When thinking of Germany, the first things that come to mind are usually beer, bratwurst and… castles! Germanys stunning castles have been attracting visitors from all over the world and this is not coincidental - visiting them feels like being taken back to another era.
There are over 1000 beautiful fairytale castles in Germany and a trip here would not be complete without seeing at least one or two of them. They are so many that it can be very overwhelming to decide which ones to visit. This is why Ive put together this fairy-tale castles guide with 13 stunning castles and palaces you can visit in Germany, all recommended by travel bloggers.
13 Fairytale castles in Germany
13. Charlottenburg Palace
Recommended by Ali from Berlin Travel Tips
One of the most beautiful and fairytale-like castles in Germany is Charlottenburg Palace, located in Berlin. This gorgeous palace is one of the most well known landmarks in Berlin, and even though its not right in the center of the city, its worth the extra effort to see.
Charlottenburg Palace was built for Sophie Charlotte in 1695 as her summer palace. The palace was one of favorite retreats for several generations of Hohenzollern rulers.
Its a Baroque palace with Rococo interiors and ornate gardens. Touring the inside of the palace gives you a glimpse at what royal life wouldve been like, from the Palace Chapel to the intricate details of the furnishings of the bed chambers.
The Palace is closed on Mondays, open Tuesdays through Sundays. Opening hours are 10am to 5:30pm, April through October, or 10am to 4:30pm, November through March. Entrance tickets are 12 euros for the Old Palace, 12 euros for the New Wing, or 17 euros for a combo ticket that gets you into both.
If youre only interested in seeing the outside, you can also wander through the gardens and adjacent park for free.
The palace is located at Spandauer Damm 10-22, 14059 Berlin. The closest Sbahn station is S Westend, and the closest Ubahn stations are U Richard-Wagner-Platz or U Sophie-Charlotte-Platz.
12. Nuremberg Castle
Recommended by Rhonda Krause from Travel Yes Please
Overlooking the historic Old Town of Nuremberg from a sandstone ridge is Nuremberg Castle. This fortified complex of medieval buildings was a distinguished and important center for the Holy Roman Empire, serving both as a residence for the emperors and venue for administrative functions.
When visiting Nuremberg Castle you can explore the courtyard and tour the Palas, the castles main building.
The pretty courtyard looks like a small village with half-timbered buildings that have flower boxes hanging from the windows. Theres also a round stone tower you can climb for panoramic views of the city, the Deep Well, and a garden.
Inside the castle you can see exhibits about the Holy Roman Empire alongside some interesting relics. The emperors living spaces, halls, and double chapel can also be visited.
Nuremberg Castle is open daily from 9:00 am- 6:00 pm (April to September) and 10:00 am- 4:00 pm (October to March). Its closed on January 1, Shrove Tuesday, and December 24, 25, and 31st. An admission fee of €5.50 is charged.
11. Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam
Recommended by Soumya from Stories by Soumya
Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam is one of the best fairytale castles to visit in Germany. Located less than an hour from Berlin, Sanssouci makes for the perfect day trip destination and a must-have on every German itinerary.
Frederick the Great of Prussia built the resplendent Sanssouci Palace in the early 18thcentury. It served as his summer palace and personal sanctuary for a very long time. Today, it is part of the magnificent ensemble of Potsdam Palaces and Parks that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Set over a terraced vineyard that is accompanied by sprawling gardens, Sanssouci is often referred to as the Versailles of Prussia. Its interiors are filled with ornate Rococo designs and lovely floral reliefs that make a trip to Sanssouci absolutely magical.
Sanssouci Palace is open from 9:00am - 5:30am, Tuesday to Sunday. Hours are shorter in summer. Admission prices vary for single tickets and Sanssouci+ passes. Find more information on the official website. Potsdam is an easy 45-minute train ride from Berlin.
10. Linderhof Palace
Recommended by Diana Lesko from The Globetrotting Detective
The beautiful Linderhof Castle located in the state of Bavaria is the cutest castle in Germany. It is only 95 km from the capital of Bavaria, Munich. You can reach the charming Linderhof Palace either by car or public transport.
Walking around the parks and the forest of the palace is free. You only pay if you want to enter the palace and the park buildings. The entrance fee in the summer season for the palace and the park buildings (Moorish Kiosk, Moroccan House, Hundings Hut, Gurnemanz Hermitage, Royal Lodge) is free under 18. For adults, the ticket costs 10 €. The Royal Lodge is an extra 2 €. In winter, you can only visit the palace and it costs 9 €.
Linderhof Castle, built in the 19th century, is one of the most extravagant, majestic and dreamiest royal palaces of the Mad King of Bavaria, Ludwig II. He is the same king who also got the world-famous Bavarian masterpiece, the Neuschwanstein Castle, built. The kings dream was to construct places that mirror his own fantasy world where he wanted to escape from reality.
As for the Linderhof Palace, King Ludwig II.s desire was to build a palace similar to the Palace of Versailles in France. The palace could not be completed as he had dreamed it but it is still one of the dreamiest palaces in the world.
Both the exterior and interior design of this fairy tale palace are opulent and awe-inspiring. In its lavish and brilliant halls of the Linderhof Palace, you can literally live out your prince and princess fantasies. Especially, when you are in the shiny Hall of Mirrors where you can admire the endless reflections of its mirrors.
The fairytale grandeur is not only manifested in the breathtaking and picture-perfect palace but everything you see around it. Stunning gardens with colorful flowers, perfectly maintained parks with evergreen hedges, tranquil little lakes, green forests, and dramatic mountains will make you feel part of King Ludwigs fantasy world.
9. Marienburg Castle
Recommended by Raluca of Travel With A Spin
When talking about fairytale castles in Germany, we cannot not mention the Marienburg Castle.
Marienburg Castle is set high on a hill 20 km out of Hanover. George V, the last king of Hanover, built it as a birthday present and proof of love for his wife, Queen Marie, the one whose name it shares.
The construction of the massive building in a neo-gothic style started in 1857. It featured countless pinnacles and turrets, 160 rooms and impressive sky-high watchtowers. Unfortunately, the royal couple only got to live one year in the beautiful castle. In 1866, the war between Prussia and Hanover broke out. When Hannover was annexed by Prussia, King George fled to Austria. Very soon his beloved wife followed him.
Thus, the palace was abandoned. Its believed that nobody touched it for the next 80 years, until the end of WWII. Visitors are still able to see the original decorations and furniture in perfect conditions.
Marienburg makes for one of the best day trips from Hanover. In order to get there, one can take the train that runs almost once an hour to Nordstemmen for 15 minutes. But youll have to walk or take a taxi 3 more kilometers to the castle. Opening times and prices vary per season and can be checked here.
8. Hohenschwangau Castle
Recommended by Cosette from KarsTravels
Hohenschwangau castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Germany and is located in the town of Hohenschwangau, near Füssen. Its across the world famous Neuschwanstein castle, in Southern Germany. The castle can be reached by car. Take the A7 and exit at Füssen. From the exit its another 7 minutes driving.
Hohenschwangau castle was built in the 12th century, but abandoned in the 16th century. When Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria stumbled upon the ruins in 1832 he bought them. He rebuilt the castle in 5 years time, turning it into a neo gothic romantic style castle. The castle has a medieval look due to the 4 corner turrets. The exterior is yellow colored, the interior is in Biedermeier style. There are over 90 wall paintings inside the castle. The theme of the decorations is German mythology.
The entrance fee is €21.00 for adults, €18.00 for kids 7 and up. From April to October the castle is open from 9am to 5pm. From October to March its open from 10am to 4pm.
The castle can only be visited on a 45-minute guided tour, and needs to be pre-booked either online or at the ticket center in town.
7. Burg Rheinstein
Recommended by James Ian from Travel Collecting
Burg Rheinstein is an incredibly beautiful castle in the Rhine Valley. It is near the village of Trechtingshausen, where there is a train station with connections to Mainz. Its also a stop on the Rhine Valley river cruises between Koblenz and Rudesheim am Rhein, and you can get off, visit the castle, then take the next boat to continue the cruise.
The castle was built in 1316, and was passed on to the archbishops of Mainz. By the late 16thcentury, the castle was abandoned and fell into ruin until Price Frederick of Prussia bought and restored it in the early 19th century.
Today, it is privately owned and has been turned into a museum, restaurant and tiny hotel with just two rooms. Its closed from late December to late March, but the rest of year, you can visit it as a day trip, for a meal or as an overnight guest. Highlights include a neo-Gothic chapel, a 500-year-old Burgundy grape vine, and terraces with fantastic views over the Rhine River and Valley.
Visits are self-guided and entry costs 7 euros for adults. Its open 10:00am - 6:00pm March - October; 12:00pm - 4:00pm for the first half of November and then 12:00pm - 7:00pm for a special Christmas season from mid-November to late December. No reservations are needed for the museum. You need to be a museum visitor or overnight guest to enjoy their restaurant.
6. Heidelberg Castle
Recommended by Jonathan from Journey Maxx
Essentially a ruin for over 400 years now since the destruction in the Palatine Wars, what remains of Heidelberg Castle still looks every bit as wondrous and imposing. Standing proudly above the city and in view of the Königstuhl the great Schloss Heidelberg cannot be missed when visiting. Very easy to spot at the end of the Hauptsrasse the castle can be reached easily on foot or by taking the Bergbahn funicular tram.
What remains in these grounds are a cornucopia of monuments and exhibits dedicated to the castles history. One of the great quirks being the worlds largest wine barrel and the legend of the dwarf court jester Perkeo who has been immortalised in statues throughout the city as something of a city icon. The nickname supposedly derived from his default response to being asked for another glass of wine, Perche no?. Why not? in Italian. On the lower floor of the castle is the Apothecary Museum, a unique collection of pharmaceutical materials.
Entrance to the castle and gardens is €9 (€4.50 concession rate for children and disabled) but an extra €6 for a guided tour that can take you to areas of the castle otherwise out of bounds.
5. Lichtenstein Castle
Recommended by Soujanya from The Spicy Journey
Lichtenstein Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Germany which is located close to the city of Stuttgart in south-west Germany. Apart from an epic view from the castle, the architecture and location of Lichtenstein castle is very impressive.
Located on a cliff overlooking idyllic German villages, the castle is the perfect day trip from Stuttgart or Munich. The castle opens from 9am-5pm in summer and 10am-4pm in winter. It costs 4€ per adult and 2€ per child to enter the castle grounds and gardens whereas a 30 minute guided tour of the interiors cost 10€ for adults and 5€ for children.
The castle also has a large parking lot and a restaurant serving German specialities.
Some of the things to do at Lichtenstein castle include taking a walk on the castle grounds, seeing the ruins of the old castle, learning about its history and even hiking up to the castle itself.
4. Nymphenburg Palace
Recommended by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
For many people visiting Munich a trip to Neuschwanstein is top of the list but many overlook the beauty that lies right in the heart of Munich, a jewel in its own right, Nymphenburg Palace.
Nymphenburg Palace was once the home of Bavarian Royalty. The grand Palace used to sit in a forested area where they nobility could roam freely and hunt during the day. They chose this area for the distance it had from the city center and for the freedom it would give them. Now the Palace is really a part of the Munich suburbs although when you visit you are still able to get a great sense of what the Royals loved so much.
As you walk down past the canal to reach the Palace the red roof will shine in the sunlight or be the pop of color when snow has fallen in the winter. In the summer you will find people enjoying a picnic in the grounds and in the wintertime you will find people skating on the canal. Families often come here to enjoy the wide open space and the peace it offers.
