Located in Marchfeld, near the border of Slovakia, Marchegg is a beautiful small town with enough things to do and see in one day. The city is home to the biggest white stork colony breeding in trees in Europe, that’s the main reason why many tourists travel to Marchegg. Besides spotting the white storks, you can explore the Castles in the area and discover the old city walls. Or you can take a pleasant walk through the Au Reservation to witness flora and fauna and enjoy a delicious traditional meal. With so much to offer, a day trip to the stork town Marchegg should be on your itinerary when travelling to Austria or Slovakia.
THE WHITE STORKS IN MARCHEGG – SHORT INFO
Marchegg is home to the most prominent white stork colony which nests in trees from Europe. During the first weeks of March, you can easily recognise many white storks in the sky, searching for a place to settle down. They fly around 10.000 kilometres in 50 days, from South and East Africa to Austria. When the newborns appear, one parent stays in the nest while the other flies to procure food for the family, which is a lot: about 5 kilograms per day. The best months to see the newborns are Mai and June when the weather is pleasant and ideal for a walk in the Au forest. By August, these beautiful birds are travelling back to Africa.
AU FOREST WALKS
THE WHITE STORK WALK – 2 KILOMETERS
Most of the tourist come for a day trip to the stork town Marchegg to see the white storks. As you park your car, you will notice a few white stork nests on the roof of the Castle. Cross the Meierhof bridge and head to the viewing platform. From the platform, you’ll see more nests, and during the spring months, you’ll have the chance to spot the youngsters. Head to the forest, and you’ll spot other white stork nests. Don’t come with high expectation as many nests are hidden and you won’t see much. The walk instead is pleasant and relaxing and takes no more than 2 kilometres.
If you want to see the white stork colony better, go on a guided tour. There are two guided tours per day, at 9.30 and 13.30 which take no more than 45 minutes so book one from the White Stork Office, near the Castle.
THE FIRE FROG WALK – 4 KILOMETERS
The Au forest is home to almost 1.000 creatures. Among them many frog species like the fire-bellied toad or the fire frog. Native to mainland Europe, the fire frog has a bright green dorsal crossed by black spots and stripes. You can spot them at the ponds along the path. The fire frog walk takes no more than 2 hours for four kilometres-walk.
THE BEAVER WALK – 7 KILOMETERS
A beautiful 7 kilometres walk takes you through the dense Au forest to spot the famous beaver. While this little creature is more active during the night time, you might get lucky and see one. Keep your eyes open cause you get to see many other birds and small animals like kingfisher or frogs. From the ponds along the path, you can notice the yellow waterlilies, a family of swans or a hunting heron. Bring enough water with you and go on a picnic in designated zones. Don’t sit on a blanket outside the indicated areas as Au is a reservation forest and you might disturb flora ad fauna.
DISCOVER THE CITY
A walk in the city will take you through some prominent buildings like Saint Margareta Church, Queen Mary Monastery, City Hall, Marchegg Castle, Vienna and Hungary Gates. The city is packed with historical buildings. Don’t forget to stop for a coffee or a delicious traditional cake-like “sacher torte” or “apfelstrudel”.
CASTLE MARCHEGG & SURROUNDINGS
The Castle, built as a city-fortress, together with three entry gates and the main court, was the largest enclosed building complex, possessing almost 60 hectares. It was an important meeting place for military troops and endured many devastations in time. In 1621, the Castle came into Paul Pálffy ab Erdöd possession. A small exhibition will reveal the history of Ottokar and Pálffry family, and you can find out more about flora and fauna of the area.
Note: Take a walk through the forest first and then find out more about the history of this Castle.
The Castle area has a beautiful huge inner court. Pay a visit to the small museum in the old stables which is exposing the interior of a house, wagons and some farming tools. There is a tiny cafe house offering some desserts and coffees. For something more consistent, go to the nearby restaurant and try the famous asparagus from the Marchfeld area.
Note: The Castle is closed for maintenance until 2021.
THE OLD CITY WALLS
Go for a walk through the city and discover the old city walls and the Hungarian and the Vienna Gates.
The Vienna Gate, built-in 1268, is a prominent landmark of the city. The Hungarian Gate was the city entry gate from the east while the Groissenbrunner Gate was the third entry in the town. Unfortunately, it fell around 1900, so it was removed.
HOF CASTEL – SCHLOSS HOF
Schloss Hof is a gorgeous palace only 7 kilometres from Marchegg and should be on a day trip to Marchegg itinerary. The Castle was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy who purchased it in 1726. Thirty years later, Maria Theresia bought this place and between 1773 and 1775 the Castle experienced drastic changes. Discover the imperial apartments, the chapel and the exhibitions and don’t miss the Baroque gardens and the Maierhof Farm with plenty of animals and plants.
You can drive to the Castle, or you can bike. Bring your own or rent one from the city centre. You can take a shuttle bus to the Hof Castle from Marchegg railway station. The Blaguss shuttle buses depart at 10.15, 12.15 and 15.15 and return at 11.45, 14.45 and 16.45 only on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Price: 5€/person.
HOW TO GET TO MARCHEGG
Marchegg can be easily reached from Vienna, by car. Thanks to its closeness to the Slovakian border, it’s easily reachable from Bratislava too.
- Vienna – Marchegg, 53 kilometres, around 1-hour drive
- Bratislava – Marchegg, 33 kilometres, around 40 minutes drive
You can get to Marchegg by train quickly. For more info visit the Austrian Railways website: www.öbb.at
One day trip to the stork town MARCHEGG should be on everyone’s list travelling to this part of the country. Plan well and you’ll discover everything this little town has to offer.
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