Last Updated on April 17, 2023 by gregor
Are you looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination in Austria that boasts stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and delicious wine? Look no further than Burgenland! Located in the easternmost part of Austria, Burgenland is a small region that packs a big punch when it comes to things to see and do. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the best things to do in Burgenland, Austria, and help you plan your perfect trip to this beautiful destination.
Best Things to Do and See in Burgenland, Places to Visit in Burgenland
Why Visit Burgenland in Austria?
Burgenland is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in Austria, from rolling vineyards to stunning lakes and nature reserves.
The region is known for its excellent wines, especially its signature red wine, Blaufränkisch, which is grown exclusively in Burgenland.
Burgenland is steeped in history and culture, with numerous castles, museums, and UNESCO World Heritage sites to explore.
The region is easily accessible from Vienna, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway.
When is the Best Time to Visit Burgenland in Austria?
The best time to visit Burgenland is between May and September when the weather is mild and sunny. During this time, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and swimming in the region’s lakes. If you’re a wine lover, visit in late summer or early autumn when the vineyards are bursting with grapes, and you can take part in the harvest festivities.
How to Get to Burgenland in Austria?
The best way to reach Burgenland is by taking a flight to Vienna International Airport, which is the nearest major airport. From the airport, there are regular bus and train services that connect Vienna to Burgenland.
The train journey is particularly picturesque and takes around an hour. It’s also possible to reach Burgenland by car, and the region is well-connected with major highways.
The drive from Vienna to Burgenland takes approximately an hour.. Another option is to take a ferry across Lake Neusiedl, which offers a unique way to experience the region. Once in Burgenland, it’s easy to explore the area by car or by public transport.
How to get around Burgenland?
The easiest way to get to Burgenland is by car. The region is well-connected to Vienna and other parts of Austria via a network of highways. You can also take the train from Vienna to Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland, and from there, rent a car or take a local bus to explore the region.
Top Attractions to Visit in Burgenland – Tourist attractions in Burgenland
Schloss Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt
Schloss Esterhazy Palace is an architectural masterpiece located in the town of Eisenstadt, Austria. The palace is one of the finest Baroque castles in Europe and has a rich history dating back to the 13th century. It was owned by the powerful and influential Esterhazy family for more than 300 years and has served as a cultural center for music and the arts since the 19th century.
The palace is known for its opulent interior, which boasts magnificent frescoes, ornate stuccowork, and impressive marble statues. Visitors can explore the palace’s numerous rooms, including the Marble Hall, the Haydn Hall, and the Mirror Hall. The palace’s grounds, which include a beautiful park and gardens, are also worth exploring.
Schloss Esterhazy Palace is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and culture.
Lake Neusiedl (Neusiedler See)
Located on the border of Austria and Hungary, Lake Neusiedl, known as Neusiedler See in German, is the second-largest endorheic lake in Central Europe. Stretching over 320 square kilometers, the lake is surrounded by a unique landscape of reed beds, salt ponds, and vineyards, giving the area a distinctive biodiversity.
The lake is famous for its mild climate and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, attracting water sports enthusiasts, bird watchers, and wine lovers. In fact, the region is home to some of Austria’s best-known wine regions, including Burgenland and Rust. Lake Neusiedl and its surrounding area are a UNESCO World Heritage site and offer visitors endless opportunities for relaxation, adventure, and exploration.
This shallow, saline lake is the largest in Austria and is a popular destination for water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, and kitesurfing. You can also explore the surrounding nature reserve, which is home to a variety of bird species.
Rust am Neusiedler See
Rust am Neusiedler See is a charming little town situated in the eastern part of Austria, close to the Hungarian border. The town is known for its idyllic location on the beautiful Neusiedler Lake, which stretches along the Austrian and Hungarian border.
The town’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty make it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Rust has a strong wine-making tradition, and visitors can sample the local wines at wineries throughout the town.
