15 Best Things to Do in Eisenstadt (Austria)

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Eisenstadt is the capital of the Burgenland state in Eastern Austria and lies approximately an hour to the south of Vienna, and 30 minutes to the east of Wiener Neustadt.

The area of Eisenstadt has been host to settlements for many years and was settled by Germanic tribes in the great migration period.

In later years and the middle ages, the town was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III but then destroyed during the Ottoman advances in the 1500’s.

In later years the town developed and became a hive of musical activity as it is where the composer Joseph Haydn resided.

Today you can see a great deal of Haydn’s influence and Eisenstadt boasts a variety of museums and historical structures that make it a real cultural treat.

Lets explore the best things to do in Eisenstadt:

1. Esterhazy Palace

Esterhazy PalaceSource: flickr
Esterhazy Palace

This palace is renowned throughout the country and is one of the main architectural buildings in the state of Burgenland.

The palace was constructed in the 13th century and was owned by the Esterhazy family in the 1600’s.

Throughout its history, the palace has had design changes – Initially it had a baroque design, then in the 18th century it changed to a classical design and in the 20th century it saw little change, just restoration.

Inside the palace there is the magnificent Haydnsaal which is one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world.

Aside from the concert hall, you can also enjoy a guided tour of the palace, or buy a souvenir in the gift shop.

2. Bergkirche

Bergkirche, EisenstadtSource: flickr
Bergkirche, Eisenstadt

The Bergkirche was built by the Esterhazy family who have a large historical presence in Eisenstadt and is an extremely unusually designed religious building.

The church stands out against its surrounding and its many levelled ceiling creates strange angles and shapes.

Whilst the exterior is fascinating enough, the interior features some amazing designs, especially the main ceiling fresco that depicts various biblical scenes.

This is an interesting place to visit, and it has a brilliant musical history as it was the place where the composer Haydn premiered several of his works.

3. Haydn Museum

Haydn Haus, EisenstadtSource: wikimedia
Haydn Haus, Eisenstadt

The musical composer Haydn is synonymous with Eisenstadt and it is here that he had a home.

This home has now been turned into the Haydn museum and it provides a personal and in-depth insight into the man, his life and his musical history.

The rooms of this legendary composer’s house have been faithfully recreated, and the exhibitions include private letters, musical sheets and other interesting objects from his life.

This really is a wonderful museum and for any classical music fan, it is a must see.

Aside from the permanent exhibition, there is also a seasonal exhibition that changes so it is advised to research what is on display before your visit.

4. Landesmuseum Burgenland

Landesmuseum BurgenlandSource: wikimedia
Landesmuseum Burgenland

This is the main museum of the region that delves into the history of Burgenland and its culture and identity.

The Landesmuseum is located close to the Esterhazy Palace on the Museumgasse Street and features a large courtyard with a glass roof that opens up to the heavens.

The museum itself contains several sub-exhibition areas including a section on natural science and geology, and another section about the folklore, economy and political history of Burgenland.

If you are interested in history, this is a fantastic set of exhibitions that really give you a great idea of what Burgenland is all about.

5. Schloss Park

Schloss Park, EisenstadtSource: flickr
Schloss Park, Eisenstadt

The Schloss Park is located behind the Esterhazy Palace and is an expansive parkland open to the public.

The park and grounds have a great amount of features including many fountains and water routes, winding paths that meander through woodland and plant life, an orangery, several circular stone outbuildings and a large obelisk.

The gardens have a variety of styles that reflect the changes over the years and contain different varieties of plants, flowers and trees.

A visit to the Esterhazy palace is not complete without spending time walking through the park and gardens.

6. Neusiedler See

Neusiedler SeeSource: flickr
Neusiedler See

The Neusiedler See lies a short distance to the east of Eisenstadt and is a fantastic area of natural beauty near the border of Hungary.

The surface of the lake covers 122 square mile and is around 22 miles long.

Over the years this large lake has experienced periods of drought and has completely dried up due to its low lying bed, however it continues to flourish and is a popular tourist destination.

Known as the “Sea of the Viennese” the lake offers different water sports such as sailing and windsurfing, and also hiking and cycling trails.

7. Hauptstrabe

Hauptstraße, EisenstadtSource: wikimedia
Hauptstraße, Eisenstadt

The Hauptstrabe is one of the main public squares in Eisenstadt and it runs from the entrance to the Schloss Esterhazy on Joseph-Haydn-Gasse, to Franz-Liszt-Gasse on the opposite side.

This lengthy square is lined with a range of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars that are all wonderful to explore.

Furthermore there is a delightful fountain and column in the centre of the square, and regular markets are held here which are well worth a visit.

As one of the central meeting places in Eisenstadt the Hauptstrabe is the place to be, and if you really want to see the heart of the town then make sure you make your way here.

