Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Vienna is known for its imperial glory, but did you know that there are other places in Austria with their fair share of grandeur? Sure there’s Salzburg on the far side of the country, but a much nearer option is the city of Eisenstadt. Found just outside Vienna, a day trip to Eisenstadt allows you to continue soaking in all of Austria’s extravagance.

Featuring a splendid palace and a close link to renowned Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, Eisenstadt feels like a living museum to Austria’s heyday. That’s not to say the city has seen better days. It’s every bit as grand as parts of Vienna and proves that the capital wasn’t a one-off. It’s also notably the capital of Burgenland, one of Austria’s states.

So, if you’re considering an Eisenstadt day trip from Vienna, allow me to show you what could be in store for you.

How to do an Eisenstadt day trip

Eisenstadt Photos

Before we get to the sights of Eisenstadt, a little on getting to Eisenstadt from Vienna. Lying almost due south of the capital, the city is almost the last stop before you reach the Hungarian border. Just a little further and you reach Sopron, in Hungary. If you were to only spend a few hours in each, you could manage a day trip that includes both destinations.

The drive from Vienna to Eisenstadt takes 45 minutes from Vienna’s city centre, without considering traffic. Alternatively, go by train to Eisenstadt and it takes a little over an hour from Hauptbahnhof. So, the train isn’t that much slower and saves the stress of driving.

The other thing to think about with a day trip is finding somewhere to eat lunch. Rest assured, you’ll find several café/restaurants in the centre of Eisenstadt for a midday break. A fairly good choice is the Altes Backhaus restaurant, which features a slightly updated take on a typical Austrian café.

Esterhazy Palace

Esterhazy Palace, Day trip to Eisenstadt Austria

The main reason to visit Eisenstadt is without question, Esterhazy Palace. This impressive Baroque palace was the Esterhazy family residence, or more accurately, their main one. A Hungarian noble family that rose to prominence in the 17th century, they acquired the palace and transformed it into the masterpiece above. Less is known about the palace before the Esterhazys other than it dates back to the 13th century.

Visiting the Palace, there are two different tickets to choose from that each includes various permanent exhibitions, the castle chapel and the famed Haydnsaal. This magnificent baroque concert hall was where Haydn worked and performed his compositions for over 40 years. Pre-book your guided tour of the palace here.

 

For those who don’t have the time or money to tour the palace, make sure to at least visit its courtyard. Free to the public, the courtyard gives you a better appreciation of how large the palace is.

Across its façade, you’ll spot sculpted faces that each hold unique and curious expressions on them. There’s also the chance that while in the courtyard, lyrical notes of one of Haydn’s pieces will waft out its windows and treat you to a free show.

Palace Courtyard, Day trip to Eisenstadt Austria

 

Streets of Eisenstadt

Hauptstrasse Eisenstadt

Given that Eisenstadt isn’t a large city, once you’re there it’s comfortably covered on foot. The city’s main streets, like Hauptstrasse, do their best to match the splendour of Esterhazy Palace. Interesting brick and tile patterns line the pretty streets, not to mention the typical charm of Austrian buildings. Ultimately, the old centre is a network of just a few streets.

People tend to think of alpine houses and chalets when they think of Austria, but this is the flat part of the country. Much like the Wachau, the houses here boast a refined simplicity, only occasionally embellishing a little.

As with other places in central Europe, you’ll find a glittering and ornate plague column in the city centre. As I explained for nearby Sopron, these columns were raised after the Black Plague to thank God for its passing and to prevent its return.

Plague Column, Eisenstadt Austria

Now, if you’re a diehard classical music fan, then you probably don’t want to miss the Haydn House. The composer lived in this house on Joseph Haydn-Gasse (naturally) for 12 years after his promotion to the noble court’s conductor. You’re able to visit this baroque house, admire its contemporary furnishings and see several original instruments.

Old Town walls and bastion

Dombastei Town Walls

Although it’s not obvious unless you’re standing in front of them, Eisenstadt was once a walled town. The remains of the town walls are found around the Dombastei, one of the bastions built in 1534 after repeated Turkish attacks. The original town walls date back to the 14th century. You’re able to enter the Dombastei and even climb up its stairs, which brings you to …

The Cathedral and Haydn Church

Haydn Church, Day trip to Eisenstadt Austria

Sitting just above the Dombastei is St Martin’s Cathedral. As the town of Eisenstadt grew in prominence, so too did the Cathedral. Originally a small 13th-century chapel, it was constantly being added upon or repaired throughout its life. Not the most extravagant cathedral I’ve seen in Austria, but it still boasts a nice pipe organ and stained glass windows.

Instead, the church that grabbed my attention was the one we only spotted as we were leaving the city. With its wonky, unconventional roof the Haydn Church stopped us in our tracks. We had to pull over so I could get a snap of its segmented roof. The church also houses the Haydn Mausoleum, where the famed composer was laid to rest.

Stroll in the Palace Gardens

Park Greenhouse, Eisenstadt Day trip from Vienna

A great way to finish off a day trip to Eisenstadt, especially after lunch, is to see the Palace Gardens. Effectively a large park, the Schlosspark as it’s known, features fields, several small lakes and the above Orangery. If you’re not familiar, an orangery was a greenhouse found by noble residences that boasted fruit trees. They protected the fruit trees from the effects of winter, which sounds like it would have been a luxury of the wealthy back in the 18th century.

The most attractive part of the entire park has to be the English Garden with its rotunda overlooking the small lake. A great spot to either have a picnic or snap a new profile pic. You can also see the rear, technically the front, of Esterhazy Palace from here. This includes the impressive palace porte-cochère for the arrival of coaches. The Palace Gardens do help confirm just how well-to-do the Esterhazys must have been, and by extension, Eisenstadt.

Eisenstadt Schlosspark

 


Have you heard of the grand old city of Eisenstadt, Austria? Would you consider making a day trip to Eisenstadt from Vienna when in Austria? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: https://www.travelsewhere.net/

By Lala