Castles and Germany go hand in hand. Fun truth, Germany has over 20,000 castles – starting from renaissance fortress model to dramatic castles that appear to be they may very well be straight out of a fairy story. The nation has a few of the most castles in the world. During the Middle Ages, Germany was break up into limitless little states, and castles turned constructed as strongholds and defensive bases for every territory. Now, you’ll be able to go to castles in Germany in and round most cities, and seeing any fort is among the hottest day journeys when visiting Germany.
Top Castles in Germany
With so many castles in Germany, which do you have to select to go to? This information will cowl the easiest castles in Germany. From the famed Neuschwanstein fort to the smaller Marburg Castle, these are probably the most unimaginable castles to your journey to Germany.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is among the most visited castles in Germany. The dramatic turreted fort dates again to the Nineteenth century and is famed for its lovely look and setting. While it’s situated in Bavaria, simply outdoors the city of Fussen, it has a rural backdrop. Neuschwanstein Castle backs onto Ammergebirge nature reserve. The fort appears like it’s floating above the encompassing forest. It is beautiful in autumn when the leaves flip orange and brown.
To go to Neuschwanstein Castle you enter on a fort tour the place you might be directed by an audio tour. The tour whisks you across the fort advanced, offering perception into the historical past of every room. Neuschwanstein Castle has probably the most partaking guided excursions of all of the castles in Germany. Because it’s such a well-known fort, loads has been invested in its tourism infrastructure.
The historical past of Neuschwanstein Castle is equally fascinating. The fort was constructed by the ‘fairy tale king’ Ludwig II of Bavaria as a spot to retreat from the trendy world. Sadly for Ludwig II, he died earlier than Neuschwanstein Castle was accomplished. But the fort nonetheless symbolizes an escape right into a fantasy world – therefore its nickname, the fairy story fort.
The fairy story look and story behind Neuschwanstein Castle is the rationale we’ve included it in our information. Besides, as probably the most well-known castles in Germany, it’s the excellent addition to your itinerary. Remember to take a look at a few of the greatest issues to do in Bavaria whenever you go to, and in case you are staying in Munich, check out this Neuschwanstein day journey.
Opening Times: 9 am – 6 pm Entry Fees: $19
2. Wartburg Castle
Wartburg Castle is a surprising medieval fort with intensive displays, together with artifacts from German historical past and artwork from the Middle Ages. The fort stands on a rocky summit, overlooking the parkland and low-lying countryside. Wartburg Castle sits simply outdoors the city of Eisenach and is situated in central Germany – excellent if you wish to get out of Germany’s main cities.
Visitors can tour the fort and chateau museum. It is tastefully restored inside, and there are English translations for all of the displays. You can go for one of many guided excursions at 1 pm or discover your self at your personal tempo, relying on how a lot additional data you’d like. Wartburg Castle stands out for its displays’ high quality and is good for these wanting an actual historic immersion into one of many best-preserved medieval castles in Germany.
This Castle has a captivating historical past, to say the least. The unique fort was constructed through the medieval interval, however a lot of what you see at the moment dates from Nineteenth-century restorations. In phrases of non secular historical past, Martin Luther translated his first copy of the Bible in Wartburg Castle. Because of this, Wartburg Castle stays an emblem of pilgrimage at the moment,
It is broadly advised that Wartburg Castle was the primary German fort to be awarded a UNESCO world heritage web site. Regardless, it is among the most historic castles in Germany. The depth of its historical past (it has nearly 1,000 years of tales) and the standard of its displays have earned it a spot in our information.
Opening Times: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm Entry Fees: $13
3. Heidelberg Castle
Heidelberg Castle is among the most hanging castles in Germany. While as soon as an image of grandeur, the pink sandstone fort now partially lays in ruins. It is an atmospheric web site to wander. Heidelberg Castle is surrounded by a thick forest on a hillside slope. However, its rural setting is deceiving, as you might be only a ten-minute drive from the city of Heidelberg.
