Ehrenberg Castle in the Austrian Alps, Austria Travel Inspiration

Just outside of Reutte Austria you’ll find two fantastic attractions located on the same picturesque mountain, Ehrenberg Castle Ruins and Highline 179 Suspension bridge.

In this guide, you’ll find all the details necessary to plan your trip so that you can see both of these great attractions.

(BOTH Highline 179 AND Ehrenberg Castle are famous landmarks in Austria, I’ve got a list of 48 more!)

Ehrenberg Castle in the Austrian Alps, Austria Travel Inspiration
Ehrenberg Castle in Austria
Highline 179 suspension bridge Germany
As you approach the ticket office/visitor center from the parking lot, you will get your first view of the suspension bridge and the castle.

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Ehrenberg Castle Ruins (Burg Ehrenberg / Burgruine Ehrenberg)

Ehrenberg Castle (not to be confused with Ehrenburg Castle in Germany!), situated picturesquely in the Austrian Alps, was built in 1296. The Gothic castle is now in ruins, but in my opinion, a worthwhile stop. Although in ruin, there are plenty of structures left to feed your imagination. Picture what this great fortress was once like in its glory days.

Wander among high towers, the remnants of castle walls and defensive walls, and imagine what it was like to live here and be blessed with the stunning view every day! Ehrenberg was a big deal in its day, housing emperors and kings, princes, and tsars.

I just really LOVE castle ruins. There is something haunting about them but in a really fantastic way! They seem to retain the life they once had. It is as if you can still feel the presence of the people who lived in these places so many years ago.

The view from the top just can’t be beat and I’m more than just a tiny bit jealous of the fortunate souls who were blessed to live here and take in the views of the surrounding mountains every day.

  • Cost: The fortifications (Ehrenberg Castle, Schlosskopf Fortress and Fort Claudia) are all free of charge. (more on the others later)
  • opening hours: always open for exploration
Ehrenberg Castle ruins collage Austria
The views from Ehrenberg Castle Ruins
steps to the Ehrenberg castle ruins Austria
the steps up to the castle…
Angie Kunze, We're Not in Kansas Anymore at Ehrenberg Castle Austria
Ehrenberg Castle

Highline 179 Pedestrian Suspension Bridge (Ehrenberg Hängebrücke)

In 2012 they put in a cable suspension bridge, one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges in the world, to connect the ruins of Ehrenberg Castle with Fort Claudia, located on the opposite hill. Thrill seekers, this one’s for you!

The bridge walkway is 1.20 meter wide and stretches 406 meters in length. The suspension bridge can hold up to 500 people at the same time – even at wind speeds of up to 60 km/h. Suspended at a dizzying height, of 114 meters, the bridge stretches directly above the B179 federal road, (also known as Fernpassstraße b 179) which gives the bridge its name.

Your ticket allows you access to the bridge in both directions. Make your way across the long bridge while you enjoy the magnificent view. On windy days you may need to work up an amount of courage, the bridge swings a bit so enjoy the ride!
Don’t miss Fort Claudia while you are over on the other side.

Free Suspension Bridge?

While it is free to explore the castle ruins, located near the entrance to the bridge, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee to cross what once was the longest Tibet-style footbridge in the world.

  • Ticket price: For just 8 Euros, you can take a stroll 376 feet above the valley below.
  • advance tickets are not required, purchase on site
  • The suspension bridge is open year round (short-term weather-related closures possible.)
  • Tickets can be purchased on site at the ticket center / visitor center down below during opening hours. If you arrive after the offices have closed the bridge may still be accessible.
  • It is often open until 10 pm. Tickets can be purchased Get at the ticket machine on either side of the bridge.
  • Discount card: The Reutte Active Card will get you a 50% discount on the Highline179 admission, as well as numerous other free and reduced benefits. You receive our guest card at your 1st overnight stay from your landlord for free. Also accepted: We also accept the following guest/advantage cards: Z-Ticket , Tiroler Familienpass , ErlebnisCard Tirol , Tiroler Seniorenbund, ARBÖ-Klubkarte *

Get more information: including opening times and up to date entrance free (for: combo tickets, children, families, disabled, groups)

World’s Longest Tibet-Style

In 2014 Highline179 bridge received the award for the “Longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world in Tibetan style” from the Guinness World Records Book of Records. That record has since been broken by CHARLES KUONEN BRIDGE, SWISSROPE / LAUBER SEILBAHNEN AG, Randa Switzerland (494 METRE(S) -2017)

highline 179 suspension bridge Austria Landmarks
spectacular pedestrian suspension bridge Highline 179

I have a fear of heights, so I don’t do heights. I can’t go any further than the 2nd or 3rd rung on a ladder so this tourist attraction was not for me!. My husband really enjoyed his time on the bridge though. I waited on solid ground, and watched the world go by.