One of the most impressive sights in Rust is the collection of well-preserved Baroque buildings that date back to the 16th century. Visitors can also explore the nearby nature reserves, take a boat tour on Lake Neusiedler, or simply relax and enjoy the town’s laid-back atmosphere. Rust is an ideal destination for anyone seeking a quiet and peaceful getaway in an enchanting and picturesque location.
Forchtenstein Castle in Burgenland
Forchtenstein Castle is a historic fortress located in the town of Forchtenstein. The castle was built in the 13th century and underwent several expansions and renovations throughout its history. It was the seat of the powerful Esterházy family for almost 400 years and remains one of the largest and most well-preserved castles in the country. The castle has an impressive collection of weapons and armor, including over 14,000 pieces from Europe, Asia, and America.
One of the most notable exhibits in the castle is the golden carriage, which was used by the Esterházy princes during festivals and other important events. Today, Forchtenstein Castle is open to visitors who can explore the castle’s many halls, passages, and towers and learn about its rich history and cultural significance.
This imposing fortress perched on a hilltop offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The castle is home to a museum that showcases the history of the region and its noble families.
St. Martin’s Thermal Baths
If you’re looking for relaxation, head to this modern spa complex in Frauenkirchen. The baths offer a variety of pools, saunas, and wellness treatments, and are fed by the region’s hot springs.
McArthur Glenn Designer Outlet in Parndorf
McArthur Glen Designer Outlet in Parndorf is a shopping destination that is located just outside of Vienna. It offers a unique shopping experience with over 150 designer stores featuring luxury fashion brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Calvin Klein. International designers include Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss. Additionally, the outlet houses a range of beauty and lifestyle stores as well as food and beverage outlets.
Visitors can find discounts of up to 70% off throughout the year, making it an ideal shopping destination for those looking for high-quality products at a reduced price. The center also offers Wi-Fi and free parking for guests.
The outlet is easily accessible by car and public transport (Bus from Vienna), making it a perfect shopping stop for both locals and tourists. With its extensive range of designer brands, McArthur Glen Designer Outlet is a shopping destination not to be missed.
Seewinkel Nature area at the Lake Neusiedl
Seewinkel Nature Area is a beautiful and unique natural reserve located at the western end of Lake Neusiedl, in Austria. The area is abundant with a variety of different animal and plant species, including several rare and endangered species that can only be found in this region. The main attraction of this nature reserve is the vast expanse of reeds that line the lake, as well as the picturesque salt pans which are home to a variety of birds.
Visitors here can enjoy scenic walks and cycling trails, as well as wonderful bird-watching opportunities. Seewinkel Nature Area is a perfect destination for nature lovers who want to relax and unwind in a tranquil and idyllic setting. It is truly a hidden gem that is well worth visiting.
Burg Lockenhaus in Burgenland
Burg Lockenhaus is an impressive fortress. The castle has a rich history, dating back to the 13th century, and has served various purposes over the centuries. It was once a defensive castle, guarding the border between Austria and Hungary, and was later transformed into a Gothic-style palace for the Esterházy family.
Today, the castle has been restored and is open to visitors who wish to explore its historic rooms and learn about its past. The castle features a number of highlights such as the castle chapel, the dungeon and various towers with splendid panoramic views. Additionally, Burg Lockenhaus is situated in a picturesque setting, surrounded by the rolling hills of Burgenland with vineyards and meadows that are perfect for a stroll.
A visit to Burg Lockenhaus is an excellent way to experience the region’s history and culture while enjoying its breathtaking landscape around.
St. Margarethen roman quarry in Burgenland
St. Margarethen Roman Quarry is a historic quarry located in Burgenland, Austria. The quarry is known for its unique geological formations and impressive rock structures. The quarry is situated in a nature reserve and is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Visitors can explore the quarry on guided tours, which take them through the ancient tunnels and caves. The quarry is also a popular venue for concerts and operas, with a large seating area carved out of the rock.
The quarry has been used since Roman times, and it continues to be a source of the stone used for some of Austria’s most famous buildings, including the Vienna Opera House. St. Margarethen Roman Quarry is a fascinating glimpse into Austria’s history and geological wonders.
