excursions from Vienna, Vienna
Take a daytrip on the Semmering Railway which is listed as a UNESCO World heritage site since 1998.
It was constructed between 1848 and 1854 and was the first mountain railway on standard gauge in Europe. The 41 km trip from Gloggnitz to Murzzuschlag has a difference in height of 460 m and consists of 14 tunnels and 16 viaducts.
The route is frequently served by both Intercity trains and local trains. The Intercity trains leave from Vienna South Station and only stop in Murzzuschlag, whereas the local trains leave from Wiener Neustadt and stop at almost all stations.
A single ticket from Vienna to Murzzuschlag will set you back 17,80 Euro (2005). The Train Information Office provides detailed pocket timetables for the Semmering Railway.
One thing which I really like about Vienna is its close proximity to the Slovak capital Bratislava. Bratislava and Vienna are said to be the two closest capital cities in the world.
There is a frequent train and bus service between both cities which are only about 60 km apart.
The train trip takes about one hour and a return ticket is only 14 Euro (2006). Like Vienna, Bratislava is situated at the river Danube.
For more info about Bratislava please have a look at my Bratislava page.
Whenever you have time and the weather is sunny, don't miss out on a romantic boat cruise along the Danube River to towns of Krems, Durnstein and Melk along the Wachau valley.
The Wachau is an Austrian valley and one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Lower Austria, located between the towns of Melk and Krems. It is 30 km in length. A well-known place and tourist magnet is Dürnstein, where King Richard the Lion-Heart of England was held captive for ransom by Duke Leopold V. Nowadays, there is a ruin castle up the Durnstein hills.
You can take the Blue Danube river cruise.
Take the Schellbahn from Karlplatz and enjoy the 2-hour ride to Baden, a small town outside of Vienna, famous for the thermal bath and Casino gambling. It also has a beautiful rose garden in summer and a large park for hiking and walking.
There's lots of Kodak moments around Bratislava -
Copper domes and pretty churches abound - as well as the main Cathedral of St Martin, there are some notable churches built by the many Catholic monastic orders - the Franciscan Church is the city's oldest; the peach-coloured Trinitarian Church's main altar shows Christian slaves being freed from the Turk; Jesuits, Capuchins, Ursulines, they're all here. You could certainly fill your whole day visiting them.
The climb to the castle will take you a while, and you'll need to stop to get your breath once you get there. Formal gardens and wonderful views make the climb worthwhile. The little church halfway up the hill is used by Bratislava's Russian Orthodox community.
Back in town, the Mirror Hall of the Prelate's Palace is where Napoleon and the Austrian Emperor signed the Treaty of Pressburg (the old name for Bratislava) following Napoleon's sweeping victory at Austerlitz. This was where we met the face of the old regime of Soviet Slovakia - we'd been struck by the friendly openess we'd met everywhere up to this point, but the dragon on the desk here had definitely done her training at the Rosa Krebs School of Charm - our response was to take the photos we were sternly told were "od forbid".
Travel 75 minutes by boat down the Danube to Bratislava and you not only enter another country (Slovakia), you find almost a parallel universe. Like its big neighbor, Vienna, up the river the city has a grand town hall, lovely squares lined with Baroque palaces, musical connections, statues aplenty, but where are the crowds? and the lines of tour buses? and how much was that beer?
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and a day trip here from Vienna is both easy and enjoyable. The city sits on both banks of the Danube, joined by a new and very modern bridge but it's the historic centre on the north bank that is the drawcard. It's all very compact and easy to walk around, though the climb up to the castle is pretty steep (your reward is the spendid views - the castle itself was derelict for many years and what you see now is virtually a complete reconstruction). The Kings of Hungary came here to be crowned in St Martin's Cathedral and Naploleon came here to the Primates Palace after his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz to sign the Peace Treaty that changed much of the face of Europe.
You'll be able to see most of the city's attractions (abeit briefly) in a day and still have time to sample some substantial Slovak fare for lunch - the food here is fairly pork- and potato-oriented, heavy but tasty though pizzas and pasta are also popular and readily available if you're looking for something lighter - and a glass or two of excellent Slovakian beer at one of the numerous cafes around the town.
Go to St Florian - not far from Vienna and visit the monastry there. The tour is really worth doing and if you need coffee and cake afterwards there is a lovely little coffee shop just across the road from the monastry. You can park your car just outside the monastry. Stop on your way into the town because you get wonderful views of Sankt Florian across the fields - great for photos.
If you take the tour around the monastry - which is worth doing - you can see the coffin of Anton Bruckner under the church organ. When the organ is played the music can be heard under the church. Anton Bruckner the composer was a choir boy in St Florian and when he died he asked to be buried under the church organ. The church is beautiful.
Look also at the bone collection in the cellars. If you choose not to take the guided tour - you cannot get into the area under the Sankt Florian.
The ceiling paintings from the monastry are wonderful. So while walking around do look up at the walls, there are some wonderful paintings. During the tour you hear more about the history and use of Sankt Florian.
The excursion to the outside of Vienna to Kahlenberg Hill is one of the most popular destinations during the traveling to Vienna or being there.
