The Best Castles In Austria To Visit As A Tourist

Going on a journey through Austria can feel like stepping into the pages of a fairy tale, with each castle standing as a testament to the country’s rich tapestry of history and beauty.

If you’re anything like me, your heart races at the thought of immersing yourself in these architectural masterpieces.

Imagine this: you’re peering out from the ramparts of Salzburg’s High Fortress, awe-struck by panoramic views that seem to stretch into eternity. It’s experiences like these that are waiting for you – moments where time stands still and whispers of the past resonate through stone corridors.

With my curated guide lighting your way, navigating Austria’s noble halls will become more than just sightseeing; it will be an experience etched in memory, an intimate dance with history itself.

So let us set forth on this enchanting adventure – not merely as travelers but as storied seekers amid Austria’s majestic castles. Shall we begin? Keep reading for what promises to be an enthralling chapter in your own personal travel narrative.

Key Takeaways

  • Austria’s castles, like Hohenwerfen and Hochosterwitz, showcase 900 to over a thousand years of history with stunning medieval architecture and panoramic views.
  • Many Austrian castles, such as Kreuzenstein and Riegersburg, have been preserved or reconstructed to display their original majesty, offering visitors a glimpse into the past.
  • Castles in Austria often hold artifacts and feature tales of sieges and legends; places like Festung Hohensalzburg are central Europe’s largest preserved fortresses dating back to 1077.
  • Some castles, including Schloss Ort on Lake Traunsee and Liechtenstein Castle near Mödling, provide scenic locations ideal for picturesque views amidst historical settings.
  • Visiting these Austrian castles offers an interactive experience with history where tourists can walk through grand rooms used by nobility or climb towers that once served as lookouts.

Hohenwerfen Castle in Salzburg

Perched atop a rocky hill, Hohenwerfen Castle is more than just an imposing sight; it’s a journey through Salzburg’s medieval past. This thousand-year-old fortress offers visitors a taste of history with panoramic views that make you feel like the lord or lady of the manor, watching over your lands below.

Overview and notable features (Hohenwerfen Castle)

I love exploring castles, and Hohenwerfen Castle in Salzburg is a treasure that takes you back 900 years. This historical landmark stands on a mighty rock high above the Salzach Valley.

Imagine being surrounded by the majestic Berchtesgaden Alps and Tennen Mountains – the view is breathtaking! The castle itself has been through many chapters of Austrian history. It’s seen battles, served as a prison, and even starred in movies.

Touring Hohenwerfen Castle feels like stepping into another time. Its medieval architecture boasts towering walls, ramparts, and gates that tell tales of knights and legends. Inside these walls are grand rooms filled with ancient artifacts waiting to be discovered by history buffs like us.

It’s not just an impressive sightseeing destination; it’s also full of folklore that keeps your imagination running wild while wandering its vast courtyards or climbing up the lookout towers for even more striking views.

Kreuzenstein Castle in Leobendorf

Perched atop a wooded hill, Kreuzenstein Castle in Leobendorf captures the imagination with its meticulously reconstructed medieval architecture and artifacts; as you delve into this fortress’s storied past, prepare to be transported to an era of knights and intrigue.

Overview and notable features (Kreuzenstein Castle)

I just saw Kreuzenstein Castle and it’s like stepping into a fairy tale. It sits on a hill near Vienna, nestled in the woods, and it takes your breath away with its medieval look. Inside, the castle is amazingly fixed up – you’d think knights could walk through at any moment! They did a great job showing how people lived back then.

The cool thing about Kreuzenstein is that it has bits from all over Europe. You’ll find Romanian cloisters next to German-style houses inside. It’s not as old as other castles since they built most of it in the 1800s, but you wouldn’t guess by looking at it.

This place is a must-see for anyone who loves history or just wants to feel like they’re part of an epic story!

Hochosterwitz Castle in Launsdorf

Perched atop a soaring dolomite rock, Hochosterwitz Castle rises as an unmissable bastion of medieval architecture in Launsdorf. This fortress is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s steeped in history that dates back to the 9th century—each stone tells a story of sieges and legends.

Overview and notable features (Hochosterwitz Castle)

Hochosterwitz Castle grabs your attention from miles away. It rises from a towering limestone cliff, standing tall over the lush valleys of Carinthia. As one of Austria’s most striking medieval strongholds, its impressive architecture is not just for show – it’s a fortress designed to guard and awe.

Walking up the pathway to this historic monument, I’m always amazed by how solidly it holds onto the rock.

Inside this tourist favorite you’ll find rooms filled with ancient artifacts and stories waiting to be discovered. Each step through its 14 gates takes you deeper into history. The castle isn’t simply built on rock; it merges with it as if they’re one entity defying time together.

With every visit, whether I come for the panoramic views or deep historical roots, Hochosterwitz Castle never fails to leave an imprint in my mind as both a scenic gem and a testament to medieval mastery.