The Heidelberg Castle grounds are fascinating and embrace a German apothecary museum and the biggest wine barrel in the world. Stopping for a wine-tasting expertise whereas touring a medieval fort is a singular expertise. This fort could be toured independently or as one of many guided excursions. You can stroll as much as the fort or take a scenic cable automobile. The cable automobile ticket contains your entry to Heidelberg Castle. Or you’ll be able to e book a tour of each the city and the fort.
Mentions of Heidelberg Castle could be traced again to the thirteenth century – making it one among Germany’s oldest castles and medieval fortresses. According to historic information, the fort was broken originally of the 14th century. When Rupert III rose to the German throne, it started being renovated. The fort was then concerned in many wars for the next centuries, together with the Nine Years’ War, the place French king Louis XIV destroyed the fort as soon as once more.
Heidelberg Castle is a surprising instance of a Gothic Renaissance fortress. The mixture of historical past, structure, and title-holding points of interest just like the wine barrel caught our consideration. The fort additionally holds UNESCO World Heritage Site standing. Heidelberg is definitely probably the most intriguing castles in Germany.
Opening Times: 10 am – 5 pm Entry Fees: $10 (+ $6.50 for a guided tour)
4. Hohenzollern Castle
Hohenzollern Castle is a scenic Nineteenth-century fort famed for being dwelling to the Prussian royal crown and an expansive artwork assortment. It’s probably the most traditional castles in Germany, that includes turrets and a mountaintop location overlooking the countryside under. The fort is in southwest Germany inside the Black Forest area, between the Bisingen and Hechingen.
Hohenzollern Castle is a chief instance of a Gothic revival-style fort. The fort sits on the stays of an earlier medieval fort and has an attractive fort chapel. You can simply spend a number of hours exploring the community of passages, backyard walkways, and staircases. The fort additionally has a royal treasury with weaponry shows.
Hohenzollern caught our eye for its Gothic revival structure and historic artifact shows. However, we additionally love the annual Christmas Market in the fort’s courtyard. Hohenzollern is an attractive festive attraction when you go to Germany in December.
It is necessary to notice that Hohenzollern opens on a seasonal foundation. For the vast majority of January, the fort is totally closed. And for February and March, the fort grounds are open, however Hohenzollern Castle is closed. Hohenzollern Castle solely opens solely between April and December. Furthermore, Hohenzollern Castle is round a three-hour drive from Munich – a super place to start out a street journey. Check out our information on issues to do in Munich right here.
Opening Times: 10 am – 6:30 pm Entry Fees: $24 (when booked on-line)
5. Hohenschwangau Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle is among the most ornate German castles in our information. The baroque-style fort is located in Bavaria, simply outdoors the village of Schwangau. It is true subsequent to an attractive lake well-known for summer season swimming. The fort’s surrounding hills are blanketed with dense forest and it has that traditional rural setting.
Hohenschwangau Castle can solely be visited as a part of a guided tour. This is not any sacrifice, although, because the guided excursions have wonderful evaluations and take you across the elegantly embellished rooms contained in the fort. You will go to the royal bed room, dressing room, throne room, and grotto. The customary of restoration and upkeep is improbable, and Hohenschwangau Castle is among the greatest castles in Germany to get a style of the normal inside and chateau life.
Hohenschwangau Castle can be probably the most well-known castles in Germany and served because the royal summer season residence of King Ludwig II. The fort was first talked about in the twelfth century. However, it was totally renovated in the Nineteenth century below the rule of King Maximilian II.
The high quality of the surviving inside determined Hohenschwangau Castle’s place in this information. However, the lake and exquisite gardens are additionally sturdy promoting factors for visiting Hohenschwangau Castle. If you might be visiting Hohenschwangau Castle in 2023, word that a few of the rooms are at present closed for restoration. We can’t complain because the homeowners do an incredible job maintaining the fort in high situation however examine the web site for particulars earlier than visiting.
