Discover the most beautiful castles in Germany, where you can find them and the history behind them.
They used to be the residence and government places of princes and kings, representative magnificent buildings for guests or places of retreat for the nobles. Today these buildings and ruins are popular excursion destinations and romantic places for a weekend for two.
Neuschwanstein Castle (Bavaria)
Do you want to feel like in a fairy tale? You can definitely do that at Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau in Bavaria.
Every year around 1.5 million visitors come to the castle in Bavaria to see the spectacular building.
It was built in 1869 by order of the Bavarian King Ludwig II.
Neuschwanstein Castle combines architectural styles from different eras (historicism) – the monarch wanted to create what he thought was the ideal medieval castle. Inside, you can visit the throne room, among other things, and the regent’s, in contrast, downright modest apartment.
Neuschwanstein Castle is not only one of the most beautiful castles in Germany, but also one of the most beautiful castles and palaces in Europe.
Be sure to book your tickets online in advance. Otherwise it can happen that the ticket contingent for your desired day has already been exhausted and you can no longer visit the castle.
Address: Neuschwansteinstrasse 20, 87645 Schwangau
Opening times: late March to mid-October from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. / late October to mid-March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. / closed on January 1st, December 24th, 25th and 31st
Admission: adults €15 (reduced €14) / children under 18 free of charge
Moritzburg Castle (Saxony)
The next castle on our list of the most beautiful palaces and castles in Germany can be found in Moritzburg near Dresden. The hunting lodge got its present form during a renovation in the 18th century. The origins of the former hunting lodge go back to the 16th century.
The castle is best known as the setting for the film “Three Nuts for Cinderella”. Since its production in 1973, it has become a Christmas classic.
Today you can visit the hunting lodge, the man-made castle pond and the associated castle park.
Of course, an exhibition about Cinderella should not be missing here.
By the way: There are even holiday apartments on the grounds.
Address: Schlossallee, 01468 Moritzburg
Opening times: The opening times vary depending on the exhibition. You can find the current ones on the homepage
Admission: adults €10 / concessions €8
Schwerin Castle (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania)
The “Neuschwanstein of the North” awaits you in the middle of Schwerin.
For centuries, the castle was the seat of the Dukes and Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg, and today the state parliament has its seat here.
Today’s castle was built and rebuilt between 1845 and 1857. It is considered one of the most important examples of romantic historicism. The previous buildings of the castle date back to the year 973.
Schwerin Castle is not only the seat of the state parliament, but also houses the castle museum.
You can see precious paintings, sculptures and handicrafts from the 19th century.
A walk through the baroque palace gardens is particularly beautiful.
Address: Lennéstraße 1, 19053 Schwerin
Opening times: mid-April to mid-October Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. / late October to late April Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Admission: Adults €8.50 / Concessions €6.50
Charlottenburg Palace (Berlin)
The Prussian Elector Friedrich III. wanted to give his wife Sophie Charlotte a modest present and had a palace built called Schloss Lützenburg.
In a short time, the palace was given the nickname Schloss Charlottenburg, Friedrich III. was crowned King of Prussia and the castle was expanded pompously.
From 1740, Frederick the Great chose Charlottenburg as his residence. During the Second World War, the castle was badly damaged, but could be renovated again.
Today it is a popular tourist magnet in Berlin. Inside the castle you can visit impressive rooms that have been furnished true to the original.
Large halls and long corridors also impress with the art objects presented there.
The porcelain exhibition of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory, the palace chapel and Friedrich I’s bedroom are just a few of the highlights.
Address: Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin
Opening times: Currently closed due to construction work
Stahleck Castle (Rhineland-Palatinate)
If you’ve always dreamed of spending your vacation in a castle, then you have the chance to do so at Stahleck Castle in Rhineland-Palatinate. Today, a youth hostel is housed in the 11th-century castle.
In the 20th century, the castle was restored with great attention to detail, making it a real pioneering project in Germany.
From the castle you have a fantastic view over the Rhine.
The neighboring town of Bacharach, together with its many historic half-timbered houses, as well as the castle, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Address: Stahleck Castle, 55422 Bacharach
Hohenzollern Castle (Baden-Württemberg)
The next German fairytale castle can be found in Baden-Württemberg.