Best Burgenland Sightseeing Tours
Burgenland offers a variety of sightseeing tours that cater to different interests and preferences. Here are some of the best Burgenland sightseeing tours:
Wine Tours – Burgenland is known for its excellent wines, and there are several wine tours available that take you to local wineries and vineyards. These tours offer the chance to sample a variety of wines and learn about the region’s wine-making traditions.
Cycling Tours – Burgenland is a great destination for cycling enthusiasts, with many scenic bike routes that take you through vineyards, nature reserves, and charming villages. Guided cycling tours are available that cater to different fitness levels and interests.
Birdwatching Tours – Lake Neusiedl, located on the border of Austria and Hungary, is a popular destination for birdwatchers. There are several guided birdwatching tours available that take you to the lake’s shores and wetlands, where you can spot a variety of bird species.
Hiking Tours – Burgenland has several nature reserves and hiking trails that offer stunning views of the region’s landscapes. Guided hiking tours are available that cater to different fitness levels and interests.
Castle Tours – Burgenland is home to several historic castles and palaces, including Schloss Esterházy in Eisenstadt and Burg Forchtenstein in Mattersburg. Guided castle tours are available that take you through these impressive landmarks and offer insights into their history and architecture.
Culinary Tours – Burgenland’s cuisine is a blend of Austrian and Hungarian influences, with a focus on hearty, home-style dishes. Guided culinary tours are available that take you to local restaurants and markets, where you can sample traditional dishes and ingredients.
City Tours – Burgenland’s cities and towns have a rich history and culture, with many landmarks and museums worth exploring. Guided city tours are available that take you through the region’s historic centers and offer insights into their architecture and traditions.
Whether you’re interested in wine, nature, history, or cuisine, there’s a sightseeing tour in Burgenland that’s sure to suit your interests. So why not book a tour and discover this beautiful region for yourself?
Best Day Trips from Burgenland
Vienna – Austria’s capital city is only an hour’s drive from Burgenland, making it an ideal day trip destination. Explore Vienna’s historic center, visit world-renowned museums, and sample traditional Viennese cuisine.
Bratislava – The capital city of Slovakia is only a short drive from Burgenland and is well worth a visit. Explore the city’s historic old town, visit the imposing Bratislava Castle, and sample Slovakian cuisine.
Graz – Austria’s second-largest city is only a two-hour drive from Burgenland and is known for its beautiful architecture and rich cultural heritage. Visit the city’s museums, explore its historic center, and sample traditional Styrian cuisine.
Most Popular Things to Do in Burgenland with Kids
Family-friendly Bike Tours – Many cycling tours in Burgenland are suitable for families with children. You can follow designated cycling routes that are safe and easy to navigate, and enjoy stunning scenery along the way.
St. Martin’s Thermal Baths – Kids will love splashing around in the pools at this modern spa complex in Frauenkirchen. There are several pools to choose from, including a wave pool and a pool with a giant water slide.
Lake Neusiedl – Kids will love spending the day at this shallow lake, which is perfect for swimming, windsurfing, and other water sports. You can also explore the surrounding nature reserve, which is home to a variety of bird species.
What Can You Do in Burgenland for Free?
Hiking – Burgenland has several designated hiking trails that are free to use. You can explore the region’s beautiful landscapes on foot and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Wine Tasting – While some wineries charge for tastings, many offer free tastings if you purchase a bottle of wine. You can sample different varieties of wine and learn about the winemaking process.
Cultural Events – Burgenland is known for its traditional festivals and cultural events, many of which are free to attend. Check the local tourist office for information on upcoming events.
What is Burgenland Famous for?
Burgenland is famous for its wine, particularly its red wines. The region’s mild climate and fertile soil make it an ideal location for growing grapes, and the wines produced here are known for their full-bodied flavors and rich aromas.
Burgenland is also famous for its stunning landscapes, including Lake Neusiedl, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Fertö/Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
How Do You Spend a Day in Burgenland?