Opening Times: 9 am – 4 pm Entry Fees: $16
6. Burg Hohenecken
Burg Hohenecken is a lesser-visited addition to our information. The fort stood overlooking the tiny village of Hohenecken in western Germany. Now, the pink sandstone construction is an attractive disarray of chateau ruins. Atmospheric and fewer touristy than plenty of the opposite castles in Germany, Burg Hohenecken is great for extra adventurous vacationers.
You can discover the grassy grounds of the fort at your personal leisure. Burg Hohenecken is a spot that’s meant to be self-explored. It is in style for guests to deliver a picnic in summer season, and plenty of households benefit from the lovely surroundings and open area. It is a brief hike up from Hohenecken and its practice station automobile park.
Its actual date of development is unknown, however historians estimate that Burg Hohenecken dates again to the start of the thirteenth century. It has all the time been on the sting of German historical past, even succumbing to a peasant revolt in 1525. We love its quiet however historic character. Despite seeming an unassuming (and remarkably lovely) addition to our favourite German castles, it’s actually a hidden treasure amongst the very best castles in Germany.
Opening Times: 24/7 Entry Fees: Free
7. Lichtenstein Castle
Lichtenstein Castle is among the most dramatic-looking castles in Germany. The neo-gothic model construction sits on a cliff face, with one-half of the fort straight constructed onto the cliff edge. The dramatic setting offers Lichtenstein Castle a fairy story attraction, and guests flock to witness the fort’s splendor in particular person. The fort is a twenty-minute drive outdoors town of Reutlingen. It overlooks the village of Lichtenstein and the Greuthau nature reserve.
One of probably the most thrilling elements of visiting Lichtenstein Castle is crossing the wood bridge to enter. Walking throughout the old-worldly entrance presents views of the cliffs under and actually emphasizes the fort’s hanging setting. Inside the fort, the personal homeowners embellished the inside with conventional medieval decor. You can go to on one of many common guided excursions. Keep in thoughts that Lichtenstein Castle closes to the general public in January and February.
Unlike the remainder of our castles in Germany, Lichtenstein Castle was purpose-built to copy medieval occasions. The fort was designed in the mid-Nineteenth century by Carl Alexander Heidloff, impressed by the novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff. Lichtenstein Castle’s literary affect and dramatic setting shortly received it a spot on our listing.
Opening Times: 10 am – 4 pm for March, November, and December. 9 am – 5: 30 pm from April to October. Entry Fees: $13 (inc tour)
8. Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle is among the most stand-out German castles you’ll be able to go to. Forget your customary moated fort; Schwerin Castle is by itself island. The fort is located in Lake Schwerin in northern Germany, proper on the outskirts of Schwerin. Schwerin Castle is among the most lovely castles in Germany and ultimate for anybody desirous to discover a extra uncommon German fort.
The neo-renaissance structure is gorgeous to admire from the fort grounds. Entrance to the fort grounds can be free, a particular bonus for these on a finances. You cross over on Schlossbrucke bridge and have acres of grounds to wander. Inside, you’ll be able to pay to tour ornate rooms, together with the dramatic throne room. Schwerin Castle was dwelling to the grand dukes of Mecklenburg for hundreds of years, and the fort has an illustrious historical past. Apart from the historic rooms and ornate furnishings, there’s additionally a European artwork assortment to admire.
Schwerin Castle is among the greatest castles in Germany, and a few even nickname it ‘Neuschwanstein of the North’. Its island location attracted us first, however its historical past confirmed its place in our information. Schwerin Castle had necessary former residents and likewise served because the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament constructing. For historical past, politics, and structure rolled into one, Schwerin is a improbable German fort to go to. You can e book a guided tour of Schwerin right here.
Opening Times: 10 am – 5 pm Entry Fees: $9
9. Altena Castle
Altena is among the most informative castles in Germany. Located on a hill above the city of Altena, the fort is dwelling to a medieval historical past assortment and the World Youth Hostels Museum. Bizarrely sufficient, Altena Castle is the positioning of the world’s first youth hostel – nonetheless open if you wish to keep in a single day for a ‘castle hotel’ expertise. The small stone fort has loads to show you.
