Vienna Tours

Touring Vienna and its surroundings with a specialized guide will elevate your experience to the next level. Here are the best tours and excursions

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Vienna Tours

Sunrise over Vienna | ©Dimitry Anikin

The cultural and architectural richness of Vienna invites you to enjoy every corner of the city, but its geographical location also allows excursions to different nearby cities. I summarize the best excursions below.

1. Guided Segway Tour of Vienna

Hofburg Imperial Palace| ©Jorge Láscar
Hofburg Imperial Palace| ©Jorge Láscar

Do you know all the secrets of Vienna? You may have toured the capital of Austria several times and visited many of its museums and monuments, but this does not necessarily mean that you know all the information that the city holds.

With this guided tour of Vienna on electric cars you can learn the secrets of the city that you have missed on a visit on your own. The price of this experience is about $104 and you can book it online in advance.

I recommend this tour mainly because I think it is a great introduction to the city, especially if it is your first time. This way, you can do a "contact" tour before going deeper into the areas that catch your attention.

The best thing about this tour: the respect for the environment that these vehicles have and the comfort when touring the most important points of Vienna.

Book a Segway tour in Vienna

2. Guided tour through the concentration camp Mauthausen

Mauthausen Prisoner Barracks| ©Ian McKellar
Mauthausen Prisoner Barracks| ©Ian McKellar

It should not be forgotten that Austria and the surrounding countries were part of an unpleasant historical period characterized by the international rise of the Nazi movement. Austrian Jews, along with many others, were interned in different concentration camps scattered throughout Europe and one of them is Mauthausen, located two and a half hours from Vienna.

The visit to the Mauthausen concentration camp is a way to keep in mind the history of the Jewish people and all those who were affected by the Holocaust. The bus will depart from a meeting point in the center of Vienna and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide throughout the day.

The price of about 140 euros includes transportation, the services of the guide, entrance to the concentration camp and the use of an audio guide in several languages with which you can make your way through Mauthausen at your own pace.

The best thing about this tour: the historical value of the visit and the delicacy with which the guide will explain this historical period and the experiences of the guests of this camp.

3. Excursion to Salzburg from Vienna

Hohensalzburg Fortress
Hohensalzburg Fortress

Mozart's hometown has beautiful castles and palaces set amidst natural surroundings, but it also has the famous Mirabell Palace gardens that you will visit during this Salzburg excursion from Vienna. Add to this a stop at Lake Mondsee and a view of the Austrian Alps and you will have little doubt why this tour is worthwhile.

This Salzburg tour is available in English and Spanish and includes pick-up from your hotel in central Vienna, plus transportation to Salzburg and the services of a local guide for the entire day. The price is about 135 euros and the tour lasts about 3 hours; during the tour you will be able to contemplate the scenery from a fully equipped bus.

If you are a fan of the movie The Sound of Music, you will enjoy discovering some of the places where it was filmed during your visit to Salzburg.

The best thing about this tour: although Salzburg has a lot to offer the traveler, the tour offered during this excursion is quite complete and is therefore ideal for getting an overall picture of the city without getting that feeling of having seen it too quickly.

4. Excursion to Melk Abbey and the Danube Valley from Vienna

Melk Abbey| ©CucombreLibre
Melk Abbey| ©CucombreLibre

One of the best feelings when traveling is discovering wonderful places you didn't expect even closer than you thought. With the excursion to the Wachau Valley something similar will happen to you. Little importance is given to this World Heritage Site located two and a half hours from Vienna. There you will find a typical Austrian countryside landscape whose beauty will leave you unblinking.

This tour to Melk Abbey and the Danube Valley in particular is also one of the most complete round-trip tours you can do in one day from Vienna. It is priced at $121 and is available in English, German and Spanish.

If you take this tour during the winter months, the boat ride will be replaced by an Austrian lunch at a local restaurant. If you have the choice, spring is the time to enjoy the splendor of the landscape to the fullest.

What's included

  • Transportation from Vienna city center to the Danube Valley
  • Local guide throughout the tour
  • Visit to the ruins of the medieval castle Burgruine Dürnstein
  • Boat trip through the town of Splitz
  • Visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Melk and its library of medieval manuscripts

The highlight of this tour: the contrast of the rural landscape with the streets of Vienna and the chance to see a different shade of Austria during your visit.

Ana's Traveller Tip

The bus rides for some of these tours can be long: bring comfortable clothes and something warm for the journey.

5. Organized tour of the Vienna Christmas market

Vienna Christmas Market| ©Tony Hisgett
Vienna Christmas Market| ©Tony Hisgett

Winter is a tough time to visit the Austrian capital because of the cold temperatures, but it is also a unique opportunity to see the snow fall and to get a different perspective of the city, empty of tourists. If you decide to visit Austria in winter, you can't miss this tour of Vienna's Christmas markets.

Christmas lovers will especially enjoy this visit to Vienna's Christmas market where you can sample punch and sweet snacks while enjoying the tour with an expert guide who will tell you stories of both the city and its Christmas tradition.

What you will see

  • Mariahilfer Kirche
  • Spittelberg Christmas Market
  • MuseumsQuartier Wien
  • Maria Theresia Denkmal

Highlights of this tour: the authenticity of the tour and the variety of styles of the markets it covers.

6. Excursion to Budapest from Vienna

Aerial view of Budapest
Aerial view of Budapest

If you have already visited places such as Schoenbrunn Palace or the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, you will already have important insights into the life of Empress Sissi. Elisabeth was also Queen of Hungary and felt that homeland as much her own as Austria, so she loved to escape to this country whenever she could. After this tour to Budapest from Vienna you will find out why.

