Durnstein Port Guide

Durnstein Port is the gateway to one of the most popular tourist spots in Austria. The picture perfect town of Durnstein is situated along the Danube River in the Wachau district. It is famous for its medieval buildings and beautiful vineyards. Durnstein stood witness to a classic political story which involved a King, a Duke and the Pope; it led to the eventual imprisonment of King Richard I Lionheart in the Durnstein castle in 1192.

Durnstein port visitors can go around the town and nearby district by cars; all amidst the scenic view of the hills and of the pretty scenes of the town itself. There are a number of Danube River cruises which provide a breathtaking view of the Wachau region. There are also foot paths all over the town where you can enjoy the Danube and the old buildings of the Durnstein.


Although a popular tourist destination, you will be surprised that Durnstein has no malls, or department stores or markets in its street where tourists have shopping adventures. Like other German speaking towns along the river cruise ports, it has Christmas markets and a few places to dine.

There are small shops which have souvenir and gift items as well as other necessities which might be needed near the Durnstein cruise terminal passengers. Most shops have limited opening hours and some are even closed on a Sunday. However, there are some small shops which will open its doors to tourists on group tours.

Things to See

The Kuenringerburg castle is probably the town’s most famous landmark. It is situated atop a rock hill overlooking the majestic Danube River. The town derived its name from this medieval castle which literally translates it to dry and stone. This is the castle where King Richard I of England was imprisoned and was freed after a payment of almost 3 tons of silver. To reach the castle, it is a 30 minutes hike and it offers a picture perfect view of the town and the surrounding Wachau area. The friendly tour guides will recount the history of the castle as you traverse the hill and the rooms of the castle itself.

The Baroque monastery is also worth your visit. It features a number of baroque ornaments in its windows and walls. A tour of the monastery will lead you to its terrace on the top floor where a different view of the hills and the Danube will unfold to your eyes.

Another way to enjoy the Durnstein port of call is via a walking tour. As you walk along the town, you will see fine Viennese architecture with a distinct history which will amaze you to no end. It’s beautiful landscape is ideal for picnics; Malerwinkel is a favorite spot for photography and painting enthusiasts because of its picturesque landscape and view. Complete your tour with wine tasting at any of the old stone wine cellars which are hundreds of years old. Do not forget to bring home a bottle of wine as a souvenir.

Restaurants and Bars

Being the home to great tasting wines from it’s equally picture perfect vineyards, a meal in Durnstein is in itself a treat after day of sightseeing. The Gluhwein stand in the town square is famous with the locals and has a good local white wine which is a variation to the popular red ones. The taste is similar to hot mulled spice wine with a flare of rum, brandy, vodka or schnapps.

Alter Klosterkeller serves traditional foods with only the freshest ingredients available at a very reasonable price. Their food is complimented by the best tasting wine in the region from its old wine cellars. Visitors of the Durnstein port of call can likewise visit its vineyard before or after dining.

The region’s Gruner Veltliner is a crisp white wine with a citrus flavor with earthly spice equally compliments any food served with it.

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