Feldkirch is an enchanting town on the border between Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and is the second largest town in the Vorarlberg region.
The history of this amazing medieval town dates back to the 1200’s with the creation of Schattenburg Castle and has seen numerous battles including the Battle of Feldkirch in 1799 between Austrian and French military.
The town maintained its historic charm and has several remaining sections of the city walls and guard towers and has a great variety of attractions.
With a great position next to two neighbouring countries and also in close proximity to sections of the alps, Feldkirch is a wonderful place to base yourself to explore the Vorarlberg region and further afield.
1. Schattenburg Castle
This castle museum is one of the earliest mentioned records of Feldkirch and dates back to the 12th century.
Originally a residence of the Earls of neighbouring Bregenz for over 200 years, the castle then changed ownership to the mighty Habsburg leaders who ruled over the estate until the late 1700’s.
The beautiful building with its white walls and brown tiled roofs stands out in Feldkirch and the museum and restaurant inside are of particularly good quality.
The museum is split into several different themed rooms, all of which have been restored and feature historical furniture and architecture.
2. Feldkirch Wildpark
This enchanting animal park is located just to the east of the river and in the grounds of the huge Erholungswald public park.
Inside the park there are several areas including an adventure park for children complete with a play area and barbeque, and the wildlife park itself which has over 140 different animals such as the Capercaille, the shy Lynx, delightful mini-pigs, Ibexes and graceful Red Deer.
The animals have plenty of space and the Wildpark is a great day out for all the family and continently located in Feldkirch.
3. The Katzenturm (Cat tower)
Feldkirch has many old remnants of its defensive walls and towers and the Katzenturm is one of the finest and most complete examples.
This defensive tower stands at over 8 stories high and was built during the Habsburgs reign between 1491-1507 by King Maximillian I as part of the towns fortifications.
At the top of the tower hangs the huge 8573kg Katzenturm bell which was added in 1857 and is actually the 6th largest bell in Austria.
You can hear this monumental bell ring every Friday at 3pm and its sound reverberates throughout Feldkirch.
One interesting thing to note, is that the Cat tower actually has no relation to the feline name, but instead actually refers to the heavy guns that were used inside the tower.
4. Drei Schwestern Mountain
The three sisters mountain range is right on the border between Liechtenstein and Austria and part of the Western Central Alps.
This impressive range offers superb hiking and climbing opportunities with a well developed network of trails and also roads for initial access.
The tallest of the peaks is the Great Sister with a height of 2053m above sea level.
The hikes can take anywhere up to 5 hours or even days depending on the route and difficulty but offer stunning views of the Austrian landscape and of the small villages below in the valleys.
5. The Regional Courthouse
The Regional Court House is a large and dominating building that is located on the main road that runs through to Liechtenstein.
This remarkable building has a wonderful mix of styles including Renaissance, Neo Gothic and Art Nouveau; it has lots of decorative features and symbolic references to Austria, and of course the clock tower with its inscription and pointed tiled roof.
The building is now home to the public prosecutor and there is also the Feldkirch prison connected to the courthouse which is the only prison in the Vorarlberg region.
6. Radio Museum Feldkirch
Located in the centre of the old town on Neustadt, the Radio Museum is a fine place to visit while you are walking through the streets of Feldkirch.
This museum has a brilliant display of historic radios, televisions, receivers, tape recorders, Gramophone and other electrical equipment from various eras.
To relieve your childhood and look back fondly on some of the items you grew up with, the Radio Museum is an extremely nostalgic place.
The Marktgasse of Marketplace in Feldkirch is a hive of activity and one of the central points in the town.
The narrow open space is enclosed by a rectangle of archaic buildings in the typical Austrian style complete with many iron railings and tiled roofs.
Markets are held here weekly and also a Christmas Market in December.
Enjoy the beautiful old buildings, seeing what bargains you can get at the market, or have a coffee in one of the cafe’s.
