The 35 Best Castles In Germany

Best Castles In Germany - Neuschwanstein Castle

Do you know where to find the best castles in Germany?

Well, they’re everywhere!

Germany has more castles than anyone can see in a lifetime. With over 20,000 castles, Germany is a real-life fairy-tale country.

The country even has an association that makes sure the castles continue to stand strong.

So being the travel nerds that we are…

We had to find the best ones!

We took a look at the most beautiful and most historical castles in Germany and made a list of our favorites!

Just a heads up…

There are castles and palaces on this list… what’s the difference?

The main difference is that castles are fortifications built to withstand attacks. Palaces are more like big royal homes.

Anyways…

Check out these awesome places below!

 

35) Anholt Castle

maleevsw / Shutterstock.com

Location: Isselburg, Germany

Constructed: 12th century

Anholt Castle took heavy damage during World War 2. Around 70% of the castle got destroyed and didn’t get restored until 1966.

The castle is now a museum, hotel, private home, and restaurant.

The museum has over 700 paintings of German, Dutch, Japanese, and Chinese art from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Don’t forget to wander around the amazing park surrounding the castle as well.

 

34) Mespelbrunn Castle

leoks / Shutterstock.com

Location: Mespelbrunn, Germany

Constructed: 15th century

Mespelbrunn Castle started as a house in 1412 and then converted into a castle in 1427. Reconstruction into its present form took place during 1551 – 1569.

It’s now a private home owned by the family of the Counts of Ingelheim. They moved out of the main rooms of the castle to open it to the public.

You can only go inside the castle by taking a tour and you’re not allowed to take photos once inside.

 

33) Frankenstein Castle

clearlens / Shutterstock.com

Location: Odenwald, Germany

Constructed: 13th century

Probably the most interesting castle in Germany. Or creepiest… Whichever way you want to look at it.

Frankenstein Castle was the birthplace of Johann Conrad Dippel in 1673. Dippel was an alchemist that performed experiments using human and animal body parts.

The rumor is that Mary Shelley used Dippel as her inspiration for her famous Frankenstein novel.

The castle is in ruins today, but it’s still worth the 40 minutes drive from Frankfurt if you’re in the area.

 


 

32) Ehrenburg Palace

Scirocco340 / Shutterstock.com

Location: Coburg, Germany

Constructed: 16th century

Ehrenberg Palace served as the home of the princes of Coburg from 1543 – 1918.

The palace serves as a museum today and has tons of paintings from 16th and 17th-century artists.

Just think about how much art they collected after nearly 400 years!

 

31) Marksburg Castle

Hajakely / Shutterstock.com

Location: Braubach, Germany

Constructed: 12th century

Marksburg Castle has been through a lot…

Seized by Napoleon in 1806… damaged by American gun fire in 1945…

But the castle is still holding strong!

It’s actually the headquarters for the German Castle Association. This association is responsible for the preservation of castles in Germany.

So in a way, you can thank them for this blog post!

 

30) Herrenchiemsee Palace

mary416 / Shutterstock.com

Location: Chiemsee, Germany

Herrenchiemsee Palace started as a project of King Ludwig II. The same eccentric king that brought the Neuschwanstein Castle to life.

Ludwig built the castle out of respect for the king of France at the time, King Louis XIV. The castle was also built to be a replica of the Palace of Versailles.

Unfortunately, Ludwig’s death stopped the castle from getting completed.

It’s not the same level as the Palace of Versailles but it’s definitely worth the 1 and a half hour trip from Munich.

 

29) Muskau Castle

Feel good studio / Shutterstock.com

Location: Bad Muskau, Germany

Constructed: 19th century.

Muskau Castle is a beautiful piece of architecture in the middle of Muskau Park.

The castle burned down during World War II but was completely restored at the start of the 21st century. The interior of the castle displays the life and work of the previous owner, Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau.

Muskau Park is the largest park in Central Europe and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle provides amazing panoramic views of the parks from its 35-meter tall tower.

From that vantage point, you’ll see one of the best man-made landscapes in the world!

 

28) Nordkirchen Castle

clearlens / Shutterstock.com

Location: Nordkirchen, Germany

Constructed: 18th century

Nordkirchen Castle has the nickname of the “Versailles of Westphalia”. It’s the largest water castle in the Westphalia region. A water castle is a castle that is fully or partly surrounded by a moat.

This is a great castle to learn about its history and take a stroll around the formal garden outside!

Parts of the interior are open to the public for guided tours. But the tours are in German only.

 

27) Nymphenburg Palace

trabantos / Shutterstock.com

Location: Munich, Germany

Constructed: 17th century

Nymphenburg Palace started out as the summer home of the Bavarian Kings and Electors. It’s now one of the most famous attractions in Germany and attracts over 300,000 visitors a year.