There, Hohenzollern Castle towers majestically on a summit of the Hohenzollern mountain of the same name.
It is the ancestral seat of the princely family. The first castle on this site probably dates back to around 1000.
Today’s castle, on the other hand, was built in the 19th century.
With its many towers and pointed roofs, it really looks like a castle from a fairy tale book.
The interior of the castle is now used as a museum.
They show the history of the building and the family history of the von Hohenzollerns.
You can visit the castle as part of a guided tour.
Address: 72379 Hohenzollern Castle
Opening times: mid-March to late October daily from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. / early November to late March daily from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m
Admission: Depending on the tour selected, adults pay up to €22, concessions €12.00, children 12 to 17 years €10
Reichsburg Cochem (Rhineland-Palatinate)
If you are planning a weekend trip to the Moselle, then you should not miss a trip to the Reichsburg in Cochem.
The imposing castle rises more than a hundred meters above the Moselle and can be seen from afar.
The original castle was probably built around 1100 and served as a customs castle at the time.
The castle was rebuilt after it was destroyed in the 17th century.
Today you will find a castle museum at the castle, which you can visit on a guided tour.
You can walk through different rooms of the castle and take a closer look at the parts of the castle furnished in neo-renaissance and neo-baroque style.
Address: Schlossstrasse 36, 56812 Cochem
Opening hours and guided tours: mid-November to mid-March daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. / mid-March to early November daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (subject to change)
Admission: adults €7 / children from 6 to 17 years €3.50 / pupils over 18 and students €6
Heidelberg Castle (Baden-Württemberg)
The absolute highlight among Heidelberg’s sights is the Heidelberg Castle.
It towers picturesquely over Heidelberg’s old town and offers a breathtaking backdrop.
If you are planning a romantic getaway for two, then this destination is perfect for you.
Where the electors of the Palatinate resided for five centuries, you can still immerse yourself in the world of the nobles and relive their history in the original rooms.
Stroll through the castle and through the castle garden, visit the medieval exhibition and the German Pharmacy Museum. This is also on the castle.
The castle interiors, the medieval exhibition and the pharmacy museum can only be visited as part of a guided tour.
Every summer, the Heidelberg Castle Festival takes place on an open-air stage in the castle.
You should take this highlight of Heidelberg into account when planning your vacation.
Address: Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg
Opening hours: all year round 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Admission: adults €9 / reduced €4.50
History was written in the truest sense of the word at this castle.
Because this is where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German.
In addition, Elisabeth of Thuringia, who was later canonized, lived here in the 13th century.
But that’s not all. Because at the Wartburg Festival, the student associations demanded a move away from the multiple states towards a unified nation state. And now you can stroll through these important rooms and gardens of the castle.
Since 1999 it has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, the Wartburg is home to an impressive museum that includes around 9,000 exhibits.
The focus of the collection is based on the most important historical eras of the Wartburg.
The Wartburg is only a few kilometers away from the Hainichen National Park.
It is one of the 16 national parks in Germany.
The next highlight is already waiting for you in the park itself: How about a walk through the treetops on a treetop walk?
Address: Auf der Wartburg 1, 99817 Eisenach
Opening hours: early November to late March daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. / late March to early November daily from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m
Admission: Depending on the selected tour, adults pay up to €10, students and trainees €7, pupils €5 and children under the age of 6 are free
Sanssouci Palace (Potsdam/Brandenburg)
Between 1745 and 1747, the Prussian King Frederick II had the rococo palace Sanssouci built in Potsdam based on his own sketches. He was also responsible for the famous terraced gardens that characterize the south side of Sanssouci Palace in such a striking way.
Sanssouci means “without worry” and probably perfectly reflects the intention of the king.
Because in Sanssouci he wanted to retire and recover from his duties as monarch.
Today you can visit the castle and walk through the large gardens.
There you will find other buildings that you can visit, such as the Orangery Palace, the New Palace or the Neptune Grotto.