Schloss Ort in Gmunden

As you explore the serene town of Gmunden, the enchanting Schloss Ort emerges from the banks of Lake Traunsee, a picture-perfect setting that’s straight out of a fairy tale. This historic gem boasts an island location and is known for its distinctive towers, which have stood guard over the azure waters since the 10th century.

Overview and notable features (Schloss Ort)

I’m always drawn to the timeless charm of Schloss Ort. Nestled in Gmunden, this Austrian castle floats on Traunsee lake like a scene from a fairy tale. With its roots stretching back over centuries, it comes alive with stories and history.

The castle connects to the mainland by a bridge, inviting visitors to explore its grounds and enjoy breathtaking views of surrounding majestic peaks.

Schloss Ort gained fame as the setting for a television series that showcased its beauty to the world. Its picturesque location makes it essential for anyone traveling through Austria’s Romantic Salzkammergut region.

However, some might pause at the 3 Euro fee for interior access since there’s not much inside—but don’t let that stop you! The real magic lies in strolling around this island retreat and soaking up the scenery—a perfect spot for those postcard-ready photos or simply embracing Austria’s historic allure.

Riegersburg Castle in Styria

Perched atop a volcanic rock, Riegersburg Castle in Styria dominates the landscape with its imposing fortifications and provides an intriguing walk through centuries of history—discover how this bastion once stood as an impenetrable bulwark against Ottoman invasions.

Dive into its storied past to unveil tales of siege, strength, and survival that echo through the halls; you’ll want to explore every corner.

Overview and notable features (Riegersburg Castle)

I visited Riegersburg Castle and it left me in awe. This historic fortress sits atop a dormant volcano, making its presence known across the Styrian landscape. Its walls speak of centuries-old stories, dating back to the 12th century.

What strikes you first is its sheer size—it’s the largest castle in Styria. The noble Liechtenstein family has been taking care of this gem for the last 200 years.

Imagine walking through a place that has never fallen into enemy hands; that’s Riegersburg Castle for you—the strongest fortress around, they say. Every corner tells tales of royals and wealthy families who built and renovated this stronghold over time.

It’s surrounded by lush greenery, offering views that are just as majestic as its architecture. Visiting here is not just about history; it’s an experience where beauty meets strength perfectly preserved in stone and mortar.

Liechtenstein Castle in Mödling

Nestled in the wooded hills near Mödling, Liechtenstein Castle emerges like a scene from a fairy tale, with its romantic façade and storied past. This hidden gem reveals an intimate connection to the princely family of Liechtenstein, offering not just breathtaking views but also a rich tapestry of history that continues to enchant visitors today.

Overview and notable features (Liechtenstein Castle)

I visited Liechtenstein Castle and it was like stepping back into medieval times. This historic structure towers on a cliff, showcasing its neo-Gothic style with pride. It’s been the ancestral home of the Prince of Liechtenstein since 1130.

Imagine that! A true family residence where history still lives and breathes.

The castle isn’t just another museum; it offers a real-life peek into noble life from centuries past. I walked through rooms filled with historical significance, each corner telling tales of cultural attraction.

As I looked out from its scenic location, the views took my breath away—rolling hills and lush greenery as far as the eye can see. Trust me, for any tourist looking for that blend of architecture and adventure, Liechtenstein Castle is a standout landmark in Austria you won’t want to miss.

Festung Hohensalzburg in Salzburg

Perched majestically atop Festungsberg hill, the formidable Festung Hohensalzburg dominates Salzburg’s skyline with its imposing might. Dating back to 1077, this fortress serves as a testament to medieval architecture and offers sweeping panoramic views of the city—encouraging you to delve deeper into its storied halls and intriguing past.

Overview and notable features (Festung Hohensalzburg)

Festung Hohensalzburg stands tall on the Festungsberg mountain. It towers over Salzburg like an ancient guardian. Dating back to 1077, this is central Europe’s largest preserved fortress.

Gebhard von Helfenstein had a clear vision of strength and protection when he built it.

Walking through the castle gates takes you back in time. Inside, the Gothic architecture amazes with its grandeur. The rooms are among the oldest Gothic-style spaces anyone can find, each one richly decorated far beyond what you’d expect from a medieval stronghold.

This historic fortress was not just for battles; it brims with beauty too.

Every corner tells stories of past legends and wars fought long ago. As I explore this architectural marvel, I feel surrounded by history at every turn—each stone seems to whisper secrets of the ancient citadel’s illustrious past.


I’ve explored Austria’s stunning castles and I must say, their beauty is breathtaking. Each castle tells a unique story of history and charm. Imagine walking where knights once walked, in Hohenwerfen or Hochosterwitz Castle.

Picture yourself touring the grand rooms of Kreuzenstein or gazing out at the lake from Schloss Ort. Don’t miss these incredible sights; they’re perfect for any tourist’s bucket list.

So go ahead, step into a fairy tale and make your own memories in Austria’s majestic castles!

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