There are many ways to spend a day in Burgenland, depending on your interests. Here’s a suggested itinerary:
Morning – Start your day with a visit to one of Burgenland’s many wineries. Take a tour of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample some of the region’s famous wines.
Afternoon – After lunch, head to Lake Neusiedl for an afternoon of swimming, windsurfing, or simply relaxing on the beach. Alternatively, explore the Fertö/Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape, which includes several picturesque villages and nature reserves.
Evening – Finish your day with a relaxing soak in one of Burgenland’s thermal spas, such as St. Martin’s Thermal Baths or the Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg. Enjoy a massage or other spa treatment and soak in the warm, healing waters.
How Many Days in Burgenland is Enough?
We recommend spending at least three days in Burgenland to fully explore the region and its many attractions. This will give you enough time to visit wineries, explore the countryside, relax in thermal spas, and take day trips to nearby cities such as Vienna and Bratislava.
What are the Best Places for Shopping in Burgenland?
Burgenland is not known for its shopping, but there are a few places where you can find local handicrafts and souvenirs. Some of the best places to shop in Burgenland include:
- Rust – This picturesque village is known for its traditional crafts, including pottery, weaving, and basket-making. You can find many shops selling these items in the village center.
- Eisenstadt – This historic city has several shops selling local handicrafts, as well as clothing and accessories.
- Designer Outlet Parndorf – This shopping center is located just outside Burgenland and has over 140 stores selling designer clothing and accessories at discounted prices.
What are the Famous Cities in Burgenland?
Burgenland is home to several historic cities and charming villages. Some of the most famous cities in Burgenland include:
- Eisenstadt – This historic city is the capital of Burgenland and is known for its Baroque architecture and rich cultural heritage.
- Rust – This picturesque village is famous for its well-preserved medieval center and traditional crafts.
- Mattersburg – This small city is located in the South of Burgenland and is known for its beautiful Baroque church and historic town center.
Is Burgenland Better than Vienna?
Burgenland and Vienna are very different destinations, so it’s difficult to compare them. Vienna is a bustling city with world-renowned museums, historic landmarks, and a vibrant cultural scene. Burgenland, on the other hand, is a rural region known for its stunning landscapes, excellent wine, and thermal spas. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in the countryside, Burgenland is the better choice. If you’re interested in history, culture, and city life, Vienna is the better choice.
Is Burgenland a Walkable City?
Burgenland is not a city, but a region in Austria. Within the region, there are several cities and towns, some of which are more walkable than others. For example, the historic center of Rust is very walkable, with narrow cobblestone streets and picturesque houses. Eisenstadt also has a compact center that is easy to explore on foot, with many historic landmarks and museums within walking distance. However, other towns and villages in Burgenland may require a car or public transportation to get around.
Getting Around Burgenland
The best way to get around Burgenland is by car, as many of the region’s attractions are spread out and public transportation can be limited. However, if you prefer not to drive, there are several options available. The regional train network connects many of the larger towns and cities, and there are also buses and taxis available. Some hotels and guesthouses also offer shuttle services or can arrange for private transportation.
Which is Better, Burgenland or Vienna?
As mentioned earlier, Burgenland and Vienna are very different destinations, so it’s difficult to compare them. Both have their own unique attractions and charm. If you’re looking for a peaceful, rural getaway with plenty of outdoor activities and excellent wine, Burgenland is the better choice. However, if you’re interested in history, culture, and city life, Vienna is the better choice. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal interests and preferences.
Where to Stay in Burgenland?
Burgenland has a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and taste. Some of the best places to stay in Burgenland include:
Tips for Planning a Trip to Burgenland
Here are some tips to help you plan your trip to Burgenland:
- Plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time in the region.
- Rent a car to explore the countryside and visit wineries.
- Pack comfortable shoes for walking on cobblestone streets and hiking in nature reserves.
- Bring a swimsuit for swimming in Lake Neusiedl or soaking in thermal spas.
- Try the local cuisine, including traditional dishes like goulash and strudel.
- Consider visiting in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
In conclusion, Burgenland is a hidden gem in Austria, with stunning landscapes, excellent wine, and plenty of outdoor activities. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic cities, relaxing in thermal spas, or hiking in nature reserves, Burgenland has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to discover this beautiful region for yourself!
Best Outdoor Activities in Burgenland
- Burgenland is a region of natural beauty, with rolling hills, lush forests, and shimmering lakes. It’s the perfect destination for those who love the great outdoors, with plenty of activities to enjoy. Here are some of the best outdoor activities in Burgenland:
- Cycling – Burgenland has a network of cycling trails that wind through picturesque countryside, vineyards, and charming villages. The Neusiedler See Cycle Path is particularly popular, as it follows the shores of Lake Neusiedl and offers stunning views of the water and surrounding landscape.
- Hiking – Burgenland has a variety of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels and interests. The Rosalia Mountain Nature Reserve is a popular destination for hikers, with trails that lead through beech forests, limestone cliffs, and meadows of wildflowers.
- Horseback riding – Horseback riding is a great way to explore the region’s countryside, and there are several stables and riding schools in Burgenland that offer lessons and guided rides.
- Watersports – Lake Neusiedl is the largest lake in Burgenland and offers a range of water sports, including sailing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The lake’s shallow waters are perfect for beginners, while more experienced water sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the strong winds that blow across the lake.
- Fishing – Burgenland has several lakes and rivers that offer excellent fishing opportunities. Lake Neusiedl is particularly well-known for its carp fishing, while the rivers that flow through the region are home to a variety of fish species.
- Golf – Burgenland has several golf courses that offer stunning views and challenging play. The Golfschaukel Stegersbach-Lafnitztal is a popular destination for golfers, with two 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course set against a backdrop of rolling hills and vineyards.
- Wildlife watching – Burgenland is home to a variety of wildlife, including storks, herons, and other bird species. The region’s nature reserves and wetlands are the perfect places to spot these animals in their natural habitats.
Whether you prefer to be on land or in the water, there’s an outdoor activity in Burgenland that’s sure to suit your interests. So why not pack your hiking boots, grab your bike, or head to the water for some fun in the sun?
Best Events in Burgenland
Burgenland hosts a variety of events throughout the year that celebrate the region’s culture, history, and traditions. Here are some of the best events in Burgenland:
- Haydn Festival – The Haydn Festival is held in the city of Eisenstadt in honor of the famous composer Joseph Haydn, who lived and worked in Burgenland. The festival features concerts, recitals, and other musical performances in various historic venues around the city.
- Wine Festivals – Burgenland is known for its excellent wines, and there are several wine festivals held throughout the year that celebrate the region’s wine-making traditions. These festivals offer the chance to sample a variety of wines, enjoy live music and food, and learn about the local wine culture.
- Carnival – Carnival season is a big event in Burgenland, with many towns and villages hosting parades, parties, and other festivities. The carnival season kicks off on November 11th and culminates in the week leading up to Ash Wednesday.
- Lake Festival – The Lake Festival is held on the shores of Lake Neusiedl and features live music, food and drink stalls, and a spectacular fireworks display. The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year and is one of the highlights of the summer season in Burgenland.
- Martiniloben – Martiniloben is a traditional harvest festival that celebrates the end of the wine-making season. The festival is held in November and features wine tastings, food stalls, and other cultural activities in various towns and villages around Burgenland.
- Bauernherbst – Bauernherbst is a harvest festival that celebrates the region’s agricultural traditions. The festival features live music, traditional costumes, and local cuisine, and is held in various towns and villages around Burgenland in September and October.
- Christmas Markets – Burgenland’s Christmas markets are a festive affair, with traditional food and drink, handmade crafts, and live music. The markets are held in various towns and cities throughout the Advent season.
Whether you’re a music lover, a wine connoisseur, or just looking for some festive fun, there’s an event in Burgenland that’s sure to suit your interests. So why not plan your trip around one of these exciting events and experience the region’s culture and traditions for yourself?