The Best Castles Near Vienna

Vienna, Austria’s capital city, is undoubtedly, and indisputably, one of Europe’s most charming and irresistible cities, with its enchanting Baroque streets, imperial architecture and thriving artistic and musical atmosphere, it has a rich and exciting heritage that attracts a plethora of visitors every single year. Though many visitors are encapsulated by the city’s incessant hustle and bustle, and the abundance of activities to do in the metropolis itself, many ignore, or are frankly unaware, of the multitude of castles that are dotted about its outskirts. This list will document the best castles that are situated near to Vienna, their key highlights, as well as practical information, such as location and opening and closing times.

10 castles to visit near Vienna

1. Schönbrunn Palace

The beautiful Schonbrunn Palace is located in Vienna and is one of the primary tourist destinations to visit when traveling to the stunning Austrian city. Schonbrunn Palace was the key summer residence of the Habsburg rulers, and its style is incredibly grand, both architecturally, and in terms of its fantastic interior design. A key aspect of the castle that visitors simply cannot miss is the beautiful gardens; there are so many stunning things to explore, such as the Neptune Fountain, the palm house, and the gorgeous botanical gardens, you could spend a whole day just discovering all the treats that the gardens have to offer, let alone the palace itself!

Where: Vienna, Austria

When: 16th century

Style: Rococo

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

2. Upper and Lower Belvedere

Located in Vienna lies the Upper and Lower Belvedere, which are two grand Baroque palaces, that were initially constructed as a summer residence for the Prince Eugene of Savoy in the 17th Records suggest that the building of the Lower Belvedere began by the year 1712, and it featured many grand artworks, including that by Marcantonio Chiarini, who painted the quadrature in the central hall, in the year 1715. The construction of the Upper Belvedere began after the Lower Belvedere, in the year 1717, and it received many noble and famous guests, such as the Turkish ambassador, Ibrahim Pasha in the year 1719. Today, the palaces are a popular tourist site in Vienna, as they are aesthetically impressive, and the gardens are gorgeous.

Where: Vienna, Austria

When: 17th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

You might want to check out: Famous castles to visit in Austria. 

3. Franzensburg

Franzensburg is a 19th-century water castle that was built between the years 1801 and 1836 and is located in the Austrian town of Laxenburg, which is just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Vienna. The castle was built on an artificial island, besides the pre-existing Castle of Laxenburg, by the Emperor Franz, and it was initially designed as a museum. The castle consists mainly of two parts, Ritterburg and Knappenburg, and is essentially an homage to medieval architecture and history. The castle also has gorgeous surrounding gardens and grounds, that are designed in the style of the English landscape garden that was prominent in the 18th Laxenburg the town, and the castles as well, are a great place to visit when visiting Austria.

Where: Laxenburg, Austria

When: 19th century

Style: Neo-Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

4. Kreuzenstein Castle

Kreuzenstein Castle, or otherwise known as Burg Kreuzenstein, is one of the most aesthetically and architecturally impressive and enchanting castles in the entirety of Austria. The current castle is built upon the site of an early medieval castle that was left to be abandoned during the Thirty Years’ War; however, the castle that exists today was built in the 19th century, by Count Nepomuk Wilczek, and it is built with medieval structures that were sourced from across Europe, to make it look as authentic and medieval as possible, making it a truly unique castle. The Kreuzenstein Castle has a fairy-tale-like appearance, making it feel very magical and otherworldly.

Where: Leobendorf, Austria

When: 19th century

Style: Neo-Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

5. Castle Liechtenstein

Though not located in Austria, but rather the neighboring country of Germany lies the Castle Liechtenstein, which is a stunning Gothic-Revival style structure that is enveloped by luscious scenery. The castle was built as a result of 19th century Romanticism, that sought a return to medieval artistic principles and ideals; construction was completed in the year 1842, and it later became the residence of the dukes of Urach in the year 1869. Sadly, the castle was heavily damaged during World War II, though it was quickly restored to its former glory. The castle is a very popular tourist site, as it offers both an impressive history and an even more beautiful appearance, that captures the imagination of so many visitors annually.

