Gumpoldskirchen is a small village with a long history of viticulture. Settlement dates back to prehistoric times; winemaking dates back to the 12 and 13th centuries, making it home to one of Austria’s oldest wineries, Freigut Thallern is a local winery that has produced wine without interruption since 1141 and is now a destination that stands on its own two feet, offering tours, and has a restaurant and guesthouse.
The main street and surrounding vineyards and wineries are quintessentially Austrian. The village comes to life with the opening of heurigen that line the streets. These magical little restaurants, unique national treasures, are the best places to eat fresh, local dishes and drink the house wine. Once the weather warms up, people gather to sit outside for what seems to be endless hours. Some of the restaurants serve cafeteria-style, where you walk up to a counter filled with hot and cold meats and sides, fresh bread, and spreads and ask for portions of what you like; others are sit-down style where you order from the Speisekarte, or menu.
A quick walk to the end of the main street and arrive at the mouth of the vineyards. The landscape opens before your eyes; rows upon rows of the vines are neatly lined up to the left and right and up and down. A strip of the big city is seen on the horizon, but your feet are planted firmly on soil that’s given for centuries. If a stall from any of the wineries is set up, sit down and order. Talk to whoever’s serving you for no other reason than you’re happy and they’re happy. The drinks, the snacks – they taste damn good and everyone knows it. Know-how is not needed. Austrian grumpiness I’ve found in corners of the city simply doesn’t exist in Gumpoldskirchen because it’s just a good time.
A place for celebration, togetherness
This is a town I deeply fantasize about. Arriving there meant ending a two-week road trip with my husband on a high note as we grabbed one last drink in the summer heat, and sitting with family after a wedding on haystacks until the lights above turned off. On that particular night, we closed down the longest bar in the world that gets set up for two weekends every September. As we emptied bottles and slices of garnished bread, unbeknown to us, a naked man crouched in our midst. I noticed and then we all noticed, and there were fits of laughter and now a tale to tell – I suppose that’s exactly how freeing it feels to spend a few hours in this charming town.
Arriving from Vienna, take the train. Public transportation in Austria is inexpensive and impeccable in both timeliness and cleanliness. Begin from Wien Mitte or Wien Hauptbanhof and exit at Gumpoldskirchen Banhof. The journey is approximately 35 minutes. The walk from the Banhof to the center of Wiener Strasse, the main street in Gumpoldskirchen, takes 6 minutes. If you opt to drive by car, there is plenty of parking on the main or side streets, or at various parking lots just off the main road.
Public Transportation, Main Site: https://www.oebb.at/en/regionale-angebote/wien
Compared to other villages in the area, Gumpoldskirchen is a bit more limited in terms of options and is also more expensive. Availability is not an issue unless you are booking around the time of any local events. For the majority of hotels, costs start on average 110 EUR/night but there are a couple of options between 60-80 EUR. It’s worth the planning and experience, even for one night.
The Landhaus Moserhof is our first choice for special occasions, ones that also allow us time to hang out at the hotel. Think romantic getaway, and a stay during a wedding weekend. What sets the Landhaus apart from other hotels in the areas are the unique rooms where luxury meets greenery and comfort. Chandeliers and the likes and reclaimed wood adorn much of the space including the indoor-outdoor breakfast area. A lush garden surrounds the pool where you can lounge and sip a glass of your preferred choice. Located directly on the main street, you’re steps away from traditional heurigen, restaurants, and pubs, yet have all the peace and quiet. To elevate your getaway in Thermenregion, I highly recommend booking a stay.
Hotel Krug is our choice for trips where we won’t have the opportunity to spend much time at the hotel. (We have the hotel already booked for two getaways with our golden retriever in Summer 2021!). Attractive for its more budget-friendly rate, we’re equally happy with our stay and the amenities, and the fact that it’s located the same distance to the main area as other hotels in the area. Rooms are clean and quiet and breakfast is plentiful, enjoyed in a traditional room on the ground floor. We will continue to stay here until we move back to Austria due to the hospitality and positive reasons listed above.
Eat & Drink
The Fassbinderhof is the default, truly one of our favorite restaurants around. There’s something about sitting at bench tables right on the grass, under the vines that makes great food and company somehow even better. We’ve come here for date nights, to celebrate my birthday, and when we visit from out of town. Menu options are very traditional for this type of restaurant, offering smaller portion salads, sides and aufstriche (spreads often made from cheeses, meat, herbs, and/or vegetables); warm and cold side portions of meats and cheeses; sur schnitzel (schnitzel from cured pork) or hühner schnitzel (with chicken); variations of knödel with meat or vegetables; snacks; desserts; and so on.
One of Austria’s oldest and most traditional wineries is for enthusiasts and those who simply like to imbibe. Guided tours are offered and those interested are asked to book in advance.
If you are just interested in just visiting the winery, it is possible to take the train to the Guntramsdorf Thallern station and Thallern is just a quick walk from there.
Located in front of Freigut Thallern is the Klostergasthaus Thallern where you can eat, drink, and even book a room to stay. Thallern, though still in Gumpoldskirchen, is approximately a 22-minute walk or five-minute drive by car/Uber (please don’t drink and drive) from the city center, and so if you are interested in spending a day among one of Austria’s most notable vineyards, booking a room there could be another option.
The restaurant has seasonal specials, such as asparagus during the June month, a wide range of meats – ox, Styrian chicken, duck, and wild game from Wienerwald, and wines specially chosen from across the region. Years back, we attended a small party with friends and it was hard not to feel celebratory within such historic walls.
True to it’s name, the Panoramarestaurant offers a panoramic view of Modling and the Vienna Basin which can be seen from the outside terrace or dining areas. Although a 3-minute drive from Gumpoldskirchen, the panoramic view is worth your time if even for a snack and drink if you’re racing to get back to the vineyards. Here we’ve also celebrated birthdays and family events; there’s a mood here for groups or solos. There’s no slacking in the kitchen, people in the back thinking they can undercompensate for the offer of a great view. The food here is fantastic. For me, it’s Zwiebelrostbraten every time because I want to eat a big slab of juicy beef toppled with fried onions when I’m staring at the perfection all around.
The longest bar in the world at the “Pleasure Mile”! Put on your dirndl and lederhosen and your walking shoes as Thermenregion transforms itself into the most exciting place to drink and eat in vineyards that were cultivated over 2000 years ago. No single event gets me as excited as the first two weekends in September when we head to Gumpoldskirchen and the Weinwanderweg. Although the event expands approximately 10 km, our home base continues to be our favorite village in Niederosterreich. There are three different sections (A, B, and C); A is the “easy” section of the walk, B is the party and music, and C is the notably scenic. Gumpoldskirchen falls into section “B”; but is equally easy to walk and is utterly magical, particularly when the sun dips a little lower and overhead twinkle lights turn on in the stands. Every stall is home to a different winery; food is plentiful, such as schnitzel sandwiches and slices of bread with various toppings and spreads. Each year, we over indulge and wake up in a haze with a headache that reminds us we touched a bit of heaven here in Austria.