Tours of the Palace are amazing. You can wander the halls with an audio guide to find out how the opulent rooms were designed and who was the lucky one to sleep in them. Gold trimmed decorations make even the dullest of rooms shine and the furniture always looks wonderful but slightly uncomfortable at the same time. Entry to the Palace is 8 Euros for adults and an audio guide will cost you 3.50 Euros.
In the buildings that are within the Palace complex you will also find small museums that hold a treasure trove of items that the Royals used in every day life. From the big banquet dinner sets to the carriages that took them to and from their fine homes there is a selection for you to see.
Once you have finished touring the Palace and the buildings take some time to wander the magnificent gardens that are beautifully manicured, just beware of the ducks and geese who at times get very protective of their home!
3. Marksburg Castle
Recommended by Chrysoula from Historic European Castles
Marksburg Castle is located in the small town of Braubach, at the banks of the Rhine River, an area designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The castle was built in 1100 as a stone keep and later was transformed into a castle. It was used mainly for defensive purposes and not as a residence for the royalty. It is the only hilltop castle on the Rhine that has never been destroyed. The castle since 1900 belongs to the German Castle Association, a private initiative that preserves castles around Germany.
The only way to see the castle is by a guided tour booked at the entrance that lasts around 50 minutes, The castle is open daily from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m, tours are held mainly in German but there are tours available in English during the high season. Nonetheless, international visitors can join a German tour with a text in their own language. During the tour, some of the areas visited are the Great Hall, the Chapel, the Castle Kitchen, the Armoury, and more. Tickets cost 11 euros for adults and 8 euros for children.
The castle is only a 15-minute drive from the town of Koblenz and there is a car park outside the castle. Alternatively, you can take the bus or train from Koblenz to Braubach and then walk up to the castle. It is a steep walk but very pleasant and it will take you around 20 minutes to get there.
2. Eltz Castle
Recommended by Mal from Raw Mal Roams
Set in a picturesque forest and elevated on a hill, Eltz is a castle straight from a fairy tale with romantic towers and medieval fortifications.
Eltz Castle was never destroyed by any wars, and it was cared for by the same family throughout the centuries. The construction of the medieval castle was carried out between the 9th and 13t century on what was simple manor houses. The area of the Moselle River had great importance, being a major trade route of the German Empire in that era. Today, the castle still belongs to the same family that owned it for over 800 years, and the magnificent medieval monument is open to the public. On the castle tour, you can see its inner courtyard, the magnificent armoury, treasury and other chambers.
The best time to visit Eltz Castle is in the autumn when the surrounding forest puts on its autumnal colours.
The easiest way to get to Eltz Castle is by car. Eltz is situated 149 km west of Frankfurt. The castle is open between Tuesday and Friday, from 9:30 to 17:30, and the entrance fee is €10.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
Recommended by Lavina from Continent Hop
Germany is home to many castles and some of them are just like out of a fairytale. However, the castle that inspired the Disney logo and probably most of the castles in the animated Disney movies was Neuschwanstein Castle in South Germany, which is perhaps the most beautiful of them all!
Located in the Schwangau region of Germany, it should be included in your Germany itinerary if youre in the region. The easiest way to get to the castle is to drive here. Situated on a hill above the village, it was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was used as his personal residence till he passed away after which it was opened to the public.
One of the most visited castles in all of Germany, the best way to visit Neuschwanstein is by booking tickets online. Tickets cost 17.50 Euros per adult and 2.50 per child. Visits are only possible via a guided tour which are limited. Tours take 30 minutes. In summer the castle is open to viewing from 9 am to 6 pm whereas in winter it is from 10 am to 4 pm.
I hope this German fairytale castles guide was helpful and made it easier to decide which places youd like to see in your upcoming trip! Be sure to save this post for later if you want to come back to it and re-read some of the information.