Even though Vienna has many things to offer to its visitor it is also a great hub to explore other destinations in Eastern Europe. We love exploring and experiencing each destination to its fullest and a good way to do it is by staying longer in a hub city and take day trips to different places each day. There are so many places to see and things to do outside of Vienna.
It can be cheaper and easier than always packing and moving all your luggage to multiple hotels, especially when you get a good deal for staying longer in your hotel, hostel or Airbnb. Vienna is close to many beautiful cities along with a large countryside. It is important that if you are thinking about crossing a nearby country border to always take your passport with you.
➳ Find all: Hotels in Vienna
In this guide we have selected our favorite day trips from Vienna and we are sharing all the information you need to start planning your day trip, including how to get to each place. We hope this list inspires you to take several day trips from Vienna and visit other nearby destinations.
Top 6 day trips from Vienna:
Vienna is the perfect base for day trips to some of the best European capital cities including Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, and Ljubljana. It is also an incredible hub to explore more of Austria. Some of the best day trips from Vienna are Salzburg and Hallstatt.
1. Vienna to Salzburg, Austria
Let’s start within Austria. Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the Alps of Austria and it is also the home of Mozart and the Mirabell Gardens & Palace. To fully explore this beautiful city you need to stay 2 to 3 days, but with one day you can get a good taste of what the Salzburg has to offer.
While you are in Salzburg make sure to visit the Schloss Hellbrunn, take the Sound of Music Movie Locations Tour, take some of the most jaw-dropping photos of the city from the Hohensalzburg Fortress and grab a coffee at Café Tomaselli.
Even though one full day might not be enough to see all that Salzburg has to offer but it definitely is one of the best day trips from Vienna.
Getting to Salzburg from Vienna: Take a direct train from Vienna to Salzburg. The ride takes about 2 hour and 20 minutes. Trains leave every 25-30 minutes starting at 5:30 AM and the last train back to Vienna leaves at 10 PM. Tickets are 25€ each way if you buy within more than a week in advance up to 54€ each way if you buy it the same day.
2. Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia
To be honest you do not need more than a day to fully experience and visit Bratislava’s main attractions. In fact, We stayed for 3 days and it was too long so took two day trips to Vienna. It is a charming small city with fascinating history.
Old Town Bratislava is completely different than Vienna, with pastel colored buildings, interesting statues, cobbled streets and a beautiful cake-looking blue church. Our favorite view is from the Bratislava Castle. It is quite a hike to reach the top so if walking is not your thing you can always get a ride there. Bratislava is also super cheap compared to its neighboring cities, so it is a good option if you are traveling on a budget. Without a doubt, Bratislava is one of the best day trips from Vienna.
Best things to do in Bratislava: Bratislava castle, Michael’s Gate, St. Martin’s Cathedral, old town, UFO bridge (for a city view), the presidential palace, street art, and the blue church.
Getting to Bratislava from Vienna: The travel time from Bratislava to Vienna is under an hour and bus tickets range 5 to 10 euros each way. Another great option is to take a train from Vienna to Bratislava, it departs from Wien Sudbanhof and arrives at Bratislava Main Station or Bratislava Petrzalka. Both stations are close to the downtown, and are easily accessible by public transport or taxi.
➳ Read More: What to do and see in Bratislava in 2 days
3. Vienna to Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is our favorite city in Eastern Europe with many attractions and a unique vibe. It is only a 3-hour bus ride from Vienna. Even though you could spend a whole week in Budapest, if you have limited time one day is a great way to get a glimpse of this fun city.
Budapest is known for its Turkish baths, impressive parliament building and complex heritage. Our favorite landmarks in the city are the Dorothy Synagogue, the Fisherman’s bastion and the chain Bridge. This is a great day trip if you are staying a couple of days extra in Vienna and want to see something different.
➳ Read More: Complete travel guide of things to do and see in Budapest
Getting to Budapest from Vienna: You can take a direct train from Vienna to Budapest or you can also take a bus. The bus and the train rides takes about the same time, 2 hours and 45 minutes.
4. Vienna to Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is four hours away from Vienna but it is totally worth it! Entering Prague you feel like you are walking into a fairytale. Our favorite attractions in Prague are the Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock, the Jewish Neighborhood and to get lost in its cobblestone streets.
Getting to Prague from Vienna: The Vienna to Prague train journey takes around 4 hours and departs often from Vienna Hauptbahnhof (main station). You could also take a bus or drive for 3.5 hours.
➳ Read More: Complete travel guide to explore Prague
5. Vienna to Ljubljana, Slovenia
It is about 5 hours bus ride from Vienna to Ljubljana but it is one of our favorite small cities in Europe. Ljubljana is charming city and is not overrun with tourists, which makes it even more magical. Ljubljana reminds us of a mix of Vienna and Eastern Europe. You can see the whole city in less than a day as it is pretty small and compact. Our favorite attractions are the Ljubljana Castle, the Triple Bridge, the dragon bridge and to just walk around the old town.
We have read about other destinations close by Vienna that are worth a day trip but we have not yet visited such as Danube Valley, Hallstatt, Melk, Salzburg.
Getting to Ljubljana from Vienna: The easiest way to travel is by car and it takes about 4 hours another option is to take a bus that takes about 7 hours.
➳ Read More: Complete travel guide to explore Ljubljana in one day
6. Vienna to Hallstatt Village
From Hallstatt you can also continue on further into the mountains to drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, one of the most popular destinations in Austria due to its breathtaking natural beauty.
Getting to Hallstatt from Vienna: Take the OBB train line to Attnang-Puchheim for 2 hours and 10 minutes and then switch trains and take the local REX to the Hallstatt Station for another 70 Minutes, and lastly take a short ferry across the lake. Another option is to drive 3 hours in a rental car.
Thursday 9th of January 2020
“While you are in Salzburg make sure to visit the Schonbrunn Palace” This could turn out a liiittle bit difficult, because Schönbrunn IS IN VIENNA. I’d suggest you do at least some research before posting travel “tips” and sending people to the wrong side of the country.
Besides… Hallstatt is nice, but it’s flooded with tourists, especially in the summer, which of course pisses off the residents (rightfully so!), So if you want to see beautiful towns, go everywhere BUT Hallstatt.