Vienna is a beautiful city, full of history, culture, and excellent food. However, sometimes you may want to visit somewhere different. Luckily, Vienna is perfectly situated for weekend trips to some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. In this article, we’ll explore the best weekend trips from Vienna, including transportation options, top destinations, and tips for planning your perfect weekend getaway.
Why take weekend trips from Vienna?
While Vienna is a fantastic city to explore, sometimes you need to get out of town and visit somewhere new. Weekend trips are a great way to explore more of Europe without taking too much time off work. Plus, weekend trips are usually more affordable than longer vacations, which means you can take more of them throughout the year.
Transport options for weekend trips from Vienna
Vienna is well-connected to the rest of Europe, which means you have plenty of transportation options when it comes to planning your weekend getaway. The most popular options are trains and buses, which are affordable and reliable. You can also rent a car or take a flight if you’re looking to explore a destination that’s a bit further away or in a more isolated location.
To explore many destinations from Vienna then taking the train is a great option. The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) operates a great network of trains that connect Vienna to cities all over Austria and sometimes beyond. Another option is using a site such as Omio which helps you find and book transport connections all over Europe. We have used them several times before and find the service helpful.
When booking train tickets you can purchase tickets online or at the station, and you may find tickets are cheaper if you book in advance.
For buses and sometimes very cheap transport, we would recommend having a look on Flixbus. Using this service you can find connections between many nearby cities and destinations throughout Europe and we have used them many times.
Top weekend trips from Vienna
1. Salzburg: The birthplace of Mozart
Located a couple of hours west of Vienna, Salzburg is a beautiful city that’s known for being the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music. The city is full of baroque architecture and beautiful gardens, and there are plenty of museums and galleries to explore. Some of the top attractions to see in Salzburg include the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell Palace, and Mozart’s Birthplace.
Salzburg is also a top place to visit in the Christmas months when you can get to enjoy its wonderful Christmas market.
2. Budapest: The pearl of the Danube
Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and it’s just a short train or bus ride away from Vienna. It is perfect for a weekend trip from Vienna.
The city is known for its stunning architecture, thermal baths, and excellent food. Some of the must-see attractions in Budapest include the Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, and the Hungarian Parliament Building. Read our travel guide on Budapest to learn more about the city.
3. Prague: The city of a hundred spires
One of our favourite cities in Europe is Prague which is a magical place that’s full of history, culture, and excellent beer. The city is known for its stunning architecture, which includes Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles.
Some of the top attractions in Prague include the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and the Old Town Square. Also, consider visiting during Christmas and you can enjoy one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Read about the best things to do in Prague.
Prague is a top weekend destination from Vienna and one that we’d highly recommend.
4. Bratislava: The capital of Slovakia
One of the closest destinations in this list is Bratislava. This charming city which is the capital of Slovakia is just a short train, bus or boat ride away from Vienna. The city is known for its beautiful architecture, excellent food, and rich history. Some of the top attractions to enjoy in the city include the Bratislava Castle, St. Martin’s Cathedral, and the Old Town Hall.
With its extremely close proximity, it makes for a top destination for a short trip from Vienna, as well as for the weekend. It could even be visited just for the day.
5. Hallstatt: A dreamy lakeside village
A bit further from Vienna but definitely worth visiting, Hallstatt is a picturesque lakeside village that has been extremely popular in recent years. You can get here using the trains and it’s a very peaceful escape for a few days. The village is known for its stunning scenery, which includes the Hallstatt Lake and the surrounding mountains.
Some of the top attractions to enjoy in Hallstatt include the Hallstatt Salt Mine, the Hallstatt Museum, and the Dachstein Ice Cave. Read more about Hallstatt.
6. Munich: A city famous for Oktoberfest
Located in Germany, Munich is a beautiful city that’s known for its excellent beer, food, and museums. The city is also a popular location to explore the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle and you’ll find lots of tour options available for this. Consider visiting for its famous Octoberfest in the autumn, or at Christmas for the festive markets.
Munich is just a short train ride away from Vienna, making it a great weekend getaway destination.
7. Ljubljana: Slovenia’s beautiful capital
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is a charming city that definitely deserves to be on our list of weekend trips from Vienna. Here you’ll get to enjoy its beautiful architecture, learn its history and enjoy the culture and excellent food. Some of the top attractions in Ljubljana include Ljubljana Castle, the Triple Bridge, and the National Gallery of Slovenia. To get you Ljubljana you can use a service such as Flixbus to get there.
Also, a visit to Ljubljana should be combined with a trip to Lake Bled, which is a picturesque lake surrounded by hills and mountains, along with a church in the middle. Read more about Ljubljana in our city guide.
8. Bad Gastein: A top winter getaway
Bad Gastein is a beautiful ski resort and you can get the train there from Vienna. The resort is known for its beautiful scenery, excellent skiing, and thermal baths.
Some of the top attractions in Bad Gastein include the Felsentherme thermal baths, the Graukogel ski area, and the Stubnerkogel ski area.
Bad Gastein is a great place to visit to enjoy the winter and a top weekend destination for those looking to enjoy the Austrian mountains. Read more about Bad Gastein.
9. Zell am See: Perfect for the winter or summer
Another top place to visit in Austria is Zell am See which is a beautiful town that’s situated on the shores of Lake Zell. The town is known for its excellent skiing, hiking, and water sports.
A few of the top attractions in Zell am See include the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area, and the Schmittenhöhe ski area.
Other weekend trip options from Vienna
If you’re looking for something a bit different or further afield then there are plenty of other weekend trip options from Vienna. Some other destinations to consider include Zurich in Switzerland, Berlin in Germany or Krakow in Poland. These are accessible via a car, bus, trains or flights.
Read more about places to book transport in Europe.
Best weekend getaways from Vienna for outdoor and adventure
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of weekend getaways from Vienna that will meet your needs. A few of the best destinations for outdoor activities include Zell am See, Bad Gastein, and Saalachtal. At these destinations, you’ll find a range of options available (depending on when and where you visit), including hiking, skiing/snowboarding, exploring canyons, white water rafting, climbing and much more.
Accommodation options for weekend trips from Vienna
When it comes to accommodation options for weekend trips from Vienna, you’ll often find plenty of choices. You can stay in a hotel, hostel, or vacation rental, depending on your budget and preferences. Depending on your destination you may find other options such as camping if you’re looking to get closer to nature.
For accommodation in cities then you can use the map below to get started:
Tips for planning your weekend getaway from Vienna
If you’re planning a weekend getaway from Vienna, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure to plan your transportation in advance to avoid any last-minute stress. Second, make a list of the top attractions you want to visit and book advanced tickets and tours, and then plan your itinerary accordingly. Finally, make sure to pack appropriately for the weather and any activities that you’ll be doing.
Vienna is a great city to live in or visit, but sometimes you may want to visit other places nearby. Luckily, there are plenty of weekend trip options from Vienna that will satisfy your need for adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re looking to explore nearby cities, hit the slopes, or get closer to nature, there’s a weekend getaway from Vienna that’s perfect for you.
You may also like: Multi Destination Trips – Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest
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