Neusiedler See: Sea of the Viennese

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Lake Neusiedl activities

Neusiedler See is one of the largest lakes in Europe (36 km north-south and 6 to 12 km wide), but it is very shallow (less than 2 metres). While most of its coast belongs to Austrian state of Burgenland, the south shore is a part of Hungary.

Thanks to its location in the lowlands around the Danube, Neusiedler See is quite windy. This makes it an ideal spot for windsurfing and sailing. The popularity of the lake as a holiday resort (or a weekend resort for the Viennese) supported the construction of infrastructure for other sports like tennis or golf. Cycling and walking is also popular and not physically demanding thanks to the flat surface of the surrounding region. In winter you can also skate on the frozen lake.

Below find an overview of the towns around Neusiedler See (Hungarian names are in the parentheses).

North coast of Lake Neusiedl

Neusiedl am See (Nezsider in Hungarian) – the centre of the region, situated closest to the highway A4 (Vienna-Budapest) and closest to Designer Outlet Parndorf.

Jois (Nyulas) – a little beautiful town just 4 km to the west from Neusiedl with a local heritage museum and wine trails. Jois is also a good starting point for cycling trips.

Winden am See (Sásony)

Breitenbrunn (Fertöszéleskút)

West coast of Lake Neusiedl

Purbach am Neusiedler See (Feketeváros) – an important wine producing town with long history dating back to Ancient Roman times.

Donnerskirchen (Fertöfehéregyháza) – a golf resort: Golf Club Neusiedlersee Donnerskirchen.

Oggau am Neusiedler See (Oka)

Rust (Ruszt) – another famous wine producing town on the Lake Neusiedl (the wines are Beerenauslese, Ruster Ausbruch, and Eiswein).

Mörbisch am See (Fertömeggyes) – the last Austrian town at the border with Hungary.

East coast of Lake Neusiedl

Weiden am See (Védeny)

Podersdorf am See (Pátfalu) – a nice market town with a frequently photographed windmill. Podersdorf is one of the best places where to actually access the lake, as the shore is not occupied with as much reed as the other places around the lake). This makes it one of the most visited tourist destinations among the Neusiedler See towns.

Illmitz (Illmic) – about 10 km to the south of Podersdorf – the best starting point for a trip to National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel.

National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel

The south shore of Lake Neusiedl is protected as a National Park in both Austria and Hungary. The Austrian part is called National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel, in Hungary it is Fertö Hanság Nemzeti Park. Both parks were proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

The area is a precious preserve of pannonian wetland nature and home to various bird species (or a temporary home for migratory birds). This makes Neusiedler See a well-known bird watching site.

Getting from Vienna to Neusiedler See

By car from Vienna take the highway A4 (Ostautobahn) in direction to Györ and Budapest. You pass Vienna International Airport in Schwechat and then (about 40 km from Vienna) the highway crossing with the A6 to Bratislava – but you still continue on the A4 to Budapest after this crossing. The exit to Neusiedl am See comes few kilometres after the highway crossing.

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