Address: Maulbeerallee, 14469 Potsdam
Opening hours: early November to late March Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. / early April to late October from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. / closed on Mondays
Admission: adults from €14 / reduced from €10
Hambach Castle (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Another beautiful castle of Germany that you can find in Rhineland-Palatinate is the Hambach Castle.
You will find it embedded in the landscape of the Upper Rhine Plain near Neustadt an der Weinstraße.
In the Middle Ages, the castle was built as a castle and in the meantime fell into ruins and was only completely renovated again in 1980.
The Hambach Castle also gained notoriety through the Hambach Festival, which took place in 1832 and where people demonstrated for a democratic state.
Various exhibitions and events take place in the castle.
One deals with the Hambach Festival and the situation at that time in today’s Germany.
There are also various guided tours that you can take part in.
Address: Schlossstrasse, 67434 Neustadt an der Weinstrasse
Opening hours: April to October daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. / November to March daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
Admission: adults €5.50 / pupils and students €2.50 / people with disabilities €3.50 / children under 6 free of charge
Bückeburg Castle (Lower Saxony)
The next beautiful castle in Germany can be found on the state border between Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia in Bückeburg.
The imposing castle is the ancestral seat of the house of Schaumburg-Lippe and still impresses with its magnificently furnished rooms.
Today you can admire the ballroom with its beautiful wall and ceiling paintings or look at the castle chapel.
The Bückeburg Riding School is housed in the Marstall.
Here the horsemanship of the European epochs of the 11th to 17th centuries is shown and cultivated.
The interior of the castle can only be visited as part of a guided tour.
The castle has been inhabited since it was built and is still the home of the Schaumburg-Lippe family today.
Address: Schloßplatz 1, 31675 Bückeburg
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. / guided tours take place as required / closed on Mondays
Admission: adults €14.50 / children from 6 to 15 years €7.50
Braunfels Castle (Hesse)
Braunfels Castle in Hesse looks a bit like the evil stepmother’s castle.
Built of dark stone, it rises above the city. The castle has been owned by the Counts of Solms since the 13th century.
Since the structural redesign in 1885, the exterior of the castle has been characterized by the historicism style.
Today the castle houses a museum. You can visit this without a guide.
The Princely Family Museum shows various exhibits from the private collection of the Counts and Princes of Solms-Braunfels.
From weapons to uniforms, dueling pistols, the princely letter and coins as well as works of art you can admire there. But the princesses’ dresses and jewelery are also on display there.
If you want to learn more about the history of the castle and above all want to see more rooms, then you should book a guided tour.
Address: Belzgasse 1, 35619 Braunfels
Opening times: daily from about 8:30 a.m. until dusk
Admission: Museum €3, guided tours adults €9 / pupils and students €4.00 / children from 5 to 10 years €3.00 / children under 5 years free
Bergedorf Palace (Hamburg)
On the list of the most beautiful palaces and castles in Germany, the next building takes us to Hamburg-Bergedorf.
Here you will find the only preserved castle in the Hamburg city area.
The castle is idyllically situated in a small park and impresses with its construction, which lies stylistically between brick Gothic and brick Renaissance.
A museum is now housed in Bergedorf Castle that tells you the history of the Bergedorf district and the entire region.
Until 1868, this was under the joint administration of the Hanseatic cities of Hamburg and Lübeck.
Address: Bergedorfer Schloßstrasse 4, 21029 Hamburg
Opening hours: daily from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
Admission: Adults pay €5 (reduced €3.50) / children and young people under the age of 18 free of charge
The Löwenburg is part of the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel and is one of the first pseudo-medieval castle ruins in Europe.
It was built between 1793 and 1801. Even though it looks like a ruined castle from the outside, the inside is designed like a pleasure palace of the time.
The Löwenburg served as a private retreat for the builder Landgrave Wilhelm IX. from Hesse-Kassel.
Today the Löwenburg is not only one of the most important buildings in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, but also a museum.
Changing exhibitions deal with the art of the last centuries.
Visiting the Löwenburg is only possible as part of a guided tour that takes place every hour.
Address: Schlosspark 9, 34131 Kassel
Opening times: March 1 to November 15, Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. / February 16 to 28, Friday to Sunday and public holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m
Admission: Adults pay 2 euros / children up to 18 years have free admission.