You all must be aware that Germany is famous for its various castles. Deciding which ones to visit can be quite confusing. We have compiled a list of a few beautiful palaces in Germany. Hope this helps you to pick a castle to visit right away, next time you are in the country.
Schloss Neuschwanstein is the most visited and most photographed castle in Germany. Over 1.4 million people visit this castle every year. It is located on a hill above the Hohenschwangau village in southwest Bavaria. In the 19th century, many castles were built for defense purposes. However, Neuschwanstein was built as a retreat for Ludwig II of Bavaria.
The interior of the castle is as stunning as the exterior. The Hall of the Singers, located on the fourth floor, is the largest room of the palace by area. Only 14/15 rooms were completed before the sudden death of Ludwig II in 1886. Seven weeks later, the palace was opened to the public.
Neuschwanstein looks like a fairy-tale castle. In fact, Cinderella’s Castle as well as the Sleeping Beauty Castle were modeled after it. The tickets often sell out before noon in summer. Click here to buy your tickets in advance.
Eltz Castle [Burg Eltz]
Burg Eltz is located in the hills above the Moselle river. It is still owned by the Eltz family (33rd generation). The castle is surrounded on all sides by nature (the Eltz Forest). Unlike other castles, it sits on a 70 meter rock spur. There are more than 100 rooms in the palace for family members, staff and guests.
Burg Eltz is open to public from late March or early April to early November. Click here to know the exact dates and book your tour tickets. A guided tour is the only way to enter the castle and view the Treasury and armory. However, you can explore the courtyard without a ticket.
There are also two restaurants in the premises. We are sure you would love to have a meal in the castle.
The Reichsburg Cochem is located in the beautiful town of Cochem. It sits high on a hill above the Moselle river.
Even this castle was invaded several times over the centuries. It was in ruins for almost 200 years. In 1868, a Berlin businessman Louis Ravené bought the ruins of the castle and reconstructed it in a Neo-Gothic style. It was a summer home for his family.
You can explore the palace only via guided tours. Majority of the tours are conducted in German language. Click here if you would like to know a few history-related German words.
For more information on opening hours, prices etc. check out the Reichsburg-Cochem official website.
Schloss Lichtenstein is located on the edge of the Swabian Jura. It is a privately owned Gothic-style castle which overlooks the Echaz valley. Lichtenstein literally means “shining stone”.
The castle was destroyed during World War II. However, the restoration process began after the war. It was completely restored by 2002.
You can enter the gates of the castle only through guided tours. The courtyard is open to the public, where you can see the gun emplacements on the wall.
The tours are conducted in German only. But, English brochures are provided. Check out our German vocabulary section if you are interested.
Heidelberg Castle [Schloss Heidelberg]
Schloss Heidelberg is located on a hill, 300 feet above the city of Heidelberg. The palace is a combination of several buildings and courtyard. The oldest castle structure was built in 1214.
A lightening destroyed the upper castle in 1537. Another lightening bolt completely destroyed some newly built sections in 1764.
The palace was partially restored by the end of the 19th century. It became a tourist attraction from the beginning of the 20th century.
Nowadays, Heidelberg castle is visited by almost 1 million people annually. Visitors can roam the gardens for free. To view the interiors, you need to book a guided tour. For more details about the tours click here.
Schloss Hohenschwangau was the childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It is located in the German village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen. It is open to all throughout the year, except for Christmas.
Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau are situated on the same grounds. This castle is not so popular, but it is definitely worth visiting. Like other palaces, self-guided tours are not allowed. The best deal to save money is to purchase a combined ticket for both the castles. Check this website for more information on tours and ticket reservation.
This castle is located on top of the Mount Hohenzollern, around 50 kilometers south of Stuttgart. It was built by King Frederick William IV of Prussia.
The palace was completely rebuilt by 1867, but was again damaged in an earthquake in 1978. It was then restored by mid-1990. The castle is still privately owned by the Royal Family.