The Palace itself is a huge complex with a baroque facade and interior rooms. You can still tour the palace to see some of the rooms that still have the Baroque design.

And when you’re done touring the inside…

The palace has a 200-hectare park!

Nymphenburg is a must-see attraction when visiting Munich!

 

26) Johannisburg Palace

NaughtyNut / Shutterstock.com

Location: Aschaffenburg, Germany

Constructed: 17th century

Johannisburg Palace served as the second home of the Prince Bishop of Mainz until the early 19th century. It belonged to Bavaria and King Ludwig I after 1813.

The palace was a German army stronghold and destroyed during World War II. It took more than 20 years to rebuild it!

Some of the castle’s best features include:

  • It’s made out of red sandstone
  • It has incredible cork models of Ancient Rome

 

25) Castle Satzvey

LaMiaFotografia / Shutterstock.com

Location: Mechernich, Germany

Constructed: 12th century

Castle Satzvey is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved castles in Rhineland.

The first documentation of the castle came in 1396, but many believe the castle is from the 12th century.

It’s been family owned for the last 300 years and belongs to the family of Counts Beissel von Gymnich.

Today the castle hosts festivals, concerts, weddings, and many other special events.

Castle Satzvey is a great castle to visit if you plan on taking a trip down the Rhine River!

 

24) Cecilienhof Palace

Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock.com

Location: Potsdam, Germany

Constructed: 20th century

Cecilienhof Palace is the youngest castle or palace on this list. But it’s still gorgeous and full of history!

The main inspiration for the palace came from the cottage and tudor style homes in Birkenhead, England.

It’s a part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After World War II, the Three Power Conference of Berlin took place here at Cecilienhof. This resulted in the birth of the Potsdam Agreement and the Potsdam Declaration.

Today, you can take guided tours to see the exhibits of the events that took place at Cecilienhof Palace.

 



 

23) Linderhof Palace

Scirocco340 / Shutterstock.com

Location: Ettal, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Linderhof Palace is another palace brought to life by King Ludwig II.

It was the third and smallest palace he was responsible for during his rule. It was also the only one he lived to see completed.

Ludwig got his inspiration for Linderhof from the Palace of Versailles. Kind of like Herrenchiemsee Palace!

Although it’s nowhere close to the size of Versailles, Linderhof’s building and decor share many similarities.

 

22) Charlottenburg Palace

Pocholo Calapre / Shutterstock.com

Location: Berlin, Germany

Constructed: 17th century

Charlottenburg Palace served as the summer home of for Sophie Charlotte. She was the wife of Elector Friederich the III.

Like many others on this list, the palace took on a lot of damage during World War II. Rebuilding started in the 1950s and it is now one of the most popular attractions in Berlin.

The Old Palace contains the old baroque-style rooms and royal apartments. Also inside the palace is the largest collection of French paintings of the 18th century outside of France.

The baroque garden is also a great sight to take in!

 

21) Zwinger Palace

Olena Z / Shutterstock.com

Location: Dresden, Germany

Constructed: 18th century

Zwinger Palace used to host tournaments, festivals, and entertainment for Saxon nobility. The palace got destroyed during the carpet bombing raids in World War II.

Today, the palace holds several museums that hold amazing collections of art.

One example is the Dresden porcelain collections. It’s one of the largest ceramics collections in the world.

 

20) Altena Castle

Tobias Arhelger / Shutterstock.com

Location: Altena, Germany

Constructed: 12 century

Altena Castle was the home for the House of the Marck.

In 1914, it became the first youth hostel inside a castle. And it’s still used as a youth hostel today.

So I would look into staying here if you’re planning that backpacking trip after college!

But if you’re not up for staying in the hostel…

The castle also has two museums inside:

  • Museum of the County of Mark
  • World Youth Hostels Museum

 

19) Braunfels Castle

O.M. / Shutterstock.com

Location: Braunfels, Germany

Constructed: 13th century

Braunfels Castle was the home to the Counts of Solms.

The castle went through many restorations to become the gorgeous building it is today. Including a fire that burnt down the town and castle of Braunfels in 1679.

Today, the castle is a museum with exhibits of the furniture and art collections of the Solms family. The age of the collections ranges from the 13th to the 19th century.

You can take a tour but good luck finding a guide that isn’t German-speaking only.

 

18) Metternich Castle

Eric Gevaert / Shutterstock.com

Location: Beilstein, Germany

Constructed: 12th century

Metternich Castle was first documented in 1268. But some believe the castle construction took place in 1129!

In 1689, the French destroyed the castle during the Nine Years War.

Although the castle was never completely rebuilt, it’s still quite a site to see. You’ll have great views of the Mosel River and the city below. There is also a castle and a hotel at the foot of the castle!

