The German Rust is particularly known for the Europapark. The town of the same name in the Austrian Burgenland is much smaller and known for the numerous storks that raise their young in spring and summer. Rust is located directly on Lake Neusiedl and has a lot to offer.
With only about 2.000 inhabitants, it is the smallest statutory city (comparable to the German "independent city") in Austria. Due to its small size, Rust doesn't look like a town at all, but rather like a typical village on Lake Neusiedl. The residents are very proud to live in an independent city, because there are only two statutory cities in Burgenland: the state capital Eisenstadt and Rust.
The Neusiedler See with its reed belt and extensive vineyards are certainly the main attractions of the Burgenland city. In spring and at the beginning of summer, however, nature trumps, because numerous species of birds live in and around Rust. The highlight are certainly storks, whose nests are on many chimneys of houses. The imposing large birds can - depending on the season - be observed almost everywhere. Be it courtship, foraging, incubating the eggs, feeding and raising the young or during the first attempts by the offspring to fly.
You don't need any tickets for this, because the storks are wild animals and the right "ticket" is simply coming at the right time and having a little luck. If you keep enough distance, you can watch the large birds in peace. The city of Rust has also set up several observation points on a meadow just before the start of Lake Neusiedl and its reed belt. These are freely accessible and invite you to relax and experience the bird world.
Greylag geese are omnipresent locals
Like the entire region around Lake Neusiedl, Rust is also very popular with wild gray geese. Around meadows, vineyards and near the water it can happen that you come across several families of geese at the same time. Occasionally the animals block cycle paths or even roads. Then there is usually nothing left but to wait, because the parent animals protect and defend their offspring. But if you keep a distance that is acceptable to the adult gray geese, you can make fascinating and sometimes amusing observations. Numerous other bird species live around Lake Neusiedl that you will sooner or later come across. So a little patience is definitely worth it.
Anyone expecting a kind of “action vacation” is definitely wrong in Rust. You can spend cozy family vacations in this region of Austria. In the warm season of the year, Lake Neusiedl is ideal for swimming, pedal boating, sailing, surfing or cycling around. If you arrive by plane or train and don't have your own bike with you, you can rent a bike or e-bike almost everywhere at low prices. In general, it is advisable to use the bicycle as an everyday means of transport when on holiday at Lake Neusiedl. The area is literally absolutely flat and only has inclines or declines in a few places.
The city of Rust also has a seaside resort, which can be reached via a straight road through the reed belt. There are separate cycle paths for cyclists that are separated from road traffic. Two ferry companies offer their services at the seaside resort. These can be used for tours or to travel to the other side of the bank. If you want to go to the Seewinkel, you should take the boat to Illmitz from the neighboring village of Mörbisch. In the National Park Neusiedler See (Seewinkel) you can watch even more birds and the whole area is ideal for bike tours.
Festival for the parents, amusement park for the children
In terms of culture, vacationers in Rust can expect the picturesque but very small old town with its traditional wine taverns. In the neighboring town of St. Margarethen, opera festivals have been taking place in a former quarry for many years. These can be reached quickly by bike or car.
For children, the so-called Family Park is located exactly between Rust and St. Margarethen. It is an amusement attraction that offers rides, petting zoos and much more. The core target group are children up to around ten years of age. Young people are likely to get bored here, unless this makes the little brother or sister happy and accompanies him / her.
If you leave Rust in the direction of Mörbisch, you can not only take the ferry to Rust, but there are also summer festivals in this village. Those interested in culture should definitely visit the quarry and the lake festival. However, admission tickets should only be purchased directly from the organizers' homepages or other ticket offices. The demand is high during the holiday season, because the locals also visit the two festivals very actively.
In Mörbisch you can also cross the border into Hungary by bike. A typical bike tour would be, for example, to circle Lake Neusiedl on the Hungarian side and then take the boat from Illmitz back to Rust or Mörbisch. Even less fit people can do this tour without any problems. Those who are physically fit can also cycle around the entire Lake Neusiedl in one day.
Of course, the small town of Rust does not have its own airport. The closest airport is Vienna-Schwechat. This is also used by numerous low-cost airlines. The easiest way to continue to Rust is to rent a car, but you can also use public transport.
Arrival by public transport is also possible
From Vienna International Airport, take the Railjet train to Vienna Central Station. There you get on bus 200 or 285. This goes via the Burgenland capital Eisenstadt to the center of Rust (Franz-Josef-Platz). From there, almost all quarters and hotels can be reached on foot within a few minutes. The standard one-way fare between the airport and Rust is around EUR 13,30. Tickets can be purchased continuously on the ÖBB website, the ticket machines and ticket counters of the federal railways. Tickets are also available from the bus drivers.
At least one day of your vacation at Lake Neusiedl should also be devoted to the small state capital Eisenstadt. Regular buses run there from Rust. For example, the Esterhazy Palace is worth a visit. If your accommodation is a partner of the Neusiedler-See-Card, you can get this card from your host. It gives you various discounts on admissions and tickets and also has free travel on the buses around the lake and from / to Eisenstadt.
Saving tip: Observe the zone boundaries in the folder enclosed with the card and ask the bus driver to issue the ticket from the zone boundary on the return journey to the airport, because the Neusiedler See Card is valid as a ticket up to this point.