Aerial view of city center Vienna from St. Stephen's Cathedral

Best day trips from Vienna

Vienna itself is truly a marvelous city to visit, but have you ever wondered what to visit outside Vienna? No worries, we’re here to give you the ultimate list of the most visited destinations from Vienna. So, take a pen and a note and start planning!

1) Liechtenstein Castle and Seegrotte Hinterbrühl, Mödling

Only 20-minutes drive from Vienna, the district of Mödling is known for the iconic Liechtenstein Castle, which you might have seen in the famous movie The Three Musketeers. This could be a perfect day trip for you if you are not into too crowded places, because it is not that popular among foreign tourist due to tours held only in German. However, you can ask for leaflets in English. The castle was built in the 12th century in honor to the Prince of Liechtenstein and remained a royal seat for more than 200 years. After visiting the castle, you can take a boat ride on underground lake, Seegrotte Hinterbrühl. More than 200 000 people visit this lake, which was once the old gypsum mine, flooded with 20 million liters of water. Every 4th of December locals celebrate the mine’s anniversary in the upper level, of course with plenty of food and beverages for the visitors!

How to get to Mödling:

  • From Vienna by metro to Vienna’s Meidling train station and then take a local train to Mödling. Trains are very frequent, they leave every 10 minutes.
  • Once you arrive to Mödling train station, take bus number 262 to Siedlungsstraße (6 minute walk from Liechtenstein Castle)
  • To reach Seegrotte Hinterbrühl instead of bus 262, take line 364 or 365 which will take you directly to the entrance

Source: Pixabay

2) Salzburg

While in Vienna, it would be a shame not to visit the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But it’s only the birthplace that makes Salzburg one of the most popular tourist destinations – the old town is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. Since 1920, every year is held the prominent Salzburg Opera Festival. In 2006 the festival celebrated the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth by staging all 22 of his operatic works. And don’t forget to visit the iconic fortress on the cliff above Salzburg. You can either walk up to it, or take a ride in a cable car and enjoy the landscape.

How to get to Salzburg:

  • By bus: The earliest departure from Vienna is at 00:30 and the latest at 15:30. Prices for a one way adult ticket range from 21 € to 57 €. Check here all the info about prices, timetable and station location
  • By train: You can reach Salzburg from Vienna by Westbahn or OBB Railjet trains which depart several times per hour. Prices vary from 26€ to 53€ and it is certainly a faster option because the trains are direct and it will take you 2.5 hours to get to Salzburg

3) Hallstatt

This picturesque Austrian town was accessible only by boat until 19th century while today it is one of top destinations for a perfect day trip. The major attraction is probably The Market Square located in the centre of Hallstatt which during December becomes a Christmas fair where you can buy souvenirs and try delicious mulled wine. The salt mine in Hallstatt is considered the oldest in the world, since it is over 7000 years old. Today you even can do an organized tour through the mine on a miner’s train and get to know how the workers of the mine used to live. For only 2.5€ take a mini boat trip on crystal clear lake and after that treat yourself with traditional fish dishes in the restaurants by the lake.

How to get to Hallstatt:

  • By train: the best option to reach Hallstatt is by taking a train from Vienna Central train station (Hauptbahnhof) or from West train station (Wien Westbahnhof) to Hallstatt train station. However, you’ll have to take the ferry across the lake from the Hallstatt train station to reach the town. Trains are regular and they depart 15 times a day.
  • By car: The distance between Vienna and Hallstatt is 298km and it normally takes around 3hrs and 30 minutes to get there. In case you don’t have your own car, you can rent one here.

4) Linz

Linz is the third largest city in Austria and its location is quite interesting since it lies on both banks of Danube river. Though Mozart was born in Salzburg, he spent most of his life living in Linz. We could say that Linz is the headquarters of Austrian technology thanks to the Ars Electronic Centre and the Museum of the Future, and see things like virtual table tennis, or robots which respond when you call them by their name. Botanical gardens known as the Gugl are one of the most stunning in Europe, with different themed gardens, such as Japanese with water lilly pond. After a hard day of sightseeing, treat yourself with a piece of delicious Linzer cake, which is considered to be the oldest in the world.

How to get to Linz:

  • By bus: The bus from Vienna departs at 10:30 from the main bus station and the price of a single ticket is 27€ (check here all the information about route Vienna – Linz)
  • By train: From Westbahnhof station in Vienna you can get to Linz by a direct train which departs several times a day. The price of a single ticket ranges from 15-41€

5) Budapest, Hungary

The capital of Hungary is probably the most attractive and most visited when it comes to day trips from Vienna since it takes roughly 3 hours to get there. Budapest definitely has a lot to offer – visit to Buda Castle hill visible from all parts of the city, taking a stroll on the Promenade on Danube river, having a picnic in beautiful City Park and much more. While in Budapest, make sure to set aside few hours to relax in one of many thermal springs because Budapest literally has them the most!

How to get to Budapest:

  • By bus: from Vienna to Budapest → up to 16 departures, the earliest departure is at 05:00, and the latest at 21:05. The prices range from 9-23€
  • By train: There are up to 15 departures from Vienna (from Meidling, Huetteldorf and Westbahnhof) with ticket prices ranging from 29-48€

Szechenyi thermal baths in Budapest.
6) Prague, Czech Republic

Last on our list is the ‘city of thousand spires’ with rich historical culture. Probably the most significant symbol of Prague is the Charles Bridge which sometimes gets too crowded, up to thousand people even. Make sure you include on your tour list the famous Hradčany Castle, the home of Bohemia’s kings, and the Old Town Square where you can see the interesting Astronomical Clock – every hour figures appear and parade across the clock face. When it comes to food, try various sausages sold on street food stands, they’re delicious but friendly for your your pocket.

How to get to Prague:

  • By bus: from Vienna to Prague → the earliest departure is at 02:55 and the latest at 23:55 and the price of tickets varies from 15-31€
  • By train: There are more than 10 train departures from Vienna Hauptbahnhof and the price of a single ticket is 30€ (35€ if it’s e-ticket)

Prague, Czech Republic, Central Europe, 26.12.2014. The view over Staromestska square, the Orloj and Tyn temple on a cloudy winter day

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