Inside the fort, there are quite a few displays and academic shows. It is family-friendly and focused to have interaction all ages, making it in style for college journeys and household holidays. Since the fort has such a different historical past, there’s plenty of historical past and completely different tales to uncover in your go to. The fort has been a hospital, a navy garrison, and even a jail. After World War I, Richard Schirrmann opened the Altena youth hostel. He then based the German nationwide group of hostels a number of years later, in 1919. Visitors study concerning the fort’s historical past in the museum – from geology to the hostel motion and the way historical past formed its area.
The fort’s distinctive connection to the hostel motion is what impressed us. However, additionally it is among the best German castles for households. The partaking shows are nice for maintaining younger guests , and it is a wonderful place for fogeys to take kids on an academic day trip.
Opening Times: 9:30 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Friday, and 11 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday. Entry Fees: $5.50
10. Wernigerode Castle
Wernigerode Castle is among the greatest castles in Germany if you wish to expertise an outdated medieval fortress. The fort sits in central Germany, simply outdoors the small city of Wernigerode – which is a photographer’s heaven and incorporates a medieval outdated city. Both the fort and its environment are the epitome of old-worldly. The fort additionally backs onto nature reserves and towering hills with remark decks. It is good for anybody desirous to get out into the sticks and revel in mountaineering.
Wernigerode Castle itself is constructed upon the medieval fortress ruins, and the vast majority of the construction that you simply see at the moment dates to the Nineteenth century. Visitors can e book guided excursions of the fort inside, being led by ornate chambers and historic artifacts. The mix of structure is fascinating, and every century clearly left a mark on the fort. You can admire Gothic arched home windows in the inside courtyard and a Renaissance tower you can climb for views over the countryside. Wernigerode Castle is among the most lovely castles in Germany, but additionally probably the most architecturally stimulating.
The mix of structure is primarily what impressed us about Wernigerode Castle. Its entry and proximity to the encompassing nature reserves are to not be ignored, although, and it’s well-suited to these wanting to go to a fort after which spend a number of days mountaineering.
Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday 10 am – 5 pm, and 10 am – 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry Fees: $7.60
11. Cochem Castle
Cochem Castle is also referred to as Reichsburg Cochem or Reichsburg Castle. Reichsburg merely means ‘imperial’, and the fort bought this standing when captured by King Konrad III. This fairly little hilltop constructing dates again to the eleventh century, and it is among the most city German castles. Cochem Castle is situated alongside the River Moselle proper in the middle of the city of Cochem. Situated in the Rhine Valley, it is among the greatest castles in Germany if you need a small-town environment alongside your fort expertise.
Visitors can tour contained in the fort on a forty-minute guided tour. The fort itself is comparatively small, so exploring isn’t bodily difficult. The fort receives extremely rated evaluations for its tour information service, and previous guests praised the passionate guides with plenty of partaking data. For additional perception into its historical past, a guided tour is worth it. Of course, for a barely uncommon expertise, you would even have a eating expertise at Reichsburg Castle. The fort’s restaurant has panoramic views over the city and the river under.
As we talked about, the fort was captured by King Konrad III in 1151 and renamed Reichsburg Castle. However, the fort’s development could be dated again to 1100, and it was initially used to cost passing ships for tolls. After passing quite a few arms over the next centuries, the fort was destroyed by the French in 1689 and resurrected solely in 1868.
The fort’s panoramic restaurant views and scenic place in Cochem city drew us to it. We love the small-town environment and gothic really feel. Look no additional if you need a neo-gothic fort tour in the Rhine Valley.
Opening Times: 10 am – 3 pm Entry Fees: $9
12. Drachenburg Castle
Drachenburg Castle is one other gem in the Rhine Valley. The fort was modeled in the model of a medieval fort, very similar to Lichtenstein Castle. It has a improbable location and sits on the banks of the Rhine River, simply outdoors the principal metropolis of Bonn. For views over the Rhine River, this medieval-style fort is among the greatest castles in Germany.
