How to travel from Prague to Vienna by Private Car and have a Stop in Wachau ValleyRuss Bily
The distance between Vienna and Prague is approximately three hundred kilometers. For Europe, this distance is small, so many tourists who come to Prague do not lose the chance to admire the beauty of the capital of Austria. If you are one of them, then, for sure, you have already asked yourself how to get from Prague to Vienna and what sites are worth visiting on the way between the two capitals.
In this article, I’m going to give you some ideas about the most interesting places to visit between Prague and Vienna, putting an accent on Wachau Valley with its most picturesque landscape formed by the Danube river.
Traditionally, the tourists go from Prague to Vienna on a bus or train, but if you prefer not to depend on the train schedule and are used to independent trips, go by car! Yes, and it is much more convenient to move around the Austrian capital and between its attractions on a car.
Getting there from Prague to Vienna by car is not a problem. You can rent a car with a driver-guide here: https://www.besttrips.eu/.
The First Stop – Telč
The first stop can be made in Telč. If you have time, be sure to stop in this city-museum. The locals call it the “Moravian Venice”. This is due to the abundance of ponds, located in the center of this area. It should be noted that Telč is included in the list of UNESCO cultural heritage. Therefore, traveling from Prague to Vienna by car, be sure to stop here.
Here you can see Telč Castle. Its architecture refers to the Renaissance. Chateau includes several halls, which is its main value. It is worth enjoying the beauty of the Golden, Blue, and Marble Halls. The Blue Hall contains the allegory of four elements personified by the Roman gods. The ceiling of the famous Golden Hall consists of 30 octagonal panels with impressive figurative wooden carvings.
Next, visit the Church of the Holy Spirit in Telč. This unique cult structure was originally erected in the Romanesque style, but then rebuilt into Gothic. Want to get to the highest place in Telč? Then climb the bell tower of this church.
Not only the Towers of the Holy Trinity but also the lookout tower rising from the top of Oslednice Hill boasts a fairytale view of the city of Telč. The tower was opened in 2000, replacing the original wooden one.
You may also like the Central Square of this toy-town. You will hardly imagine people really live in the colored facades of the toy houses. There are other sights in Telč, definitely worth visiting. On the territory of the town, there are churches and chapels that have preserved their original appearance.
If you’re hungry, check out the Švejk restaurant. In addition to excellent cuisine, you will be impressed by a unique interior. It accurately recreates the atmosphere of Hašek’s works.
Further on the route Prague-Vienna by car, you will reach Brno. This Czech town provokes controversy among tourists. Some recommend stopping here, while other say that Brno is an industrial city.
Our opinion is categorical: be sure to stop there!
In Brno, you can walk along the tourist route and see Špilberk Castle, a unique cultural heritage of the Middle Ages. A prison shrouded in horrific legends, valuable historical collections, a beautiful view over the city and many cultural events held throughout the year – all of this is Špilberk Castle. On its territory, there are several palaces and a lot of architectural structures, which are worth visiting.
Museum of the Moravian Land is a huge complex, which includes castles and palaces. Here you can take an excursion and learn the history of architectural monuments of Moravia.
Visit Villa Tugendhat, a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many call it a real masterpiece of functionalism.
Take a look at Freedom Square with its Plague Column. Visit Kline’s Palace and the House of Lords from Lipa, which are among the most beautiful of Brno Renaissance houses. The Town Hall is the oldest building in Brno, built in 1240.
Do not forget to visit the Gothic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. This is a fantastically beautiful religious building, located on the Petrov hill in the center of Brno. It is a national cultural monument and one of the most important pieces of architecture in South Moravia.
If you decide to have a snack, check out the “Pegasus Brewer” or “Bistro Franz”. This is the most colorful institution in the city. If you are not driving, be sure to try Moravian wines and the famous Starobrno beer.
Enjoy the Gothic – Stop in Znojmo
Znojmo is located fifty-five kilometers from Brno. It is an interesting settlement with an ancient history. Znojmo is famous for its Gothic architecture.
Going along the tourist route, be sure to enjoy the beauty of Znojmo Castle. Znojmo has traditionally occupied a strategic position on the border between Austria and Moravia, and there’s been a fortress here since the 11th century.
