Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Things to Do in Wachau Valley

The Wachau Valley, located in Lower Austria, is a region of stunning natural beauty and cultural significance. This picturesque area boasts a rich history, world-renowned wineries, and a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. 

Best things to do when visiting the Wachau Valley

  • Explore the Towns: The Wachau Valley is home to several charming towns that are worth exploring. Dürnstein is particularly beautiful with its pastel-colored houses and historic castle ruins. Other noteworthy towns include Spitz, Weissenkirchen, and Krems.

Spitz, Austria
  • Visit the Wineries: The Wachau Valley is famous for its wine production, particularly Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. Many wineries offer tours and tastings, giving visitors the opportunity to sample some of the region's best wines. Some notable wineries include Domäne Wachau, Knoll, and Pichler-Krutzler.

  • Take a Scenic Drive: The Wachau Valley is home to a scenic road that runs along the Danube River, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The route passes through several quaint towns and offers plenty of opportunities for photo stops.

  • Hike or Bike: The Wachau Valley has several hiking and biking trails that showcase the region's natural beauty. The Wachau World Heritage Trail is a popular option for hikers, while the Danube Cycle Path is great for those who prefer cycling.

  • Visit Melk Abbey: Melk Abbey is a Benedictine monastery that dates back to the 11th century. The abbey is known for its impressive baroque architecture and stunning library.

  • Enjoy the Local Cuisine: The Wachau Valley is home to several restaurants that serve traditional Austrian cuisine. Some popular dishes include Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, and Kaiserschmarrn.

  • Attend a Festival: The Wachau Valley hosts several festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from wine to apricots. The Wachau Wine Festival in September is particularly popular.

  • Take a Boat Tour: A boat tour along the Danube River is a great way to take in the stunning scenery of the Wachau Valley. Many tours also offer stops at local wineries and historic sites.

  • Visit the Castle: Schallaburg Castle is an impressive Renaissance-era castle that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The castle also hosts several exhibitions throughout the year.

  • Relax: Finally, one of the best things to do in the Wachau Valley is simply to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Whether it's sitting by the river with a glass of wine or taking a leisurely stroll through one of the region's charming towns, there are plenty of opportunities for rest and rejuvenation in this idyllic corner of Austria.

In conclusion, the Wachau Valley offers something for everyone, whether you're interested in history, culture, outdoor activities, or just relaxing in beautiful surroundings. So why not plan a visit and discover all that this stunning region has to offer?

Discover the best things to do in Wachau Valley, Austria, from exploring charming towns and visiting world-renowned wineries to hiking or biking through stunning landscapes and attending local festivals. This ultimate guide also includes FAQs on how to get there, when to visit, what to eat, and more.


  • What is the best time of year to visit the Wachau Valley? 

The best time to visit the Wachau Valley is between April and October when the weather is mild, and many of the region's festivals and events take place. However, the fall months are particularly beautiful as the leaves on the vines change color.

  • How do I get to the Wachau Valley? 

The nearest airport is Vienna International Airport, which is around an hour and a half away by car. Alternatively, you can take a train from Vienna to Krems, which is located at the heart of the Wachau Valley.

  • Are there any guided tours available in the Wachau Valley? 

Yes, there are several tour companies that offer guided tours of the Wachau Valley, including wine tours, bike tours, and boat tours. Many local wineries also offer guided tours of their facilities.

  • What is the traditional cuisine of the Wachau Valley? 

Traditional Austrian cuisine is popular in the Wachau Valley, with dishes such as Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, and Kaiserschmarrn. Local specialties include apricot jam and apricot schnapps.

  • Is it necessary to speak German to visit the Wachau Valley? 

While some knowledge of German can be helpful, it is not necessary to speak the language to visit the Wachau Valley. Many locals speak English, particularly in tourist areas.

  • Can I visit the Wachau Valley as a day trip from Vienna? 

Yes, it is possible to visit the Wachau Valley as a day trip from Vienna. However, given the distance and the amount to see and do in the region, it is recommended to spend at least one night in the Wachau Valley to fully experience everything it has to offer.

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