• Blick vom Garten auf das Schloss
  • Blick auf das Schloss vom Garten aus

Insider tip – Eckartsau

A castle of many surprises

Rare trees, shady spots, extensive lawns with the baroque tree-lined Lindenallee running through and a truly unique castle in the heart of all this. The transition to the national park is seamless with no fences or barriers of any kind. And with a great deal to discover for all generations. For example the unique nature playground “The gift of trees” and the high tech observation centre called “Spähikel”. Discover all this and more for yourself!

For many years it lay forgotten.  But then the Österreichische Bundesforste which oversees Austria’s forests gradually began to open up the castle and park for tourism. And this proved to be a great success. The castle building itself is in an excellent condition and is often used as a location for international film and TV productions. Austria’s last emperor, Charles I, spent the final few months before his exile here. Many details in the castle take visitors back to times long gone.  Goosebumps are guaranteed during the tour!

Travel here by bike. Or walk along the Donau circular trail.

The park offers a unique nature experience in the heart of the national park. Well-tended lawns and areas alongside unspoilt nature. Neat and orderly directly next to wild growth. The Eckartsaue Danube circular trail is 8 km long and starts and finishes directly by the castle in the national park. For the less ambitious there is also a shorter, 3.3 km path. Both offer a wonderful experience in nature. As a reward at the end, visitors can treat themselves to an ice-cream, a cool drink made out of park flowers or a forest beer in the castle café. A service point with lockers and plugs for e-bikes is provided for cyclists and the Danube cycle path is only 300 metres away.

At a glance

  • 27 ha in the heart of the national park
  • A great day trip for the whole family
  • The perfect wedding location
  • From the history of the dormouse to high tech
  • Open from end March to end October
  • Parks gates are always open and free admission
  • schlosseckartsau.at
Romance. Technology. Dormouse.

Every weekend, Eckartsau is a popular wedding venue and it has won the “Austrian Wedding Award” numerous times. A wonderfully romantic setting, beautiful nature and history are here an unbeatable combination.  And this is now accompanied by state-of-the-art technology. For example the “Spähikel”.  This offers room for up to twelve people and is equipped with systems for automatic animal sound recognition, wild animal cameras and night viewing devices as well as drones and virtual reality glasses. This enables visitors to experience and discover nature in a whole new way. The dormouse for example. Is it really a mouse? Where and how does it live? Perhaps there is also one in your garden, how can you find out? All tour dates and details available here www.schlosseckartsau.at

Frau im Garten

The best time of year to visit Eckartsau Castle is between March to October. There is always something to experience.

Insider tips from DI Elisabeth Sandfort
What do you recommend – the castle or the park?

The castle and park are inseparable and form ONE ensemble full of charm and appeal. There aren’t any fences and on a tour you will sometimes not even know whether you are still in the castle park or already in the national park.  
It is said that Emperor Charles I had a desk put in the park as he loved the atmosphere here so much. And Archduke Franz Ferdinand also laid the foundation for the many characterful trees we see today. 

What is an example of such a special tree?

The dwarf beech with its many tubers and overgrowth. It used to be a popular tree for climbing. Although this is no longer possible because of its age. But everyone still knows the name by which it was commonly known. What’s it called? Best ask this in Eckartsau… 

What is so special about the new children’s playground?

It’s a counter model to plastic slides and loud play. It offers a nature experience with natural design - slow and creative with plenty of opportunity to discover nature’s mysteries. The “Tree” biotope is at the centre. There are exciting installations and plenty of inspiration. Best thing is you see for yourself! For example, children and play in the sand pit and, with a little patience, they will discover a plaque with cast living creatures found in the soil. 
There is no other playground in Austria quite like it ... 

And the garden safari?

This is a digital quiz rally in the park for families with inquiring minds. Together they can discover the secrets and mysteries of nature. The explorer book with facts, tips and insider information is available in the castle. In the park you will find the interactive stations via smartphone and QR code and then discover the plants and animals of the meadows. The tasks can get quite tricky!

What is the best time of year to visit Eckartsau Castle?

Any time between March to October. There is always something to experience. Before our summer festival, for example, the grass isn't mown. This, on the one hand, protects the young animals and, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to discover hidden spots along the few mown paths - which are surrounded by one-and-a-half metre tall grass. And in general, during the week is quieter than weekends. We look forward to seeing you!


... that there are two interactive exhibitions in the castle besides the fascinating castle tour? In the exhibition "Wild Wechsel" ("Changing Wildnerness"), you can find out more about the Donau-Auen National Park. Open daily, admission free. Discover this unique habitat and find out why white-tailed eagles are ideally suited to serve as pilots and what animal fills the job requirements for being a lifeguard or detective. "Karl und Zita - im Schatten der Geschichte" ("Carl and Zita - in the Shadow of History") turns to the historical realm, depicting the time of transition and change from monarchy to republic. Find out who the last Austrian emperor was and the challenges he faced.

Opening times

Castle park:
open year-found, admission free!
Information & shop, Castle Café:
July 1 to November 1, daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The castle is accessible only on a guided tour!
to November 1, daily at 11 a.m. and at 2 and 4 p.m.

Any questions?

The team from Eckartsau Castle is happy to advise you!

Österr. Bundesforste
Nationalparkbetrieb Donau-Auen
Schloss Eckartsau
2305 Eckartsau

Office open all year, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

+43 2214 2240 schlosseckartsau@bundesforste.at learn more