14 beautiful castles in Germany that will delight you

We in Germany are lucky enough to have many enchanting and well-preserved castles. However, with more than 20,000 castles, it is quite difficult to choose the most beautiful ones. Even I have by no means seen them all. I've put together a list of the most impressive fairytale castles in Germany for you and found out why they deserve to be on the list.

Read on to find out your favorites! (The list will be updated as I visit more places that are worthwhile).

List of castles and fairytale locksmiths

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle on a mountain in Hohenschwangau near Füssen. King Ludwig II built his fairytale castle near his family seat.

This castle is a real fairytale castle, but its interior is far too gloomy for me. The architecture is worth seeing, especially the attention to detail, which you can explore on a tour. It is said that Neuschwanstein Castle served as the model for Disney's logo with its Disneyland Castle.

Don't miss the secret grotto inside the castle!

Staying overnight near Neuschwanstein Castle?

There are many accommodations around Neuschwanstein Castle. Many people also take a day trip from Munich. Here you will find an overview of hotels around Neuschwanstein Castle. I can recommend the Hotel Müller. It is located near Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle.

When visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, a hotel in Füssen is ideal. The town is close to Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle. Here you will find many hotels and vacation apartments, which we like to book at fewo-direkt.de.

Here you will find an overview of the visit to Neuschwanstein Castle

Bayern Reiseblog Schloss Neuschwanstein
Bayern Reiseblog Schloss Neuschwanstein

Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle is located in the state capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The beautiful masterpiece from 1857 is a magnificent palace with more than 650 rooms inside.

My tip: The best way to explore Schwerin Castle is as part of a special guided tour (with a visit to the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament).

Where to stay?

If you would like to stay overnight near Schwerin Castle, we recommend the Hotel Weinhaus Uhle. The 4-star hotel is located in Schwerin's old town, just 7 minutes from the castle. If you are traveling with a motorhome, we can recommend the motorhome parking space at Hangar 19 directly on the lake.

Read my article about all things to do in Schwerin and Schwerin Castle

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle is located on the edge of the Swabian Alb. Its spectacular location above a valley makes it a popular excursion destination from Stuttgart (about 1 hour away).

Lichtenstein Castle, as you can explore it today, was built in the 19th century in a romantic neo-Gothic style. There was already a castle here in the Middle Ages.

By the way, did you know that the castle was copied? On Rügen stands the small castle "Klein Lichtenstein" in Lietzow. It stands out as you drive along the road as it shines white-out of the forest (check out my Rügen article, you'll find a picture there). There is also a smaller copy in Cape Town (Hout Bay). Look at it here.

See the most beautiful places in Baden-Württemberg here

Schloss Lichtenstein Baden-Württemberg
Schloss Lichtenstein in Baden-Württemberg

Where to stay close to Lichtenstein castle?

If you visit Lichtenstein Castle, we recommend staying overnight in one of the Apartments "Lichtenstein Valley". It is one of the most modern accommodations in Lichtenstein. Alternatively, you can combine your visit with a stay in the idyllic student city of Tübingen.

Hohenzollern Castle

What could be more beautiful than a beautiful castle perched on a hill above the green forests? Hohenzollern Castle in Bisingen in the Zollernalb district is one of the most beautiful castles in Germany.

The castle has more than 350,000 visitors a year who come from all over the world to enjoy the view and explore the interior. Get ready for crowds, especially at the weekend.

A visit to this castle is also fun for small children. There are great activities for children, including dressing up as a knight or princess!

Where to stay close to Hohenzollern castle?

For a stay near the castle, we recommend the Garni Hotel "Unsere Stadtvilla". There are also not many modern accommodations in Hechingen. Here, too, it might be worth combining your visit with Tübingen or Albstadt.

Burg Hohenzollern in Baden-Württemberg bei einem Roadtrip

Eltz Castle

Eltz Castle is located on the Moselle between the two cities of Trier and Koblenz. Eltz Castle is one of the most beautiful and best-known castles in Germany.