 

17) Hohenschwangau Castle

shuttermee / Shutterstock.com

Location: Schwangau, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Hohenschwangau Castle was the home of the parents of King Ludwig II. Ludwig’s father built the home and Ludwig II grew up in this castle. The castle is right down the road from the Neuschwanstein Castle.

If you’re ever in town to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle…

You’re not going to want to miss taking a tour of Hohenschwangau Castle too!

The village of Hohenschwangau sells tour tickets that include tours of both castles.

 

16) Stolzenfels Castle

haveseen / Shutterstock.com

Location: Koblenz, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Stolzenfels Castle stands on top of an old 13th-century fortress. So there is no shortage of history surrounding the castle.

In 1689, the French destroyed the castle in the Palentine War of Succession. It then belonged to Prussia in the early 19th century. And the reconstruction of the castle started in 1823.

The castle is now open to the public for tours. The castle is one of the most significant pieces of Rhine Romanticism you’ll ever see.

 


 

15) Schwerin Palace

Todamo / Shutterstock.com

Location: Schwerin, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Schwerin Palace lies on top of several fortresses that were there before Schwerin. These fortresses might have been there as early as 1160!

Schwerin Castle is now owned by the state and runs as a museum.

Many people refer to Schwerin Castle as the “Neuschwanstein of Northern Germany”. But Neuschwanstein wasn’t built until 20 years after Schwerin… so maybe it should be the other way around!

 

14) Wartburg Castle

bluecrayola / Shutterstock.com

Location: Eisenach, Germany

Constructed: 11th century

Wartburg is one of the most historical castles you’ll find in Germany. It has seen a lot of action since its construction during the Middle Ages.

This is the location where Martin Luther wrote the New Testament of the Bible into German.

King Ludwig II used Wartburg Castle as inspiration for his most famous project… the Neuschwanstein Castle (I promise that castle is coming up).

There are many structures of the castle from the 12th – 15th centuries still intact today.

For all these reasons, Wartburg Castle is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 

13) Lichtenstein Castle

ColeTrickle / Shutterstock.com

Location: Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

When you think of fairy tale castles, it doesn’t get much better than Lichtenstein Castle.

After getting destroyed in World War II, reconstruction of the castle started quickly. And Lichtenstein still remains as one of the most unique castles in Germany.

The castle is privately owned and only open through guided tours. Don’t worry, this one has brochures in English 🙂

The gardens cost 2 euros to explore but you’ll see some of the best views of the castle and the surrounding area here.

 

12) Dresden Castle

Olena Z / Shutterstock.com

Location: Dresden, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Dresden Castle used to be the home of the kings and electors of Saxony.

The castle took heavy damage during the bombing of Dresden in 1945. Restoration wasn’t even finished until 2013.

But today the castle is as beautiful as ever. And it currently hosts five museums within its walls.

The best part of the castle is the Hausmannsturm, the largest tower of the castle. You’ll get the best panoramic view of Dresden from the observation deck.

 

11) Albrechtsburg Castle

Daniel Bahrmann / Shutterstock.com

Location: Meissen, Germany

Constructed: 15th century

Albrechtsburg Castle holds the title of the oldest castle in Germany.

The castle lies on top of a hill that held an older fortress in the year 929!

It was the first German castle built for the sole purpose of living in it.

The castle has a great location on a hill towering above the Elbe River and the town of Meissen.

If you’re anywhere near Dresden, you have to pay the castle a visit!

 

10) Heidelberg Castle

Pigprox / Shutterstock.com

Location: Heidelberg, Germany

Constructed: 13th century

Heidelberg Castle is the unluckiest castle on this list.

The castle got hit by lightning… on two different occasions.

And then there were several wars and fires that destroyed parts of the castle the other times.

And because of all the bad luck, the castle never got fully restored. The last time the castle had any construction work was in 1900.

But it’s still one of the most beautiful structures to see in Germany!

Around 1 million people from around the world visit the castle every year. The observation terraces provide amazing panorama pictures!

 

9) Cochem Castle

LianeM / Shutterstock.com

Location: Cochem, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Cochem Castle lies on the ruins of a much older castle that might have been around during the year 1100.

After a fire burnt the old castle to a crisp in the 17th century, Louis Ravené bought the ruins. He wanted to build an entirely different castle for his summer home. And we love what he did with the place.

Today, you can tour the castle and see great views of the Mosel Valley and the town below. The castle also has a great restaurant to eat at!

 

8) Burghausen Castle

poporing / Shutterstock.com

Location: Burghausen, Germany

Constructed: 11th century

Burghausen Castle dates back all the way to the Bronze Age or about 1025. The castle had new sections added from the 11th – 16th centuries.

Today, the holds the Guinness World Record for largest castle complex in the world. It’s 1051 meters in length!