8. Take a guided walking tour of Eisenstadt

EisenstadtSource: flickr

A walking tour is often a great and concise way to see what a town has to offer, get to know your surroundings and learn about its history.

Walking tours are available in Eisenstadt and take you through the historic town centre and visit such buildings as the Haydn museum, the Jewish museum and the Bergkirche.

The walking tours are provided by knowledgeable guides who will give you great insight into the history of Eisenstadt and the sights you are admiring.

9. The Mausoleum of Haydn

Mausoleum of HaydnSource: flickr
Mausoleum of Haydn

You cannot escape the presence of Haydn In the town of Eisenstadt and he is indeed buried here under the Bergkirche in his own mausoleum.

Inside the Bergkirche church (also known as Haydn Church by some) there is a chapel on the right hand side that is dedicated to the composer.

The mausoleum is ornately decorated and the large marble tomb speaks of the man’s importance.

If you are visiting Eisenstadt ensure that you visit the church and the resting place of this great man.

10. Weinmuseum

Wine MuseumSource: eisenstadt-tourismus
Wine Museum

A museum for wine? Perfect! The Burgenland Wine Museum is the largest in Austria and resides in the basement of the Esterhazy Palace.

The museum contains a staggering 700 exhibits including a Roman wine press, wine barrels, and other associated wine crafting memorabilia.

If you love Wine, or just love history and how things are created, the Weinmuseum will entertain and fascinate you for hours.

11. Enjoy a traditional meal at the Henrici restaurant

Restaurant HenriciSource: henrici
Restaurant Henrici

The Henrici restaurant takes pride of place in front of the Esterhazy Palace and is a fine establishment that offers first class meals and a wonderful setting in the centre of Eisenstadt.

This is the prime place to enjoy a wonderful meal before an evening of musical wonder and many conductors and musicians make the Henrici restaurant the place of choice.

On the menu you can pick from goose liver, beef broth, fried salmon filet, wild boar stew or even traditional Wiener schnitzel.

The quality is fantastic, the service second to none, and the ambience is sublime.

12. Leitha Mountains

Leitha MountainsSource: flickr
Leitha Mountains

Austria is full of alpine mountain ranges, and the Leitha Mountains are different in that they are generally low lying as opposed to the huge towering ranges of western Austria.

Only 30 minutes to the north of Eisenstadt, this area is prime for exploration and hiking and although the mountains are not well documented, there is a great deal of trails.

Here you will find vineyards, luscious forests and rolling mountains that a bursting with nature and wildlife.

13. Enjoy a cocktail at the Mangoo bar & Restaurant

Mangoo Bar & RestaurantSource: mangoo-bar
Mangoo Bar & Restaurant

The Mangoo Bar & Restaurant is located on the Domplatz in central Eisenstadt which is just down from the main Hauptstrabe.

This cosy bar & restaurant features a hearty lunch menu with a Mexican style and features such dishes as Nachos, Tortillas and Quesadillas.

Aside from the spicy and tasty food, there is a range of over 200 fun cocktails that are mixed with passion and care and also a fine selection of wines.

This is the perfect place to enjoy a stylish drink with a great and friendly atmosphere.

14. Rathaus

Rathaus EisenstadtSource: wikimedia
Rathaus Eisenstadt

The Rathaus or Town Hall is located on the Hauptstrabe and provides a wonderful piece of architecture to admire in the centre of the town.

The front façade has white and cream brickwork and several turrets that protrude from the walls with beautiful orange tiled turrets.

In the centre of the façade are a row of gorgeous fresco paintings each depicting a different historical figure.

If you are walking through the Hauptstrabe then the town hall is definitely a building you should check out.

15. Take a day trip to Bratislava

BratislavaSource: flickr

The capital of Slovakia lies only approximately 1 hour to the east of Eisenstadt across the border and is a fantastic city to visit with a wealth of historical sights and fascinating culture.

Notable sights include Bratislava Castle, St Michael’s Gate, the Primate’s Palace and the Hviezdoslav Square.

This marvellous city combines traditional elements of classical architecture, with upcoming modern designs and large bridges that span the Danube to create a true cosmopolitan gem.

15 Best Things to Do in Eisenstadt (Austria):

  • Esterhazy Palace
  • Bergkirche
  • Haydn Museum
  • Landesmuseum Burgenland
  • Schloss Park
  • Neusiedler See
  • Hauptstrabe
  • Take a guided walking tour of Eisenstadt
  • The Mausoleum of Haydn
  • Weinmuseum
  • Enjoy a traditional meal at the Henrici restaurant
  • Leitha Mountains
  • Enjoy a cocktail at the Mangoo bar & Restaurant
  • Rathaus
  • Take a day trip to Bratislava