Lower Austria and Burgenland are easy to reach from Vienna and offer a colourful program, from nature tours to a variety of cultural options and performances.
Experience history at the Roman excavation Carnuntum
The Open Air Museum Petronell-Carnuntum is a popular destination. The exceptional Roman dig is only 50 minutes from Vienna by car. There’s also a hop on, hop off bus, or one can simply take the train (suburban line S7). The season in Carnuntum lasts from end of march to mid-November.
Carnuntum is an archeological park, where functional Roman buildings have been reconstructed with regard for historical context. Visitors get a chance to experience the daily life of Roman society. The Time Travel Tour and other themed guided tours are perfect for families and offer an immersive way of teaching children history. While you’re there take a look at the attached Römermuseum and the Schatzhaus Carnuntum as well.
Culture at Neusiedlersee: Seefestspiele Mörbisch and UNESCO heritage
Every year people come to Mörbisch in Burgenland to attend Seefestspiele Mörbisch, where – right on the western shore of the lake Neusiedlersee– an operetta or musical is put on. The season is limited to July and August, so it’s wise to get tickets far in advance. It’s also advisable to bring liberal amounts of bug spray, because mosquitos tend to flock to the crowds of humans congregating by the lake.
Neusiedlersee and the surrounding area have been crowned UNESCO Cultural Heritage and are a lovely way to spend the day leading up to an evening performance. Well worth seeing is the nearby Free City Rust with its historical town centre. You can get from Vienna to Mörbisch by car or bus, and the most picturesque way to get from Mörbisch to Rust is a 20 minute bicycle ride.
Open Air Opera at St. Margarethen Quarry
Also part of the UNESCO heritage is the St. Margarethen Quarry, which has not one, but two open air stages. International opera aficionados come to the Ruffini Stage to catch a different opera each year, while the Nature Stage is the performance space for the yearly Passionsspiele St. Margarethen (Passion Play St. Margarethen). Like Mörbisch’s, St. Margarethen’s season is limited to July and August. There is a shuttle bus available from Vienna.
Those who prefer to remain more independent and choose to explore the area around Vienna in a rental car, should consider taking a detour to Eisenstadt. In Burgenland’s capital they can visit Schloss Esterházy and Burg Forchtenstein and take a nice walk around Eisenstadt.
Off to Klosterneuburg, rain or shine!
A trip to Klosterneuburg is always a good idea, no matter the weather or temperatures. 900 year old Klosterneuburg Monastery (Stift Klosterneuburg) offers a variety of guided tours, among them a tour through the wine cellars including a wine tasting in the monastery’s winery, which is Austria’s oldest winery. Furthermore, there are plenty of cultural, religious and architectural treasures to see, among them the Archducal Hat, the insignia of the Archduchy of Austria.
If you have the time get the combination ticket, which is good for the monastery as well as two museums nearby, Essl Museum and Museum Gugging. Essl Museum holds an impressive collection of contemporary art. Museum Gugging shows art brut, mostly works by the artists from the nearby Center for Art and Psychotherapy Gugging.
It’s easy to get to Klosterneuburg by car, bus or train.
When you’re planning a trip to the area surrounding Vienna, the reception staff at the Grand Ferdinand will be happy to help you book tickets and guided tours or renting a car.