One of the top reasons we enjoyed living in Bratislava was the possibilities it offered for traveling. With several international borders close by and good connections with most of Central Europe, it is hard not to take advantage of the opportunities. We did not always feel a need to travel far. Some interesting destinations might have been across a border, but they were still really close by. One of those destinations was Hainburg an der Donau across the border in Austria. This quaint place is actually the easternmost town in Austria and it is only a few minutes away on the bus from Bratislava.
Heading to Hainburg
It did take us quite some time before we finally decided to go to the town on the other side of the border. We had for a long time known that it was easy to get to, but it was usually left in the shadow of Vienna when we planned a trip to Austria. But then it happened, after living in Bratislava for about a year, that we took the bus to Hainburg.
The bus from the bus station in Bratislava took somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes and it dropped us off in the middle of the town.
Where to Start?
All we knew about Hainburg when we went to the bus station in Bratislava was that there was a castle up on the hill. Everything else was for us to discover. Where did we start? Well, after finding out that the town was larger than we had expected, we headed down towards the Danube. On our way, we crossed the railway connecting the town with the Austrian capital as well as several other small streets.
Once reaching the Danube I always get a special feeling. It’s like an emotion telling me about the history and travels once done on the river. It connects so many countries and capitals in Europe. How about the chance to travel from Vienna to Bratislava, onward to Budapest, then Belgrade? And the chance is right there, within reach. We have visited all four cities and it is the river that they have in common. A river these large cities share with towns such as Hainburg.
Exploring the Castle in Hainburg
It was eventually time to head up the hill toward the castle on Castle Hill. Or maybe we should say, what was left of the castle. It has indeed been in ruins for quite some time. The ruins are quite a steep walk up, but the climb has its rewards. The castle walls offer an unobstructed view out over the Danube valley. At least that was our reward as we sat down for a small snack. The castle ruins are impressive and it really must have been hard to conquer the castle when it was in use.
Going Back Home
Descending from the hill was a lot easier than the walk up, thanks to gravity. We walked along the streets in the town a bit more. We took this additional walk mainly because we had heard how Slovaks went to the town to buy food. Those are the ones who prefer Austrian products. So we thought that there must be some larger food stores somewhere. We knew that the bus between Bratislava and Vienna usually did two stops in Hainburg, so we continued the walk up on the main street. We eventually arrived in an area with a few small food stores, one of each from the three major chains. So we went into one of them, bought some chocolate and waited for the bus to arrive.
All in all, Hainburg is a great day trip from both Bratislava and Vienna.