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Train travel in Austria: The best day trips from Vienna

Julia Hjelm Jakobsson
Julia Hjelm Jakobsson - [email protected]
Train travel in Austria: The best day trips from Vienna
Photo by Alex Gruber on Unsplash

If you want to get out of Vienna for the day, there are many interesting, beautiful, and exciting places to explore just a short train ride away.


If you want to spend the day outside the Austrian capital, you have many options. The trains from Vienna can effectively take you to a wide range of places ready to explore. You can go hiking in different mountains, explore vineyards and castles, visit another country and its capital, or just relax at a nearby lake.

You can easily plan your trip using ÖBB's timetables through their website or application.

Enjoy the vineyards in Wachau Valley

Wachau is a valley located outside Vienna along the Danube River. It is famous for its beautiful landscape, charming villages, and many vineyards. The valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is worth paying a visit.

In the area, you can explore beautiful small towns like Dürnstein and visit historic monasteries like Dürnstein Castle and Melk Abbey. You can also enjoy wine tasting at local wineries or hike around the region's beautiful surroundings. One of the most famous hikes in the area is the Wachau World Heritage Trail, a long-distance hiking trail that follows the Danube River and takes you through vineyards and historic landmarks.

Wachau is easily reached from Vienna by train to Krems, where you can change to a bus that takes you to Wachau.

Photo by Sandra Dempsey on Unsplash

Check out Bratislava

Bratislava is only a short one-hour train ride from Vienna, making it an excellent option for a smaller holiday escape. The city offers a lot to see and experience. The old town, Wander, has picturesque streets, historic landmarks, colourful buildings, and charming squares. A few things that are especially worth seeing are St. Martin's Cathedral, Michael's Gate, and the Old Town Hall.

If you want a panoramic view of the city, you can walk up to Bratislava Castle, which lets you get a better image of the city's structure and plan where to go next.

The city also has many traditional restaurants where you can try out typical dishes from Slovak cuisine, such as Bryndzové Halušky (small potato dumplings).

Photo by Martin Katler on Unsplash

Visit Eisenstadt and Lake Neusiedl

Visiting Eisenstadt and Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland is another good option. You can reach the lake and Eisenstadt in about one hour by train from Vienna's central station.


Eisenstadt is the capital city of Burgenland and is known for its charm and historic sites, such as Esterházy Palace and the Haydn House, the former residence of the famous composer Joseph Haydn.

Lake Neusiedl is a great place to visit, especially for outdoor activities, particularly in the summer and springtime. The lake is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a famous destination for cycling, swimming, windsurfing, sailing, or just relaxing.

Photo by Christian Holzinger on Unsplash.

Explore the outdoors in Semmering, Rax or Schneeberg

If you want to go to mountainous areas close to Vienna, these three mountain areas are your best choices. They are all located in Lower Austria and are easily reachable with public transport from Vienna.

Semmering is a mountain pass and small town located 1h30 away from Vienna by direct train or bus. The area is an excellent place for enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing.


Rax is a mountain range not too far from Vienna and a perfect place for hiking, biking, or skiing. Reaching Rax from Vienna is relatively easy. You can take a train to Wiener Neustadt, which takes about 40 minutes, and then a bus ride of around 40 minutes to the small town of Reichenau an der Rax. You use the cable car (Rax-Seilbahn) from there or hike up to the plateau.

Schneeberg is a mountain located near Puchberg am Schneeberg, a 1.5-hour train ride from Vienna. After arriving in Puchberg, you can either take a long hike to the mountain's summit or take a bus or a shorter hike to the Schneebergbahn, a railway with a train that takes you up to the mountain plateau. Schneeberg is the highest mountain in Lower Austria and a popular outdoor destination for hiking, biking, or ski touring.

Photo by Daniela Turcanu on Unsplash.

Go to a spa in Baden bei Wien

Baden bei Wien, mostly known as Baden, is a charming spa town in Lower Austria, south of Vienna.

The town is famous for its thermal springs and picturesque surroundings, and the trip there only takes around 40 minutes by train from Vienna.


Baden offers everything from thermal baths such as Römertherme and the Badener Kurzentrum to a beautiful historic centre with lively squares, historic buildings, and places like Beethovenhaus. Visitors also travel to Baden to enjoy hikes around the town in the Vienna Woods, which offers a wide range of hiking trails in the area.

Photo by Roman Vasilovski on Unsplash.




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