Castles and Germany go hand in hand. Enjoyable reality, Germany has over 20,000 castles – starting from renaissance fortress type to dramatic castles that appear like they might be straight out of a fairy story. The nation has a number of the most castles on the earth. Throughout the Center Ages, Germany was cut up into countless 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.
Prime 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 Fortress, these are essentially the most unimaginable castles to your journey to Germany.
1. Neuschwanstein Fortress
Neuschwanstein Fortress is among the most visited castles in Germany. The dramatic turreted fort dates again to the Nineteenth century and is famed for its stunning look and setting. Whereas it’s positioned in Bavaria, simply exterior the city of Fussen, it has a rural backdrop. Neuschwanstein Fortress backs onto Ammergebirge nature reserve. The fort seems to be like it’s floating above the encircling forest. It’s beautiful in autumn when the leaves flip orange and brown.
To go to Neuschwanstein Fortress you enter on a fort tour the place you’re directed by an audio tour. The tour whisks you across the fort complicated, offering perception into the historical past of every room. Neuschwanstein Fortress has one of the crucial partaking guided excursions of all of the castles in Germany. As a result of it’s such a well-known fort, rather a lot has been invested in its tourism infrastructure.
The historical past of Neuschwanstein Fortress is equally fascinating. The fort was constructed by the ‘fairy story king’ Ludwig II of Bavaria as a spot to retreat from the trendy world. Sadly for Ludwig II, he died earlier than Neuschwanstein Fortress was accomplished. However 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 Fortress is the rationale we’ve included it in our information. In addition to, as one of the crucial well-known castles in Germany, it’s the excellent addition to your itinerary. Keep in mind to take a look at a number of the finest issues to do in Bavaria while you go to, and if you’re staying in Munich, check out this Neuschwanstein day journey.
- Opening Instances: 9 am – 6 pm
- Entry Charges: $19
2. Wartburg Fortress
Wartburg Fortress is a surprising medieval fort with in depth reveals, together with artifacts from German historical past and artwork from the Center Ages. The fort stands on a rocky summit, overlooking the parkland and low-lying countryside. Wartburg Fortress sits simply exterior the city of Eisenach and is positioned in central Germany – excellent if you wish to get out of Germany’s main cities.
Guests can tour the fort and chateau museum. It’s tastefully restored inside, and there are English translations for all of the reveals. You possibly can go for one of many guided excursions at 1 pm or discover your self at your individual tempo, relying on how a lot additional info you’d like. Wartburg Fortress stands out for its reveals’ high quality and is good for these wanting an actual historic immersion into one of many best-preserved medieval castles in Germany.
This Fortress has an interesting historical past, to say the least. The unique fort was constructed throughout the medieval interval, however a lot of what you see as we speak dates from Nineteenth-century restorations. By way of non secular historical past, Martin Luther translated his first copy of the Bible in Wartburg Fortress. Due to this, Wartburg Fortress stays a logo of pilgrimage as we speak,
It’s extensively informed that Wartburg Fortress was the primary German fort 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 nearly 1,000 years of tales) and the standard of its reveals have earned it a spot in our information.
- Opening Instances: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
- Entry Charges: $13
3. Heidelberg Fortress
Heidelberg Fortress is among the most placing castles in Germany. Whereas as soon as an image of grandeur, the pink sandstone fort now partially lays in ruins. It’s an atmospheric website to wander. Heidelberg Fortress is surrounded by a thick forest on a hillside slope. Nonetheless, its rural setting is deceiving, as you’re only a ten-minute drive from the city of Heidelberg.
The Heidelberg Fortress grounds are fascinating and embrace a German apothecary museum and the biggest wine barrel on the earth. Stopping for a wine-tasting expertise whereas touring a medieval fort is a singular expertise. This fort will be toured independently or as one of many guided excursions. You possibly can stroll as much as the fort or take a scenic cable automotive. The cable automotive ticket consists of your entry to Heidelberg Fortress. Or you’ll be able to e book a tour of each the city and the fort.
