Castles and Germany go hand in hand. Fun fact, Germany has over 20,000 castles – starting from renaissance fortress model to dramatic castles that seem like they might be straight out of a fairy story. The nation has a number of the most castles on this planet. Throughout the Center 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 fortress is among the hottest day journeys when visiting Germany.
High Castles in Germany
With so many castles in Germany, which do you have to select to go to? This information will cowl the perfect castles in Germany. From the famed Neuschwanstein fortress to the smaller Marburg Citadel, these are essentially the most unbelievable castles to your journey to Germany.
1. Neuschwanstein Citadel
Neuschwanstein Citadel is among the most visited castles in Germany. The dramatic turreted fortress dates again to the Nineteenth century and is famed for its lovely look and setting. Whereas it’s positioned in Bavaria, simply exterior the city of Fussen, it has a rural backdrop. Neuschwanstein Citadel backs onto Ammergebirge nature reserve. The fortress appears to be like like it’s floating above the encompassing forest. It’s attractive in autumn when the leaves flip orange and brown.
To go to Neuschwanstein Citadel you enter on a fortress tour the place you might be directed by an audio tour. The tour whisks you across the fortress complicated, offering perception into the historical past of every room. Neuschwanstein Citadel has some of the partaking guided excursions of all of the castles in Germany. As a result of it’s such a well-known fortress, lots has been invested in its tourism infrastructure.
The historical past of Neuschwanstein Citadel is equally fascinating. The fortress was constructed by the ‘fairy story king’ Ludwig II of Bavaria as a spot to retreat from the fashionable world. Sadly for Ludwig II, he died earlier than Neuschwanstein Citadel was accomplished. However the fortress nonetheless symbolizes an escape right into a fantasy world – therefore its nickname, the fairy story fortress.
The fairy story look and story behind Neuschwanstein Citadel is the explanation we’ve included it in our information. Apart from, as some of the well-known castles in Germany, it’s the good addition to your itinerary. Bear in mind to take a look at a number of the best things to do in Bavaria while you go to, and if you’re staying in Munich, check out this Neuschwanstein day trip.
- Opening Occasions: 9 am – 6 pm
- Entry Charges: $19
2. Wartburg Citadel
Wartburg Citadel is a shocking medieval fortress with intensive reveals, together with artifacts from German historical past and artwork from the Center Ages. The fortress stands on a rocky summit, overlooking the parkland and low-lying countryside. Wartburg Citadel sits simply exterior the city of Eisenach and is positioned in central Germany – good if you wish to get out of Germany’s main cities.
Guests can tour the fortress and chateau museum. It’s tastefully restored inside, and there are English translations for all of the reveals. You may go for one of many guided excursions at 1 pm or discover your self at your personal tempo, relying on how a lot further data you’d like. Wartburg Citadel stands out for its reveals’ high quality and is right for these wanting an actual historic immersion into one of many best-preserved medieval castles in Germany.
This Citadel has an interesting historical past, to say the least. The unique fortress was constructed in the course of the medieval interval, however a lot of what you see right now dates from Nineteenth-century restorations. By way of spiritual historical past, Martin Luther translated his first copy of the Bible in Wartburg Citadel. Due to this, Wartburg Citadel stays an emblem of pilgrimage right now,
It’s extensively instructed that Wartburg Castle was the primary German fortress to be awarded a UNESCO world heritage website. Regardless, it is among the most historic castles in Germany. The depth of its historical past (it has virtually 1,000 years of tales) and the standard of its reveals have earned it a spot in our information.
- Opening Occasions: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
- Entry Charges: $13
3. Heidelberg Citadel
Heidelberg Citadel is among the most hanging castles in Germany. Whereas as soon as an image of grandeur, the purple sandstone fortress now partially lays in ruins. It’s an atmospheric website to wander. Heidelberg Citadel is surrounded by a thick forest on a hillside slope. Nonetheless, its rural setting is deceiving, as you might be only a ten-minute drive from the city of Heidelberg.
The Heidelberg Citadel grounds are fascinating and embrace a German apothecary museum and the biggest wine barrel on this planet. Stopping for a wine-tasting expertise whereas touring a medieval fortress is a novel expertise. This fortress could be toured independently or as one of many guided excursions. You may stroll as much as the fortress or take a scenic cable automotive. The cable automotive ticket consists of your entry to Heidelberg Citadel. Or you’ll be able to guide a tour of both the town and the castle.