This architectural masterpiece is hidden among the trees in the forest. The castle has been looked after by the same family since it was built. They want to preserve the appearance and beauty of this building.

Did you know that this is one of the few castles that was not damaged in the war? It is one of three castles on the left bank of the Moselle that was never destroyed.

Many of the original furnishings from past centuries have also been preserved. So if you want to take a tour through history, I recommend visiting the castle inside as well and not just taking "Instagram-worthy" pictures in front of it.

Where to stay?

There are numerous accommodations in the area. Just 1.4 km from the castle is the Landhotel Ringelsteiner Mühle. There is free parking, excellent service and delicious food.

Burg Eltz Mosel
Eltz Castle, Moselle

Cochem Imperial Castle

Cochem is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Germany. Once you are in the town, you can hardly miss the castle that towers over the town. Also, popular are boat trips on the Moselle, from where you have a great view of Cochem and Reichsburg Castle.

Built in the 12th century, the Reichsburg Cochem is simply spectacular with its magnificent architecture and fairy tale appearance. A highlight for many on their trip to Cochem.

Did you know that a banker named Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené restored the entire castle in the 19th century? That's why the castle has more of a neo-Renaissance style than a medieval style.

There are regular guided tours of this castle. You can take a close look at various details such as archaic furniture, tapestries, paintings, etc.

Where to stay close to Cochem?

If you are looking for affordable accommodation, you should book the Stumbergers Hotel. From here you have a wonderful panoramic view of the Reichsburg.

Reichsburg Cochem an der Mosel
Reichsburg Cochem on the Moselle

Wernigerode Castle

Wernigerode Castle is located in Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains. The castle was badly damaged in wars, but has been reconstructed to look exactly like the original castle. A beautiful building that towers over Wernigerode.

This castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Germany. The scenery at the top of the hill is definitely breathtaking.

If you're lucky, there are guided tours inside the castle that take you into the 40 furnished rooms. You can see how the German nobility once lived here. Some of these rooms have even been preserved in their original state.

Where to stay?

When visiting Wernigerode Castle, we recommend staying at the Hotel-Restaurant Erbprinz, which is located just 220 meters from the castle. All rooms have a classic look that will take you back in time. They also offer free breakfast and great service.

Schloss Wernigerode liegt im Harz in Wernigerode
Schloss Wernigerode liegt im Harz in Wernigerode

Mespelbrunn Castle

Mespelbrunn Castle is located in the town of Mespelbrunn between Würzburg and Frankfurt am Main. It is a rather lesser-known attraction in Franconian Bavaria.

When it comes to the most beautiful castles and palaces in Germany, this moated castle, which is surrounded by water from all sides, is not yet on many people's radar. I like the castle when there is no wind, because then you have a perfect reflection in the water.

Schloss Mespelbrunn ist ein Wasserschloss und eines der schönsten Schlösser in Deutschland
Mespelbrunn Castle is a moated castle and one of the most beautiful castles in Germany

Heidelberg Castle

Who doesn't know it? Germany's most famous ruin and landmark of the city of Heidelberg? Walk from the Old Town over the Old Bridge, up the Schlangenweg to the Philosophenweg and enjoy the best view of the castle (well signposted). It is best to visit the castle in the morning or late afternoon when day tourists are on their way home.

Heidelberg Panorama Deutschland Kurztrips

Wartburg Castle

Wartburg Castle is located in Eisenach in Thuringia and is over 1000 years old. You can see the magnificent castle from afar. In fact, this is the first castle to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in Germany. It holds a magnificent collection of treasures that are more than 8 centuries old.

You can also explore the impressive castle park free of charge. You only have to pay admission to the inside of Wartburg Castle.

Where to stay?

If you are planning to explore the castle, you should stay at the Romantik Hotel auf der Wartburg. This first-class hotel is located just 90 meters from the castle. The rooms also have a perfect view.

Wartburg Eisenach Sehenswürdigkeit Deutschland
At Wartburg Castle near Eisenach, Martin Luther translated the Bilbel New Testament

Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle is located in the village of Hohenschwangau in southern Germany, near Füssen. The castle was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II (the Mad King). This masterpiece is a perfect fairy tale castle that you shouldn't miss - just like Neuschwanstein Castle.

