Looking for an insider tip in Austria ? Then off to southern Burgenland with you. Here at the south-eastern tip of the country, on the border with Hungary, a pleasurable break away from the beaten track awaits you .
, no chic. But there is excellent cuisine, great wines, a lovely, gently rolling landscape and, above all, pure idyll.
In this blog article we reveal our personal tips for the perfect holiday in southern Burgenland. We show you some of the most beautiful destinations, great restaurants and of course our tip for a very special accommodation.
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1. This is what awaits you in southern Burgenland
- Quiet & vacation off the beaten path
If you really want to switch off, southern Burgenland is the right place for you. Southern Burgenland is pleasantly calm, sleepy and relaxed. Southern Burgenland is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a holiday in Austria – and that is exactly what makes the region so attractive.
- Vineyards & Kellerstöckl
The wine-growing regions of southern Burgenland are small but exquisite. They extend primarily along the hills in the east of Burgenland, on the edge of the Pannonian lowlands. The historic Kellerstöckl, those picturesque little houses in which wine was once pressed and stored, are characteristic of southern Burgenland.
- Impressive castles
Curious but true: Burgenland did not get its name from the numerous castles. (In case you’re interested: the name derives from the endings of the municipalities of Pressburg, Wieselburg, Ödenburg and Eisenburg, all of which are no longer part of Burgenland.) Nevertheless, there are numerous imposing castle complexes to admire in Burgenland, such as the Güssing Castle or the Friedensburg Schlaining. More on that in a moment.
2. Overnight stays in southern Burgenland: Our accommodation tip
Are you looking for modern, stylish accommodation in an absolutely quiet location? Then we have a very special tip for you: the wonderful Wohnothek am Ratschen .
Surrounded by vines and forest there are 25 detached, loft-like wooden bungalows. 15 of these were only recently opened as part of a major expansion. In any case, all rooms are extremely comfortable.
A very special highlight is the chic wellness area with a (heated) outdoor pool. Although there is a lot to see in the area, it is also good to put your feet up and enjoy the tranquility of southern Burgenland. Just lovely!
Breakfast is served in the bistro in the main building . There’s everything you could wish for – and much more (cinnamon rolls, delicious granola, very good bread). The reduced design with lots of wood and glass conveys a pleasant flair, so that you can start the day really pleasantly and relaxed here.
The dinner in the restaurant (about 3 minutes walk away) is the absolute icing on the cake. We haven’t eaten this delicious in a long time. We will tell you more about this pleasurable experience further down in this blog article.
Our conclusion: A modern, really great place to feel good with great value for money. We recommend!
You can book accommodation here: Wohnothek am Ratschen
3. Cellar lanes in southern Burgenland
Eisenberg & Weinblick
The center of the southern Burgenland wine region is the Eisenberg. As the name suggests, there is an increased iron content in the soil of the Eisenberg.
The Eisenberg DAC Blaufränkisch grapes thrive on the slopes of the Eisenberg, the protected red wine for which the Eisenberg is so well known.
On the Eisenberg, it is not so much the Kellergasse itself that is so worth seeing here, but rather the great view. From up here you can enjoy a fantastic distant view.
No wonder that one of the most famous vantage points in southern Burgenland has found its place here: the Weinblick. This modern construction made of wood and glass can be found on the southern slope of the Eisenberg, which gives you a wonderful view over the grapevines.
If you want, you can of course also stop off in one of the rustic taverns . You can read here where “ausg’steckt” is currently: Eisenberg Buschenschenken .
Only about 15 minutes by car from the Eisenberg you will reach the next wine region: the Csaterberg. It is considered one of the southwestern foothills of the Eisenberg. Characteristic red and white wines thrive on the southern slopes of the Csaterberg.
On the Csaterberg there are around 260 historic cellars . Some of them are over 100 years old and have been lovingly restored.
We can warmly recommend a walk through this really authentic wine-growing region worth seeing. If you want to see more, you can also hike along circular route 8 , which takes around 1.5 hours (5 kilometres). Here you will also pass the very nice vantage bench that can be seen in our photo. You can find the exact route here: Csaterberg Rundweg .
Cellar Quarter Heiligenbrunn
The third wine cellar district in southern Burgenland that we would like to introduce to you is in Heiligenbrunn. Here, even more than in other cellar lanes, you have the feeling of having landed in a bygone era .
Many of the Kellerstöckl in Heiligenbrunn, which are now listed, are made of wood and clay and covered with straw. The flair is really very special.
Uhudler is characteristic of Heiligenbrunn , a typical regional wine with a taste reminiscent of wild berries. You shouldn’t leave southern Burgenland without trying Uhudler once.
4. The most beautiful castles
The imposing Friedensburg Schlaining is definitely worth a visit . It sits enthroned on the outskirts of the municipality of Stadtschlaining – although not in a typically exposed location, it is nevertheless impressive to look at.
Friedensburg Schlaining was first mentioned in a document as early as the 13th century. It became the “Peace Castle” during the Cold War, when the idea of promoting dialogue between East and West arose.
The castle was extensively renovated by 2021 and will host a special exhibition on the 100th birthday of Burgenland until November 2023. The really great exhibition is also definitely worth a visit for non-Burgenlanders.
