Austria is a beautiful country to explore. This Central European haven has an array of majestic castles to explore and admire in a leisurely hassle-free travel expedition.
The best castles in Austria aren’t just great places to tour. Most are close to Austria’s finest eating and retail establishments, accommodations, and other famous landmarks.
With the listed best castles to see and explore in Austria, you can discover wonders on your trip and use the list to find the attractions to add to your itinerary.
Best Castles in Austria to Visit
1. Ambras Castle
Address: Schloßstraße 20, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Visiting the Renaissance palace of Ambras Castle in Innsbruck, Austria, is one of the most exciting things to do while in the city. It’s a stunning tourist attraction located on the slopes of Innsbruck, 587 meters above sea level.
When it comes to attractions in a town rich with history and historical significance, the castle is one of the most popular and most frequented of them all. Its cultural and historical value is inextricably linked to the character of Archduke Ferdinand II, a true Renaissance royal in his promotion of the arts, sciences, and learning.
Archduke Ferdinand II also established the excellent Ambras archives in a gallery complex set in the lower castle to store them. Aside from the magnificent furnishings, the castle’s stunning displays include portraits, significant works by notable European artists, and late medieval sculptures and artworks. Check out these other fun things to do in Innsbruck, Austria.
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2. Hohenwerfen Castle
Address: Burgstraße 2, 5450 Werfen, Austria
The medieval rock fortress of Hohenwerfen Castle in Werfen, Austria, offers a historical and picturesque tour of perhaps the country’s most beautiful region. It is located 623 meters above the Austrian market town of Werfen. It provides a unique opportunity to look at the surrounding splendor of the Salzach Valley from a superb vantage point.
The castle is a stunning tourist attraction due to its grandeur and the magnificence of the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Tennen Mountains, which surround the castle, providing a gorgeous backdrop.
The almost 900-year-old Hohenwerfen Fortress, located in the Pongau area of Salzburg, offers educational tour experiences for visitors. The three excursions include group, school, and private tours for families with children.
Every tour is intertwined with the castle’s fascinating history, and each one is a stroll through the ages filled with centuries of adventure. Visitors to Hohenwerfen can also be part of an incredible bird of prey demonstration at the castle’s falconry museum. Kids can play fascinating quiz games based on the castle’s fascinating collections and exhibits.
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3. Hochosterwitz Castle
Address: Hochosterwitz 1, 9314 Launsdorf, Austria
Hochosterwitz Castle is widely regarded as one of Austria’s most impressive medieval castles. It is located on a 172-meter cliff close to the Sankt Georgen am Längsee in the Carinthian region and is constructed from cast dolomite rock.
A popular tourist destination close by, the rock castle is one of the state’s most recognizable sights. This mighty fortress exudes nothing but strength. The fortified entrance leads to the armory and courtyard before the main castle. The complex contains 14 fortified gates.
Hochosterwitz Castle is home to a museum that houses weapons, uniforms, equipment, tools, and other artifacts from Napoleon’s army, along with an arsenal of armor, headgear, swords, spears, and other military items from a range of periods of European history.
The complex also includes a little chapel with lovely frescoes and a characteristic Carinthian altar worth visiting.
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4. Kreuzenstein Castle
Address: 2100 Leobendorf, Austria
Kreuzenstein Castle, also known as Burg Kreuzenstein, is located in the northern part of Leobendorf, east of Stockerau. It is the largest castle in the region and is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Austria to visit. It is located at an elevation of 265 meters above sea level and offers spectacular views of the countryside and Leobendorf.
The usual tour of Kreuzenstein Castle lasts 45 to 60 minutes and provides an interesting overview of the castle’s history. You’ll discover the ancient tower gate, a collection of intriguing sculptures, a typical medieval kitchen, and a group of arms and armor as you explore the castle grounds.
The well-stocked armory contains assorted weapons and armor from the Middle Ages, including spears, lances, axes, swords, hammers, maces, shields, plate armor, chainmail, helmet,s and more.
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5. Fortress Hohensalzburg
Address: Mönchsberg 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Austria is home to many magnificent castles, with the Fortress of Hohensalzburg being one of the most impressive. Check out the views and history of the fortress from our YouTube channel.