Entry is by guided tour only. Tours leave at the top of the hour, with the day’s last tour at 4 pm. Tours are normally in Czech, but English and German text are provided on request.
Znojmo’s labyrinth of underground corridors below the old town is one of the most extensive in Central Europe, snaking around for some 27km.
Two types of guided tours are offered: the classic tour is designed for families and features fairy-tale characters; the adrenaline tour is more hardcore and involves actually climbing walls and crawling through the tunnels.
Rotunda of Our Lady & St Catherine and Church of St Nicholas are also worth visiting. Rotunda is the 11th-century church is one of the republic’s oldest Romanesque structures and contains a beautiful series of 12th-century frescoes depicting the life of Christ.
Church of St Nicholas is the no less beautiful 13th-century church, originally Romanesque and rebuilt in Gothic style. Toward the front on the right-hand side is the Bread Madonna chapel. According to legend, during the Thirty Years’ War a box beneath the image was always found to be full of food. Beside the church is the small St Wenceslas Chapel.
Don’t miss the handsome and scaleable 66m tower on Znojmo’s Town Hall, one of Moravia’s best examples of late Gothic architecture.
There are plenty of restaurants in the city. So if you are hungry, you can easily find a cute establishment that you will really like.
For example, you can dine in Casa Navarra restaurant, well known for local homemade gnocchi, or in an excellent vegetarian restaurant Na Věčnosti, famous for its delicious fish dishes on the menu.
In the restaurant U Zlaté Konve, the menu is pure Czech food, such as sirloin in cream sauce, Moravian cabbage soup, apple strudel and pork in mushroom sauce. By the way, you can enjoy the views of Znojmo’s main square from the restaurant.
In a very stylish wine and coffee bar with a nice selection of wines from the Znojmo wine-growing region Deci Deci, you can try perfect Czech wine with various cheeses, homemade pâtés, and spreads, as well as more substantial soups and sandwiches.
If you’re to take part in the region’s biggest annual festival, dedicated to wine, you will be able not only to taste wine but also see musical performances, parades and general merriment, scattered all around town.
Mikulov – Winemaking Center
Further, when traveling to Vienna by car, you will be able to have a stop in Mikulov. This city is located next to the Austrian border. You have to travel forty kilometers from Znojmo.
Mikulov is rightfully considered the center of Czech winemaking. Wine exhibitions are held regularly here. An original symbol of the city is the largest wine barrel in Europe. It is designed to store more than a hundred liters of wine. And this barrel weighs twenty-six tons.
Mikulov Castle is a fabulous Baroque palace is worth visiting it in the evening when it is fully open to the public. Understandably, some sections are closed to the public but otherwise, you can wander around taking pictures without being overwhelmed with people.
This pretty village can boast of having a Historic Square, which although not very large, is lovely. In the 17th century, a number of Renaissance houses were built there, most of them preserved nearly unchanged till the present day.
The most important attractions on the square include the Knights House with graffiti decorations and the so-called Canons´ house. The square is dominated with a fountain, the Pomona statue dating from early 18th century, and the monumental Baroque Holy Trinity Statue of 1723-1724.
Be sure to visit the most attractive house in the square, the Knights House, with the four-sided corner alcove. Up to the first floor, the house is decorated with renaissance graffiti with biblical and antiquity scenes dating from the first quarter of the 17th century. Another remarkable feature of the house is the arcade gallery in the yard.
As in other cities of the Czech Republic, in Mikulov, you will not die of hunger. There are enough cafes and restaurants with delicious cuisine. After enjoying the sights and relaxing, move on along the route.
When having a stop in Mikulov, visit Na Turoldu Cave is the largest and the most important cave of the Pálava Hills. The length of all corridors, halls, and domes exceeds 1 km. The cave is distinguished with its Turold-style decorations and with the largest winter refuge for bats.
One More Point—Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria’s Oldest Wine Estate
On the way from Prague to Vienna, we recommend making one more stop in Klosterneuburg Abbey. This Austrian town is located sixty kilometers away from the Czech Mikulov.
Situated by the Danube and near the Vienna Woods, with vineyards creeping up the hills, Klosterneuburg Abbey is quite a pretty place and hugely popular among the tourists.
