We are exploring the most beautiful stalactite caves in Germany, that not only keep many secrets, they are also a great holiday destination. I always four them fascinating, mysterious worlds under the earth’s surface, winding corridors and an ancient story of origin.
They are especially beautiful for families and nature lovers. But they also offer everyone else a varied way to cool down on hot summer days and the perfect place for a dry journey of discovery on rainy days.
Here I show you which stalactite caves are particularly worth seeing.
Fog Cave in Genkingen (Sonnenbühl)
The Nebelhöhle, located in the Swabian Alb, is a stalactite cave is one of the oldest show caves in Germany. The sheer size of the stalactites, some of which reach heights of a man, is truly impressive.
First mentioned in the 15th century as a “fog hole,” the cave’s entrance was enlarged in 1803 to allow for visitors. Stairs and bridges were added to make the cave more accessible.
Interestingly, the name “Nebelhöhle” (fog cave) originates from the fog that rose from the hole, particularly during winter. In 1920, the cave was further explored, and the “New Fog Cave” was discovered, which is now the entrance to the cave.
Visitors can explore the fog cave independently without a guide. However, since more than 140 steps must be climbed to enter the cave, it is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with prams. The Bear’s Cave, another interesting cave in Sonnenbühl, is located about 8 km away from the Nebelhöhle.
Address: Nebelhöhle Gewann Nebelhöhle 72820 Sonnenbühl / Genkingen
Opening times: Daily 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed in winter or only open on weekends
Admission: 4.50 euros, children 2.50 euros
Atta Cave in Attendorn
It is considered the largest and most beautiful stalactite cave in Germany, the Atta Cave in Attendorn in North Rhine-Westphalia.
By chance, quarry workers discovered the stalactite cave in July 1907 during blasting work.
To date, about 40 million people have visited Atta Cave. Reason enough for you to plan a trip to Attendorn on your next visit to Germany.
You can visit the cave at around 500 meters. The most beautiful stalactites and stalagmites form into extraordinary formations. Overall, the stalactite cave has a length of 6670 meters.
In 1986 researchers discovered another part of the stalactite cave. But opening it up to the public would be too dangerous.
Incidentally, the cave was formed in the Devonian around 400 million years ago.
In addition to the Atta Cave, there is a Health Grotto that you can visit. You can relax on loungers and in beautiful light and breathe in the soothing cave air. It is said to help with asthma, chronic bronchitis, neurodermatitis, sleep disorders and some other diseases.
My tip: Try the Atta cheese. This matures for three months at a constant humidity of 95 percent in the stalactite cave.
Address: Finnentroper Str. 39, 57439 Attendorn
Opening times: Opening times vary between 10am and 4.30pm depending on the time of year. The exact opening hours can be found on the homepage
Admission: adults pay 9 euros and children from 5 to 14 years 5.50 euros
Devil’s Cave in Pottenstein
This stalactite cave near Bayreuth is the largest stalactite cave in Germany.
On a length of 1700 meters you can examine the various large and small rooms and halls.
Overall, the Devil’s Cave has a length of 3000 meters.
In 1922 Hans Brand, geologist and mining engineer discovered the cave. The entrance portal – the Teufelsloch – had been known for a long time, but ended after 85 meters in front of a wall. Nobody knew what was behind it.
Only when Brand broke through the wall and discovered cave parts decorated with stalactites did he suspect what might be in the mountain. Over the next eight years, the cave was gradually uncovered and opened to the public.
A complete skeleton of a cave bear is exhibited in the cave.
Impressive halls with impressive names and equally impressive stalactites await you.
So you can visit the Barbarossadom and the Riesensaal.
Address: Pegnitzer Strasse 100, 91278 Pottenstein
Opening times: from 7 January to 23 March with guided tours at 11 a.m., 12.20 p.m., 1.40 p.m. and 3 p.m., from 24 March to 4 November with guided tours daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
Admission: Adults pay 5 euros, children from 4 to 15 years 3 euros
König Otto stalactite cave in Velburg
The König Otto stalactite cave has a total length of 450 meters. You can get to know 270 of them on a guided tour.