It is really very nice place to visit.
Kahlenber is one from 2 hills to the north of Vienna.
From this hill there are just wonderful views of the whole Vienna and it is worth to take the pictures of city being there. There is even a special pace with the binoculars and you can watch for Vienna.
It is a very special place for Polish people. Polish King Jan III Sobieski has led troop , Polish hussars troop, From Kahlenberg Hill on September, 12th 1683 and thanks for him Vienna was freen from Turkish occupation.
The legend says Jan III Sobieski prayed before the battle in Church on the hill. The newest news say that there was at the second Hill called Leopoldsberg.
Anyway there is a church on the Kahlenberg Hill and its carers are Polish friars.
In September 1983 Pope John Paul II visited this special place and prayed in the church.
There are two plaques on the church's wall , one for Jan III Sobieski, second one for Pope John Paul II.
To Kahlenberg Hill you can go by the bus number -38A.
The water, the miracle of the nature, the God's gift, that sense of the life, is for many people somewhat of course, but for many others, a luxury, and a rarity.
Water is the pure and clear strength.
It brings the nature to blooming, it refreshes and cleans, and it is life basis for people and animals.
The Viennese say that the water from Vienna, the best from whole Europe is.
It is, probably, true.
The water in Vienna is cold, fresh, and clear.
But not many people know, from where gets such a good water.
Through the first Viennese high source water pipe, flows from Rax and Snow Mountain, daily, over 200,000 cubic meters of water.
The source of the Viennese waters is the “Kaiserbrunnquelle Water Palace.”
The known water source in the “Höllental” is found, probably in the year 1728, from the Emperor Karl VI.
Because of the excellent quality, one brought the water to Vienna, to the caesarean table.
The emperor Franz Josef I. gave the source of the city Vienna, in the year 1865.
1869 to 1873 took place their setting and the construction of the first Viennese high source management.
Since this time, the source provides the capital Vienna with best drinking water.
Not far from Rax mountain station and not even far from Semmering, you can visit Kaiserbrunn, the water pipe museum.
This installation belongs to Viennese waterworks, but is one Part of the doing magic area of the Höllental, between Hirschwang and Kaiserbrunn.
The Hell Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys of the country.
It is a place for hike; it is a possibility, the first water pipe way Viennese, to enjoy.
Address: Wiener Wasserwerke, Betriebsleitung Hirschwang
2652 Hirschwang 67
I HIGHLY recommend getting out of Dodge (uh, i mean Wein) by taking a trip down the Danube. You can take a train all the way to the river, and then ride a bike or (better yet) take a commuter fairy down the river through gorgeous country to BEAUTIFUL little towns. Take a day or two to stay overnight and tromp through old castles and older forests along the river. It's great rain or shine.
Another early start and a drive from Vienna but we had a lovely day out. Mahler had a composing cottage in Steinbach am Attersee in Upper Austria. He gave this house up and looked for another which he found in 1900 at Klagenfurt. On the Worthersee is the little house where Gustav Mahler used to compose when there. He was encharmed with this little house in the woods, he is known to have said that in such an idyllic place one did not compose but was composed. In this house he composed his 4th - 8th symphonies, the "Tamboursg'sell", the The Ruckert songs and the "Kindertotenleider" (I love that even though it always makes me cry.
Mahler was director of the Imperial and Royal Court Opera in Vienna. It was only in the summer months he was able to set himself to his real passion of composing. In 1907 the composer was stroke by three awful blows: he had to resign as director of the opera, his darling daughter, Maria, died ( when she was 5 years old) and he heard that he had a heart disease.
You can visit it on a day trip from Vienna. You
park your car about 15 minutes from the house (which is well signposted) and walk through the woods to the house. it is tiny but full of information about the composer and the man looking after it is a real lover of his music and plays it all the time you are there.
A little way from Vienna so another early start, but worth the trip is Ansfelden. The town is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of the composer and organist Anton Bruckner. He was born on the 4 september 1824. He was a teacher (like his father) but when he was 24 he became an organist. First in Sankt Florian and then in Linz. The house where he was born is just around the corner from this statue. It is a museum but is only open a few days in the week.
Ansfelden has two museums, the Anton Bruckner Museum and a museum of musical instruments.
This is a lovely little town not far from Vienna, we went there because Beethoven had lodged in the town several times and there was a house there where he had lived. The house is open to the public, but only by appointment, you have to get the key from the tourist office. There is also a lovely bust of the composer in the street near the house. The little old centre is lovely to wander around.
If you are in Vienna for a longer time, and you want to get out of the chaos of a big city, you have to visit the village of Rust at the Neusiedler See, 30 km. outside of Vienna. In this village you can find storks on rooftops and at the Seebad you can make a boattrip over the wonderful Lake Neusiedler See. It´s a very good place to calm down a little.
This is the second stop of Vienna's Forest excursion.This is the Holy Cross Monastery and we had the chance to go inside for more than one hour and exploring the whole monastery,(except the monk's rooms!).There are some interesting things to see inside and also lots of beautiful stainned glasses!.