Mentions of Heidelberg Citadel could be traced again to the thirteenth century – making it considered one of Germany’s oldest castles and medieval fortresses. In keeping with historic data, the fortress was broken in the beginning of the 14th century. When Rupert III rose to the German throne, it started being renovated. The fortress was then concerned in lots of wars for the next centuries, together with the 9 Years’ Warfare, the place French king Louis XIV destroyed the fortress as soon as once more.
Heidelberg Citadel is a shocking 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 fortress additionally holds UNESCO World Heritage Web site standing. Heidelberg is well some of the intriguing castles in Germany.
- Opening Occasions: 10 am – 5 pm
- Entry Charges: $10 (+ $6.50 for a guided tour)
4. Hohenzollern Citadel
Hohenzollern Citadel is a scenic Nineteenth-century fortress famed for being dwelling to the Prussian royal crown and an expansive artwork assortment. It’s some of the basic castles in Germany, that includes turrets and a mountaintop location overlooking the countryside under. The fortress is in southwest Germany throughout the Black Forest area, between the Bisingen and Hechingen.
Hohenzollern Citadel is a chief instance of a Gothic revival-style fortress. The fortress sits on the stays of an earlier medieval fortress and has an exquisite fortress chapel. You may simply spend just a few hours exploring the community of passages, backyard walkways, and staircases. The fortress additionally has a royal treasury with weaponry shows.
Hohenzollern caught our eye for its Gothic revival structure and historic artifact shows. Nonetheless, we additionally love the annual Christmas Market within the fortress’s courtyard. Hohenzollern is an exquisite festive attraction in case you go to Germany in December.
It is very important notice that Hohenzollern opens on a seasonal foundation. For almost all of January, the fortress is totally closed. And for February and March, the fortress grounds are open, however Hohenzollern Citadel is closed. Hohenzollern Citadel solely opens completely between April and December. Moreover, Hohenzollern Citadel is round a three-hour drive from Munich – a great place to begin a street journey. Take a look at our information on issues to do in Munich here.
- Opening Occasions: 10 am – 6:30 pm
- Entry Charges: $24 (when booked on-line)
5. Hohenschwangau Citadel
Hohenschwangau Citadel is among the most ornate German castles in our information. The baroque-style fortress is located in Bavaria, simply exterior the village of Schwangau. It’s proper subsequent to an exquisite lake well-known for summer season swimming. The fortress’s surrounding hills are blanketed with dense forest and it has that basic rural setting.
Hohenschwangau Citadel can solely be visited as a part of a guided tour. That is no sacrifice, although, because the guided excursions have wonderful critiques and take you across the elegantly adorned rooms contained in the fortress. You’ll go to the royal bed room, dressing room, throne room, and grotto. The usual of restoration and upkeep is improbable, and Hohenschwangau Citadel is among the greatest castles in Germany to get a style of the standard inside and chateau life.
Hohenschwangau Citadel can be some of the well-known castles in Germany and served because the royal summer season residence of King Ludwig II. The fortress was first talked about within the twelfth century. Nonetheless, it was absolutely renovated within the Nineteenth century below the rule of King Maximilian II.
The standard of the surviving inside determined Hohenschwangau Citadel’s place on this information. Nonetheless, the lake and delightful gardens are additionally sturdy promoting factors for visiting Hohenschwangau Citadel. If you’re visiting Hohenschwangau Citadel in 2023, notice that a number of the rooms are at the moment closed for restoration. We are able to’t complain because the homeowners do a fantastic job retaining the fortress in high situation however test the web site for particulars earlier than visiting.
- Opening Occasions: 9 am – 4 pm
- Entry Charges: $16
6. Burg Hohenecken
Burg Hohenecken is a lesser-visited addition to our information. The fortress stood overlooking the tiny village of Hohenecken in western Germany. Now, the purple sandstone construction is an exquisite disarray of chateau ruins. Atmospheric and fewer touristy than a lot of the opposite castles in Germany, Burg Hohenecken is great for extra adventurous vacationers.
You may discover the grassy grounds of the fortress at your personal leisure. Burg Hohenecken is a spot that’s meant to be self-explored. It’s in style for guests to convey a picnic in summer season, and plenty of households benefit from the lovely surroundings and open house. It’s a quick hike up from Hohenecken and its practice station automotive 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. Regardless of seeming an unassuming (and remarkably lovely) addition to our favourite German castles, it’s definitely a hidden treasure amongst the very best castles in Germany.
- Opening Occasions: 24/7
- Entry Charges: Free
7. Lichtenstein Citadel
Lichtenstein Citadel is among the most dramatic-looking castles in Germany. The neo-gothic model construction sits on a cliff face, with one-half of the fortress straight constructed onto the cliff edge. The dramatic setting offers Lichtenstein Citadel a fairy story attraction, and guests flock to witness the fortress’s splendor in particular person. The fortress is a twenty-minute drive exterior the town of Reutlingen. It overlooks the village of Lichtenstein and the Greuthau nature reserve.