Highline 179 pedestrian bridge Austria
Highline 179 (Reutte Hängebrücke)
the see through floor panels on Highline 179
the see through floor panels on Highline 179
Angie Kunze, We're Not in Kansas Anymore Ehrenberg Castle Highline 179 Austria
me patiently waiting in the shadow of the castle

Getting up to the castle and the suspension Bridge

walk

The trails up to the castle, and the bridge are challenging, so expect a steep climb. There is, approximately, a 360 feet difference in altitude between the visitor center and the castle and bridge.

Ehrenberg Liner, get a “lift” up!

For an extra cost you can take the cable car/elevator, Ehrenberg Liner, up instead of walking uphill. It will whisk you up the mountain in about 2.5 minutes. Those with impaired mobility are now able to enjoy the castle at the top. (get information on accessibility, including barrier-free access, at the official website) If you are on a whirlwind vacation like we were, I highly recommend taking advantage of this great service. It’s always a good idea to save your legs when you can, because you will undoubtedly need them later!

  • The cost (2023 prices) is €7.00. Combo tickets for lift and Highline are available.
  • Tickets are available on site, advance registration/reservation is not required.
  • Open year-round.

get more information: Burgenwelt Ehrenberg for current hours of operation and prices (discounts for: combo tickets, children, families, disabled, groups)

This video is in German, but the footage will give you a good idea of what you’re in for when you visit Ehrenberg Ruins and Highline179.

Can I bring my pet to Ehrenberg Castle and Highline 179?

from a 2023 communication with Manuel Wagner at the official castle visitor information center: “Dogs are not allowed inside (museum and visitor center with shop). However, dogs may be taken outside, in the inclined lifts and on the suspension bridge without further ado – free of charge, of course. All dogs must be kept on a leash. Depending on the number of visitors, the use of a muzzle is also an advantage. Please note that the floor of the suspension bridge is made of grating and this may hurt your paws. We therefore recommend using “dog shoes” or carrying your four-legged friend across the bridge.”

Ehrenberg Castle Complex (Ehrenberg Castle World)

The castle complex is made up of 4 castles/forts. The Ehrenberg Castle ensemble consists of the four different complexes: Klause , Ehrenberg castle ruins , Schlosskopf fortress and Fort Claudia.

We did not visit any of the other structures. We were on our way from Zugspitze and Eibsee back to our home base in Füssen so our time was limited. We only had time for Ehrenberg and the suspension bridge but I wanted to briefly cover the other structures for you.

Map

Here is a map of the area from the Ehrenberg website that shows all of the sites surrounding Ehrenberg Castle. In the area of the visitor center are also an interactive museum and restaurants.

Map Ehrenberg Castle Complex Austria
Map Ehrenberg Castle Complex (Burgenwelt Ehrenberg)
map of the Ehrenberg Castle Complex from LUMAGICA
map of the Ehrenberg Castle Complex from LUMAGICA

Fortress Klause

The valley that surrounds the castle was on an important trade route in central Europe. Ehrenberger Klause (1317) functioned as a dam, military fortification, but its main function was a customs post. Two thirds of the former hermitage are ruins today, but excavations keep revealing new secrets.

Fortress Klause Ehrenberg Castle Austria
Fortress Klause Ehrenberg Castle Austria by Wolfgang Moroder CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia Commons

Schlosskopf Fortress (Festung Schlosskopf)

This 18th century fortress had a very short life. Although considered impregnable, after just 41 years it was defunct and abandoned, and subsequently fell into despair.

You can reach the Kopf ruins by a short trail from Ehrenberg Castle / Highline179, or you can take the new Top Liner cable car straight up to the “top” from the valley floor. The valley station of the Top Liner is right next to the mountain station of the existing Ehrenberg Liner.

