The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

  • Publish date: Sunday، 24 October 2021 Last update: Sunday، 31 October 2021
The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria
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We associate palaces and castles to fairytales and stories of battles or lavish parties. Austria is filled with magnificent castles and palaces, grandiose witnesses of a bygone era. As we walk through their halls, we begin to imagine the lifestyle the residents adapted a place many before us created memories in.

Schönbrunn Palace

One of the most important Baroque estates in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Baroque Schönbrunn Palace was where the very first concert given by six-year-old Mozart for Empress Maria Theresia in October 1762.

The concert took place in its famous Mirrors Room, where the polished surfaces, wooden panelling, and mirrors create the illusion of increased space.

Something you might have not expected, but the palace grounds feature the world’s oldest zoo!

The luxurious palace contains no fewer than 1,441 rooms and was the summer residence of the Imperial family until 1918 which means back then you might have dreamed to step inside!

Don’t miss going up to the elegant colonnade known as the Gloriette, where a coffee house offers stupendous views across the city.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Schoenbrunn Palace © Schloss Schoenbrunn Kultur-und-Betriebsges-m-b-H, Severin Wurnig

Belvedere Palace

Get a look at Austria's most valuable art collections of artworks stretching from the Middle Ages and the Baroque period, up to the present date including key works of famous Austrian artist Gustav Klimt

The Viennese palace boosts a magnificent Baroque style was built in the 18th century as the summer residence of Prince Eugen of Savoy. Itconsists of two palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere) and extensive gardens which are popular with the local population.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Belvedere Palace © Vienna Pass, Bernhard Luck

Hofburg Palace

Imagine walking into the residence of emperors. This imperial palace in Vienna is one of the biggest palace complexes in the world and was the residence and seat of government of the Habsburg emperors until 1918.

Nowadays, it offers many experiences including numerous museums with outstanding collections including the Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum giving a glimpse into the private life of the late imperial family.

The palace complex also features the Spanish Riding School, where you can enjoy the world-famous performances of the Lipizzan horses, a congress center, the seat of the Austrian Federal President as well as the historic Heldenplatz.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Hofburg Palace © Vienna Pass, Bernhard Luck

Esterházy Palace 

Yes, the famous Haydn Hall is located here, and is still viewed today as one of the best concert halls in the world.

At this palace you get a closer look at the insight into the glorious life of the Esterházy princes.

Visit the former royal family dining room, the luxurious mirror room, and the small Chinese salon.

Only 45 minutes from Vienna, the 17th century palace also has its own vineyard.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Esterhazy Palace © Esterhazy Betriebs-GmbH, Roland Wimmer

Hochosterwitz Castle

One of those palaces you see in movies on a rock fan high above the plane below.

You’ll be surprised, but since 1571, the castle has been in the hands of the same family. The mountain has been inhabited since the Bronze Age.

Talking about private, to access the castle you have to pass through a total of 14 gates, as

Fortress Hochosterwitz is built on a limestone rock that rises 150 m above the valley, allowing visitors a spectacular view over the neighbouring mountains, hills, and countryside.

The castle is not only a landmark of Carinthia but also one of the most imposing medieval castles in Austria due to its topographical location and its kind of structure.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Hochosterwitz Castle © OEW, Michael Stabentheiner

Schloss Hof

If you are holidaying in Lower Austria, this is the spot to visit. It’s located 1 hour from Vienna near the Slovakian border.

To those who are familiar with hunting, Schloss Hof is a treat. The Palace served as a hunting lodge for the Habsburgs and was brought back to life as one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in the world.

What do you think of having this palace as a gift? With its magnificent terrace garden (one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque gardens), pavilions, and fountains, Schloss Hof was gifted by the Habsburgs to Prince Eugene as a thank you for assisting in the victory over the Turkish besiegers.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Schloss Hof © Donau-Niederösterreich, Robert Herbst

Mirabell Palace

The perfect location for a dream wedding.The Marble Hall in Mirabell Palace is considered to be one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world.

The complex is under monument protection and was declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO

Several important scenes in the world-famous movie “The Sound of Music” were shot in the Mirabell Gardens so you can imagine how surreal it is.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Mirabell Palace © Salzburg Tourismus GmbH, Guenter Breitegger

Hohenwerfen Fortress

A true medieval rock castle that is 900-years old! It is situated on a 623-metre precipice overlooking the Austrian market town of Werfen in the Salzach valley

We can’t begin to imagine the view of the surrounding mountain from this tall, jutting rock.

The castle offers a falconry centre, dashing weaponry, museums, and spooky dark corners for visitors to investigate.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Hohenwerfen Fortress © OEW, Volker Preusser

Schloss Eggenberg

Surrounded by walls, with a huge portal facing West. The palace is located in the Eggenberg district of Graz in Styria and can be reached by tram.

The Baroque palace is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Graz - Historic Centre”.

Schloss Eggenberg ranks among the most valuable cultural treasures of Austria as it offers extensive scenic gardens, as well as some special collections from the Universalmuseum Joanneum housed in the palace and surrounding park.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Eggenberg Palace © Graz Tourismus, Harry Schiffer

Ambras Castle

This Renaissance palace was the world’s first museum opening to the public back in the 16th century. Located on a hill, Ambras Castle offers stunning views over the city of Innsbruck.

Dive into different eras as you walk through permanent exhibitions as well as temporary shows offering insight to life back then.

The armory as well as the chamber of arts and wonders (Kunst- und Wunderkammer) delight those passionate about arts and culture.

Parties and ceremonies used to be held at the Spanish Hall, an impressive concert venue. Take a walk at the magical castle gardens for a ‘Disney’ movie experience.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Ambras Castle © OEW, Sarah Dawalibi

Hofburg Innsbruck

Hofburg Palace was the former seat of the ruling Princes of Tirol and was remodeled into a Baroque palace by Empress Maria Theresia in the 18th century.

The Habsburgs loved this glorious city nestled deep in the Alpine mountains, as well as its surroundings and the distinct Tirolean culture.

Visit the private and state rooms which are a shining example of this fascinating stretch of time in Austrian history.

The Most Surreal Palaces and Castles to Visit in Austria

Hofburg Innsbruck © Innsbruck Tourismus, Christian Vorhofer

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Belvedere Palace © WTV, Christian Stemper