Wiener Neustadt lies in the region of Lower Austria and is only 30km from the countries capital and also a short distance from the Hungarian border. The towns history has been strewn with conquest and battles and has been ruled by various different empires from The House of Babenberg, The Habsburgs and Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.
From the 1700’s onwards the town became an important military training ground with the construction of the Maria Theresa Military Academy and today stands as an important industrial town with the construction of the Austrian Southern Railway. Wiener Neustadt has a wide variety of historical sights combined with an impressive array of outdoor activities making it a great tourist destination in Lower Austria.
Lets explore the best things to do in Wiener Neustadt:
1. Myra Falls
This protected monument lies around 20 minutes to the west of Wiener Neustadt and is a beautiful area for hiking. The well developed hiking trail starts in Muggendorf and follows the line of the Myra river until reaching the impressive falls that are surrounded by woodland.
The gorge that holds the falls is approximately 600mm long and the difference in height from the top to bottom is 70 meters.
You can explore the ravine and the powerful waterfall at your leisure and there is a wooden gangway that runs across its length. If you want to stay in this magical place longer there are a couple of restaurants in close proximity too.
2. Grand Canal
Wiener Neustadt has an expansive canal system with the main Grand Canal running most of the length of the town with various strands that snake off from it.
The canal has footpaths running either side of it on most of the stretches and it is simply fantastic to just pick a starting point and walk along this peaceful waterway.
This really is a great way to see the different parts of Wiener Neustadt and explore the routes of this outstanding canal network.
3. Military Academy of Empress Maria Theresa
Currently one of the oldest military academies in the world, the Academy of Maria Theresa has stood in Wiener Neustadt since 1751.
Throughout history, this academy has been responsible for training students in the art of leadership and military expertise and has passed thousands of successful students through its doors.
The actual building has seen much reconstruction over the years but remains a remarkable piece of architecture with its characteristic white washed walls and orange tiled towers.
This shrine and hiking area provides another great outdoors experience combined with a splash of culture and history.
The Mariahilfberg is perched ontop of a 700mm high hill and stands as a pilgrimage site of importance in the region.
A church was established here in the 1700’s and was the supposed site of a miracle.
The building has a fantastic baroque design and a wonderful opulent altar, while the surrounding countryside provides some beautiful scenery and walking trails.
5. Dom Wiener Neustadt
The Cathedral in Wiener Neustadt is an impressive building and was constructed in the 13th century with a Romanesque style and its iconic two large bell towers.
The cathedral stands proud in its own square around 5 minutes walk from the Hauptplatz and has a beautiful fountain and lawn on the left courtyard.
The interior has many baroque features that have been added in later years including a opulent pulpit and a stunning vaulted ceiling with decorated archways.
This really is an impressive religious building and stands as a testament to the importance of Wiener Neustadt.
6. Linsberg Asia Therme Spa
This stunning spa complex is the perfect place to unwind, relax and forget about the hustle and bustle of the city. The spa features a wonderful thermal bath, 8 indoor pools, and 9 different saunas.
You can also take advantage of the many different treatments available in the spa such as full body massages, pedicures and skin care rituals. The high quality, relaxing atmosphere and soothing activities really do work wonders for your body and mind and if you want to rejuvenate, the Linsberg Spa is the perfect place.
7. Gesaeuse National Park
Austria has many national parks, and one of the most beautiful near Wiener Neustadt is the Gesaeuse National Park that lies around 2 hours from the town and an hour from neighbouring Graz. This park is mainly formed from the Gesaeuse mountain range that has eroded in parts to form huge valleys and gorges.
There is plenty of limestone and dolomite rock formations, but also Alpine pastures and woodland. Hike through the stunning landscape and admire the thundering rush of the rapids that carve through the mountains or even take part in some water sports or climbing – There is something for everyone’s outdoor taste in this immense park.
8. Wiener Neustadt Town Hall
The Rathaus is nestled on the market square and has records dating back to the early 1400’s. The original Gothic style was changed into a more pleasing renaissance design in later years and the remarkable light pink walls still retain their bold colour today.
There are some lovely coats of arms on the building and a small neo gothic tower which was added in the 19th century. Inside this marvellous building is a scale model of Wiener Neustadt as it looked when it had a complete city wall and towers.
9. Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park
Austria’s only “steppe” national park, the Seewinkel borders with neighbouring Hungary and the park actually expands into both countries. The park has many areas of meadow, salt ponds and reed beds and has a huge amount of wildlife and beautiful scenery.
This relatively flat national park has a vast area to explore and you will cross many different types of terrain from sand to field and wood. The main form of wildlife are birds and you can expect to see Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants, Herons and the Willow Warbler.
10. Hauptplatz and St. Mary’s Column
One of the main squares in Wiener Neustadt is the Hauptplatz and this is located in the old town centre roughly 10 minutes walk from the train station. This spacious public space is surrounded by a host of colourful buildings from yellow and orange to white and green.
There are several cafes with outdoor seating, and also many market stalls where the locals try to make a living. In the centre of the square is the impressive St. Mary’s Column which stands proudly as one of the cities main landmarks. Enjoy a coffee, do some shopping in one of the stalls or haggle with a market vendor – The Hauptplatz is a great place to see some local life.
11. Wiener Neustadt Water Tower
The water tower which has come to be a symbol of Wiener Neustadt is not as old as it actually appears and was only constructed in 1909 by Viennese architects.
The style of the tower is reminiscent of a closed goblet with a lid, and it has been said that it is a tribute to the famous Corvinus goblet which resides in the Rathaus.
You cannot visit Wiener Neustadt without seeing this epic tower – it is one of the tallest structures in the old town and is hard to miss!
12. Head into Hungary and visit Sopron
Wiener Neustadt lies close to the Hungarian border and one of the closest towns is Sopron – You can get across the border to Sopron via train from the main station in Wiener Neustadt and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes.
Sopron has a great charm of its own and is really picturesque with some gorgeous architecture such as the Fire Tower and Saint Michael’s Church and is an enjoyable town to visit if you have some spare time or want to tick another country off your list.
The Stadtpark lies just to the south of the old town centre and next to the railway station. The park features some pleasant woodland with many paths scattered in-between the trees.
On the borders of the park are several restaurants and bars to enjoy a meal and also the Stadtpark tennis academy where you can watch the sport being played.
This quiet park in the centre of the town is a pleasing place to wonder through on a warm summers day and to have a break from sight seeing.
14. Watch a game at the Wiener Neustadt Stadium
Football has been a long standing tradition in Wiener and the town has been host to many successful sporting clubs. The Wiener Neustadt stadium has a capacity of 10,000 and is currently the home of SC Wiener Neustadt who play in the Austrian Football First League.
The stadium has seen much development over the years and has an extremely modern feel to it. If you are a sport fan, why not check out the teams schedule before you head to Wiener and see if there is a game on? The atmosphere is sure to be spectacular and the football top quality.
15. Admire the city walls and towers
As with many Austrian towns, Wiener Neustadt used to have a complete city wall and tower defence system that was constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries and reinforced during the Habsburg empire – The town was an important defensive bulwark against the Turks and the Kuruc.
Parts of the town defences and towers still remain today and there are several sections of wall that you can clearly see and admire their former glory. Notable parts include a section on Grazer Strasse and a section behind the city museum.