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Exploring Vienna and its surroundings: a driving adventure through the history and beauty of Austria.

Vienna, the Austrian capital, enchants its visitors with its majestic architecture, its beautiful parks and its rich cultural history. However, to truly immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this city and discover the hidden gems that surround it, nothing is more compelling than taking the wheel and setting off on an unforgettable driving adventure through Vienna and its surroundings.

Car rental Vienna is simple and takes place directly from the airport, so you can immediately set off to discover the city and its surroundings.

The journey begins in lively Vienna, where we are greeted by the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, one of the city’s main attractions and the summer residence of the Habsburgs.

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace, with its 1,441 rooms, was the summer residence of the Austrian imperial family and bears witness to the incredible legacy of Vienna’s imperial era.

Its origins trace back to 1569 when Emperor Maximilian II purchased the property to transform it into a hunting reserve, also introducing a zoo with exotic birds and peacocks.

Over the centuries, the site underwent numerous transformations, the most significant of which occurred during the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria in the 18th century, who converted it into the magnificent example of Baroque architecture we see today.

Schönbrunn is renowned not just for its architecture but also for its freely accessible Baroque gardens, which host the Gloriette, the Imperial Carriage Museum, the Orangery Garden, the maze, the zoo, and much more.

Next…

Next, we head to the beating heart of the city, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, an architectural icon that dominates Vienna’s cityscape with its majestic towers and intricate Gothic details.

After sampling the culinary delights of Vienna, we venture beyond the city limits, driving along scenic roads that take us towards the picturesque Wachau Valley. Along the way, we stop at quaint villages along the Danube River, where we enjoy local delicacies and sample renowned wines in the region’s traditional wineries.

We immerse ourselves in the enchanting atmosphere of Dürnstein, with its narrow cobbled streets and the majestic castle that rises above the town, offering us breathtaking views of the surrounding valley. All this is possible with a Vienna car rental directly from the airport.

Region of Styria

Continuing our journey, we head towards the beautiful region of Styria, famous for its mountain landscapes and spa towns. We stop in Graz, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its well-preserved historic center and its impressive Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

We stroll through its charming cobbled streets, visit the symbol of the city, Graz Castle, and enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the Schlossberg hill.

After savoring the beauty of Styria, we head to the picturesque region of Carinthia, where turquoise lakes and towering mountains create postcard-perfect scenery.

Eggenberg Castle in Graz

Eggenberg Castle in Graz, Austria, is a remarkable architectural allegory of the universe, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Situated in Graz, Austria’s second-largest city, the castle was constructed between 1625 and 1635 by Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, a close friend and advisor to Emperor Ferdinand II.

Designed to embody peace and harmony amidst the turmoil of the 17th century, the castle stands as a testament to Hans Ulrich’s vision of an ideal world.

The castle’s exterior is meticulously planned, with its corners pointing to the cardinal directions, acting like a giant sundial that marks the time of day with the sun’s position. The interior is equally fascinating, featuring the Planetary Room, which combines astronomical and philosophical concepts through symbolic paintings by Hans Adam Weissenkircher.

These artworks connect the seven known planets of the time with zodiac signs, reflecting on human destiny and the philosophical ideas of the human soul’s development from lead (Saturn) to gold (the Sun).

Eggenberg Castle also boasts a magnificent garden, transitioning from a Baroque French garden in the 18th century to the current English-style landscape garden that harbors a rich arboreal heritage. The garden is recognized as one of the country’s most precious natural monuments​.

Exploring Carinthia

After savoring the beauty of Styria, we head to the picturesque region of Carinthia, where turquoise lakes and towering mountains create postcard-perfect scenery.

Exploring Carinthia can be a captivating addition to any trip to Vienna and Austria, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities. Located in the sunny south of Austria, Carinthia stands out for its over 200 pristine lakes, such as the warm and inviting Lake Wörthersee, and its alpine landscapes, including Austria’s highest peak, the Großglockner. This region is a paradise for those seeking relaxation, adventure, and a touch of the Mediterranean ambiance, halfway between Italy and Slovenia.

Carinthia is celebrated for its diverse attractions, from the historic towns of Klagenfurt and Villach to the UNESCO biosphere reserve of the Nockberge mountains, offering endless hiking and cycling paths. The region’s commitment to sustainable cuisine and preservation of mountain living traditions offers visitors an authentic taste of Carinthian life. For thrill-seekers, alpine roller coasters and numerous outdoor sports opportunities abound, while those looking to unwind can enjoy the unique Carinthian hospitality, characterized by warm, family-run hotels and a laid-back lifestyle.

Moreover, Carinthia’s cultural landscape is rich, featuring museums like the MMKK in Klagenfurt, the Liaunig Museum, and historical abbeys and castles, such as Hochosterwitz Castle, one of the most significant Renaissance buildings north of the Alps . Whether you’re drawn to the serenity of its lakes, the thrill of its mountains, or the charm of its towns, Carinthia offers a multifaceted experience that contrasts yet complements the urban elegance of Vienna and the broader Austrian allure.

We conclude our trip

We conclude our trip by returning to the city where we will end our car rental Vienna, but not before making a stop in the lovely city of Baden, famous for its spas and elegant imperial villas.

Here we relax and regenerate after intense days of exploration, immersing ourselves in the warm and beneficial waters of the spa and treating ourselves to regenerating wellness treatments.

Returning to Vienna, it will be nice to take a moment in our car and think about all the wonderful places we visited and the experiences we had during this trip.

What a fantastic opportunity to explore this land rich in history, culture and beauty!

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