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When you have time to explore the Wachau (Danube valley), go to the right banks of the Danube river and drive to the village of Aggstein. There, you can drive up the hills to the ruins of Aggstein Castle located on a steep cliff overlooking the whole Wachau area. The castle is actually partly in ruins and some parts were restored for tourists. There is a restaurant inside the castle (located in the Knights Hall) which usually caters for official functions such as wedding parties, business meetings, etc.
There is also small Chapel within the main castle - specially made for weddings. Many local couples go to Aggstein Castle for a romantic wedding in the Chapel and have a "medieval" wedding reception/party in the restaurant.
Aggstein Castle is a very nice place to be during a cool/warm sunny day, especially to see the Danube river from a high vintage point. Entrance fee is Euro 5 per person.
You can also go to the big Maze made from large fields of maize/corns, located at the foothill from the Aggstein Castle.
Updated Aug 11, 2008
The ruin is situated up on a hill (be careful driving, the road is very narrow!) , overlooking the Danube valley. It dates back to the 12th century. Entrance costs 5 EUR. You can see a model of how the castle once looked like in a small exhibition about the building history of the castle. Furthermore there is an exhibition about the Nibelungen saga. Best kept part of the castle is the chapel. There is a restaurant in the courtyard as well. In case you come in a group of at least 20 people they provide a guided tour, otherwise you can try their audioguide. The area is nice for a hiking tour as well.
Written Apr 19, 2007
Austrians go to Buschenschanks* - a kind of winery pub/wine tavern - mainly to drink wine and socialize/hang out with their family and friends.
Buschenschank Franz Hicks was really popular amongs the locals and was quite crowded when we got there in the early summer evening (@ 5.00pm). We were looking for some local place to eat and decided that this buschenschank would be good by the large number of cars parked outside the place.
We truly enjoyed the food and wines here. The people were warm and friendly (could be the country hospitality) and the service was quick. We sat in the garden, surrounded by vineyards, grapevines and apple trees. It was such a nice place that we will definite go back there again.
NOTE: Usually these buschenschanks are only open during warmer months. Better go there when the weather is warm and sunny!
*Buschenschanks started to spring up in the 18th century when Emperor Joseph II decreed in 1784 that owners of vineyards were allowed to sell wine, Most (a drink drier than cider and slightly less alcoholic) and Sturm (Most which has started fermenting) as well as non-alcoholic beverages and cold food on their own premises.
Favorite Dish: Food at Buschenschanks are generally simple fare - mainly cold cuts, cheeses and fresh breads.
Buschenschank Franz Hicks is no different. They serve only food produce and wine from the surrounding Wachau area. But they were all country-organic-to-goodness great tasting. And you cannot beat the very reasonable prices. No wonder the place was crowded with Austrians.
Updated Aug 25, 2008
Address: Ober-Ansdorf 82,
As far as I know, there is not much of a nightlife in Aggstein. Perhaps in the summer months when the days are long and warm, the heurigers around the area would open their doors for thirsty and hungry visitors in the evenings.
Dress Code: Casual and sportive attires are highly recommended.
Written Nov 30, 2006