Visiting Trauttmansdorff Castle and Its Magnificent Gardens in Merano

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Italy’s northern region of Trentino-South Tyrol is not only a nature lover’s paradise but also has some of the country’s most beautiful castles- a whopping 800 to be exact. Castel Trauttmansdorff in Merano is open from late March through mid-November and is an absolute must-see with its lush gardens, a museum, and the largest “tourist pinball game” in the world. Let’s find out more details that will help you plan your trip.

The Castle’s History and Legacy

Located just 30 km north of the major city of Bolzano, Merano is always a favorite among visitors with its numerous gardens, proximity to the Dolomites, thermal spas, and castles. The Trauttmansdorff Castle (try saying that three times fast!) was actually built upon a much smaller existing castle in the early 1500s by Nikolaus von Trauttmansdorff, a soldier serving the Hapsburgs.

In the mid-1800s, the castle was in a dire state after about 150 years of abandonment when it was purchased by Joseph von Trauttmansdorff. He renovated it, expanded it, and literally brought it back to life. During what is now known as Europe’s Golden Era (Belle Époque, late 1800s to just before the Great War), Merano became a hotspot for the bourgeoisie and royals of northern Europe seeking a warmer climate during the long winter months. Merano’s most famous was Austrian Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as “Sissi”. She lived at Trauttmansdorff with her daughters in the winter of 1871 and again in 1889 enjoying the sunnier weather in Merano.


The Museum of Tourism

Since 1977, the castle has been owned and operated by the region and underwent an extensive renovation which included an addition of botanical gardens and the creation of the South Tyrolean State Museum of Tourism, all included with your ticket. The twenty rooms of the museum take you on a fascinating journey through the evolution of Alpine tourism over the past 200 years.

Trauttsmansdorff’s Four Garden Worlds

As magnificent as the castle is, its twelve hectares of gardens with over 80 different landscapes are probably what draws the majority of visitors here between late March and mid-November. The gardens are arranged in the shape of an amphitheater with a 100-meter altitude difference making for truly spectacular views of not only the gardens themselves but the surrounding town of Merano and the mountain peaks.

The four “garden worlds” are comprised of plant species from all over the world and include the Forest Gardens (Asia and America); the Sun Gardens (Mediterranean); the Water and Terrace Gardens; and the Landscapes of South Tyrol. Each of the garden worlds includes special exhibits such as a 200-meter-long botanical underworld, a glass house with exotic insects, an aviary, and even native species of animals that have made the gardens their home.

Every opening season, the gardens also host special events as well as temporary exhibits.

Helpful Tips

Your ticket will allow you to visit both the Trauttmansdorff Castle and its museum as well as the gardens. The comprehensive website allows you to purchase tickets and provides all the details you will need for your visit.


We are absolutely certain that you will thoroughly enjoy your visit to the Trauttmansdorff Castle and if we could give you one tip, it would be to make sure and allow yourself an entire day to fully enjoy it.

Visit the official website at

For your overnight stay, we recommend…

45km away