Vienna is a historic city that often surprises visitors with how much it has to offer. Austria doesn't often make international headlines now, but just over a hundred years ago, Vienna was the seat of one of the world's biggest empires, and you can still see traces of that proud history everywhere you go.
Once you've explored the best museums in Vienna and gotten to grips with the city's unrivaled coffee culture, there's lots more to do. The best day trips from Vienna will let you see more of Austria and central Europe, and thanks to the city's excellent transportation network, it's easy to get from Vienna to many fascinating locations in the region. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage, and try some of these fascinating day trips. Your trip to Vienna could be the jumping-off point for a deeper exploration of central Europe, and there's so much to see here that you'll soon be planning a return visit.
How to get out of Vienna
As is the case with most European capitals, you don't want to drive in the middle of Vienna if you can avoid it. Luckily, you can. Vienna has a truly exceptional public transport network, and you can read more about how to get around Vienna here. Plus, you'll have access to both regional and high-speed trains to different cities and even different countries on the best day trips from Vienna.
Of course, depending on where you want to go, sometimes nothing beats a car. But for most of these day trips, trains or buses can get you everywhere you want to go, and you won't have to worry about parking when you get there.
From Vienna to the Danube Valley
One of Vienna's most popular day trips is a cruise down the Danube. The Danube is one of Europe's great rivers, and it flows right through the heart of Vienna before heading east through Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria to the Black Sea.
There are different ways to do this trip, but one of the most popular is to take a train from Vienna to Melk, where you can visit the magnificent Melk Abbey. From Melk, you can then take a boat cruise down the river to Durnstein and Krems before returning to Vienna by train.
This is a great way to see some of Austria's beautiful countryside and get a taste of life in small Austrian towns. And if you're lucky, you might even spot some of the region's famous wild horses!
A boat tour of the Danube River is an excellent way to see the more natural side of Austria without going far from the city. It's also an easy way to explore, making this one of the best day trips from Vienna if you just want to relax.
How to get to the Danube Valley
The Danube River runs right through Vienna city center, and it is possible to take a boat ride from the city itself. Alternatively, head to Melk, reachable by train or car in around an hour, to see a quieter part of the river.
From Vienna to Lainzer Wildlife Park
Lainzer Wildlife Park is a nature reserve just outside of Vienna, and it's one of the best day trips from the city if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle.
This huge park is home to a wide variety of animals, including deer, foxes, and rabbits. There are also plenty of walking and biking trails to explore, making it the perfect place to get away from it all for a few hours.
And if you want to learn more about the park's history and wildlife, you can visit the on-site museum or take a guided tour. Lainzer Wildlife Park is a great option if you're looking for an easy day trip from Vienna that's also educational.
How to get to Lainzer Wildlife Park
It's a 45-minute drive from the center of Vienna to Lainzer Wildlife Park. Alternatively, you can take bus 56B to Lainzer Tor.
From Vienna to Vienna Woods
The Vienna Woods is a protected area of forest just outside of the city and is one of the best places to escape the heat in summer.
This huge forest is criss-crossed with walking and biking trails, making it perfect for a day of exploring. And if you want to cool off, you can take a dip in one of the many lakes or ponds.
There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes dotted around the forest, so you can refuel after a day of exploring. The Vienna Woods is a great option for a day trip from Vienna if you want to enjoy some time outdoors.
That's not to say that Vienna Woods is any more lacking in history than the rest of the city. Visit Mayerling hunting lodge to learn the story of a scandal that rocked the royal family of Austria in the early 19th century, or visit the atmospheric Lichtenstein Castle on this fascinating day trip that's easily reached from Vienna.
How to get to Vienna Woods
It's about an hour's drive from the heart of the city to this sprawling woodland. It's also possible to get there on bus 1130 from Vienna Hauptbahnhof, which will take around an hour and a half.
From Vienna to Baden bei Wien
Baden bei Wien is a small town located just outside of Vienna, and it's one of the best day trips from the city if you're looking to relax.
This pretty spa town is home to a number of thermal baths, which are perfect for soaking away your troubles. There are also some lovely parks and gardens to explore, as well as a number of historical monuments.
And if you want to sample some of the local wine, Baden bei Wien is located in the scenic Wachau Valley, which is famous for its white wine. With its therapeutic baths and picturesque setting, Baden bei Wien is the perfect place to unwind for a day.
How to get to Baden bei Wien
This town is around an hour by car from Vienna, but you can also get there by taking a train from Vienna Hauptbahnhof to Baden bei Wien station in around half an hour.
From Vienna to Hallstatt
Hallstatt is a small town located in the Austrian Alps, and it's one of the best day trips from Vienna if you're looking to enjoy some outdoor activities.
In winter, the town is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding; in summer, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore. There's also a lake where you can go swimming, or you can relax in one of the town's many cafes.
