How to get there by car from Vienna:
A4 Ostautobahn -
exit Fischamend/Bratislava - B9 main road to Petronell-Carnuntum or Bad Deutsch-Altenburg (about 30-45 minutes).
How to get there by train:
S7 train line from Wien-S?dbahnhof to Petronell-Carnuntum or Bad Deutsch-Altenburg station.
Opening hours 2004:
Open Air Museum Petronell
20 March - 14 November daily 9 am - 5 pm
Amphitheatre Bad Deutsch-Altenburg
20 March - 14 November daily 9 am - 5 pm
Museum Carnuntinum Bad Deutsch-Altenburg
(Limited wheel-chair access, no dogs allowed)
20 March - 14 Nov.
Mon 12 am - 5 pm
Tues - Sun 10 am - 5 pm
15 Nov. - 12. Dez.
Sat & Sun 11 am - 5 pm
Heidentor, or Heathen's Gate.
Althoug its name, it was neither heathen nor a gate, at all....
It was proved to be a quadrifrons ( or tetrypylon, in Greek ) - a pillared building with four archways built between 354 and 361 AD as a triumphal monument for the Emperor Constantius II.
It stands eerily alone in the fields outside what was the Roman metropolis of Carnuntum. The remains are impressive, and this is the most famous Roman monument in Austria.
Melk is situated on the Wachau.
The Wachau is a stretch of the Danube Valley between Melk and Krems, in Lower Austria.
It is one of the most beautiful river landscapes in the world.
It preserves in an intact and visible form many traces - in terms of architecture, (monasteries, castles, ruins), urban design, (towns and villages), and agricultural use, principally for the cultivation of vines - of its evolution since prehistoric times.
You can reach Melk by car or by train, but I believe one of the most interesting ways of doing this is taking a "wachau river cruise"
"Take the train in the morning from Westbahnhof (Vienna) to Melk,visit the Melk Abbey, then board the ship in Melk at 13:50 for the journey to Krems and return to Vienna by train, arriving at Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof."
For timetables, kombitickets and more information:
For a change of culture, visiting Bratislava in Slovakia is an easy day trip from Vienna. Trains run from Vienna Sudbahnhof twice an hour and the journey takes about an hour. A return ticket cost 14 euros, which included travel on trams and buses in Bratislava, and the lady in the ticket office gave us a very useful leaflet entitled 'One Day In Bratislava', which included a map and brief details of all the main sights.
After the splendour of Vienna, arrival at Bratislava Railway station is a bit of a culture shock. It's a bit grim and we couldn't find any signs in English to tell us where to catch Tram No.13 to the city centre. We eventually found it on a lower level - you need to go down stairs immediately outside the entrance on the left.
Riding on the tram is an experience in itself and you need to watch out for street signs for the Old Town to know where to get off as there is no information inside the tram. The Tourist Information Office is signposted and you can obtain a free map of the city there. Alternatively, buy an inexpensive guidebook for more detailed information.
Entering the Old Town takes you into a completely different world. It's very beautiful with quaint little cobbled streets, marvellous architecture, interesting museums and plenty of small shops and cafes. It is quite compact and you can comfortably see all the main sights in one day. If you're fit enough to walk up a steep hill (which I'm not) you can apparently get a great view of the city from the castle which overlooks it. A stroll along the banks of the Danube River is nice too. At night, many of the lovely buildings are floodlit.
I loved Bratislava and thoroughly recommend it for a day trip.
One important tip: as most shops and cafes don't accept Euros, visit an ATM to get a small number of Slovak Crowns (Slovenska Koruna) for spending on items such as drinks, snacks and souvenirs.
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.
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.
The history of Kahlenberg goes back to 1683 when a King from Poland tried to free Vienna from Turkish.
Kahlenberg is very beautiful place and you could view the whole Vienna from the top of mountains.Take the underground line U4 till Heiligenstadt. From there take the bus 38A. On Kahlenberg you have a beautiful view through Vienna and there are also many shops.
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.
We had to visit these ruins (which are not far from Baden) because Beethoven regularly walked through the woods around the ruins (it was a ruined castle even in his time) and because his nephew Carl tried to commit suicide there. The walk to the ruined castle is lovely - its about 2 kilometres - but do it on a dry day. It was raining when we set off and even though Koos said it was becoming dry we got caught in a thunder storm on the way there and there is no shelter. We had hail, thunder, lightening and very heavy rain. I was soaked to the skin.... Koos said it gave us the feeling of dispair that Beethoven's nephew must have felt when he tried to kill himself!! Koos felt it added to the "romance" of the area -I was just so cold I didn't feel any romance!
In the film "The Immortal Beloved" there is a wonderful sequence when Carl goes up into the ruins and tries to shoot himself and that brings the terrible feeling of unhappiness he and Beethoven must have felt about their relationship. It is a beautiful film even though it strays from the truth about Beethovens mystery love to whom he wrote that wonderful letter. It starts with:
My Angel, my all,my very self
in the letter he writes;
though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you,My immortal Beloved..... I can live only wholly with you or not at all.
The whole letter is so wonderfully romantic, the langauge so beautiful and it tears at your heartstrings. I can read it over and over again.
I visited in winter, so boat tour to Melk was out of question. I was advised by the receptionist to simply take the train to melk instead of tourbus, and he was so correct. There are frequent trains to melk (15euro oneway) from Vienna. The abbey is a 10 minute walk from the train station.
In winter you can only enter the abbey with a guided tour only that is offered twice a day. So better watch out for the timing. Guided tour costs only 1 euro more, and I highly recommend that. Our guide was very good (Yes, i have seen not so good guides too).
Edwin Lipburger, a rather eccentric artist founded this mini republic in 1984 in the Prater Park not far from Vienna's big wheel. When he first created the Kugel Mugel in Lower Austria, he ended up in prison. He even made his own stamps, refused to pay Austrian taxes and had an Embassy in Vienna. Take the U1 to Prater to learn more about this fascinating story.
Having already been to Vienna a couple of times and visited the top attractions, we used one of our days to take a daytrip to Bratislava, Slovakia, just an hour away. On the advice of some folks on a forum, we booked the Twin City Liner hydrofoil to get there and took the train back, I didn't think the hydrofoil ride was anything special and it was expensive so if cost is an issue, you may want to take the train both ways.
Bratislava isn't as large as Vienna or Prague and doesn't have quite the same level of attractions but it is a pleasant town and worth a visit if you have an extended period of time in Vienna or want to add another country to your list (yep, guilty as charged).