Its most permanent residents were the Lower Bavarian dukes from 1255 – 1503. And the castle was only their second home.

If you’re up for the cardio, it’s a great workout! Take a self-guided tour and check out the great views of the surrounding area.

 

7) Quedlinburg Castle

Jon Chica / Shutterstock.com

Location: Quedlinburg, Germany

Constructed: 17th century

Quedlinburg Castle lies on top of a sandstone cliff above the town of Quedlinburg. The castle hill has been around since 936!

A lot of work has been done to the castle hill since then…

But much of the Romanesque features of the castle, church, and old town still remain!

It’s one of the best medieval cities in Europe!

The Quedlinburg castle, church, and old town are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit the castle hill to see architecture you never get a chance to see. Oh and the Harz mountains surround the town are pretty nice too.

 

6) Wernigerode Castle

Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH / Shutterstock.com

Location: Wernigerode, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Wernigerode Castle is a castle located in the Harz mountains.

The first known case of a castle in the same location goes as far back as 1121. The latest reconstruction features a lot of similarities to the Neuschwanstein Castle.

(I know we keep bringing Neuschwanstein up, we promise it’s coming up very soon!)

The castle lies above the town of Wernigerode and has amazing views of the town and the Harz Mountains. It’s one of the most visited castles in Germany!

 

5) Sigmaringen Castle

leoks / Shutterstock.com

Location: Sigmaringen, Germany

Constructed: 11th century

Sigmaringen Castle is a huge castle that dominates the skyline of Sigmaringen, Germany.

The original castle opened up in the year 1200. The castle expanded over the centuries to its current size today. After getting destroyed by a fire in 1893, the castle was finally rebuilt in 1902.

The only way to get inside the castle is by taking a tour. But it’s worth it!

Some amazing features of the castles include:

  • One of the largest private weapons collections in Europe with over 3000 different pieces of weapons and armor.
  • Pre and Ancient History Museum with collections ranging from the years 10000 B.C. to 700 A.D.

 

4) Drachenburg Castle

r.classen / Shutterstock.com

Location: Bonn, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Drachenburg Castle is a private castle located near the Rhine River.

It has beautiful rooms in the inside and a wonderful garden outside. But the best part about the castle is the views of the Rhine and area surrounding.

There’s a railway that takes you to the summit of Drachenfells Mountain. And Drachenburg Castle has its own stop along the way.

Take it all the way to the top for the best views!

 

3) Eltz Castle

Anatolii Lyzun / Shutterstock.com

Location: Wierschem, Germany

Constructed: 12th century

Eltz Castle is still owned by the same family that lived there since the construction of the castle.

It lies on top of an isolated hill in the middle of a lush forest. And you cannot see that castle until you get closer travel through the forest.

The Count and Countess of Eltz welcomes the public to visit and learn more about their castle and forest.

And why wouldn’t you want to?

This castle is breathtaking!

 

2) Neuschwanstein Castle

VOJTa Herout / Shutterstock.com

Location: Schwangau, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Neuschwanstein Castle is without a doubt the most popular castle in Germany. And one of the most popular in the world.

This was King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s major project that he barely got to live in before his death.

(Yes, that’s the same Ludwig we’re been mentioning this whole blog post.)

He built Neuschwanstein high in the mountains to escape the public life he lived as king.

Many say that Walt Disney got his inspiration for Cinderella Castle by visiting Neuschwanstein during a trip to Germany. And it’s easy to see how magical this castle looks.

Nestled high in the Bavarian Alps near the city of Fussen, the castle is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Take a tour and hike to the bridge on the other side of the castle for the most amazing views of Bavaria.

The castle is about a 2-hour train ride from Munich and well worth the day trip.

 

1) Hohenzollern Castle

Vincent Vroom / Shutterstock.com

Location: Bisingen, Germany

Constructed: 19th century

Alright, it was tough to pick a favorite…

But we went with Hohenzollern Castle.

The castle served as the royal seat to the Hohenzollern Family for centuries. The final reconstructed version of the castle serves as a memorial to the family.

This castle is our definition of a fairy tale castle.

The castle lies on top of Mount Hohenzollern and surrounded by miles of forests and hills.

With over 350,000 visitors a year, it’s one of the most popular castles in Germany.

  • Prussian historical artifacts
  • Personal effects of King Frederick the Great
  • A letter from George Washington thanking Varon Bon Steuben for his help in the Revolutionary War

 

Conclusion

I can’t tell you how difficult it was to make that list!

Thanks for reading the whole thing. I know 35 is a long list…

But it’s not easy with 20,000 castles to choose from!

Did we leave any out that should be on this page? Or do you have a favorite you want to tell us about?

Let us know in the Comment Section!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *