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8 Best Castles in Germany to Visit on Vacation

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Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany

From a Gothic aesthetic to a quaint and charming ambiance, the best castles in Germany to visit on vacation will amaze and inspire you during your Germany tour.

Spanning the country, epic fortresses and spectacular palaces dot the landscape. Whether you are looking to explore large, dramatic castles or beautiful chateaus with a more intimate ambiance, you will be greeted by breathtaking scenery and remarkable architectural design capturing historic marvels and captivating stories.

Explore, discover, and enjoy the top German castles during your visit as you plan a trip that will sweep you away into a world of fairytales, magic, and history.

  1. 1. Neuschwanstein Castle
  2. 2. Nuremberg Castle
  3. 3. Heidelberg Castle
  4. 4. Mespelbrunn Water Castle
  5. 5. Rheinstein Castle
  6. 6. Hohenzollern Castle
  7. 7. Lichtenstein Castle
  8. 8. Burg Eltz
  9. Explore the Best Castles in Germany on Vacation

1. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany

Located in southwest Bavaria, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the best castles in Germany and among the most popular in the world, representing one of the country’s true jewels. King Ludwig built this fairytale fortress, with lavish decor highlighting each floor of this magnificent building.

A throne fit for a king and captivating art set against brightly lined walls add glory to this famous design. The castle, which has inspired creations from puzzles to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, stands tall and commanding, with a colorful facade that can be seen from miles away.

2. Nuremberg Castle

Kaiserburg above the old town in Nuremberg, Germany

Kaiserburg above the old town in Nuremberg, Germany

A fortress defined as strong and commanding, Nuremberg Castle remains one of Germany’s most famous castles and stands as a series of buildings built to form a formidable defense. A romantic interior complements the sturdy exterior to create an impressive silhouette matched by its rich history and intriguing layout.

The fortress dominates the city's old-town skyline and contrasts one of Bavaria’s largest metropolises. Discover the Deep Wall and Heathen’s Tower, enter the Imperial Chapel, and walk alongside ancient stone structures that share fascinating stories that can inspire new Germany vacation ideas.

3. Heidelberg Castle

Ruins of Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg, Germany

One of Germany’s most famous ruins, the Heidelberg Castle is an important example of Renaissance architecture in the region. Its location gives off an air of importance and grandeur, as it sits high above the city of Heidelberg, commanding incredible views.

Inside, the ceilings are splendidly ornate, with bold decor outlined in the remarkable collection of rooms. The Giant Heidelberg Tun is said to be the world’s largest wine barrel in existence. Walk the grounds of the fortress, where you can admire its structure and design inside and out.

4. Mespelbrunn Water Castle

Mespelbrunn Water Castle in the Spessart Forest, Germany

Mespelbrunn Water Castle in the Spessart Forest, Germany

Known as one of Germany’s most famous “water castles”, Mespelbrunn stands in the Spessart Forest outside Frankfurt to create a magical ambiance. It is simple in design, with quaint features that give the impression of an easy target during war times, yet with water as its main defense, it has endured and thrived.

Cross the moat into the castle and tour through history as you spend some time quietly observing the wonders from the outside. Take a break from the bustling cities and perhaps even bigger castles in Germany to make sure you experience the splendor of Mespelbrunn Castle when considering your Germany trip planner.

5. Rheinstein Castle

Cruise ship and Rheinstein Castle

Rhine Valley, Germany

Perfectly positioned above the Rhine River, the Rheinstein Castle once stood as an important part of the German Empire, serving as a customs post. A strong example of medieval construction, the drawbridge and portcullis continue to function today, adding to its old-world charm.

The stonework is beautiful, allowing the castle to stand out as a marvel of design, while blending in with its garden-like surroundings. The grounds are lovely and peaceful for an overall stunning exploration of the region.

6. Hohenzollern Castle

An aerial view of Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern, Germany

A truly impressive castle, Hohenzollern towers above the land just south of Stuttgart and is known as one of the largest fortresses in Germany.

Venture through the hallways and ornately decorated rooms within the palace to experience the living history that’s existed for more than a thousand years. Fantastic stained-glass windows represent the oldest in the country, with a collection of Persian artifacts and a dramatic staircase creating a grandiose experience.

7. Lichtenstein Castle

Beautiful Lichtenstein Castle

Baden Wurttemberg, Germany

Visit the Swabian Alb mountain region to experience the beauty of neo-Gothic Lichtenstein, one of the most popular castles in southern Germany. Family-owned, it has a rich history and boasts dramatic architecture, accentuated by the interior design.

It has an impressive armor and weapons collection, a quaint chapel, and grounds worth exploring, as they immerse you in a bygone era. The Castle Tavern creates an immersive environment in which you can savor a taste of the castle experience or embrace adventure on the nearby ropes course.

8. Burg Eltz

 Burg Eltz Castle in Germany

Eltz Castle between Koblenz and Trier in Germany

Dramatically positioned in a picturesque setting of forest and valley, the Eltz Castle is bold and charming. It sits atop an enormous rock above the Moselle River and embodies one of Germany’s hidden treasures.

Having never seen a war, the fortress is unique. The treasure strongroom houses a trove of silver and gold, while the castle’s main points of interest include eight towers, several turrets, and a glossy interior that presents a glimpse into the rich history, its rooms authentically decorated.

Explore the Best Castles in Germany on Vacation

Moselle river with Reichsburg Castle

Cochem, Germany

Step back into a world of medieval castles, quaint fortresses, and settings that simply take your breath away when you explore Germany’s top castles. Plan your visit to ensure you have enough time to venture into forests, valleys, and mountains to make the most of your trip.

Take a look at our Germany travel guide to get some ideas of where and when to travel during your trip or find inspiration when discovering new possibilities with our Germany tours and vacations.

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