One of the vital thrilling elements of visiting Lichtenstein Citadel is crossing the wood bridge to enter. Strolling throughout the old-worldly entrance affords views of the cliffs under and actually emphasizes the fortress’s hanging setting. Contained in the fortress, the personal homeowners adorned the inside with conventional medieval decor. You may go to on one of many common guided excursions. Take into account that Lichtenstein Citadel closes to the general public in January and February.
Not like the remainder of our castles in Germany, Lichtenstein Citadel was purpose-built to duplicate medieval instances. The fortress was designed within the mid-Nineteenth century by Carl Alexander Heidloff, impressed by the novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff. Lichtenstein Citadel’s literary affect and dramatic setting shortly received it a spot on our checklist.
- Opening Occasions: 10 am – 4 pm for March, November, and December. 9 am – 5: 30 pm from April to October.
- Entry Charges: $13 (inc tour)
8. Schwerin Citadel
Schwerin Citadel is among the most stand-out German castles you’ll be able to go to. Neglect your customary moated fortress; Schwerin Citadel is by itself island. The fortress is located in Lake Schwerin in northern Germany, proper on the outskirts of Schwerin. Schwerin Citadel is among the most lovely castles in Germany and perfect for anybody desirous to discover a extra uncommon German fortress.
The neo-renaissance structure is beautiful to admire from the fortress grounds. Entrance to the fortress 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 Citadel was dwelling to the grand dukes of Mecklenburg for hundreds of years, and the fortress has an illustrious historical past. Aside from the historic rooms and ornate furnishings, there’s additionally a European artwork assortment to admire.
Schwerin Citadel 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 Citadel had essential 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 fortress to go to. You may book a guided tour of Schwerin here.
- Opening Occasions: 10 am – 5 pm
- Entry Charges: $9
9. Altena Citadel
Altena is among the most informative castles in Germany. Positioned on a hill above the city of Altena, the fortress is dwelling to a medieval historical past assortment and the World Youth Hostels Museum. Bizarrely sufficient, Altena Citadel is the positioning of the world’s first youth hostel – nonetheless open if you wish to keep in a single day for a ‘fortress resort’ expertise. The small stone fortress has lots to show you.
Contained in the fortress, there are quite a few reveals and academic shows. It’s family-friendly and focused to have interaction all ages, making it in style for varsity journeys and household holidays. Because the fortress has such a diversified historical past, there’s a lot of historical past and totally different tales to uncover in your go to. The fortress has been a hospital, a navy garrison, and even a jail. After World Warfare I, Richard Schirrmann opened the Altena youth hostel. He then based the German nationwide group of hostels just a few years later, in 1919. Guests be taught in regards to the fortress’s historical past within the museum – from geology to the hostel motion and the way historical past formed its area.
The fortress’s distinctive connection to the hostel motion is what impressed us. Nonetheless, additionally it is top-of-the-line German castles for households. The partaking shows are nice for retaining younger guests , and it is a superb place for folks to take kids on an academic day trip.
- Opening Occasions: 9:30 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Friday, and 11 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday.
- Entry Charges: $5.50
10. Wernigerode Citadel
Wernigerode Citadel is among the greatest castles in Germany if you wish to expertise an previous medieval fortress. The fortress sits in central Germany, simply exterior the small city of Wernigerode – which is a photographer’s heaven and comprises a medieval previous city. Each the fortress and its environment are the epitome of old-worldly. The fortress additionally backs onto nature reserves and towering hills with statement decks. It’s perfect for anybody desirous to get out into the sticks and luxuriate in climbing.
Wernigerode Castle itself is constructed upon the medieval fortress ruins, and nearly all of the construction that you simply see right now dates to the Nineteenth century. Guests can guide guided excursions of the fortress inside, being led by means of ornate chambers and historic artifacts. The mix of structure is fascinating, and every century clearly left a mark on the fortress. You may admire Gothic arched home windows within the internal courtyard and a Renaissance tower that you would be able to climb for views over the countryside. Wernigerode Citadel is among the most lovely castles in Germany, but additionally essentially the most architecturally stimulating.
The mix of structure is primarily what impressed us about Wernigerode Citadel. 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 fortress after which spend just a few days climbing.