Mentions of Heidelberg Fortress will be traced again to the thirteenth century – making it one in all Germany’s oldest castles and medieval fortresses. Based on historic information, the fort was broken initially of the 14th century. When Rupert III rose to the German throne, it started being renovated. The fort 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 fort as soon as once more.
Heidelberg Fortress is a surprising instance of a Gothic Renaissance fortress. The mixture of historical past, structure, and title-holding sights just like the wine barrel caught our consideration. The fort additionally holds UNESCO World Heritage Web site standing. Heidelberg is well one of the crucial intriguing castles in Germany.
- Opening Instances: 10 am – 5 pm
- Entry Charges: $10 (+ $6.50 for a guided tour)
4. Hohenzollern Fortress
Hohenzollern Fortress is a scenic Nineteenth-century fort famed for being house to the Prussian royal crown and an expansive artwork assortment. It’s one of the crucial basic castles in Germany, that includes turrets and a mountaintop location overlooking the countryside beneath. The fort is in southwest Germany throughout the Black Forest area, between the Bisingen and Hechingen.
Hohenzollern Fortress is a chief instance of a Gothic revival-style fort. The fort sits on the stays of an earlier medieval fort and has a gorgeous fort chapel. You possibly 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. Nonetheless, we additionally love the annual Christmas Market within the fort’s courtyard. Hohenzollern is a gorgeous festive attraction in the event you go to Germany in December.
It is very important word that Hohenzollern opens on a seasonal foundation. For almost all of January, the fort is totally closed. And for February and March, the fort grounds are open, however Hohenzollern Fortress is closed. Hohenzollern Fortress solely opens totally between April and December. Moreover, Hohenzollern Fortress is round a three-hour drive from Munich – a super place to start out a highway journey. Try our information on issues to do in Munich right here.
- Opening Instances: 10 am – 6:30 pm
- Entry Charges: $24 (when booked on-line)
5. Hohenschwangau Fortress
Hohenschwangau Fortress is among the most ornate German castles in our information. The baroque-style fort is located in Bavaria, simply exterior the village of Schwangau. It’s proper subsequent to a gorgeous lake well-known for summer time swimming. The fort’s surrounding hills are blanketed with dense forest and it has that basic rural setting.
Hohenschwangau Fortress can solely be visited as a part of a guided tour. That is no sacrifice, although, because the guided excursions have glorious evaluations and take you across the elegantly embellished rooms contained in the fort. You’ll go to the royal bed room, dressing room, throne room, and grotto. The usual of restoration and upkeep is implausible, and Hohenschwangau Fortress is among the finest castles in Germany to get a style of the standard inside and chateau life.
Hohenschwangau Fortress can also be one of the crucial well-known castles in Germany and served because the royal summer time residence of King Ludwig II. The fort was first talked about within the twelfth century. Nonetheless, it was absolutely renovated within the Nineteenth century underneath the rule of King Maximilian II.
The standard of the surviving inside determined Hohenschwangau Fortress’s place on this information. Nonetheless, the lake and delightful gardens are additionally robust promoting factors for visiting Hohenschwangau Fortress. If you’re visiting Hohenschwangau Fortress in 2023, word that a number of the rooms are at present closed for restoration. We are able to’t complain because the homeowners do an excellent job preserving the fort in prime situation however examine the web site for particulars earlier than visiting.
- Opening Instances: 9 am – 4 pm
- Entry Charges: $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 a gorgeous disarray of chateau ruins. Atmospheric and fewer touristy than plenty of the opposite castles in Germany, Burg Hohenecken is superb for extra adventurous vacationers.
You possibly can discover the grassy grounds of the fort at your individual leisure. Burg Hohenecken is a spot that’s meant to be self-explored. It’s fashionable for guests to carry a picnic in summer time, and plenty of households benefit from the stunning surroundings and open house. It’s a quick hike up from Hohenecken and its prepare station automotive park.
Its precise 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 stunning) addition to our favourite German castles, it’s actually a hidden treasure amongst the most effective castles in Germany.