Today, Hohenzollern is one of the most visited castles in Germany. There are a few restaurants in the courtyard and a German Beer Garden. There is also a huge Christmas Market in December. Check the official website to know more about tour packages, visiting hours, admission fees etc.
Mespelbrunn Castle [Schloss Mespelbrunn]
It is a late-medieval water castle located in the town of Mespelbrunn, between Frankfurt and Würzburg. In 1412 it was a simple house. But, it was rebuilt as a fortified castle with walls, towers and a moat using the nearby lake in 1427. Bergfried, the round tower, is the only thing from the 15th century.
In 1875, a chapel was built as a burial place for the Ingelheim family. Even today, Mespelbrunn castle is privately owned by this family. They live in the southern wing of the palace and the main rooms are open to the public.
You can visit the castle grounds and courtyard for free. However, if you want to see the interiors, you need to buy a ticket.
Frankenstein Castle [Burg Frankenstein]
Burg Frankenstein is a hilltop castle overlooking the city of Darmstadt. Frankenstein means “Stone of the Franks”.
In 1673, Johann Conrad Dippel was born here. He was a professional alchemist. There were rumors that he dug up bodies and performed medical experiments on them at the castle. In the 1700s, the castle was used as refuge and then as a hospital.
After 1978, Halloween at Burg Frankenstein became one of the biggest Halloween events in Europe. The event tickets usually sell out fast. Other than that, entry is free.
It is a medieval water castle located in the Rhineland Region of Germany. The best thing is, it is a castle hotel and the rooms are available on Airbnb. You can also host private parties or even a wedding at Burg Satzvey.
The castle organizes a lot of medieval-themed events as well as markets. You can experience the history through its theater performances, dinners, archery etc.
Burg Satzvey is open all year, but tours are offered only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Take guided tours to view the wonderful interiors.
Marburger Schloss [Marburg Castle]
It sits high above the old town of Marburg. It was first built in the 11th century. It has been reconstructed many times over the centuries.
There is a display of traditional Marburg pottery on the ground floor. The Museum of Cultural History is also located within the castle.
The walk up to the castle is quite enjoyable, as there are a few seating areas which offer beautiful views of the town.
It is located on a hill above the Eisenach town, in the state of Thuringia. It inspired Ludwig II to build the Neuschwanstein castle. UNESCO added Wartburg castle to the World Heritage Site List in 1999.
This palace was originally built in the 11th century. It was damaged in a fire in the early 1300s. Restoration work started immediately after the damage.
Currently, it contains only a few original structures from the Medieval times. The interior dates back to the 19th century. The drawbridge and barbican are the only access points to the castle since medieval times. Palas is the largest structure of the Wartburg. Click here for more information.
This palace is located in Schwerin city, on an island in Lake Schwerin. It is known as “Neuschwanstein of the North”.
Majority structures of the current castle were built between 1845 and 1857. Nowadays, it serves as the house of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament.
You can take a stroll in the Castle Garden for free. And guess what! Photography is permitted inside the palace as well. Check out the pricing and opening hours here.
It is located in the Rhineland-Palatinate region, above the Rhine river near Frankfurt. The castle was first built in the 10th century. From 1282 to 1286, it was home to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph von Habsburg.
It became difficult to maintain the castle after 1572. Its ruins and the rocks were bought by the Royal Prince of Prussia in 1823. It was then completely rebuilt and renamed as Burg Rheinstein.
Today, the castle is privately owned by the Hecher family. It still has a functioning drawbridge and portcullis. Rheinstein’s courtyard is known as the Burgundy Garden. It is named after the type of grapes that grow there.
It is one of the oldest buildings in Dresden. It was the residence of electors and the kings of Saxony for over 400 years. The palace is famous for its variety of architectural styles.
The castle was severely damaged during the bombing in World War II. Its restoration began in the 1960s. Currently, Dresden castle is a museum complex. It contains the Green Vault (largest treasure collection in Europe), the Coin Cabinet, the Dresden Armory etc. Read more here.
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