Drachenburg Castle has quite a few completely different excursions that cowl different elements of the fort. You can select the choice that most closely fits you, your pursuits, and your finances. Some embrace areas just like the ‘private floor,’ and others add specific areas just like the terrace, which has gorgeous views over the River Rhine.
Drachenburg Castle was constructed in the late Nineteenth century and acted as a non-public villa earlier than its homeowners turned it into a number of completely different ventures. Jacob Biesenbach went so far as to rework Drachenburg Castle right into a group heart. Egbert Von Simon (nearly) remodeled it into an amusement park. During World War II, a Nazi elite college took over the fort. Drachenburg Castle’s story went downhill, finally ending in damage between 1960 and 1970. Fortunately, in 1986, it was introduced as a listed monument. It was renovated into its full glory that you simply see at the moment.
Ultimately, Drachenburg Castle’s scenic locale is what received us over. It has unequalled views of the River Rhine, and we love how accessible it’s from Bonn. Its historical past can be various and colourful, excellent for people who need a extra fashionable perception into Germany.
Opening Times: 12 pm – 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday Entry Fees: $9 for traditional entry
13. Mespelbrunn Castle
Mespelbrunn is among the prettiest castles in Germany. Mespelbrunn Castle is surrounded by a peaceable moat and cuts an idyllic image in opposition to a small forest backdrop. The fort is round an hour’s drive from Frankfurt however is in the center of nowhere. It is the proper candidate for a day journey away from the craziness of Frankfurt. Its nearest settlement is the tiny village of Mespelbrunn – the fort’s namesake.
Mespelbrunn Castle has that fairy story attract that’s so widespread amongst the very best castles in Germany. You’ll should pay the doorway payment if you wish to rise up shut. But its delicate magnificence makes the fee worthwhile. The moat is dwelling to trout and swans. And inside, you’ll be able to take a guided tour of stylish and conventional rooms.
The fort is privately owned however open to the general public on particular days and situations (reminiscent of solely being accessible through guided tour). It is believed up to now again to the fifteenth century, between the medieval and Renaissance interval. The fort was lucky to have escaped destruction by the French in the Thirty Years’ War, saved by its distant location and thick surrounding forest. The fort continues to be inhabited at the moment by the household of the Counts of Ingelheim.
We’ll be trustworthy: Mespelbrunn Castle’s attractiveness sealed this deal. The lovely surroundings and peaceable moat make Mespelbrunn among the best castles in Germany. It is a improbable selection if you need a small, photogenic fort. And much more so in case you are in search of issues to do on a day journey from Frankfurt. Mespelbrunn can be only a two-hour drive from Nuremberg when you fancy basing your self in a smaller metropolis. You can try probably the most superb issues to do in Nuremberg right here.
Opening Times: 9:30 am – 5 pm Entry Fees: $6.50
14. Landgrafen Palace, aka Marburg Castle
Landgrafen Palace is an outdated medieval fort that dates again to the eleventh century. It is typically known as Marburg Castle, given its scenic location in the middle of the city of Marburg. Marburg has an attractive outdated city that includes half-timbered homes and conventional streets. Just an hour north of Frankfurt, Landgrafen Palace makes a superb day journey.
The fort has an enormous gothic corridor, historic art work, furnishings, and artifacts. It within reason priced to enter, with lovely views over Marburg and its surrounding countryside. If you need extra data, there’s additionally a Museum of Cultural History.
Starting as a medieval fortress, Landgrafen Palace progressed to the personal residence of the Landgraviate of Hesse. In 1529, it held a dispute assembly between Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli. Finally, post-1981, Landgrafen Palace turned a museum. Landgrafen has seen loads in its years – from the battle of the Middle Ages to the delivery of recent Christianity.
What stood out most to us was its lengthy historical past and site in Marburg. The fort’s distance from Frankfurt can be ultimate, as it’s excellent for these wanting day journeys from a metropolis break.
Opening Times: 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Entry Fees: $6
15. Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel
Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel is barely completely different from our different castles in Germany. This medieval fort has been remodeled right into a stately resort, the place friends can keep in a single day in conventional rooms or dine on the restaurant with views of the Rhine. The four-star fort resort is perched on a clifftop overlooking the city of Oberwesel on the Rhine River. It is good for individuals who need greater than an ordinary fort expertise. You can try costs right here in case you are in staying on the resort.
