Day trip: Carnuntum – Fascinating Roman Ruins

Today was (yet) another foggy, grey, and VERY cold Sunday (will spring ever arrive?), so my family and I headed out of town to explore some historical sites (and search for warmer temperatures elsewhere). With our Niederösterreich Card in hand, we started with the Roman ruins in the “Reborn City of Emperors” – Carnuntum. This was truly a fascinating visit and one that is highly recommendable to young and old alike (our [very young] kids had a blast).  The ancient Roman city (that measured 10 square km) has been partially excavated (less than 1%!) and historically reconstructed.

Visitors first enter the ticket office (Niederösterreich Cardholders forego the 10 Euro admission price) and then make their way through a small interior exhibit to the partially reconstructed city outside (dress accordingly!). There is good signage explaining the various buildings (public bath houses, villas, houses) but it’s a good idea to invest in the 1 Euro guide at the ticket office to get a bit more information (in German & English).

Besides gazing at the ancient sites, visitors can freely explore and walk through (partially) reconstructed buildings to see furnished rooms and working (!) kitchens. At times, it seems so real that one would not be surprised to see a Roman or Gladiator step around the next corner. For kids, the free space provides lots of running space and there is a big playground as well. There are additional historical sites in the area (e.g. amphitheaters) a short drive away from the Carnuntum (admission is included in the ticket).

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Carnuntum is about a 45-minute drive from Vienna along A4 (past the airport). From March through November (check website), Carnuntum is open daily from 9am-5pm.

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