After (or before) your visit to the exhibition, you can stop at the restaurant “Das Kranich” , which is located in the inner courtyard of the castle.
You can find more information here: Friedensburg Schlaining
Güssing Castle sits enthroned on a long-extinct volcanic cone in the town of Güssing. It is considered the oldest castle complex in Burgenland and one of the most important landmarks.
You have two options to reach the entrance: either you follow the steep footpath around the castle for about 10 minutes or you can use the elevator.
The historic walls of the castle house an exhibition that revolves around the history of the castle and that of Burgenland. We were personally most impressed by the extraordinary, medieval flair of the castle.
Climbing the historic bell tower is a special experience . The ancient stairs are getting narrower and narrower, before you can enjoy the view from the tower in all directions. (The only downside: Unfortunately, it is difficult to take photos of the view due to the close-meshed security grid.)
You can find more information here: Güssing Castle
The third castle in southern Burgenland that we can highly recommend is Burg Bernstein in the municipality of the same name. This medieval knight’s castle worth seeing is privately owned and can therefore only be visited on certain days as part of a guided tour. (Unless you are staying the night there, as the historic walls also house a castle hotel.)
The guided tour takes you to the beautiful, ivy-covered inner courtyard, the chapel, the Renaissance ballroom and a great viewing platform in the castle garden.
Exciting detail: The most famous owner of the castle was László E. Almásy. His story served as a template for the novel and film The English Patient.
5. Other destinations for your vacation
Welcome to Burgenland’s highest mountain. Yes, you read that right! With a height of just 884 meters, the Gewrittenstein counts more as a hill in a nationwide comparison – but it doesn’t have to hide by any means.
The Geography Stone (or, more precisely, the lookout tower on its summit) is one of those excursion destinations that, in our opinion, should not be missed on a trip through southern Burgenland.
The quickest way to the summit starts at the car park along the top of the pass and leads comfortably along a forest path to the lookout tower in about 30 minutes . The state border between Austria and Hungary runs right through the observation tower.
You should definitely climb the stairs. You can enjoy an incredible 360-degree view from the top platform. If visibility is good, you can even see the Schneeberg and the contours of Lake Neusiedl.
Open-air museum at that time
Would you like to get an insight into rural life in southern Burgenland back then? Then we can warmly recommend a visit to the open-air museum of the past in Bad Tatzmannsdorf.
From the farmhouse to the Heustadl, from the Schüttboden to the pigsty – several buildings, some of which are accessible, demonstrate the rural way of life in the past. We personally found this excursion into the past very exciting and entertaining.
The open-air museum is accessible 24 hours a day. Remember to take small change with you for entry – you need 2 euros for the turnstile. After visiting the museum, we warmly recommend a stop at the associated arcade wine tavern (more on this in the next chapter of this blog article). You can find more information here: Open-air museum of the past .
6. Eating & drinking in southern Burgenland
WOW! Our favorite culinary discovery in southern Burgenland is the great Ratschen restaurant , which is part of our accommodation, the Wohnothek am Ratschen. Fine dining awaits you here , combined with a touch of down-to-earthness – just the way we like it.
In the evening , multi-course menus are served. On request, a vegan menu was conjured up for us, from which many a vegetarian restaurant can learn something. “Excellent” is an understatement. It’s really been a long time since we’ve eaten this well.
The accompanying wine accompaniment, which has many surprises in store apart from the classics, is also highly recommended . The prices are rather high in line with the quality, but they are very reasonable for what is on offer.
In the pretty inner courtyard of the arcade tavern in Bad Tatzmannsdorf you can sit really nicely on a cozy evening. The Arkadenheuriger is part of the open-air museum of the past (see previous chapter), so it is a good idea to stop off after a visit to the museum.
Regional, down-to-earth dishes with a modern flair are served. For example, we had the homemade Langos (the Hungarian border is not far) with Mediterranean grilled vegetables. You can enjoy a glass of Uhudler with it, for example.
Located in the inner courtyard of the Friedensburg Schlaining , a visit to the associated bistro Das Kranich is ideal for refreshment after the tour. (Don’t worry if the weather doesn’t play along: you can also sit inside.)
The menu is small but fine and offers something for every taste – whether meat, fish, vegetarian or vegan. We really ate very well. Highly recommended.
A praline factory in southern Burgenland? Yes, that’s right. The most delicious chocolates are conjured up here by hand . Dozens of varieties are in the range, including classics, but also unusual varieties such as Uhudler. Our favorite was pistachio marzipan. Yummy! If you want, you can also take a look behind the scenes and take part in a praline tour .
Picnic in the vineyards
It doesn’t always have to be a visit to a restaurant – how about a romantic picnic in the middle of the vineyards? You can also experience that in southern Burgenland.
We ordered our picnic basket from the Koch winery in Rechnitz and from there we walked about 5 minutes to a small chapel. Such a nice place! You can reserve the picnic basket here: Picnicking in southern Burgenland
If you would rather “just” have a drink: In the courtyard of the Weingut Kochs there is also a wine fridge where you can help yourself and simply put the corresponding amount in the cash register.