Zac Peterson
Zac Peterson
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A day trip to Liechtenstein Castle and the foothills of the Alps from Vienna

Oftentimes on a Eurotrip, one ends up spending all of their time traveling from city to city. If you’re traveling exclusively by train and bus, it can be tough getting out of major population centers, and with limited time, one has to stick to the highlights. I say this because despite how amazing Vienna is, after a day or two there you might feel like a walk out in the country for a change. A day trip to Liechtenstein Castle and the Viennese Forest is exactly what you need!

Liechtenstein Castle looks exactly like how you would expect a castle to look. Perched up on a giant boulder, the castle seems as though it was pulled right out of a Dracula movie. Built around 1130, this Romanesque castle was owned by the Liechtenstein family, who actually got their name from the castle (Liechtenstein means “bright stone”), and not the other way around. The Liechtenstein family gained power over time, and eventually founded the country of Liechtenstein. The castle was destroyed by the Ottomans in 1529, and again in 1683. In 1884, the ruins were rebuilt, and it was turned into a museum of sorts. Today, the castle is open for tours for most of the year. If you are around in the summer, visit the castle for the Nestroy Theater Festival, which is held annually on its grounds.

Liechtenstein Castle is on the edge of the Viennese Forest (Wienerwald). From the castle, you can walk to Föhrenberge Nature Park (Naturpark Föhrenberge) and hike through the forested foothills of the Alps. At the edge of the forest, on a hilltop south of Liechtenstein Castle, is Burgruine Mödling, small ruined castle, with an amazing view. From this viewpoint, you can follow trails along the ridge of a mountain through the Nature Park. The woods have many trails, but it is pretty difficult to get lost.

Along the way, take a side trail uphill to the Hussar temple (Husarentempel). Built in 1813, this Parthenon look-alike was constructed as a monument to the 1809 Battle of Aspern, between France and Austria. This is an even better viewpoint than Burgruine Mödling, as one can can see the whole city of Vienna from here.

Directions:

Take a train from Vienna Central Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof) to the Brunn – Maria Enzersdorf station. At the station, walk west on Bahnstraße. At the corner with Enzersdorferstraße/B12, turn south (left) and walk a little over a kilometer to the corner of Johannesstraße. I was able to catch a bus for this section and cut out 15 minutes of walking, but you might not get as lucky with the schedule. Turn right on Johannesstraße and walk west about 500 meters until you get to a kind of 5-way intersection. Here, turn left (south) on Waldgasse, and walk a short distance until you see a trailhead on your right. If you keep walking southwest along the trail, you should eventually reach Liechtenstein Castle, which is in the middle of a long field.

From March 1st to October 31st, the castle is open all week from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. From January 1st to February 28th, the castle is closed. In November and December, the opening times are a little more variable due to holidays. Tours usually start about every hour.

From Liechtenstein Castle, it is about a 40 minute walk to Burgruine Mödling via the quaint village of Hinterbrühl. The path up to Burgruine Mödling starts at the end of Jägerhausgasse in Mödling, which is a turn off of Brühler Strasse/B11, the road from Hinterbrühl to Mödling.

From Burgruine Mödling, you should see the Hussar Temple across the valley. Follow the Föhrenberge Nature Park trails in the direction of the temple, and you should eventually reach it after a pleasant hike. As previously mentioned, the temple is reached by a side trail that leads left off the main trail. The main trail leads back to the village of Hinterbrühl, from which you can walk or take a bus back to the the Brunn – Maria Enzersdorf train station.

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