You can take this tour to Budapest in German, Spanish, English or Japanese. The cost is $149 and the travel time to the Hungarian capital is less than three hours. A fully equipped bus will pick you up at your hotel in Vienna and, accompanied by a local guide, will take you to discover Budapest.

In addition to the guided tour of these places, you will also have free time in Budapest to explore the city at your leisure; take advantage of it to taste the typical Hungarian food or to take as many photos as you want.

What you will see

  • Buda district
  • Pest district
  • The Hungarian Parliament
  • The fishermen's bastion
  • Heroes' Square
  • Vajdahunyad Castle
  • The Budapest Opera House

The highlight of this excursion: the opportunity to get to know in one day a city so different from Vienna in many ways and so similar in others.

Book the excursion to Budapest

7. Excursion to Prague from Vienna

Charles Bridge| ©Martin Krchnacek
Charles Bridge| ©Martin Krchnacek

To be honest, Prague is a city that deserves an exclusive trip and a thorough visit. The city of a hundred towers is one of the most appreciated jewels of Europe and its cultural and historical richness enchants all kinds of travelers. This excursion to Prague from Vienna is an appetizer of what the capital of the Czech Republic has to offer.

Useful information

Available in French, English and Spanish, the bus ride from Vienna takes about four hours. The price includes pick-up from your hotel in Vienna and the services of an expert guide for a two-and-a-half hour guided tour of central Prague. Afterwards you will have free time before returning to Vienna to explore the city at your leisure.

What you will see

  • Old Town Square
  • The National Theater
  • Charles Bridge
  • Wenceslas Square
  • The Golden Alley
  • Prague City Hall
  • The Jewish Cemetery
  • The Old Town

Highlights of this tour: it includes a stop to see the Moravian countryside and the guided tour through the center of Prague is one of the most comprehensive.

8. Vienna sightseeing bus tour

Sunsets in Vienna
Sunsets in Vienna

If what you are looking for during your trip is not to miss any detail of the main monuments and buildings of Vienna, this option fits your needs. The Vienna sightseeing bus tour not only allows you to save time and effort by moving between separate points of interest in the city, but also provides audio commentary about these places and panoramic views along the way. Its price is $46

If you have never used a tourist bus, you should know what the concept of "free stops" means: you buy a single or multi-day pass that entitles you to use the tourist bus services during that time without any time limit or restrictions. This means that you can use the tourist bus both to complete the different routes and to move between the different points of the Austrian capital that you want to see during your trip.

The best thing about this tour: the comfort and practicality of using a tourist bus in a big city like this. You have more information in this article on how to tour Vienna from the tourist bus.

Book the Vienna sightseeing bus

What you need to know about booking a day trip from Vienna

Prater Ferris wheel at sunrise| ©Dimitry Anikin
Prater Ferris wheel at sunrise| ©Dimitry Anikin

First of all, I want to be honest: if you have enough time during your trip, my recommendation will always be to take several days to get to know each of the cities you want to visit.

However, I am aware that this is not always possible and that an express visit is better than being left with the thorn of not having visited a place. In any case, the good thing about organized tours is that they have expert guides who show you the destination and that makes the visit much more worthwhile.

Advantages of organized tours

Most of the options you will find for an excursion from Vienna have departures almost every day: you can book your place online and you will receive an email with all the information you need to plan your tour.

Once you have done this you will not have to worry about anything, as both the excursions to the surroundings and the guided tours in Vienna are designed for the traveler to avoid planning and to enjoy the visit to the fullest.

Finally, I also have to tell you that you can rent a car and do any of these tours on your own, but the cost would be equal or higher and would not compensate you for time (not having the organization and guidance of an expert guide would take longer both to arrive and to tour the place in question) unless you spend the night outside Vienna.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Many of the day tours do not include lunch. You can eat at a local restaurant or take a picnic for the trip.

Other excursions around Vienna that you can do in one day

Hallstat| ©Ádám Berkecz
Hallstat| ©Ádám Berkecz

Making a list of everything you have at your disposal near the Austrian capital is a very difficult task. The country itself has hundreds of enchanting corners and any getaway to them can be quite a discovery.

However, if you have to make a list, you have to focus on some criteria and mine is the most popular visits. If you still have some time left over after the above experiences, here is a last note of other excursions you can do around Vienna during your visit.

Vienna Woods

Only half an hour away from the capital of Austria the landscape is completely transformed to give way to a succession of forests, rivers and lakes. If you want to enjoy nature and take all the time you need to do so, I recommend a trip to the Vienna Woods. Look for references to visit such as the Mayerling convent, the Seegrotte caves or the Baden spas; all of these enclaves are worth a visit.

Hallstat

If you are looking for a contrast with the city and want to visit the more rural Austria, a very good choice is this small village located on the shore of a lake next to the Austrian Alps. It can be reached by train from Vienna; it is a 4-hour trip, but the destination is worth it.

Bratislava

The city of Bratislava may go unnoticed compared to other cities like Budapest or Prague, but that does not mean that it is not worthwhile. Because of its size, Bratislava is an ideal city to see in one day. Walking along its cobblestone streets, observing its roofs and colorful facades is like immersing yourself in a fairy tale.

If you are interested in making an excursion to the surroundings of Vienna, you will also be interested in

Schönbrunn Park and Palace| ©Dimitry Anikin
Schönbrunn Park and Palace| ©Dimitry Anikin

You don't have to go far from the center of Vienna to enjoy a visit with a difference. If you are interested in the surroundings of the city, you can't miss Schoenbrunn Palace, located a short distance from the city center. This 17th century complex is known for being the place of residence of Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph I or his wife Elisabeth, better known as Sissi.

Touring the interior of the Palace and its beautiful gardens will take you a morning and I assure you that it is something you cannot miss during your trip. If you want more information about this option, I recommend you this article on Vienna Schonbrunn Palace Tickets and Tours.