10 Most Beautiful Castles in Germany

Updated On October 5, 2023
Drachenburg Castle

Whether you are a European resident or merely a visitor, there is one thing that everyone can agree upon.

Germany is home to some of the most beautiful castles that the region has to offer.

In fact, there are so many, the toughest part will be narrowing down your choices.

That’s where this helpful guide comes into play.

We are here to help you zero in on the best locations that the country has to offer.

10 Most Beautiful Castles in Germany

Please be sure to read on and learn more about the following castles, so that you can plan your next trip or outing accordingly.

Mespelbrunn Castle

Located in Mespelbrunn, this castle splits the difference between the early Renaissance and late medieval.

It has become one of the most popular castles in Germany, owing at least partially to its location in a tributary valley in the Spessart forest, nestled between Frankfurt and Würzburg.

The surrounding hills are a beautiful sight as well, with lush greens and a crystal-clear lake to enhance the ambiance.

The stained glass windows and red sandstone add to the castle’s beauty as well.

The castle is still owned by the family of the Counts of Ingelheim and they still reside at this location.

They work tirelessly to ensure that this castle remains one of the crown jewels of the region and the atmosphere is often compared to something out of a fairy tale.

Drachenburg Castle

This castle was originally constructed to be used as a private villa back in the 19th century.

However, the wealthy banker who was responsible for commissioning its construction never actually lived there.

The name actually means “Dragon’s Castle” in German, as local legends state that a dragon was slain by a hero on the hill where it is located.

The mixture of architectural styles makes this a common destination.

It’s not every day that you get the chance to see a castle that looks like Big Ben went medieval with a side of a Gothic cathedral.

Before being damaged in World War II, it served as a Christian Boys’ school and chapel.

Now, it is privately owned and fully restored and refurbished.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle served as a ruler’s residence for some time before falling into ruin.

Things changed once King Ludwig’s father, Maximilian II, acquired the castle during the 19th century.

It was rebuilt and redecorated in his preferred Gothic romantic style.

This picturesque location is perfect for anyone who is looking for a true fairy tale experience.

The interior of the castle is a lot of fun to check out, as you will have the chance to walk through the same grounds where King Ludwig II spent his childhood.

His interest in legends and fairy tales has shaped this residence and it shows in the artwork that has decorated these walls since his reign.

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle truly stands out in comparison with the lush green forests that can be found on the north flank of Königstuhl hill.

The sandstone ruins tower looms large, casting an impressive shadow over the Neckar Valley.

While it once existed as a Gothic masterpiece, the castle was eventually burned down, plundered, and even struck by lightning on multiple occasions.

That has not stopped roughly 1 million visitors per year from coming to see the remains of this once proud structure.

Even though it has not been restored to its former glory, it is still one of the top castles in all of Germany.

The original structure was built in 1214 and from there, Heidelberg became one of the earliest German Renaissance buildings.

Reichsburg Castle

Looming high above Cochem and the Moselle River, Reichsburg Castle (which is also referred to as Reichsburg Cochem or Cochem Castle) has origins that are believed to date back over a thousand years.

In 1689, French King Louis XIV ordered his troops to obliterate the castle, which had been built in 1100.

Berlin businessman Louis Ravené purchased the ruins and had the structure rebuilt in 1868.

Originally, the castle was constructed in Romanesque style but once it was rebuilt, it became neo-Gothic.

Now, there is a wide range of tours for every possible interest.

Ghost tours, night watchman tours, landscape garden tours, this castle has it all.

There are also falconry performances and you can check out the daily Knights’ Meal.

Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle was constructed over the course of ten years, from 1847 to 1857.

While it was once home to grand dukes, the castle eventually became state-owned.

The structure is surrounded by lakes and forests and it has been constructed from golden domed towers with breathtaking pinnacles.

Visitors flock from far and wide to admire the architectural structure of the castle.

When it comes to Europe’s romantic historicism era, it is believed to be one of the more important architectural creations of the time period.

