William Braun

12 Fun Things to Do in Burgenland, Austria: Must-See Attractions

Looking to visit Burgenland anytime soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Burgenland. These tranquil sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Welcome to Burgenland, Austria’s hidden gem! If you haven’t heard of this Austrian paradise, prepare to be enchanted. Nestled between the bustling city of Vienna and the tranquil borders of Hungary, this region is a tapestry of lush vineyards, historic castles, and shimmering lakes. It’s quite different than other parts of Austria, which surprised me in the best way possible!

When you visit, you’ll discover a myriad of things to do in Burgenland, from sipping on world-class Blaufränkisch wine to exploring the local history and culture. It’s not just a scene from a movie; it’s a typical evening in Burgenland.

But wait, there’s more! Lake Neusiedl beckons with its sapphire waters, offering a myriad of water sports and leisurely boat cruises. For the history enthusiast, the grandeur of Esterhazy Palace is a must-see, a living testament to Austria’s rich cultural tapestry. And let’s not forget the food—oh, the food! From hearty stews to delicate pastries, your taste buds are in for a treat.

So, if you’re yearning for a destination that offers both relaxation and adventure, look no further. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, an outdoor enthusiast, or a history aficionado, Burgenland has something for everyone. Get ready, because we’re about to embark on an unforgettable journey through one of Austria’s most captivating regions. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Burgenland, Asutria.

The best things to do in Burgenland, Austria right now.
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Best Places to Visit in Burgenland

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Burgenland? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this relaxing vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Burgenland places to visit.

Are you looking to immerse yourself in wine tasting tours, sampling some of Austria’s finest vintages, and savor regional cuisine in charming local restaurants? Or would you prefer exploring the picturesque landscapes through cycling routes, hiking trails, and water-based activities? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Burgenland can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Burgenland that you should know about.

1. Rust

Ahh Rust, the city that wine aficionados dream about! Imagine strolling through cobblestone streets, each corner revealing a family-owned winery or a cozy tavern. Wondering about what to do in Burgenland if you’re a wine lover? Rust is your answer. Here, the air is thick with the aroma of fermenting grapes, and the local vintners are always eager to share their craft.

But it’s not just about the wine. Rust is also home to the mesmerizing Lake Neusiedl, where you can take a romantic boat ride or try your hand at windsurfing. The city is a harmonious blend of leisure and excitement, making it one of the coolest activities in Burgenland for couples or solo travelers alike.

And let’s talk about the storks! Yes, you heard that right. Rust is famous for its stork population, and spotting these majestic birds is a unique thing to do in Burgenland. They often make their nests atop chimneys and are considered a symbol of good luck.

So, whether you’re a sommelier-in-training or just someone who appreciates the finer things in life, Rust offers an experience that’s both enriching and utterly delightful. Is this among the top things to do in Burgenland, Austria? 100%!

A serene oasis in the heart of Europe, offering shimmering waters, wetland wonders, and endless horizons in Burgenland, Austria.
A serene oasis in the heart of Europe, offering shimmering waters, wetland wonders, and endless horizons in Burgenland, Austria.

2. Eisenstadt

Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland, is a must-see for anyone who appreciates the finer aspects of history and culture. The city is synonymous with the great composer Joseph Haydn, whose presence is felt everywhere—from the Haydn Museum to the Esterházy Palace where he once served.

For those wondering where to visit in Burgenland, Eisenstadt offers a rich tapestry of experiences. The city is a living museum, with its Baroque architecture and charming squares. You’ll find yourself transported back in time as you explore the cobblestone streets and historic landmarks.

How about festivals? Eisenstadt is the epicenter of Burgenland’s vibrant cultural scene. The Haydn Festival is a particular highlight, drawing classical music lovers from around the globe. It’s one of the best things to do in Burgenland if you’re a fan of the arts.

And don’t forget the local cuisine! From traditional Austrian dishes to modern fusion, the food scene here is as diverse as its history. It’s a cool destination in Burgenland for foodies and history enthusiasts alike.