Get more information: Top Liner Cable car

Schlosskopf Fortress Ehrenberg Austria
Schlosskopf Fortress Ehrenberg Austria by Clemenspool, CC0, Wikimedia Commons

Fort Claudia

Fort Claudia (1645) sits on the ridge opposite Burg Ehrenberg Castle. In 1782 the fortress was abandoned.

Fort Claudia Ehrenberg Castle Austria
Fort Claudia

360 panorama and tourism video

If you can’t make it to Ehrenberg just yet you can still enjoy the views from up there! 360-degree panoramic tour

and check out these videos from the official site: (in German but great video footage)

history of Ehrenberg Castle

Here’s a brief history of Burg Ehrenberg:

  • 1296: The first recorded evidence of the existence of Ehrenberg / Ehrenberg court (built by Count Meinhard II of Tyrol) Continuous construction lasted for around 500 years.
  • 1546: Ehrenberg led a peaceful existence for many years until the outbreak of religious wars. In 1546 the Protestant Schmalkalden took the fortress.
  • 1618-1648 (Thirty Years’ War): The castle complex was expanded in the 17th century and Ehrenberg became the most powerful fortress in northern Tyrol.
  • In 1782 (Emperor Josef II): Ehrenberg was closed, and the fortress subsequently fell into disrepair.

video

This is a very interesting video that takes you from the origins of Ehrenberg. (In German with English subtitles)

History of Ehrenberg

Getting to Highline179 and Ehrenberg Castle

Closest airports:
Munich (MUC) 176 km
Innsbruck (INN) 100 km

Distance from:
Füssen (20 km)
Garmisch-Partenkirchen (50 km)

by car

Address: Klause 1, 6600 Gemeinde Reutte, Austria
GPS Coordinates: 47.46632485420288, 10.717547220780915

Simply put the address into your GPS, or other navigation, and it should take you right there.

Ehrenberg Reutte is an easy day trip from Füssen Germany (20 km.) There are tons of things to do in Fussen so it makes a great home base for touring the area. (see “also of interest in the area” for details)

Parking:
There are two parking lots at the castle/suspension bridge with ample parking for visitors. Bring cash (coins) no cards accepted. 5 euros for the day (2023.)

Public transportation

The nearest train station is Reutte. You could take a taxi from there or the 150 or 151 regional bus to the Ehrenberg Castle World bus stop Reutte A, or Ehrenberger Klause. The return journey to the train station is currently only possible by taxi. Explore your options at Rome2Rio.

Festivals and Events

LUMAGICA Ehrenberg

Around the Christmas season the area around Ehrenberg Castle is transformed into an enchanting park of lights. LUMAGICA Ehrenberg takes place from November to February each year.

Get more information: LUMAGICA Ehrenberg

LUMAGICA Ehrenberg

Knight Tournament

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Knight Tournament was discontinued in 2020 but if it is something of particular interest keep checking back. We hope that they will resume this wonderful festival again in the future!

Be transported to the middle ages at the Knight tournaments, Ehrenberg, held yearly in July. At the base of this medieval castle Ehrenberg is a yearly event that will transport you to the Middle Ages. On tap: a medieval market, battle recreation, emperor’s parade, concerts, fireworks and more. You can also experience a medieval camp, described as “breathtaking when hundreds of fires are kindled in the evening and the flames touch the sky.

Delicious odors waft through the camp when the women prepare dinner for the knights….Romanticism Once the sun sets, fires are kindled and music permeates the air when the Landsknechte sing you will be taken back in time and a few visitors may even forgot the time and stay the whole night.”

I suddenly experienced a bit of regret that we visited in September instead of July!

get more information: Ritter Turniere

where to eat

Historical restaurant Salzstadl

This quaint Tyrolean Inn, located in a historic building from the time of the salt traders, has a rustic ambiance. If it’s nice out you can visit the large sun terrace. Regional and international dishes with locally sourced ingredients, or just stop for cake and something to drink.

Gasthof Klause

Located at the valley station (and near the castle playground) of the Ehrenberg Liner inclined lift with a sun terrace. In addition to fine curd cheese and apple strudel, Gasthof Klause offers a small selection of regional and seasonal dishes.

where to stay

There are several good options in the area. You can use my Booking.com link to search and book. However, Fussen is a great home base in the area. Here are some stand out accommodations in Füssen: (prices based on double occupancy)

AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa

The gorgeous AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa sits on Lake Alpsee in the shadow of Neuschwanstein Castle. Prices start at $193 per night, 8.8 guest rating.

book it here on booking.com

AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa
AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa

Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein

This simply adorable fairytale cottage is just a 2-minute walk from Neuschwanstein Castle and offers views of the Bavarian Alps. Book early, this property is popular! Prices starting at $199 per night, 7.7 guest rating.

book it here on booking.com!

