The history of the town on the Danube started 2000 years ago. From the first to fourth centuries A.D. the Roman equestrian camp "Comagenis" was situated there. As early as in 791, on the occasion of Charlemagne's first war against the Avarsi, Tulln was first called "civitas", which indicates at least a larger settlement.
In the Middle Ages, under Babenberg rule, the town was repeatedly the venue of the state parliament and court day as well as a palace of the margraves. Tulln's prominent position as an eminent commercial centre in the Middle Ages was due to the town's position as a central traffic junction of the Bohemian and the Hungarian crossroads.
The town's main parish church and the internationally famous Tulln bone-house date back to that time. During the time of the Austrian Interregnum, Konrad of Tulln played an important role as a mediator of the Hapsburgs in the historical controversy between King Rudolf of Hapsburg and King Ottokar of Bohemia. While Vienna rose in importance, the small town on the Danube lost its function as a commercial centre and in due course diminished to that of a minor rural town. Nevertheless, in 1683 Tulln gained historical fame as the assembly point of the Christian relief troops that were to fight for the liberation of Vienna from the Turks.
After 1850 the town began to grow and was able to acquire a central function, primarily through the building of the Franz-Joseph-railway line and the erection of the bridge across the Danube as well as the establishment of the chief office of the Tulln local government in 1892.
In the years between the First and Second World Wars Tulln experienced its first industrialisation (sugar and cheese factories); however the town's immense growth and economic importance really started in about 1955.
In about 1970 numerous smaller hamlets were united with the town in the Greater Municipality Tulln, thus seeing an increase in population to over 10.000. In 1986 the town was, among others, vying for the rank of Lower Austria's capital; Tulln could achieve several functions similar to those of a Federal County's capital and thus Tulln has risen to be one of the centres of Lower Austria.
Today Tulln enjoys an outstanding reputation not only as a commercial and economic centre and as a booming shopping centre, but also as a centre of education, hosting many different types of schools and a university; additionally, the town is well known beyond the county's borders as the "Town of Roses" and a venue for many fairs.