8. Bridges over the river Ill
The river Ill runs through the entire length of Feldkirch and provides some fantastic scenery.
There are at lest 6 bridges with footpaths that span the river and connect the two sides of Feldkirch together; these bridges are a brilliant way to explore the town, immerse yourself in the outdoors and enjoy a walk in the fresh Austrian air.
The Heligkreuz bridge is particularly charming and crosses a section of the river covered with woodland and has several old buildings that overhang into the water, creating a picturesque scene.
9. Church of St. John
This charming church is located at the end of the wonderful Marktgasse and is definitely worth a visit when you are admiring the beauty of the old town.
The original building dates back to the 1200’s and was founded by Count Hugo Von Montfort who supported the knights of Johanniter.
The front facade of the church has a beautiful gable with a figure of a knight and also a large fresco of John the Baptist.
Inside the church is a contemporary art collection that changes exhibitions frequently and is always interesting to see.
10. Erholungswald Park
This huge wooded parkland lies in the centre of Feldkirch and has the Feldkirch Wildpark at its southern end.
The park spreads for an extensive stretch and is covered by beautiful woodland with many walking trails and paths leading through it.
You can start trails from many different places around the edges of the forest and it has great access especially from the Wildpark.
11. Gurtis Bazora Ski Resort
This enchanting Ski Resort lies approximately 40 minutes drive to the south of Feldkirch in-between the two villages of Gurtis and Bazora.
With over 5km of slopes available that are accessible via 4 ski-lifts, the resort has something for everyone with a range of difficulties.
The elevation is between 900-1400m and you can practice both Skiing and Snowboarding here.
For spectacular views and some amazing adrenaline packed activities, the Gurtis-Bazora Ski Resort has it all and its proximity to both the Liechtenstein border and Feldkirch make it an ideal winter destination.
12. Walk through the old town
The town of Feldkirch is one of the most beautiful in the Vorarlberg region and features a wonderful medieval town centre with a plethora of well-preserved buildings, quaint little streets and remnants of the town fortifications.
Take a stroll through the town centre starting at the Marktgasse then head towards the Katzenturm and make your way down to St.
Nicholas Church, then walk down Neustadt and on to Schattenburg Museum, finally make your way through the pleasant Leonhardsplatz and onto the river path.
13. Cross the border into Liechtenstein
This might seem like a trivial thing to do, but how often can you say that you have walked from one country into another on foot or by car? Liechtenstein is literally 5 minutes from Feldkirch and the main border crossing is on the main 191 road that runs through Feldkirch.
There are buses that run from Feldkirch into Liechtenstein on a regular basis or you could simply head to one of the smaller roads that run through into Liechtenstein with no border crossing like the Hubstrabe or the Muhlbachweg.
Liechtenstein is a fascinating Alpine country to visit in its own right and a day trip from Feldkirch is easy to do.
14. Enjoy a traditional meal at the Gutwinski Restaurant
Located right in the centre of Feldkirch a couple of streets across from the Marketplace, the Gutwinski is both a restaurant and a hotel and offers great dining opportunities.
Enjoy the tree-shaded terrace on the front during the beautiful summer months or snuggle up inside the candlelit booths inside in the winter.
The menu includes a fantastic Weiner Schnitzel served with cranberry compote, or traditional Tafelspitz with creamed spinach and apple sauce.
With extremely well priced meals and a variety of beers and wines available, the Gutwinski is the perfect place to enjoy an evening meal.
15. Tantalise your senses at the 7 Spices Delicatessen
For something truly different and an invasion on your sense, the 7 spices delicatessen is sure to delight.
This wonderful little shop in the heart of Feldkirch has an unimaginable amount of spices for sale, from rare peppers, special salts and curries; the smells and colours are simply divine and you eyes will not know which way to look.
For a fantastic souvenir or for a gift to take back home, the 7 Spices shop is perfect.