An Evening in Friendly Little Feldkirch

In this destination guide we explore the city of Feldkirch in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and admire the sunset views from its castle.

Feldkirch stopover

After a fun ride on the Railjet train from Zurich, I found myself in the Austrian town of Feldkirch just across the border with Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Between my arrival at 8.09pm and onward train connection at 10.45pm, I thus had more or less two-and-a-half hours to explore Feldkirch and visit some of the sights in this city.

Fortunately, Feldkirch’s railway station is a short walk from the old town centre.

You simply exit the train station and its adjacent bus station, turn left, and it’s about a 10-minute walk until you arrive at the largely pedestrianised old town centre.

railjet train station
My Railjet train from Zurich having just arrived at Feldkirch station. ©Paliparan
walk city
From the train station it’s an easy walk to the city centre. ©Paliparan
church
Walking towards the city centre. ©Paliparan

Castle

As the sun was already setting, I thought it would be a great idea if I headed up first to Feldkirch’s impressive castle.

Called the Schattenburg, this early 13th Century castle was built by the Counts of Montfort and is located on an outcrop overlooking the old town of Feldkirch.

Inside Schattenburg Castle you can find a museum as well as a popular restaurant, although both were closed by the time I arrived.

schattenburg castle
Schattenburg castle is located on an outcrop overlooking the old town of Feldkirch. ©Paliparan
schattenburg feldkirch guide
From Schattenburg Castle you have some fine views over the city. ©Paliparan
schattenburg castle
Schattenburg is certainly a well-preserved medieval castle. ©Paliparan
schattenburg castle feldkirch guide
Schattenburg Castle. ©Paliparan
schattenburg castle courtyard
The inner courtyard of Schattenburg Castle. ©Paliparan

View

Fortunately, I managed to climb up to the castle right in time to admire the gorgeous sunset views over Feldkirch from one of the battlements.

In the distance, you can see the majestic peaks of the Austrian Alps.

feldkirch sunset view
Sunset view over Feldkirch as seen from Schattenburg Castle. ©Paliparan
feldkirch sunset
Feldkirch sunset view. ©Paliparan

Old town

From Schattenburg Castle it’s a short downhill walk to the old town (called ‘altstadt’ in German), which starts right at the foot of the hill on which the castle is situated.

Feldkirch’s old town is highly picturesque and it’s certainly a lot of fun to take a stroll through the cobblestoned streets and admire the beautiful facades of the medieval houses.

The gorgeous pastel colours of the skies perfectly matched those of the building facades, which made it an absolutely delightful evening for a walk through town.

schattenburg castle
The old town of Feldkirch starts right below Schattenburg Castle. ©Paliparan
old town feldkirch
The old town streets are full of shops, cafés and restaurants. ©Paliparan
feldkirch altstadt
The old town of Feldkirch. ©Paliparan
cobblestoned street
Cobblestoned old town streets. ©Paliparan
medieval buildings facades feldkirch
Medieval building facades. ©Paliparan

Churches

There are two churches in the old town of Feldkirch which are well-worth to visit.

Although the Saint Nicholas Church (Sankt Nikolaus Kirche) is by far the biggest church in the city, the small Johanniterkirche is in my opinion more beautiful.

This small church can be found at the far end of the Marktplatz (Market Square), a wide street flanked by colonnaded buildings which surely has to be the prettiest street in all of Feldkirch.

sankt nikolaus kirche
The St. Nicholas Church. ©Paliparan
market square marktplatz
Market Square. ©Paliparan
marktplatz feldkirch
At the end of the Marktplatz (Market Square), you can find the beautiful little Johanniterkirche. ©Paliparan
johanniterkirche feldkirch
Johanniterkirche. ©Paliparan

Back to the station

After a fun walk around town, I tried to find a nice spot to sit down for a beer, although this proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.

Although COVID restrictions in the state of Vorarlberg were pretty mild compared to the rest of Austria, almost every single pub or restaurant seemed to close or was already closed for the evening.

One friendly waitress who was about to close the restaurant told me that even in normal times everything closes down pretty early inside Feldkirch.

I therefore had no other option than to head back to the railway station and to await the departure of my night train to Graz there.

feldkirch old town
After a lovely walk through the picturesque streets of Feldkirch, it was time to head back to the station. ©Paliparan
katzenturm feldkirch
The Katzenturm (Cats Tower) was part of the defensive wall which used to surround the old town. ©Paliparan
bus station
Back at Feldkirch’s bus and railway station, where fortunately there was still a kebab shop open to buy a beer! ©Paliparan
feldkirch train station
Feldkirch train station. ©Paliparan

Conclusion

Feldkirch certainly is a friendly little town which is well-worth to explore for a few hours.

The town is dominated by the hilltop Schattenburg Castle which overlooks the old town of Feldkirch and the nearby Alpine peaks.

Although Feldkirch’s ‘altstadt’ (old town centre) is pretty small in size, it certainly is picturesque with its cobblestoned streets and pastel-coloured medieval buildings.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much else to do as due to my late arrival and COVID restrictions everything was already closed, but I still really enjoyed the short time I spent in Feldkirch.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘Across Europe by Train: Interrail in the Age of Corona‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class Bucharest to Warsaw (Embraer ERJ-175)
2. Walking Through an Empty Warsaw in Corona Lockdown
3. Review: Four Points by Sheraton Warsaw Mokotow
4. Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class Warsaw to Zurich (Boeing 737 MAX)
5. A Stopover Walk Through the Old Town of Zurich
6. Review: Railjet Train Zurich to Feldkirch
7. An Evening in Friendly Little Feldkirch (current chapter)
8. Review: Nightjet Train Feldkirch to Graz
9. A Short Walk Along the Sights of Graz
10. Review: Emona EuroCity Train Vienna – Ljubljana – Trieste
11. Zidani Most: Europe’s Most Picturesque Train Station
12. Review: Ljubljana to Zagreb by EuroCity Train EC 1211 ‘Sava’
13. Flying With Trade Air on a Let L-410 Turbolet Across Croatia
14. Review: Palace Derossi, Trogir, Croatia
15. A Visit to the Tranquil Island City of Trogir, Croatia
16. Cycling on Ciovo: A Trogir Day Trip by Bike

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

koen paliparan rhodes rodos

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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