- Opening Instances: 24/7
- Entry Charges: Free
7. Lichtenstein Fortress
Lichtenstein Fortress is among the most dramatic-looking castles in Germany. The neo-gothic type construction sits on a cliff face, with one-half of the fort straight constructed onto the cliff edge. The dramatic setting provides Lichtenstein Fortress a fairy story enchantment, and guests flock to witness the fort’s splendor in individual. The fort is a twenty-minute drive exterior the town of Reutlingen. It overlooks the village of Lichtenstein and the Greuthau nature reserve.
Probably the most thrilling elements of visiting Lichtenstein Fortress is crossing the picket bridge to enter. Strolling throughout the old-worldly entrance presents views of the cliffs beneath and actually emphasizes the fort’s placing setting. Contained in the fort, the non-public homeowners embellished the inside with conventional medieval decor. You possibly can go to on one of many common guided excursions. Take into account that Lichtenstein Fortress closes to the general public in January and February.
In contrast to the remainder of our castles in Germany, Lichtenstein Fortress was purpose-built to duplicate medieval occasions. The fort was designed within the mid-Nineteenth century by Carl Alexander Heidloff, impressed by the novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff. Lichtenstein Fortress’s literary affect and dramatic setting shortly received it a spot on our listing.
- Opening Instances: 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 Fortress
Schwerin Fortress is among the most stand-out German castles you’ll be able to go to. Overlook your normal moated fort; Schwerin Fortress is by itself island. The fort is located in Lake Schwerin in northern Germany, proper on the outskirts of Schwerin. Schwerin Fortress is among the most stunning castles in Germany and ideally suited for anybody desirous to discover a extra uncommon German fort.
The neo-renaissance structure is beautiful to admire from the fort grounds. Entrance to the fort grounds can also be free, a particular bonus for these on a funds. 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 Fortress was house to the grand dukes of Mecklenburg for hundreds of years, and the fort has an illustrious historical past. Other than the historic rooms and ornate furnishings, there’s additionally a European artwork assortment to admire.
Schwerin Fortress is among the finest 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 Fortress had essential former residents and in addition served because the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament constructing. For historical past, politics, and structure rolled into one, Schwerin is a implausible German fort to go to. You possibly can e book a guided tour of Schwerin right here.
- Opening Instances: 10 am – 5 pm
- Entry Charges: $9
9. Altena Fortress
Altena is among the most informative castles in Germany. Situated on a hill above the city of Altena, the fort is house to a medieval historical past assortment and the World Youth Hostels Museum. Bizarrely sufficient, Altena Fortress is the positioning of the world’s first youth hostel – nonetheless open if you wish to keep in a single day for a ‘fort lodge’ expertise. The small stone fort has rather a lot to show you.
Contained in the fort, there are quite a few reveals and academic shows. It’s family-friendly and focused to have interaction all ages, making it fashionable for college journeys and household holidays. For the reason that fort has such a diversified 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 army 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 a number of years later, in 1919. Guests study concerning the fort’s historical past within 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. Nonetheless, it’s also top-of-the-line German castles for households. The partaking shows are nice for preserving younger guests , and it is a superb place for fogeys to take kids on an academic time out.
- Opening Instances: 9:30 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Friday, and 11 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday.
- Entry Charges: $5.50
10. Wernigerode Fortress
Wernigerode Fortress is among the finest castles in Germany if you wish to expertise an outdated medieval fortress. The fort sits in central Germany, simply exterior the small city of Wernigerode – which is a photographer’s heaven and comprises a medieval outdated city. Each the fort and its environment are the epitome of old-worldly. The fort additionally backs onto nature reserves and towering hills with statement decks. It’s ideally suited for anybody desirous to get out into the sticks and luxuriate in climbing.
Wernigerode Fortress itself is constructed upon the medieval fortress ruins, and the vast majority of the construction that you simply see as we speak dates to the Nineteenth century. Guests can e book guided excursions of the fort inside, being led by way of ornate chambers and historic artifacts. The mix of structure is fascinating, and every century clearly left a mark on the fort. You possibly can admire Gothic arched home windows within the interior courtyard and a Renaissance tower that you would be able to climb for views over the countryside. Wernigerode Fortress is among the most stunning castles in Germany, but additionally essentially the most architecturally stimulating.