Guests can nonetheless take in the fort’s historical past by visiting its museum or tower. Those who determine to remain in a single day, not only for a meal, can e book distinctive rooms. Some room choices are set in the fort turrets and include balconies the place you’ll be able to admire the views of the river and surrounding vineyards.
Schönburg Castle was constructed in the twelfth century and renovated in the twentieth century to stabilize the unique construction. It has seen many wars and dramatic occasions, making it an iconic a part of Germany’s historical past and structure. While it caught our consideration with its distinctive Twenty first-century hospitality, Schönburg Castle has some fascinating tales behind it. The fort is value visiting, and don’t overlook to go wine tasting whenever you do.
Opening Times: 24/7 Entry Fees: Rate of room/meal
16. Eltz Castle
Eltz Castle is a romantic little fort tucked away in a forest close to the village of Wierschem. Not removed from Cochem, it’s well-combined with a street journey to Cochem Imperial Castle, and it’s situated close to the Luxembourg border. Eltz Castle is ideal when you plan to journey to extra distant areas of Germany.
Eltz Castle is visited by guided tour solely, lasting round thirty minutes. You can catch the shuttle bus as much as the fort, which is improbable if you wish to save your legs, because the hill is a killer. You cross over a standard stone bridge and peek inside all of the completely different rooms, admiring the decor and listening to some unimaginable tales. The fort is famed for its knights corridor but additionally has a dungeon and personal chambers. At the top of the expertise, you get entry to the treasury and a whole lot of invaluable artifacts.
Amazingly, Eltz Castle continues to be owned by the Eltz household, who’ve resided there for the reason that twelfth century. 33 generations of the Eltz household have lived in the fort – a reasonably spectacular feat. We love its distant location and off-the-beaten-track sense of journey. It’s additionally fascinating the way it has been in a single household for such an extended interval.
Opening Times: 9:30 am – 5 pm (April to November solely) Entry Fees: $13
17. Dresden Castle
Dresden Castle is extra of a museum than a stereotypical fort, however it’s fascinating and well-known nonetheless. Located proper in the middle of Dresden, it is among the metropolis’s oldest buildings and Germany’s earliest palace buildings. The fort was a residence for kings for almost 400 years and is now ‘retired’ and thought of the cultural heart of Dresden.
The fort is good to inside, not just for its historical past but additionally for its expansive artwork assortment. Dresden is dwelling to a palace state artwork assortment. You might simply spend a day wandering its corridors and rooms, admiring the 1000’s of artifacts. You can admire work, statues, and extra historic shows like weaponry, jewellery, and historic clothes. Prepare your self for a various vary of displays.
The unique fort in Dresden was constructed in the thirteenth century however was affected by a number of disasters. The constructing has been rebuilt many occasions. The 18th century was probably the most damaging, involving a disastrous hearth that meant Augustus II needed to fee a complete rebuild – primarily in Baroque model quite than the unique Romanesque and Renaissance influences. During World War II, Dresden Castle was broken once more in 1945. It was solely in 2013 that the fort was restored to full glory.
Dresden is among the most iconic castles in Germany and incorporates a few of the nation’s greatest treasures. The museum’s large scale and displays made us determine so as to add Dresden Castle to our information. Its thrilling historical past was simply the cherry on high. Check out common admission tickets right here.
Opening Times: 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Entry Fees: $15
Germany has so many lovely castles; you might be positively spoiled for selection. The vary of chateau sorts means you would go to a handful of the very best castles in your journey and nonetheless have a unique expertise at every one. Exploring historic fort life in Germany can be an immersive approach to uncover extra about European cultural historical past.
Are you debating visiting a number of castles on the identical journey? You can all the time plan a romantic street journey between them. How many castles might you see on a week-long street journey? Have a magical time visiting the very best castles in Germany. You are in for a deal with.