This gleaming white medieval fortification located within the borders of the beautiful city of Salzburg sits majestically atop the Festungsberg, the “Fortress Mountain” that looms over the city.
The fortification was built at the urging of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, who were responsible for its construction. It is around 250 meters in length and 150 meters in width and is among the most significant and well-preserved medieval castles in Austria and Europe.
The castle draws attention thanks to its beauty and its fantastic collection of historical exhibits, such as the Fortress Museum, which exhibits a collection of stories and artifacts relating to courtly life under the reign of the prince archbishops. Then there’s the magical Marionette Museum and the impressive Museum of the Rainer Regiment.
Apart from these terrific museums, the panoramic view from the top of the cathedral is a sight to behold and one your photo albums can’t be without!
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6. Burg Freundsberg
Address: Burggasse 55, 6130 Schwaz, Austria
Visit the lovely Burg Freundsberg in Schwaz, Austria, for a royal fairytale tour that will take your breath away. Freundsberg Castle was built on top of a hill 675 meters above sea level by the Lords of Freundsberg in the year 1150, and it is among the highest points in the region. The castle has four floors and a chapel as part of the grounds.
Besides a collection of portraits, Burg Freundsberg also has a museum that contains a variety of interesting facts about the town of Schwaz.
The museum contains a collection of historical attire, mining tools, and information on the town’s cigar-making history. In addition, there is an on-site pub where you can sample traditional meals.
The castle is also home to medieval festivals and other gatherings throughout the year and can be booked for private events.
A day of adventure and exploration, including trips to the castle grounds, museums, and a short visit to the nearby village, are all in store for visitors. Remember that you’re in a hilly part of Austria, which isn’t an accessible destination for those who aren’t strong walkers.
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7. Castle Liechtenstein
Address: Am Hausberg 2, 2344 Maria Enzersdorf, Austria
Vienna and the city of Maria Enzersdorf are both within driving distance of the fascinating Liechtenstein Castle, a beautiful chateau in Lower Austria.
Located on the outskirts of the scenic Wienerwald, it is both a historically important and very attractive location. The castle’s exterior splendor can be seen for miles around. Consequently, the castle draws many visitors yearly and is one of Enzersdorf’s most popular tourist attractions.
It contains a diverse collection of artifacts and furniture that contribute to the overall beauty and attraction of the castle’s interior.
Weapons, furnishings, and a beamed ceiling, along with reliefs and the chapel, are among the fascinating display at Liechtenstein Castle. A magnificent vantage point from which to view the town of Enzersdorf and the surrounding natural treasures can be found at the top of the castle, which provides terrific panoramic views.
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8. Kufstein Fortress
Address: Festung 2, 6330 Kufstein, Austria
The Kufstein Fortress is one of the most prominent features in the Austrian province of Kufstein. It is among the most picturesque castles in Austria and has the dubious honor of being erroneously referred to as the Geroldseck Fortress.
It is 507 meters above sea level and located on the imposing Kufstein hillside. The spectacular view of the bustling town below may be seen from the top of the castle, also connected to the Kaiser Maximilian Panorama Railway, located next to the fortress.
A visit to the Fortress of Kufstein will take you on a journey through this castle’s rich and intriguing history and town. The stronghold has three museums, each providing insights and information about the citadel’s history.
Brightly colored and illuminated displays in the exhibition center’s halls feature state-of-the-art exhibits and technology. A few activities are held at the castle throughout the summer, including open-air musicals, concerts, and other colorful festivities for the whole family to enjoy.
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9. Schloss Ort
Address: Ort 1, 4810 Gmunden, Austria
If you’re eager to explore the beauty of Gmunden in Austria, add Schloss Ort to your itinerary. It is one of the most stunning castles in Austria and an essential visit for any visitor. The castle is located near Gmunden, on a tiny island on Traunsee Lake, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains.
Because of its unique attractiveness, it was used as a filming location for Schlosshotel Orth, a popular Austrian television series that aired for eight years.
Having the castle featured in the starring role on television has earned significant attention from locals and tourists. As one of the oldest buildings in the Salzkammergut, Schloss Ort is also regarded as a historical landmark.
Besides hosting private parties, meetings, and workplace gatherings, the castle is also available for weddings and other occasions.