Where: Reutlingen, Germany

When: 19th century

Style: Gothic-Revival

Open for visit: 9:00am -18:00pm

6. Maria-Theresien-Schlössel

Situated near to the other large Austrian city of Salzburg, lies the Maria-Theresien-Schlossel, which is a large palatial villa located in the Morzg district. Originally built in the Historicist style for the noble military officer, Josef Ritter von Lommer, construction began in the year 1901, but a larger renovation occurred in the year 1935, where Maria-Theresien-Schlossel took on its current façade. The architectural style of the palace is one of its most interesting features; its Historicist design makes it seem older than it really is, and the architects that built it, Alfred Keller and Martin Knoll, where inspired by movements such as Baroque, and typical Viennese architecture. The palace has gorgeous gardens surrounding it, that offers an array of beautiful flora and fauna.

Where: Salzburg, Austria

When: 1901

Style: Neo-Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

7.  Bratislava Castle

Bratislava is the capital city of the neighboring country of Slovakia, which is only a short trip away from Vienna; it is home to the beautiful and impressive Bratislava Castle, that stands proudly upon the rocky hill, the Little Carpathians, that towers dominantly above the river Danube. Bratislava has a rich, varied, and fascinating history, and also offers incredible views of Bratislava, Austria, and sometimes even Hungary! The castle’s history dates way back to prehistoric times, where the people of the Boleraz culture were known to have a settlement constructed upon the castle hill, which occurred in approximately 3500BC. Throughout the centuries, the castle has altered shape and style, depending on the needs and architectural principles of the time.

Where: Bratislava, Slovakia

When: Prehistoric origins

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

8. Schloss Eckartsau

Schloss Eckartsau is located in the town of Eckartsau, which is situated in the district of Ganserndorf, which lies in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, which is on the eastern side of the country. Although one of the country’s lesser-known castles, it nonetheless does have its own fascinating history. For example, the castle was the last residence of Charles I of Austria, before he departed from the historic Austria-Hungary, in the month of March, 1919. The castle has a grand, domineering façade, and equally beautiful interior, that has captured the imagination of visitors for years.

Where: Eckartsau, Lower Austria

When: 18th century

Style: Viennese

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

9. Wilfersdorf Castle

Situated in the wine district, or Weinviertel, in the town of Wilfersdorf which is in the Mistelbach district of Lower Austria, lies the Wilfersdorf Castle. This castle has a rich and long history and has many associations with nobility and aristocratic families, such as the Liechtenstein family, who have continuously owned the residence. Before the castle was built, a previous Gothic castle existed on the site, and in 1600, Gundakar of Liechtenstein rebuilt this castle to form the currently existing castle. The castle has changed shape many times, such as in 1802, where Prince Alois I of Liechtenstein removed the northern, southern, and eastern wings before the remnants of the castle were sieged by the French in both 1809 and 1866.

Where: Wilfersdorf, Lower Austria

When: 1600

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

10. Grafenegg Castle

Grafenegg Castle is one of Austria’s architectural and historical gems and is a primary tourist destination for visitors annually. The history of the castle spans a whopping seven centuries, and it is one of the country’s most beautiful and cherished structures. The castle demonstrates the principles of several architectural styles and movements, which in theory would clash, but they work seamlessly well together; it ranges from Gothic to Baroque, all the way to Biedermeier, with its stylish features, staircases, turrets, and overall enchanting atmosphere. There is an abundance of history just waiting to be discovered at Grafenegg Castle, and it is the perfect place to explore on an afternoon outside of the city.

Where: Grafenegg, Austria

When: 14th century

Style: A range of styles

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

This list has highlighted the top ten castles near to the Austrian capital of Vienna, that are simply unmissable. If you are an architecture lover, history lover, or just someone who is charmed by things that are different and quirky, Vienna and its outskirts make for the ultimate travel location.

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