- Opening Occasions: Tuesday to Friday 10 am – 5 pm, and 10 am – 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
- Entry Charges: $7.60
11. Cochem Citadel
Cochem Castle is also referred to as Reichsburg Cochem or Reichsburg Citadel. Reichsburg merely means ‘imperial’, and the fortress acquired this standing when captured by King Konrad III. This gorgeous little hilltop constructing dates again to the eleventh century, and it is among the most city German castles. Cochem Citadel is positioned alongside the River Moselle proper within the heart of the city of Cochem. Located within the Rhine Valley, it is among the greatest castles in Germany if you need a small-town ambiance alongside your fortress expertise.
Guests can tour contained in the fortress on a forty-minute guided tour. The fortress itself is comparatively small, so exploring isn’t bodily difficult. The fortress receives extremely rated critiques for its tour information service, and previous guests praised the passionate guides with a lot of partaking data. For further perception into its historical past, a guided tour is worth it. In fact, for a barely uncommon expertise, you can even have a eating expertise at Reichsburg Citadel. The fortress’s restaurant has panoramic views over the city and the river under.
As we talked about, the fortress was captured by King Konrad III in 1151 and renamed Reichsburg Citadel. Nonetheless, the fortress’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 fortress was destroyed by the French in 1689 and resurrected solely in 1868.
The fortress’s panoramic restaurant views and scenic place in Cochem city drew us to it. We love the small-town ambiance and gothic really feel. Look no additional if you need a neo-gothic fortress tour within the Rhine Valley.
- Opening Occasions: 10 am – 3 pm
- Entry Charges: $9
12. Drachenburg Citadel
Drachenburg Citadel is one other gem within the Rhine Valley. The fortress was modeled within the model of a medieval fortress, very like Lichtenstein Citadel. It has a improbable location and sits on the banks of the Rhine River, simply exterior the principal metropolis of Bonn. For views over the Rhine River, this medieval-style fortress is among the greatest castles in Germany.
Drachenburg Citadel has quite a few totally different excursions that cowl different elements of the fortress. You may select the choice that most accurately fits you, your pursuits, and your finances. Some embrace areas just like the ‘personal flooring,’ and others add specific areas just like the terrace, which has beautiful views over the River Rhine.
Drachenburg Castle was constructed within the late Nineteenth century and acted as a personal villa earlier than its homeowners turned it into a number of totally different ventures. Jacob Biesenbach went so far as to rework Drachenburg Citadel right into a neighborhood heart. Egbert Von Simon (virtually) reworked it into an amusement park. Throughout World Warfare II, a Nazi elite college took over the fortress. Drachenburg Citadel’s story went downhill, finally ending in damage between 1960 and 1970. Fortuitously, in 1986, it was introduced as a listed monument. It was renovated into its full glory that you simply see right now.
In the end, Drachenburg Citadel’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, good for those who need a extra trendy perception into Germany.
- Opening Occasions: 12 pm – 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday
- Entry Charges: $9 for traditional entry
13. Mespelbrunn Citadel
Mespelbrunn is among the prettiest castles in Germany. Mespelbrunn Citadel is surrounded by a peaceable moat and cuts an idyllic image towards a small forest backdrop. The fortress is round an hour’s drive from Frankfurt however is in the course of nowhere. It’s the good candidate for a day journey away from the craziness of Frankfurt. Its nearest settlement is the tiny village of Mespelbrunn – the fortress’s namesake.
Mespelbrunn Citadel has that fairy story attract that’s so frequent amongst the very best castles in Germany. You’ll should pay the doorway charge if you wish to stand up shut. However its delicate magnificence makes the associated 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 fortress is privately owned however open to the general public on particular days and circumstances (resembling solely being accessible by way of guided tour). It’s believed so far again to the fifteenth century, between the medieval and Renaissance interval. The fortress was lucky to have escaped destruction by the French within the Thirty Years’ Warfare, saved by its distant location and thick surrounding forest. The fortress remains to be inhabited right now by the household of the Counts of Ingelheim.
We’ll be trustworthy: Mespelbrunn Citadel’s attractiveness sealed this deal. The attractive surroundings and peaceable moat make Mespelbrunn top-of-the-line castles in Germany. It’s a improbable alternative if you need a small, photogenic fortress. And much more so if you’re in search of issues to do on a day journey from Frankfurt. Mespelbrunn can be only a two-hour drive from Nuremberg in case you fancy basing your self in a smaller metropolis. You may try essentially the most superb issues to do in Nuremberg here.
- Opening Occasions: 9:30 am – 5 pm
- Entry Charges: $6.50
14. Landgrafen Palace, aka Marburg Citadel
Landgrafen Palace is an previous medieval fort that dates again to the eleventh century. It’s typically known as Marburg Citadel, given its scenic location within the heart of the city of Marburg. Marburg has an exquisite previous city that includes half-timbered homes and conventional streets. Simply an hour north of Frankfurt, Landgrafen Palace makes a wonderful day journey.