The remarkable stalactite cave is located in the Upper Palatinate and owes its name to the day of its discovery. That was on September 30, 1895, the name day of the Bavarian King Otto.
Today, the König Otto Cave is part of the Velburg World of Experience. Not only can you visit the stalactite cave, but you can also try your hand at a climbing garden, ride a quad, swim or walk along the forest adventure trail.
In the cave you will find a world of mysterious works of stalactites and stalagmites that nature has created over millions of years.
In 1972 a second cave was discovered. You can also visit the Advent Cave today.
If you want, you can even get married in the stalactite cave.
Address: St. Colomann, 92355 Velburg
Opening hours: from April 1st to October 31st, Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., guided tours take place every hour on the hour Tuesday to Saturday, and every half hour on Sundays from 12 p.m. Mondays are days off, unless there is a public holiday
Admission: Adults pay 5 euros, children up to 15 years 3 euros and children up to 3 years have free admission
Saalfeld fairy grotto in Saalfeld
The fairy grotto of Saalfeld is a very special stalactite cave.
Because it is very young and the stalactites grow a thousand times faster here than in other layers of rock.
Until 1860, today’s stalactite cave was used as a tunnel for the mining of alum and vitriol.
From 1910 the forgotten tunnel was rediscovered and the fascinating stalactites that had formed here in less than 300 years were found in the older layers.
The colorful stalactites in the fairy grotto are particularly beautiful. Since 1993 it has been in the Guinness Book of Records as “the most colorful show grotto in the world”.
You can also discover the fairy grotto and the associated grottoneum and the fairy forest. This is how you as a family experience a nice day in Saalfeld.
You can book your guided tour online in advance. You can not only buy tickets there, but also choose the time for the tour.
Address: Feengrottenweg 2, 07318 Saalfeld
Opening times: from November to April daily from 11 a.m. to 3.30 p.m., from May to October daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in January only the Grottoneum is open, daily from 11 a.m. to 3.30 p.m
Admission (for all three attractions): adults pay 14.90 euros, children from 4 to 14 years pay 9.90 euros
Eberstadt stalactite cave in the Odenwald
This stalactite cave in Germany is about three to five million years old and about 600 meters long.
The Eberstadt stalactite cave was first discovered in 1971 and opened to visitors just two years later.
Since the cave was only operated with electric light from the beginning, the stalactites are still in their original white color.
In older stalactite caves, where candles or torches were used at the beginning, the stalactites have darkened from the soot from the candles.
The height of the cave is between two and eight meters. Impressive rock formations can be found here underground. A stalagmite, which owes its name “Vesuvius” to its appearance, or the mighty stalactite “wedding cake”.
You will also find an underground lake in the branched cave. You can only visit the stalactite cave as part of a guided tour. These usually start on the hour.
Address: Höhlenweg 8, 74722 Buchen
Opening times: from March to the end of October daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed on Mondays in March, April, September and October, from November to the end of February on Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays in Baden-Württemberg from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m
Admission: Adults pay 5 euros, children from 3 to 15 years 4 euros, disabled people pay 4 euros
Dragon Cave Syrau in the Vogtland
The Dragon Cave of Syrau is the only stalactite cave in Saxony. It was accidentally discovered during quarry work in March 1928 and opened to visitors in the same year.
The cave is around 550 meters long today and you can visit around 350 meters of it as part of guided tours.
Here you can see various interesting stalactite formations, underground lakes with crystal clear water and extraordinary sinter formations.
One of the most beautiful is the “curtain”. It is around 50 centimeters long. The hole in the “curtain” was shot by a Soviet soldier.
From May to August, ten-minute laser shows take place in the dragon’s cave, as well as concerts at regular intervals.
My tip: On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the discovery of the cave on March 14, 2018, everyone with the first name Willy or Ludwig, the last name Stein or Höhle, and birthday children have free admission.
