What is your favorite day trip from Vienna? I would love to hear from you, so please add your comment below.

  • Published by Anita on August 11, 2023

    Author: Anita Sane