The enchanting capital of Burgenland, Austria, where history and culture come alive in the shadow of Esterházy Palace.
The enchanting capital of Burgenland, Austria, where history and culture come alive in the shadow of Esterházy Palace.

3. Neusiedler See

Neusiedler See—a dream come true for those who crave the great outdoors. Imagine cycling along the lake’s edge, the wind in your hair and the sun warming your skin. It’s one of those unique places in Burgenland where nature and adventure coalesce into something truly magical.

Ever tried stand-up paddleboarding? Here’s your chance. Neusiedler See offers a variety of water sports that cater to all skill levels. It’s a must-see in Burgenland for anyone who loves to get their feet wet, literally!

But wait, there’s more. Birdwatchers, get your binoculars ready. The lake is a sanctuary for rare bird species, making it a haven for ornithologists and casual birdwatchers alike. It’s not just a lake; it’s a vibrant ecosystem waiting to be explored.

And for the cherry on top, sunsets. Imagine the sky painted in hues of orange and pink, reflecting off the calm waters. It’s the perfect end to an action-packed day. 

A mesmerizing expanse of water and reed beds, sharing its beauty between Austria and Hungary, among the best things to do in Burgenland, Austria.
A mesmerizing expanse of water and reed beds, sharing its beauty between Austria and Hungary.

4. Seewinkel National Park

Hold onto your hats, nature lovers! Seewinkel National Park is the stage where Mother Nature performs her most awe-inspiring acts. This is a place where the spotlight shines on biodiversity, making it one of the unique things to do in Burgenland for anyone who loves the great outdoors. I’ve always been intrigued by how Burgenland has a totally different climate and landscapes than other parts of Austria. In this national park, you’ll notice this right away!

You might think you’ve seen wetlands before, but Seewinkel is in a league of its own. From the rustling reeds to the cacophony of croaking frogs, every element here adds to the symphony of natural wonders. And let’s not forget the birds—this park is a twitcher’s paradise!

Whether you’re into hiking, bird-watching, or just soaking in the natural beauty, Seewinkel has got you covered. The park offers guided tours that take you deep into its ecological wonders, revealing secrets that you won’t find in any travel guide.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the park transforms. The sky becomes a canvas painted with hues of twilight, and the nocturnal creatures come out to play. It’s the perfect setting for some stargazing. For an authentic nature experience, Seewinkel National Park should be high on your list.

A biodiverse wonderland in Austria's Burgenland region, where wetlands, meadows, and wildlife thrive in harmony.
A biodiverse wonderland in Austria’s Burgenland region, where wetlands, meadows, and wildlife thrive in harmony. | Photo credits: Nationalparksaustria.at

5. Purbach

Purbach! This charming village is a wine aficionado’s dream come true. Situated amidst rolling vineyards, it’s a place that whispers secrets of ancient winemaking traditions. 

The village itself is a tapestry of cobblestone streets and rustic architecture. But what really steals the show are the vineyards. Imagine strolling through rows of grapevines, the sun casting golden hues over the landscape. It’s a scene straight out of a painting.

Purbach’s cellars are treasure troves of local varietals. If you’re a casual sipper or a seasoned connoisseur, the wine tours here offer something for everyone. And don’t even get me started on the wine festivals! They’re a carnival of flavors and aromas, a true celebration of Purbach’s viticultural heritage.

Beyond the vineyards, Purbach offers a range of activities. From cycling routes to historical landmarks, it’s a village that invites exploration. 

6. Burg Forchtenstein

Ready for a journey back in time? Burg Forchtenstein beckons with its towering walls and centuries-old legends. A visit to this castle is one of the coolest things to do in Burgenland, and for good reason.

First off, the architecture is a marvel. Intricate stonework, grand halls, and a labyrinth of secret passages make this castle a living museum. You can almost hear the whispers of knights and nobles echoing through the corridors.