Hotel Müller

This cute hotel is located right in the thick of things, just a 1-minute walk to the castle ticket center. (The Horse and Carriages leave from out front of the hotel.) Prices starting at $189 per night, 8.8 guest rating.

book it here on booking.com!

Hotel Alpenstuben

Yet another option with breathtaking views of Neuschwanstein Castle and also only a 1-minute walk to the ticket center.

book it here on booking.com!

The best time to visit Highline 179 and Ehrenberg Castle

I didn’t find the ruins or the bridge to be particularly crowded in the month of September. They are both accessible year-round. The general rule of thumb for avoiding crowds:

  • Visit early morning or late in the day (i.e., the first or last tour of the day)
  • Weekdays are often less crowded than weekends.
  • Travel in the shoulder or off season: Summer months are peak season / high season, spring and fall are considered shoulder seasons, and winter months are off season in Austria and Germany (outside of the Christmas market season.)

also of interest in the area

hiking

Ehrenberger Klause is the starting point for several area hikes. Hiking trails include: (The paths are natural and are not cleared in winter.)

  • To the ruins of Ehrenberg Castle – approx. 30 minutes
  • To the Schlosskopf – approx. 60 minutes
  • (also popular with mountain bikers)
  • To Fort Claudia – Approximately 60 minutes
  • The Lechweg
  • Via Claudia Augusta

Dragonfly Zipline

DragonFly Zipline slogan promises: Breathtaking flights through the air in the stunning medieval setting between the ruins of Ehrenberg, Schlosskopf and the highline179. Park at one of the lots right at the foot of the Ehrenberg castle world (subject to a fee.) Walk (approx. 15 minutes) or take the Ehrenberg Liner inclined lift directly to the start of our zipline. Distance: on site

AlpenTherme Ehrenberg Austria

This spa and thermal bath is just down the road. It has both interior and exterior pools and spa services such as massage. Distance: 3 km

Neuschwanstein Castle

Bavaria’s most famous castle is just a short drive away. When visiting the stunning fairy-tale castle that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella castles, be sure to visit Hohenschwangau too. Distance 22 km

Get more information: Everything you need to know about visiting Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. If you plan to visit Ehrenburg for the magical lights during LUMAGICA be sure to read my Neuschwanstein Castle winter guide!

Alpsee Lake Walk

There’s a picturesque little lake, surrounded by mountains, at the base of the castles. Alpsee lake has a path that circles the lake and can be done in 1.5 hours (clockwise is less strenuous.) Distance: 21 km

The treetop walkway

High above the treetops is the Baumkronenweg (treetop walkway) wooden walkway with views of the surrounding mountains and the Lech River. The suspension bridge-like walkway is 480 meters long (almost approx ⅓ mile) and 21 meters high (almost 70 feet.) Distance: 16 km

Tegelberg Luge

At the foot of the Tegelberg Mountain is a fun summer toboggan run. You can also take the Tegelberg Cable Car lift up for paragliding and views of Neuschwanstein castle. There are also Roman archaeological sites around the Tegelberg Mountain. Distance: 23 km

Lake Forggensee Cruise

Take a cruise on Bavaria’s 5th largest lake with panoramic views of the Allgäu mountains as well as Neuschwanstein and Honhenschwangau castles. 1 or 2 hour round trip cruise, early June through mid-October. Forggensee Shipping. Distance: 25 km

Zugspitze and Eibsee Lake

Mount Zugspitze is located in the Bavarian Alps and happens to be Germany’s highest mountain. For panoramic views of the stunning alpine landscape that surrounds Zugspitze, head to the viewing platform / observation deck at the very top, and don’t miss the emerald-green Eibsee at the base of the mountain. Distance: 40 km

get more details: How to see Zugspitze and Eibsee

Austria travel itineraries

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Want to hear more about my travels around Austria and the rest of our amazing planet? You may be interested in my Austria page, and be sure to submit your email address to my subscriber sign up at the end of the page to be the first to know when a new blog publishes!

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