Address: Paul-Seifert-Strasse, 08548 Syrau
Opening hours: in February daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from April to October daily from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m
Admission (with laser show): adults pay 8 euros, children between 4 and 14 years pay 5.50 euros, children under 4 years have free admission
The Bing Cave was named after its discoverer, Ignaz Bing from Nuremberg, who discovered the cave in 1905. From 1906 the cave was open to spectators.
The various grottos and formations of stalactite caves that you can visit today all have impressive names, such as the stalactite gallery, the candle hall or the Prince Ludwig Grotto.
Incidentally, the cave was created by a river that once ate its way through the mountain.
The cave is one of the most beautiful stalactite caves in Germany and, in addition to the normal tours, also offers adventure or fairy tale tours for children. You can also celebrate your children’s birthdays here.
My tip: The Bing cave and the devil’s cave in Pottenstein are only about 25 minutes away by car.
Address: Schauertal, 91346 Wiesenttal
Opening hours: from April to November daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Admission: Adults pay 4.50 euros, children from 4 to 14 years 2.50 euros, students from 15 years (with student ID) 3.50 euros
Autumn labyrinth advent cave system in Breitscheid
The underground cave system in Breitscheid is the largest cave system in Hesse and one of the most beautiful stalactite caves in Germany. The total length is 12000 meters.
The cave system was only discovered in 1993 and then opened in 2009.
Thanks to its technical equipment, the autumn labyrinth is one of the most modern show caves in Europe.
The accessible part of the autumn labyrinth is the Knöpfchenhalle. It is around 60 meters long and 32 meters high.
In the cave you will find many different types of stalactites, sinters or meandering ceilings. Breitscheid’s cave adventure doesn’t end above ground. The karst and cave educational trail awaits you there.
During a hike along the circular route you will experience the phenomena of a karst landscape. There streams disappear into the earth and dried-up streams form the entrance to gorges today.
The “stone chambers” are a highlight for young and old. Here you can go cave exploring yourself.
Address: On the K68, 35767 Breitscheid
Opening times: from April to October on Saturdays, Sundays and Hessian public holidays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., guided tours take place every hour
Admission: Adults pay 9 euros, children between 4 and 6 years pay 6 euros
Iberg stalactite cave in Bad Grund
The Iberger stalactite cave is part of the cave experience center cave and museum on the Iberg in southern Lower Saxony.
The accessible part of the stalactite cave is 123 meters long and lies deep in the limestone.
Originally it is a coral reef that probably arose in a warm sea where Madagascar is today.
Within several million years it then shifted to its current location in the Upper Harz Mountains. This gives the cave a unique history of origins, which is probably unique in Europe.
The cave was discovered around 1500 by miners looking for stored brown iron ore. A cave tour was described for the first time in 1737 and from 1874 stairs and paths were laid out so that the Iberger stalactite cave became accessible to visitors.
In the associated museum you can explore the history of the “oldest” extended family in the world. Researchers discovered the mortal remains of a family clan from the Bronze Age in the Lichtenstein Cave, 15 kilometers away. The tomb is estimated to be almost 3000 years old.
Thanks to the well-preserved bone structure, researchers were able to find DNA and thus prove family relationships of an early Christian group for the first time.
A replica of the cave tomb that is true to the original gives you an authentic impression of the tomb.
Address: At the stalactite cave 1, 37539 Bad Grund (Harz)
Opening hours: from December to June and in September Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., also open on Mondays during the school holidays in Lower Saxony, in July, August, October and all school holidays in Lower Saxony Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on national public holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m open until 5 p.m
Admission (stalactite cave and museum): Adults pay 8 euros, reduced admission applies to children and young people from 6 to 16 years, pupils, trainees, students and the disabled, admission costs 6 euros
10 Most Beautiful Stalactite Caves in Germany (2023)
- Fog Cave in Genkingen (Sonnenbühl)
- Atta Cave in Attendorn
- Devil’s Cave in Pottenstein
- König Otto stalactite cave in Velburg
- Saalfeld fairy grotto in Saalfeld
- Eberstadt stalactite cave in the Odenwald
- Dragon Cave Syrau in the Vogtland
- Bing Cave
- Autumn labyrinth advent cave system in Breitscheid
- Iberg stalactite cave in Bad Grund