The romantic gardens are a common attraction here, as visitors love to take a stroll through the parkways and check out the flower beds.

The living rooms, throne rooms, and ballrooms are also a highly enjoyable experience.

The castle is even said to have its own poltergeist named Petermännchen that plays tricks on the unsuspecting, so watch out!

Lichtenstein Castle

The romantic novel Lichtenstein, written by Wilhelm Hauff, served as the inspiration for this castle‘s initial construction.

Count Wilhelm of Württemberg, Duke of Urach, had this structure built atop a medieval knight’s castle’s existing foundation walls.

All you need to do is take an hour’s drive from Stuttgart and you can also enjoy gorgeous views of the Swabian Alps and Echaz Valley.

The neo-Gothic architecture here is a sight to see and the attention to detail is absolutely stunning.

Germany has no shortage of castles but this one is of particular interest to tourists and it is easy to see why.

Some may choose to take the aforementioned drive, while others may choose to hike their way up to the castle instead.

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle, which is nestled within Baden-Württemberg, also rests atop a steep cliff.

This gives the structure an even more unique appearance than what you might already be expecting.

German emperors, Prussian kings, and Swabian princes have all resided here over the course of the castle’s lifespan.

Visitors will note that it is conveniently located between Lake Constance, the Black Forest, and Stuttgart.

The fortress was first built during the 11th century.

It has also been destroyed and rebuilt several times over since its initial construction.

Guided tours are offered on a daily basis and you can visit all year round.

The Treasure Chamber gives visitors the chance to see all sorts of famous historical items, including Fredrick the Great’s uniform and the snuff box that once famously saved Fredrick’s life.

Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz Castle is one of the more striking locations that Germany has to offer, as it is hidden deep in the rural woods.

It even rests atop a 70-meter-high rock and is made of timber and stone.

It truly looks like something out of a Disney fairy tale, doesn’t it?

The castle has been under the private care of the Eltz family for generations now and still has many of its original furnishings.

It even has treasures of porcelain, silver, and gold.

If you would really like to make the most out of your journey, you can even take a hike in the surrounding woods.

Once you have had the chance to check out this incredible backdrop, which is headlined. by a babbling brook, you will understand why this location has become such a popular one for German tourists.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Overlooking the Hohenschwangau Valley and tucked within the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle occupies an interesting place in history.

It was constructed during a time period when castles were no longer considered to be a vital form of defense.

Ludwig II, the mysterious ruler, did not care and decided that the castle needed to be built anyway because he wanted his own hideaway.

Within a few weeks of the king’s passing, the castle was ironically opened up to the general public.

Now, millions of people make their way to this castle to enjoy what was supposed to be a private residence.

It’s one of the more popular locations in Germany, so be sure to book your trip ahead of time.

While we have spoken about castles that look like they came out of a Disney movie, this one has a particularly special claim to fame.

Walt Disney took the inspiration for the iconic Sleeping Beauty castle from this exact location.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Best Time of Year To Travel To Germany?

Summer is typically considered to be the best time of year to travel to one of these castles, for all of the obvious reasons.

The weather is fantastic.

The trails are free of snow, for all of the hikers out there.

The sun remains out for longer periods of time.

Tourists are also able to pack their schedules full of fun activities.

Do German Castles Offer Overnight Stays?


Feel free to ask the staffers who are responsible for running the castles that you are interested in visiting about potential overnight stays.

In fact, these locations can offer a more quirky experience than most hotels because no two rooms are ever going to be the exact same.

This is a major plus for those in search of a more authentic German experience.

What’s The Oldest Castle In Germany?

Meersburg Castle takes the title of the oldest inhabited castle in Germany.

Merovingian King Dagobert I commissioned its construction during the 7th century.

Historical tours are available to those who wish to see the Knights’ Market and Dabogert’s Tower.

What If I Would Like To Save Money?

If you would like to save some money on your German castle adventure, you can also choose to come during the spring or fall.

The weather may not be quite as nice but visitors will enjoy more access to hotel rooms, more space to move about and they will still have a full range of sights.

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