900 years old Klosterneuburg Abbey is Austria’s oldest wine estate. You can tour their vast maze of vaulted wine cellars, learn about centuries of local wine making, and visit the monastery’s modern production facilities. Ask for the extensive old wine archive packed with rare wines.
Here you can enjoy the plenty of authentic Heurige wine bars, typical for Eastern Austria. They are cheaper than in Vienna, for example, so I recommend you to stop at Klosterneuburg for a glass of wine and a snack, especially on a warm summer evening.
There are several other reasons why Klosterneuburg is so popular. The main one is the Augustine Chorister’s monastery and church. In the 19th century, the façade of the church got its current neo-Gothic look, and so the entire thing is a bizarre mix of Baroque, Gothic and neo-Gothic styles, based on a Romanesque foundation.
You can explore the wonderfully sacred treasure trove in the monastery church with its frescoes, the magnificent early Baroque organ, the Treasury houses, the artistic ivory cuts, and sacred vestments from the Baroque era.
Visit the famous Verdun Altar, the best-preserved artwork of the Middle Ages. It is named after Nikolaus von Verdun, the artist who created the grandiose enamel and goldsmith work for this jewel at the end of the twelfth century.
Wachau Valley with Its Vineyards and Cute Villages
The Wachau Valley, where the Danube River makes its way toward Vienna, is blanketed with vineyards and ornamented with cute villages. And the 24-mile stretch of the Wachau between the towns of Melk and Krems is as pretty as river valleys come.
The restored Melk Abbey, beaming proudly over the Danube Valley, is one of Europe’s great sights. Established as a fortified Benedictine Abbey in the 11th century, it was destroyed by fire. What you will see today is 18th-century Baroque Place.
High above the grand entry are the Latin words “Glory only in the cross” and a huge copy of the Melk Cross, one of the abbey’s greatest treasures. Inside is the art-lined Imperial corridor, there is Abbey Museum, Marble Hall with an impressive 1731 ceiling fresco by Tirolean Paul Troger, and library with another amazing fresco. The grand finale is the Baroque church with its 200-foot-tall dome and symmetrical towers.
Enjoy a walk in Abbey’s Park, with its picturesque Baroque pavilion housing impressive Bergl frescoes. In this park, there is a fine café, too.
Make your way down the river by bike, if you wish. The three-hour bike trip from Melk to Krems will take you through the most scenic stretch of the Wachau Valley. You can ask Melk’s tourist information office for bike rental options.
You can bike either the south or the north side of the river. The south side is much quieter and more rural, and there are plenty of vineyards and small villages along the way. The north side has more attractions, but poorer views. You can also hop a boat along this route.
Just downstream of Melk lies the town of Willendorf, known among prehistorians as the town where the oldest piece of European art was found. The village’s two-room, smartly designed museum, the Venusium, tells the story of the Venus of Willendorf, the well-endowed, 30,000-year-old fertility symbol found here.
Farther along is Dürnstein Abbey, a touristic flypaper of a town with traffic-free quaintness and its one claim to fame: in the ruins of a medieval castle, Richard the Lionheart of England was imprisoned by Austria’s Duke Leopold V in 1135.
Despite the hordes of tour-bus and cruise-ship visitors, the town is a delight — almost like a Disney movie. The ruined Dürnstein castle above the town, where Richard was kept, can be reached by a fairly steep 30-minute hike with great river views.
Finally, you will reach Krems, a true gem, with a shopper’s wonderland old town.
Related: Travel from Prague to Vienna
Vienna and Prague and the sites between them are so beautiful that you should visit them in any case. Your route will be fun if you do not hurry and make stops in interesting places.
We recommend that you make stops to find out better the sights and history of Central Europe. In such a way, you will be able to visit small cute villages, ancient wine estates with big vine vineyards, located at the monasteries, and try perfect wine in the oldest cellars.
You will be impressed by the look of ancient abbeys with their churches, monasteries, cathedrals, and castles.
If you are thinking about the most suitable, comfortable, economical, and the easiest way of transport during your trip from Prague to Vienna, be sure that traveling in a private car with a local driver guide, using our service https://www.besttrips.eu/, is an ideal solution for you!