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10. Riegersburg Castle
Address: Riegersburg 1, 8333 Riegersburg, Austria
Visiting Riegersburg Castle should undoubtedly be one of the top things to do during your wonderful trip to Austria. It’s a centuries-old castle and museum perched atop Riegersburg’s (mercifully) inactive volcano.
The Princely Family of Liechtenstein owns the castle, which features a museum with changing displays. Riegersburg Castle is perched 450 meters above sea level. Apart from its grandeur and beauty, the castle’s museum is one of the reasons it attracts a large number of visitors, both local and foreign.
You’ll enjoy visiting the castle if you’re a fan of witchcraft, legendary ladies, and European history. This great tourist attraction is unique in Austria as it contains exhibits related to witches and witchcraft!
The Witch Museum is a cellar dedicated to the dark history of prosecuting unpopular women as witches who inhabited Central European nations between 1450 and 1750. Were they witches? Were they innocent? The exhibits may surprise you!
The other leading exhibition is Legendary Riegersburg – Legendary Women, which focuses on the role of women throughout history in Riegersburg. On its historic walls and among its grounds, Riegersburg Castle offers a magnificent vacation tour experience.
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11. Ehrenberg Castle
Address: Klause 1, 6600 Gemeinde Reutte, Austria
When planning an unforgettable visit to Austria, don’t forget to include a detour at the enchanting Ehrenberg Castle. This magnificent castle contains a display and a museum dedicated to chivalry and knighthood. The castle is in the Austrian province of Reutte, surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery.
A part of the spectacular Burgenwelt Ehrenberg, or Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble, sitting on the eastern outskirts of Reutte, the castle is a must-see attraction.
The overhanging view of the town of Tyrol and the view of the other three castles that make up the Castle Ensemble in the region is stunning. The Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble comprises the Klause Fortress, the Schlosskopf Fortress, and the Claudia Fortress, all located inside the Ehrenberg Castle Complex.
This immaculate, picturesque old castle is a great place to spend the day exploring and is a great starting point for hiking the surrounding countryside.
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12. Tratzberg Castle
Address: Tratzberg 1, 6200 Jenbach, Austria
If you’re looking for a gorgeous, romantic tour of Austria, Tratzberg Castle is one of the most incredible places to visit in Austria.
The rocky hill above the town of Jenbach is home to this fairytale castle. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations because of its surrounding natural beauty, romantic ambiance, and spectacular displays.
According to historical records, the castle was built sometime in the 13th century to protect the border. After collapsing into ruin, it was reconstructed by the Fugger merchant family, and it has since become a typical example of Tirolean castles from the 16th century.
Visitors can now take advantage of guided tours of the castle’s most notable rooms, such as the Habsburgersaal, the Gothic Fuggerstube, and the King’s Room, but also self-guided tours of the castle grounds.
There are unique fairytale tours available at Tratzberg Castle for children, which provide an opportunity to interact with exhibits and characters dressed in medieval attire and the whimsical castle ghost.
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13. Aggstein Castle
Address: Aggstein, 3642 Aggsbach Dorf, Austria
A historical landmark in Dorf, Austria, is one of Austria’s most striking ruined castles. Overlooking the River Danube, an impressive ruin sits on a rocky ledge that affords fantastic views of the river and surrounding countryside.
Aggstein Castle is around 150 meters long and was constructed at the beginning of the 12th century. The castle has a fascinating history, along with scenic sights for days.
One of its most prominent attractions is the Rosengärtlein, or Rose Garden, once a part of the frightening escape-proof prison built in the Middle Ages. There are courtyards, gardens, and towers in the castle. It also features a dungeon, a charming chapel, and a knight’s hall to explore within the castle grounds.
It’s a popular location for taking photographs, holding weddings and christenings.
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14. Mauterndorf Castle
Address: Markt 27, 5570 Mauterndorf, Austria
The first written record of Mauterndorf Castle’s existence dates back to 1253 when it was first discussed in a document. It was constructed and protected the nearby market village and would later serve as a vacation home for Austrian, Hungarian, and German nobility and royalty.
The 44-meter-tall defensive tower on the grounds of the Mauterndorf Castle is one of the most impressive sights to behold while checking out the castle.