Where to stay?

Both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau are quite close to each other. So book your stay at the above-mentioned hotel near Neuschwanstein or check out my report on visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, it contains more hotel tips.

Bester Blick auf Schloss Hohenschwangau: Vom Tegelberg bei Füssen im Allgäu.
The best view of Hohenschwangau Castle: from Tegelberg near Füssen in the Allgäu.

Rheinstein Castle

Located near Trechtingshausen in Rhineland-Palatinate, Rheinstein Castle is a must-see. Not only the breathtaking panoramic view, but also a visit to the castle is a must. It was an important castle in German history.

As Rheinstein Castle has a very strategic location, it was once used for defensive purposes. That's why you'll also find great drawbridges here.

The inner courtyard offers a magnificent view of the Rhine. You will also find vines here that are over 500 years old and whose grapes are still used to make wine. The castle chapel is also worth a look inside.

Guttenberg Castle

Guttenberg Castle is one of the oldest and most beautiful castles in the whole of Germany. And it happens to be in my home region. The Staufer castle is one of the last that was never destroyed and has always been inhabited by the Barons of Gemmingen since the 15th century. Surrounded by a sustainably managed forest and home to the German Griffin Observatory.

Within the historic walls, you can experience flight demonstrations of birds of prey and owls (daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in summer), explore life at the knights' castle in the castle museum and enjoy hearty knights' feasts in the castle tavern.

The castle is an incomparable place for everyone. Children in particular love the flying shows, when the giant birds, some with a wingspan of over two meters, soar overhead or even land directly in front of (or on) you.

The 70 or so birds living at the castle (it is not unusual for up to 15 injured griffins a week to be brought to the griffin sanctuary for care) include black vultures, griffon vultures and bearded vultures. In addition to eagle owls, owls, falcons and buzzards, there are also various species of white-tailed eagle, golden eagles and imperial eagles. Quite impressive.

Guttenberg Castle near Haßmersheim

Ludwigslust Castle

We explored Ludwigslust, the late Baroque planned town. The magnificent complex of palace, palace church and palace garden is known as the "Versailles of the North". Our tip is to explore both Ludwigslust Palace and the palace church on a guided tour. This is the only way to find out all the details about the magnificent palace and church.

The main attraction in Ludwigslust is the castle, which was built in the 18th century as the residence of the Dukes of Mecklenburg. During the tour, we explored the Golden Hall, which extends over two floors. The large crystal chandelier in the center as well as the imposing columns and lots of stucco decorated with gold are impressive. But be careful, don't be fooled. Because in Ludwigslust, the "Ludwigsluster Carton" - elaborately decorated papier-mâché is used. But it looks deceptively real.

I also really liked how we were told how they found wallpaper remnants in the castle and how they were able to use them to restore and reconstruct the walls.

If you are already in Ludwigslust, you should also visit the castle church opposite. Another highlight that has it all. We promise.

You can read all about the visit in the travel report through Mecklenburg-Schwerin by motorhome

Schloss Ludwigslust
Ludwigslust Castle

Abschließende Gedanken

We often forget how rich our home country and Europe is in history. The majestic castles and palaces bear witness to an eventful past that you would be hard pressed to find in other countries and continents (Australia or the USA). I have tried to capture the most beautiful castles and palaces. However, I always discover lesser-known places, which I then add to the list.

Check whether you can visit several places as part of a roadtrip in Germany. There are many places worth seeing along the "Burgenstraße".

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it helped answer your questions. If you have any ideas or questions, we look forward to your comments here on the travel blog. Sorry, I'm not native in English. If there are some mistakes in spelling, please let me know.

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Katrin Lehr, Gründerin Reiseblog viel-unterwegs.de und Reise-Expertin
Hi ich bin Katrin!

I'm Katrin, I travel a lot and am a real travel expert! I am eager to explore the whole world with a Camper van or backpack. Furthermore, I founded this travel blog to share my experiences with you!

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