And if you want to learn more about the area's history, Hallstatt is home to a number of museums, including the Museum of Alpine Art and the Copper Age Museum. With its beautiful setting and abundance of things to do, Hallstatt is an ideal day trip from Vienna all year round.
How to get to Hallstatt
Whether you drive or take the train, expect to spend three to four hours getting to Hallstatt. For that reason, it might be better to plan this as an overnight trip.
From Vienna to Graz
Graz is Austria's second-largest city, and it's located just a short drive from Vienna. This historic city is home to a number of interesting sights, including the imposing Schlossberg Castle and the lively Hauptplatz Square.
There are also plenty of museums and art galleries to explore, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Graz Museum of Natural History. And if you're looking for some retail therapy, Graz has a number of stylish boutiques and department stores.
With its mix of history and culture, Graz makes for an enjoyable day trip from Vienna. And if you want to make it a longer trip, there are plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from.
How to get to Graz
An intercity train will take you to Graz in two and a half hours. It takes about the same amount of time to drive, so it's up to you how you'd like to get there.
From Vienna to Carnuntum
If you're interested in historic sites, this ancient Roman city makes for a very interesting place to visit. Archaeological Park Carnuntum is a large complex of Roman ruins, which includes an amphitheater, baths, and a temple.
There's also a museum on-site dedicated to the city's history. And if you want to learn more about the Roman Empire, Carnuntum is located on the Danube Limes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches for over 2,000 km from Austria to Romania.
Carnuntum is a great day trip from Vienna if you're interested in history and culture. And if you want to make it a longer trip, there are plenty of hotels and restaurants in the city.
How to get to Carnuntum
You can reach Carnuntum by taking bus 217 or 218 to Modling Station, then the REX7 train to Petronell-Carnuntum station. This will take just over an hour, whereas driving there will take about 45 minutes.
From Vienna to Salzburg
Salzburg is one of Austria's most popular tourist destinations, and it's easy to see why. This picturesque city is best known as the birthplace of world-renowned composer Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music. But there's much more to Salzburg than that.
The best way to get from Vienna to Salzburg is by train, and the journey takes around three hours. Once you're there, you can explore Salzburg's medieval center, visit one of its many museums, or take a cable car up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress for stunning views over the city.
If you're a fan of The Sound of Music, you can even take a guided tour of the film's locations. Or, if you're feeling active, you can hike up to Untersberg Mountain for more great views.
How to get to Salzburg
Trains leave from Vienna Central Station to Salzburg every 30 minutes, taking two and half hours to make the journey. Driving will take three hours at least, so this is one of those occasions when it's actually quicker to take public transport.
From Vienna to Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, and it's just an hour away from Vienna by train. This small city is often overlooked by visitors to Austria, but it's well worth a visit.
As well as being a convenient stop if you're traveling between Vienna and Budapest, Bratislava has a lot to offer in its own right. Its compact Old Town is full of charm, and there are plenty of great restaurants and bars to enjoy.
And if you want to get out of the city for a while, you can take a boat trip down the Danube or visit one of the many castles in the surrounding area. Check out historical monuments like Bratislava Castle, Bratislava City Museum, Michael's Gate, and the Old Town Hall, or just enjoy the lively city life of this underrated town, and you'll wonder why more people don't make the day trip here from the Austrian capital.
How to get to Bratislava
It's only an hour by train from the capital of Austria to the capital of Slovakia. You can also take a long-distance bus, which is cheaper but will take around an hour and a half. Driving there will also take about an hour.
From Vienna to Prague
Prague is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, and it's just a short journey from Vienna by train. The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is a beautiful city with a rich history and plenty to see and do.
In Prague, you can explore the Old Town Square, visit the castle, or take a cruise down the Vltava River. You can also enjoy some of the city's famous nightlife or sample some of its delicious beer. The beautifully preserved Old Town Square of Prague makes this one of the most unmissable day trips from Vienna for photography fans, and the beer and exceptional nightlife are a big draw for those who want to party.
And if you're interested in history, there are plenty of museums and galleries to visit, including the Jewish Museum and the Franz Kafka Museum. The city is also home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With so much to see and do, Prague is one of the best day trips from Vienna for anyone who wants to explore a new city.
How to get to Prague
Driving from Vienna to Prague will take you around three and a half hours. Taking the train there will take over four hours, so this is another place that may be a little too far for a day trip. However, it is unquestionably one of the best trips from Vienna, so it might be worth planning to spend a night or two in Prague to make the most of your journey.
Vienna's location in the very heart of Europe means it's close to some truly incredible day trip locations. Whether you want to get away from it all in the countryside, admire the majesty of the Alps, or soak up the lively atmosphere of other capital cities like Bratislava and Prague, it's all doable from Vienna. Just drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage and get ready to enjoy all that this region has to offer.