In addition, the private chambers of Prince Bishop Leonhard von Keutschach, who once used the manor as a vacation house, can be explored by visitors.
The garden and the magnificent furnishings that grace the castle’s interiors are other highlights of the property. What makes the castle tour enjoyable and unforgettable is that the guides are dressed in medieval attire, which adds flair to the experience of walking through time in this compact old castle.
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15. Schönbrunn Palace
Address: Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47, 1130 Wien, Austria
Schönbrunn Palace is among the most stunning castles in Austria and an essential destination to travel to if you’re visiting the capital. It is the former summer estate of the Hapsburgs and possibly Austria’s most famous landmark, seeing thousands of tourists a day.
It has fantastic architecture, on-site attractions, and historical and cultural significance to Austrians and Europe. Watch our overview of the Schönbrunn Palace from the ViaTravelers YouTube channel.
The palace’s splendor extends beyond its outer beauty to its interior, which embodies elegance and luxury. The palace is among Europe’s most outstanding Baroque complexes, having about 1,440 rooms furnished in Rococo style.
Among the best things to do in the palace is to see its chambers, where many historical events occurred, from serving as Napoleon’s Austrian headquarters to being the venue where Mozart played his first performance aged six years old.
The grounds are also hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. The splendor of Schönbrunn Palace’s gardens is one of the spectacular views you shouldn’t miss. Take photos of its beautiful fountain or the fake Roman ruins.
Schönbrunn Palace is also home to the vast Schönbrunn Zoo – the world’s oldest zoo still in operation. This animal kingdom is home to 7,800 animals from 700 species on 17 hectares and frequently wins awards for the best zoo in Europe.
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16. Forchtenstein Castle
Address: Melinda Esterhazy-Platz 1, 7212 Forchtenstein, Austria
Burgenland’s Forchtenstein Castle, built in the late Middle Ages in Forchtenstein, is one of the most important historical structures in the region. It is one of Austria’s most popular and romantic castles, attracting many visitors every year.
The castle is built on a hill 511 meters above sea level, standing out amongst the splendor of Austrian nature. It has witnessed a wide range of events throughout history and many restoration efforts resulting from political and military shifts. There are many interesting things to view in the castle.
Many treasures and wonders are kept in the castle’s treasury. The castle is home to extensive weaponry and military equipment plundered throughout history and a comprehensive collection of fascinating murals on the walls.
Along with being easily accessible, Forchtenstein Castle provides a convenient tour and allows dogs on its grounds. The castle’s life-size image of Vlad III Tepes, also known as Dracula, is one of the castle’s most notable displays.
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17. Moosham Castle
Address: Moosham 13, 5585 Unternberg, Austria
To take your beautiful fairy tale vacation in Austria to the next level, you must include Moosham Castle in your itinerary. The ancient castle in Unternberg in the Lungau district of Salzburg, Austria, is a magnificent landmark to see and offers accommodation for a unique overnight experience.
The castle provides family-friendly rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, typical modern conveniences in any good hotel and royal service for lodgings. In addition to offering spectacular guided tours of its art collection and weaponry displays inside, Moosham Castle also offers unforgettable guided tours of its grounds.
The castle dates back to the 13th century and is also known as the “Witches’ Castle” because of its association with witchcraft. According to local history, approximately 30 males have been convicted and slain for being wolves, while 26 women have been accused and sentenced for practicing witchcraft in the castle. Consequently, it is believed that the castle is haunted, making it much more intriguing and a popular destination for ghost hunters.
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18. Burg Laudegg
Address: Ladis, Serfaus, Austria
Burg Laudegg is an Austrian castle ruin located near the three settlements of Ladis, Serfaus, and Fiss in the Bezirk Landeck region. Over many years, it has been restored to its former glory.
The magnificent castle is perched majestically on a rocky outcrop of crystalline schist. In addition, it provides a spectacular view of the countryside and nearby settlements.
Within this massive fortress, you’ll find a summer manor with preserved medieval rooms on the inside, the castle chapel, and a grand hall. Burg Laudegg not only offers its natural beauty and regal furnishings on its interiors, but it also allows visitors to participate in a range of entertaining activities on its grounds.
It is open once a week for visitors to take part in guided tours during the summer months. It is additionally located near the charming town of Ladis, which is worth visiting while you’re here.
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