Let’s switch gears and talk about the views. From the castle’s highest towers, you’re treated to a panoramic spectacle of Burgenland’s lush landscapes. It’s the kind of view that makes you want to take up painting, just to capture its essence.

But don’t just stand there admiring the scenery. Burg Forchtenstein offers a plethora of activities, from guided tours to interactive exhibits. If you’re into history, you’ll love the Esterházy Treasure Chamber, home to a collection of priceless artifacts.

In the mood for something more adventurous? The castle’s surroundings are a playground for hikers and nature lovers. It’s easy to see why this is among the most beautiful castles in the world!

Best Things to Do in Burgenland Austria: Explore the rich history and enchanting surroundings of Burg Forchtenstein.
Best Things to Do in Burgenland Austria: Explore the rich history and enchanting surroundings of Burg Forchtenstein.

7. Illmitz

Illmitz is the kind of place that makes you wonder why you haven’t visited sooner. Located in the heart of Burgenland’s wine country, this charming town is a haven for oenophiles and nature enthusiasts alike.

You know what they say about saving the best for last? Well, if you’re mapping out where to go in Burgenland, make sure Illmitz is on that list. The town is renowned for its vineyards, where you can not only taste but also learn about the intricate process of winemaking.

But it’s not all about the grapes. The town is surrounded by the stunning landscapes of the National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel. Whether you’re into bird-watching, hiking, or simply soaking up the natural beauty, there’s something for everyone.

From traditional Austrian fare to modern fusion cuisine, the local restaurants are a gastronomic delight. It’s the perfect way to end a day of exploring the best places in Burgenland.

What’s your next travel destination? Illmitz should be right there on top.With its blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and delectable wines, it’s a spot that captures the essence of Burgenland in a nutshell.

A tranquil lakeside town nestled amidst lush vineyards and reed-covered shores, where nature's beauty and serenity meet.
A tranquil lakeside town nestled amidst lush vineyards and reed-covered shores, where nature’s beauty and serenity meet.

8. Oggau Opera Festival

A warm summer evening, the sky painted with hues of orange and pink as the sun sets, and the first notes of an aria filling the air. Welcome to the Oggau Opera Festival, one of the Burgenland things to do you shouldn’t miss.

Now, you might be thinking, “Opera? Really?” But hear me out. This isn’t your grandma’s opera; it’s a modern, accessible experience that even opera newbies will love. Set in the idyllic town of Oggau, the festival is a blend of high culture and laid-back vibes.

The festival doesn’t just stop at opera. It’s a full-on cultural extravaganza, featuring ballet, orchestral performances, and even some contemporary dance. So, if you’re keen on soaking up some culture, this is where to visit in Burgenland.

Food stalls offering local delicacies and wine bars with the region’s finest vintages ensure you won’t go hungry or thirsty. And the most exciting part? The entire event takes place outdoors, allowing you to bask in Burgenland’s natural beauty while enjoying world-class performances.

So, why not add a touch of sophistication to your Burgenland itinerary? The Oggau Opera Festival promises an unforgettable evening of culture, food, and natural beauty.

Where the enchanting melodies of world-class performers harmonize with the picturesque backdrop of Oggau's historic architecture.
Where the enchanting melodies of world-class performers harmonize with the picturesque backdrop of Oggau’s historic architecture.

9. Donauradweg

Ready to switch gears? How about a cycling adventure that takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes you’ll ever see? That’s right, we’re talking about Donauradweg, one of the best places to go in Burgenland for cycling enthusiasts.

The route is a feast for the eyes, offering panoramic views of vineyards, rolling hills, and charming villages. And don’t worry if you’re not a Tour de France contender; the trail caters to all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual peddler, this is a must-see in Burgenland for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

But the experience isn’t just about the ride. Along the way, you’ll find quaint cafes where you can refuel with some Austrian pastries, and rustic inns that offer a cozy night’s stay. It’s the perfect blend of physical activity and leisure, making it one of the unique things to do in Burgenland.

