Home to just 1,700 permanent residents, Rust is Austria’s smallest administrative district. The town doesn’t compromise on allure, however, serving up a fantastic wine scene, quaint architecture and a picturesque location on Lake Neusiedl.
Today, Rust is a town of seasoned wine connoisseurs, with the region famous for its Ruster Ausbruch, Beerenauslese and ice wine blends. In fact, the region’s wine was so coveted that in 1524 the emperor granted local winemakers the honour of displaying an R emblem on their barrels. The tradition lives on to this day, with local vintners still stamping corks with this insignia. For visitors, sipping on a glass of locally made wine at an ambient “Heurigen” tavern is a Rust rite of passage.
Rust is located 14 kilometres east of Eisenstadt. From Vienna Rust is a scenic 1-hour drive south, or a 1 1/2 to 2-hour journey on public transport. Once in town walking is the best way to get around, though cycling is a popular way to explore the wider Lake Neusiedl region.
Straddling the Austrian and Hungarian border, Lake Neusiedl steps up as the largest endorheic lake in Central Europe, brimming with wildlife and storks making a beeline for Rust. During the summer months, the long-legged bird’s cruise overhead, and clatter from their rooftop roosts while perched statuesquely on chimneys.