The mix of structure is primarily what impressed us about Wernigerode Fortress. Its entry and proximity to the encircling 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 climbing.
- Opening Instances: Tuesday to Friday 10 am – 5 pm, and 10 am – 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
- Entry Charges: $7.60
11. Cochem Fortress
Cochem Fortress is also called Reichsburg Cochem or Reichsburg Fortress. Reichsburg merely means ‘imperial’, and the fort acquired this standing when captured by King Konrad III. This beautiful little hilltop constructing dates again to the eleventh century, and it is among the most city German castles. Cochem Fortress is positioned alongside the River Moselle proper within the heart of the city of Cochem. Located within the Rhine Valley, it is among the finest castles in Germany if you would like a small-town environment alongside your fort expertise.
Guests 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 info. For additional perception into its historical past, a guided tour is worth it. After all, for a barely uncommon expertise, you possibly can even have a eating expertise at Reichsburg Fortress. The fort’s restaurant has panoramic views over the city and the river beneath.
As we talked about, the fort was captured by King Konrad III in 1151 and renamed Reichsburg Fortress. Nonetheless, the fort’s development will be dated again to 1100, and it was initially used to cost passing ships for tolls. After passing quite a few palms 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 would like a neo-gothic fort tour within the Rhine Valley.
- Opening Instances: 10 am – 3 pm
- Entry Charges: $9
12. Drachenburg Fortress
Drachenburg Fortress is one other gem within the Rhine Valley. The fort was modeled within the type of a medieval fort, very similar to Lichtenstein Fortress. It has a implausible 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 fort is among the finest castles in Germany.
Drachenburg Fortress has quite a few completely different excursions that cowl different elements of the fort. You possibly can select the choice that most accurately fits you, your pursuits, and your funds. Some embrace areas just like the ‘non-public ground,’ and others add specific areas just like the terrace, which has beautiful views over the River Rhine.
Drachenburg Fortress was constructed within the late Nineteenth century and acted as a personal villa earlier than its homeowners turned it into a number of completely different ventures. Jacob Biesenbach went so far as to rework Drachenburg Fortress right into a neighborhood heart. Egbert Von Simon (nearly) reworked it into an amusement park. Throughout World Warfare II, a Nazi elite faculty took over the fort. Drachenburg Fortress’s story went downhill, finally ending in spoil between 1960 and 1970. Thankfully, in 1986, it was introduced as a listed monument. It was renovated into its full glory that you simply see as we speak.
In the end, Drachenburg Fortress’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 also be numerous and colourful, excellent for those who desire a extra trendy perception into Germany.
- Opening Instances: 12 pm – 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday
- Entry Charges: $9 for normal entry
13. Mespelbrunn Fortress
Mespelbrunn is among the prettiest castles in Germany. Mespelbrunn Fortress 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 course of nowhere. It’s the excellent 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 Fortress has that fairy story attract that’s so frequent amongst the most effective castles in Germany. You’ll need to pay the doorway charge if you wish to rise up shut. However its delicate magnificence makes the associated fee worthwhile. The moat is house to trout and swans. And inside, you’ll be able to take a guided tour of chic and conventional rooms.
The fort is privately owned however open to the general public on particular days and circumstances (similar to solely being accessible through guided tour). It’s believed to this point again to the fifteenth century, between the medieval and Renaissance interval. The fort was lucky to have escaped destruction by the French within the Thirty Years’ Warfare, saved by its distant location and thick surrounding forest. The fort continues to be inhabited as we speak by the household of the Counts of Ingelheim.
We’ll be trustworthy: Mespelbrunn Fortress’s beauty sealed this deal. The attractive surroundings and peaceable moat make Mespelbrunn top-of-the-line castles in Germany. It’s a implausible alternative if you would like a small, photogenic fort. And much more so if you’re searching for issues to do on a day journey from Frankfurt. Mespelbrunn can also be only a two-hour drive from Nuremberg in the event you fancy basing your self in a smaller metropolis. You possibly can take a look at essentially the most superb issues to do in Nuremberg right here.