And for those who love a good photo op, the trail offers plenty of those too. From the golden hues of the setting sun casting its glow on the river to the vibrant colors of the wildflowers that line the path, your Instagram feed will thank you.

So, gear up and make your way to Donauradweg. It’s not just a bike ride; it’s an experience that captures the essence of what Burgenland has to offer.

10. Kunstmeile Krems

Art aficionados, this one’s for you. Situated in the heart of Burgenland, Kunstmeile Krems is a hub of modern art that you won’t want to miss. From the moment you step inside, you’re greeted by an array of vibrant colors, thought-provoking installations, and avant-garde sculptures. It’s one of those Burgenland attractions that effortlessly marries the traditional with the contemporary.

What sets this place apart? Well, it’s not just a gallery; it’s an experience. Interactive exhibits invite you to become part of the art, while curated events like artist talks and workshops offer a deeper understanding of the creative process. If you’re wondering what to do in Burgenland that’s a bit off the beaten path, this is it.

The venue itself is a masterpiece, with architectural elements that complement the art within. Picture this: A sunlit atrium that casts ethereal shadows on the artwork, creating a dynamic visual experience that changes throughout the day.

Don’t miss the café. Serving up artisanal coffee and delectable pastries, it’s the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and soak in the artistic atmosphere.

Keen to explore the cutting edge of Austrian art? Kunstmeile Krems is your go-to destination. It’s a feast for the senses that will leave you inspired long after you’ve left.

A captivating journey through the heart of art and culture, where contemporary masterpieces and historical treasures.
A captivating journey through the heart of art and culture, where contemporary masterpieces and historical treasures.

11. Gols 

Gols, the wine capital of Burgenland! This charming village is a haven for wine enthusiasts and casual sippers alike. You’re not just visiting a place; you’re stepping into a lifestyle. From the vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see to the intimate wine cellars, Gols offers a unique experience that’s hard to replicate. Exploring Gols is among the best things to do in Burgenland that you shouldn’t miss.

The region is renowned for its reds, particularly the Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch varieties. But the whites are equally compelling, with Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay taking center stage. 

You might be wondering what sets Gols apart from other wine regions? The answer lies in its community. The local vintners are not just winemakers; they’re storytellers, passionate about sharing the history and techniques behind each bottle.

And if you’re in the mood for some gastronomic delights, the village doesn’t disappoint. Local eateries serve up traditional Austrian fare that pairs perfectly with your wine selections. Think Wiener Schnitzel with a glass of crisp white or a hearty beef stew complemented by a robust red.

Looking for the best places to go in Burgenland that offer both culture and indulgence? Make sure Gols is on your list. It’s not just a destination; it’s an experience that will linger on your palate and in your heart long after you’ve returned home.

Savoring the Essence of Austrian Winemaking at the Weinkulturhaus - Vinothek in Gols.
Savoring the Essence of Austrian Winemaking at the Weinkulturhaus – Vinothek in Gols.

12. Lutzmannsburg Thermal Spa

Ready for a change of pace? Lutzmannsburg Thermal Spa is where you’ll want to be. This isn’t just a spa; it’s a wellness sanctuary that offers a slice of paradise in Burgenland.

First off, let’s talk about the water. Rich in minerals and maintained at a balmy 34°C (93°F), the thermal pools are designed to rejuvenate both body and soul. It’s one of those unique places in Burgenland where you can truly disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself.

But hey, it’s not all about the adults. Lutzmannsburg also caters to the little ones with its ‘Sonnenland’ water park. Picture this: slides that twist and turn, a lazy river, and even a mini spa for kids. It’s a family-friendly destination that ensures everyone leaves with a smile.

Foodies, you’re in for a treat too. The on-site restaurants serve up some of the most delectable Austrian and international cuisines. Imagine savoring a plate of Kaiserschmarrn after a relaxing dip. Heavenly, right?

So, if you’re compiling a list of Burgenland places to visit that offer a mix of relaxation and fun, Lutzmannsburg Thermal Spa should be right at the top. Trust us, it’s a day well-spent.

Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg: A sun-kissed haven of relaxation and fun, where warm thermal waters and exciting water slides come together.
Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg: A sun-kissed haven of relaxation and fun, where warm thermal waters and exciting water slides come together. Among the best things to in Burgenland Austria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Burgenland

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Burgenland? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Burgenland:

What’s the best time to visit Burgenland?

The best time to visit Burgenland is during the late spring to early autumn months, from May to September. During this period, the weather is pleasant, and the vineyards are in full bloom, making it ideal for outdoor activities, wine tasting, and enjoying the region’s natural beauty.

How do I get around Burgenland?

To get around Burgenland, you can utilize a combination of transportation options. Renting a car provides flexibility to explore the region, while the well-connected train and bus network offers convenient access to major towns. Additionally, biking and walking are great for exploring local attractions and scenic routes.

Is Burgenland family-friendly?

Yes, Burgenland is a family-friendly destination. The region’s serene countryside, charming towns, and outdoor activities make it suitable for families. You can explore castles, enjoy lakeside picnics, and partake in child-friendly events like grape harvesting festivals. Family-oriented accommodations and dining options are also readily available.

Visiting Burgenland: Embark on a journey to Austria's hidden gem, where vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see.
Visiting Burgenland: Embark on a journey to Austria’s hidden gem, where vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see.

What should I pack when going to Burgenland?

When packing for Burgenland, consider the season of your visit. In general, bring comfortable clothing for outdoor activities, including hiking or biking gear if desired. Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for sun protection. If you plan to explore vineyards, a light jacket for cooler evenings and wine-tasting attire might be useful.

Is Burgenland worth a visit?

Absolutely, Burgenland is a hidden gem that’s worth every moment of your time. From its idyllic vineyards and historic castles to its stunning natural landscapes, it offers a diverse range of experiences. Whether you’re a wine aficionado, history buff, or nature lover, Burgenland has something magical for everyone.

What is Burgenland known for?

Burgenland is renowned for its captivating blend of culture, nature, and gastronomy. It’s a haven for wine enthusiasts, boasting some of Austria’s finest vineyards. The region is also famous for its historic landmarks like Esterházy Palace and natural wonders like Neusiedler See. It’s a mosaic of experiences waiting to be explored.

How many days is enough in Burgenland?

The ideal duration for a visit to Burgenland, Austria, largely depends on your interests and the type of activities you wish to pursue. However, for most travelers:

  • 2-3 Days: This is a good duration for a quick trip. You can explore the main attractions, including the Neusiedler See (Lake Neusiedl), visit a few vineyards, and perhaps attend a cultural event or two at the renowned Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt.
  • 4-5 Days: With a longer stay, you can delve deeper into the region’s wine culture, take leisurely bike rides around the lake, visit more towns like Rust and Mörbisch, and even attend a performance at the Seefestspiele Mörbisch (a famous lakeside opera festival).
  • A Week or More: If you’re a wine enthusiast, nature lover, or someone looking for a relaxing spa experience, you might consider staying longer. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the region’s spas, nature reserves, and wine routes, and perhaps even take a few day trips to neighboring regions.

Is there a lot to do in Burgenland?

Absolutely! Burgenland, located in the easternmost part of Austria, offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors. Here are some highlights:

  1. Neusiedler See (Lake Neusiedl): Central Europe’s largest endorheic lake, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers, windsurfers, and sailors. The lake’s reed belt is home to numerous bird species, making it a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  2. Wine Culture: Burgenland is renowned for its wine, especially its reds and sweet whites. There are numerous vineyards and wine cellars where visitors can partake in wine tastings.
  3. Esterházy Palace: Located in Eisenstadt, this baroque palace is one of the most beautiful in Austria and hosts various cultural events throughout the year.
  4. Seefestspiele Mörbisch: An annual lakeside opera festival that attracts visitors from all over the world.
  5. Rust: A picturesque town known for its storks and historic architecture.
  6. Thermal Baths: The region boasts several thermal spas, perfect for relaxation.
  7. National Park Neusiedler See – Seewinkel: A unique steppe national park that’s a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
  8. Cycling and Hiking: The flat terrain of Burgenland, combined with its scenic beauty, makes it ideal for cycling and hiking.
  9. Cultural Festivals: Throughout the year, Burgenland hosts various music, wine, and cultural festivals.
  10. Castles and Fortresses: Explore the region’s history by visiting its many castles, like Burg Güssing or Burg Lockenhaus.
  11. Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on trying traditional Burgenland dishes, often influenced by Hungarian cuisine due to its proximity.

Is three days enough to see Burgenland?

Three days in Burgenland can give you a good taste of what the region has to offer, but it will require careful planning to maximize your experience. Here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Neusiedler See and Rust

  • Start your day at Neusiedler See (Lake Neusiedl). Enjoy birdwatching, take a boat ride, or simply relax by the lake.
  • In the afternoon, visit the picturesque town of Rust, known for its storks and historic architecture. Enjoy a leisurely stroll and perhaps a wine tasting session at a local vineyard.
  • Dine at a local restaurant to savor traditional Burgenland cuisine.

Day 2: Eisenstadt and Esterházy Palace

  • Spend your morning exploring Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland. Visit the Esterházy Palace and learn about its rich history.
  • In the afternoon, indulge in a wine tasting tour, as Burgenland is renowned for its wines, especially its reds and sweet whites.
  • If time permits, attend a cultural event or concert, often held at the palace or other venues in the region.

Nature and Relaxation (Day 3)

  • Dedicate your day to nature by visiting the National Park Neusiedler See – Seewinkel. It’s a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
  • In the afternoon, relax and rejuvenate at one of Burgenland’s thermal baths.
  • End your day with a delightful dinner at a local eatery, sampling more regional dishes.

What are some fun facts about the Burgenland?

Certainly! Burgenland, located in the easternmost part of Austria, is a region rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some fun and interesting facts about Burgenland:

  1. Name Origin: The name “Burgenland” translates to “Land of Castles” due to the numerous castles and fortresses scattered throughout the region.
  2. Youngest Austrian State: Burgenland is the youngest federal state in Austria. It became part of Austria only in 1921 after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  3. Unique Dialect: The region has its own distinct dialect, which is a mix of Austrian German and Hungarian, reflecting its historical ties to both nations.
  4. Wine Paradise: Burgenland is renowned for its wines, especially its reds and sweet whites. The region’s Pannonian climate makes it ideal for viticulture.
  5. Longest Lake: Neusiedler See, Central Europe’s largest endorheic lake, is located in Burgenland. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and a paradise for birdwatchers.
  6. Haydn’s Home: The famous composer Joseph Haydn spent many years in Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland. The Haydn Festival, held in his honor, attracts music lovers from all over the world.
  7. Thermal Springs: Burgenland is home to several thermal springs, making it a popular destination for relaxation and wellness.
  8. Unique Architecture: The region boasts a unique architectural style called “Pannonian style,” characterized by whitewashed buildings with colorful facades.
  9. Gypsy Music: Burgenland has a significant Romani population, and their influence can be seen in the local music, especially the vibrant Gypsy jazz.
  10. Stork Villages: The town of Rust in Burgenland is famous for its storks. Every year, these majestic birds return to the town, nesting on chimneys and rooftops.

Concluding Thoughts on Visiting Burgenland

And there you have it, folks! A comprehensive guide to the best places to go in Burgenland. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a nature lover, or a foodie, this Austrian gem has something for everyone. From the vineyards of Purbach to the historic allure of Burg Forchtenstein, each destination offers its own unique flavor and charm.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack those bags and set your GPS to Burgenland. It’s time to make some memories that will last a lifetime. Trust me, this is one trip you won’t want to miss. 

Best Things to Do in Burgenland, Austria for all types of travelers.
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