The fortress has an enormous gothic corridor, historic paintings, furnishings, and artifacts. It’s moderately priced to enter, with lovely views over Marburg and its surrounding countryside. If you need extra data, there’s additionally a Museum of Cultural Historical past.
Beginning 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. Lastly, post-1981, Landgrafen Palace turned a museum. Landgrafen has seen lots in its years – from the battle of the Center Ages to the start of contemporary Christianity.
What stood out most to us was its lengthy historical past and site in Marburg. The fortress’s distance from Frankfurt can be perfect, as it’s good for these wanting day journeys from a metropolis break.
- Opening Occasions: 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
- Entry Charges: $6
15. Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel
Burghotel Auf Schönburg Oberwesel is barely totally different from our different castles in Germany. This medieval fortress has been reworked right into a stately resort, the place company can keep in a single day in conventional rooms or dine on the restaurant with views of the Rhine. The four-star fortress resort is perched on a clifftop overlooking the city of Oberwesel on the Rhine River. It’s perfect for individuals who need greater than a regular fortress expertise. You can check out prices here if you’re enthusiastic about staying on the resort.
Company can nonetheless take within the fortress’s historical past by visiting its museum or tower. Those that resolve to remain in a single day, not only for a meal, can guide distinctive rooms. Some room choices are set within the fortress turrets and include balconies the place you’ll be able to admire the views of the river and surrounding vineyards.
Schönburg Citadel was constructed within the twelfth century and renovated within 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. Whereas it caught our consideration with its distinctive Twenty first-century hospitality, Schönburg Citadel has some fascinating tales behind it. The fortress is price visiting, and don’t neglect to go wine tasting while you do.
- Opening Occasions: 24/7
- Entry Charges: Charge of room/meal
16. Eltz Citadel
Eltz Citadel is a romantic little fortress 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 Citadel, and it’s positioned close to the Luxembourg border. Eltz Citadel is ideal in case you plan to journey to extra distant areas of Germany.
Eltz Citadel is visited by guided tour solely, lasting round thirty minutes. You may catch the shuttle bus as much as the fortress, 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 totally different rooms, admiring the decor and listening to some unbelievable tales. The fortress is famed for its knights corridor but additionally has a dungeon and personal chambers. On the finish of the expertise, you get entry to the treasury and a whole bunch of useful artifacts.
Amazingly, Eltz Citadel remains to be owned by the Eltz household, who’ve resided there because the twelfth century. 33 generations of the Eltz household have lived within the fortress – 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 Occasions: 9:30 am – 5 pm (April to November solely)
- Entry Charges: $13
17. Dresden Citadel
Dresden Citadel is extra of a museum than a stereotypical fortress, however it’s fascinating and well-known nonetheless. Positioned proper within the heart of Dresden, it is among the metropolis’s oldest buildings and Germany’s earliest palace buildings. The fortress was a residence for kings for almost 400 years and is now ‘retired’ and regarded the cultural heart of Dresden.
The fortress 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 would simply spend a day wandering its corridors and rooms, admiring the 1000’s of artifacts. You may admire work, statues, and extra historic shows like weaponry, jewellery, and historic clothes. Put together your self for a various vary of reveals.
The unique fortress in Dresden was constructed within the thirteenth century however was tormented by a number of disasters. The constructing has been rebuilt many instances. The 18th century was essentially the most damaging, involving a disastrous hearth that meant Augustus II needed to fee a whole rebuild – primarily in Baroque model relatively than the unique Romanesque and Renaissance influences. Throughout World Warfare II, Dresden Citadel was broken once more in 1945. It was solely in 2013 that the fortress was restored to full glory.
Dresden is among the most iconic castles in Germany and comprises a number of the nation’s greatest treasures. The museum’s large scale and reveals made us resolve so as to add Dresden Citadel to our information. Its thrilling historical past was simply the cherry on high. Take a look at general admission tickets here.
- Opening Occasions: 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
- Entry Charges: $15
Germany has so many lovely castles; you might be positively spoiled for alternative. The vary of chateau varieties means you can go to a handful of the very best castles in your journey and nonetheless have a special expertise at each. Exploring historic fortress life in Germany can be an immersive technique to uncover extra about European cultural historical past.
Are you debating visiting just a few castles on the identical journey? You may all the time plan a romantic road trip between them. What number of castles might you see on a week-long street journey? Have a magical time visiting the very best castles in Germany. You’re in for a deal with.
Plan Your Subsequent Journey to Germany With These Sources