If you are planning on spending a few days in Vienna, we recommend adding a day trip to Bratislava to your itinerary. Located just over 35 miles (60 km) from Vienna, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is one of the youngest European capitals and makes a perfect day trip for those who wish to explore the charms of its small historical center.
In the summer months, travel to Bratislava by boat along the serene River Danube and in the winter months, take a short train journey. Wander its narrow lanes and explore its small yet charming Old Town, which is almost completely pedestrianized. Admire its medieval buildings, baroque palaces and pretty churches or head to St. Michael’s Street for a spot of souvenir shopping or a bite to eat.
You may also wish to venture a little further afield and explore Bratislava Castle where you can take in the view over the city and the Danube below.
Situated just a few kilometres outside of Vienna’s city center, the Klosterneuburg Monastery makes for an excellent half day trip for lovers of wine, history and architecture. Our guided tour will take you to explore this famous monastery that has played an important role in Austria since the 11th century. Discover its sacred works of art and treasures, including the magnificent baroque organ and the monastery’s most celebrated possession, Verdun Alter. Its exquisite gold enameled panels represent a highpoint of medieval artistry.
For wine lovers and connoisseurs, a visit to the Klosterneuburg’s winery will surely be a highlight, taking you 36 metres underground to the historical baroque wine cellar. As Austria’s oldest winery, you will experience and learn about the unique connection between the century old wine growing traditions and the most modern wine technology, as well as enjoy an opportunity to participate in a wine tasting.
The Wachau Valley & Melk Abbey
Escape the city and head to the most beautiful stretch of the Danube, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley. Visit for a fantastic day trip as you explore this picturesque valley known for its breath-taking landscapes and charming riverside towns. A cruise here will take you past medieval castles, hills covered in vineyards, charming villages and picturesque abbeys including the famous Melk Abbey.
Situated on a rocky hill overlooking the Danube River, it is perhaps the most beautiful Baroque abbey in the world. The abbey amazes with the splendour of its architecture, its magnificent soaring library, and its frescoed church. The village below the abbey is also well worth visiting, with its quaint pedestrian town square lined by burgher residences with Baroque facades.
You can also debark at one of the other charming villages and explore on foot, taking in the river views, tasting some wine, wandering the tiny lanes and then returning to your relaxing river cruise boat.
Hike to Durnstein Castle
Those who wish can hike up to the dramatic castle ruins above the town of Dürnstein, where the English king was imprisoned and ransomed over 800 years ago.
Richard the Lionheart had offended Leopold the Virtuous by casting down his standard from the walls at the Battle of Acre, and the duke suspected that King Richard ordered the murder of his cousin Conrad of Montferrat in Jerusalem.
Dürnstein Castle was almost completely destroyed by the troops of the Swedish Empire under Field Marshal Lennart Torstenson in 1645.
Cycle through the Wachau Valley
You can also enjoy a relaxing guided cycling trip to the Wachau Valley which takes you along the river, exploring the many beautiful sites along the way.
Once you come upon a spot with a particularly breathtaking view of the valley, you’ll stop for a picnic lunch. Once you’re done cycling, you’ll take a relaxing cruise back to your starting point.