- Opening Instances: 9:30 am – 5 pm
- Entry Charges: $6.50
14. Landgrafen Palace, aka Marburg Fortress
Landgrafen Palace is an outdated medieval fort that dates again to the eleventh century. It’s generally known as Marburg Fortress, given its scenic location within the heart of the city of Marburg. Marburg has a gorgeous outdated city that includes half-timbered homes and conventional streets. Simply an hour north of Frankfurt, Landgrafen Palace makes a wonderful day journey.
The fort has an enormous gothic corridor, historic art work, furnishings, and artifacts. It’s fairly priced to enter, with stunning views over Marburg and its surrounding countryside. In order for you extra info, there’s additionally a Museum of Cultural Historical past.
Beginning as a medieval fortress, Landgrafen Palace progressed to the non-public 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 rather a lot in its years – from the battle of the Center Ages to the start 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 also be ideally suited, as it’s excellent for these wanting day journeys from a metropolis break.
- Opening Instances: 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
- Entry Charges: $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 reworked right into a stately lodge, the place visitors can keep in a single day in conventional rooms or dine on the restaurant with views of the Rhine. The four-star fort lodge is perched on a clifftop overlooking the city of Oberwesel on the Rhine River. It’s ideally suited for many who need greater than an ordinary fort expertise. You possibly can take a look at costs right here if you’re interested by staying on the lodge.
Friends can nonetheless take within the fort’s historical past by visiting its museum or tower. Those that determine to remain in a single day, not only for a meal, can e book distinctive rooms. Some room choices are set within the fort turrets and include balconies the place you’ll be able to admire the views of the river and surrounding vineyards.
Schönburg Fortress 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 Fortress has some fascinating tales behind it. The fort is price visiting, and don’t neglect to go wine tasting while you do.
- Opening Instances: 24/7
- Entry Charges: Fee of room/meal
16. Eltz Fortress
Eltz Fortress 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 highway journey to Cochem Imperial Fortress, and it’s positioned close to the Luxembourg border. Eltz Fortress is ideal in the event you plan to journey to extra distant areas of Germany.
Eltz Fortress is visited by guided tour solely, lasting round thirty minutes. You possibly can catch the shuttle bus as much as the fort, which is implausible 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. On the finish of the expertise, you get entry to the treasury and a whole bunch of worthwhile artifacts.
Amazingly, Eltz Fortress continues 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 fort – a fairly 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 a protracted interval.
- Opening Instances: 9:30 am – 5 pm (April to November solely)
- Entry Charges: $13
17. Dresden Fortress
Dresden Fortress is extra of a museum than a stereotypical fort, however it’s fascinating and well-known nonetheless. Situated proper within the heart 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 regarded 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 house to a palace state artwork assortment. You may simply spend a day wandering its corridors and rooms, admiring the hundreds of artifacts. You possibly can admire work, statues, and extra historic shows like weaponry, jewellery, and historical clothes. Put together your self for a various vary of reveals.
The unique fort in Dresden was constructed within the thirteenth century however was stricken by a number of disasters. The constructing has been rebuilt many occasions. 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 type fairly than the unique Romanesque and Renaissance influences. Throughout World Warfare II, Dresden Fortress 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 comprises a number of the nation’s finest treasures. The museum’s huge scale and reveals made us determine so as to add Dresden Fortress to our information. Its thrilling historical past was simply the cherry on prime. Try basic admission tickets right here.
- Opening Instances: 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
- Entry Charges: $15
Germany has so many stunning castles; you’re undoubtedly spoiled for alternative. The vary of chateau varieties means you possibly can go to a handful of the most effective castles in your journey and nonetheless have a distinct expertise at each. Exploring historical fort life in Germany can also be an immersive solution to uncover extra about European cultural historical past.
Are you debating visiting a number of castles on the identical journey? You possibly can all the time plan a romantic highway journey between them. What number of castles may you see on a week-long highway journey? Have a magical time visiting the most effective castles in Germany. You’re in for a deal with.