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#5 Burgenland

This province of undulating vineyards and a huge, reed-ringed lake the Neusiedlersee is what rural European travel was 30 years ago; inexpensive and authentic. Last spring, we compared this region south of Vienna to a pair of European tourism icons, Provence and Tuscany. The three have much in common: a pastoral charm that appeals to overstressed Americans, miles of vineyards sprinkled with old wine villages, distinctive regional cuisine, and characteristic architecture. But when it comes to crowds and cost, the similarities end; a Burgenland visit will cost about half as much as a stay in Tuscany or Provence, and you'll seldom encounter another American tourist.

The wines of Burgenland, especially the white dessert wines, are just starting to be recognized among the worlds finest.

Best Towns

  • Rust
  • Mörbisch
  • Eisenstadt

Top Sights

  • Neusiedlersee
  • Schloss Esterhazy in Eisenstadt
  • Wine villages

Suggested Activities

  • Drive to the wine villages north and east of the Neusiedlersee, stopping to taste in the sales rooms of local producers
  • In Rust or Mörbisch, have a simple lunch in the garden of one of the many Heurigen (wine taverns).

Places to Stay

  • Gasthof Rusterhof, Rathausplatz 18, A-7071 Rust, tel. +43/02685/6416, fax 6416 11
  • Hotel Am Rathausplatz, Rathausplatz 7, A-7071, Burgenland, tel. +43/02685/6202, fax 6772

Food Suggestions

  • Restaurant Rusterhof (see above)