Plan your daily trips in Vienna!
Jan 23, 2018 | Travel guide
The area around Vienna offers a plethora of beautiful scenery to explore, thanks to its location in the foothills of the Alps and on the banks of the Danube. Vienna’s central location makes it a convenient starting point for various day trips and visits to some of the nearby towns and villages. Since we assume that you got Vienna’s most important spots covered, we are proposing six amazing ideas for day trips to consider while in your airport taxi.
If you board a train from Vienna, you’ll reach Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, in less than an hour. This is an affordable, fun and an easy day out, where 18th century buildings line the streets of the old town, guarded by Soviet era architecture not far beyond. Here you can enjoy wonderful panoramic views from the Bratislava Castle above the Danube River, slicing through the city. You can start your stroll through the pedestrian-only old town, where you'll see the old town hall, housing the Bratislava City Museum, along with the Michael's Gate from the original medieval fortifications. Another recommended attraction is the Grassalkovich Palace, where the president of Slovakia resides. The place bursts with many restaurants and sidewalk cafes, where you can taste the local cuisine and beer.
Heiligenstadt is the oldest of the "Viennese villages" on the city's outskirts. It was incorporated into the district of Döbling in 1892, today being known for its quiet and narrow streets. Here you can admire the historic homes of Probusgasse and Armbrustergasse, along with the St. Jacob's Church on the Pfarrplatz, built in Romanesque style on Roman foundations. However, Heiligenstadt is mainly famous since it was visited by Ludwig von Beethoven on several occasions, including the autumn of 1802 when he was working on his Second Symphony. He wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter he never sent to his brothers where he writes about his increasing deafness, at 6 Probusgasse. Today this home is a museum, called the Beethoven Wohnung Heiligenstadt, being dedicated to this period of the composer's life.
Located just 46 kilometers east of Vienna, Rohrau is known as the birthplace of the composer Joseph Haydn in 1732. There’s a museum housed in the small farmhouse where he was born, dedicated to the great composer and radiating with numerous fascinating exhibits and artifacts from his life. The actual room where he was born is also open, reconstructed as it was at the time. While at Rohrau, make sure to pay a visit to the castle that once belonged to Count von Harrach. This spectacular attraction today is a fine arts museum housing the Count's extensive collection of paintings. Today, more than 200 paintings are kept here, including artworks by Rubens and Van Dyck.
The lovely little village of Grinzing is distanced at only 17 kilometers northeast of Vienna. It was first mentioned in 1114 and was destroyed numerous times by war. The original village structures date back to the 19th century, decorated by wooded setting, quaint gardens and winding streets, making it perfect for a day visit. The village is unique in its local laws, which allow individuals to purchase tiny plots of land and grow wines. Many typical Austrian restaurants can be found here, known for indicating whether they're open by placing spruce branches over their entrances. The area is famous among hikers, who explore the trails around the nearby Kahlenberg and Leopoldsberg hills.
The Lainzer Wildlife Park spreads through 24 square kilometers of the Vienna Woods and it’s known as a spot to escape from the big city. It's populated by old oak and beech trees (some over 350 years old), along with wildlife such as deer and boar. The place was once a hunting reserve of Emperor Joseph II, which was in 1787 fenced off with a 24-kilometer-long stonewall by orders of Empress Maria Theresa. In 1921 it was opened to the public, representing an important conservation area with over 80 kilometers of footpaths and home to the 14-meter-high Hubertuswarte observation tower on the Kaltenbründlberg. While you’re at it, you can hit Baden bei Wien on the edge of the Vienna Woods. This is a spa town famous for its healing waters, known as Aquae among the Romans. Nearly 2,000 years later, the sulfur springs in the town still spew out six-and-a-half million liters of therapeutic warm water every day.
The monastery in the small town of Klosterneuburg is sitting at the edge of the Vienna Woods, just north of the city, attracting many visitors every day. Resting high above the Danube, the Klosterneuburg Monastery was founded in the 12th century, while the surrounding buildings were added in the 18th and 19th centuries. While here, pay a visit to the church, with its Romanesque and Baroque features, the Leopold Courtyard, and the monastery vaults. The famous Verduner Altar in the Leopold Chapel is especially noteworthy and consists of 45 enameled panels dating from 1181. The newer Baroque building has two copper domes, one surmounted by the German Imperial Crown, the other by the Lower Austrian Archducal Bonnet. Explore the Baroque main staircase, the Marble Hall, the Imperial Apartment, the Tapestry Room, the Treasury and the Monastery Museum to make the most of the day.
Being the brightest European jewel, there are many things that make Vienna a great city, finding their way into every tourist’s heart. After visiting Vienna and its surroundings, it is difficult not to be overwhelmed and sad when you find yourself traveling back to the airport in your airport shuttle. Until the next time, Auf Wiedersehen.
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