10 Amazing Fairytale Castles In Germany You Cannot Miss

Did you know there are over 20,000 castles in Germany? Yeah, neither did we! Deciding which German castles to visit can be a daunting task. We’ve traveled to Germany 6 times and seen a ton of gorgeous castles in Germany.

Let us help you pick which castles to visit. We put together our list of the best castles in Germany, in no particular order.

Top 10 Castles In Germany

Bridge leading to Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz) in Wierschem Germany

1. Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz)

Eltz Castle is an iconic fairytale castle surrounded by nature in the German woods. Its unique setting is like no other castle in Germany. The only way to get inside the castle and the treasury is on a guided tour. We highly suggest getting there before they open to get iconic shots like above without a ton of tourists in your photo.

There are a ton of reasons to rent a car and drive yourself, but being on your own schedule is the biggest. Rental cars in Germany are super affordable, click here to check rates. We always rent on Rentalcars.com for the best prices and free cancelations. There are two restaurants at Burg Eltz

  • Castle Hours: Open only during high season, typically the end of March through the first week of November 9:30 am to 6 pm.
  • Castle Fee: Parking is €2, Guided Castle Tour € 10.00
  • Address: 56294 Wierschem, Germany

*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels check prices on Booking.com, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*

Aerial photo of Cochem Castle in Reichsburg Germany

2. Cochem Castle

Cochem Castle is high up on a hill the over 100 meters (300ft) above the Moselle River in the town of Cochem. Gorgeous vineyards surround it. Cochem Castle is more than 1,000 years old.

You are only allowed inside the gates of the castle grounds as part of a Cochem Castle Tour. Most guided tours are in German where an English information sheet will be given, there are English tours at 12 pm and 5 pm. More on Cochem Castle

  • Castle Hours: Summer Hours March through November 10 am- 5 pm
  • Castle Fee: Adults: €6, Children (6-17): €3, Students: €5, Family Ticket (2 adults + children): €16
  • Address: 

Germany's Liechtenstein Castle in the fall

3. Liechtenstein Castle

Overlooking the Echaz valley this Gothic-style castle is one of the best castles in Germany. Liechtenstein Castle was built in 1840-1842 and was damaged from World War II, restoration had started after the war and continues on.

If you don’t have time for the guided tour we suggest waiting until the tour goes into the castle, then you can get gorgeous shots of the castle and bridge entrance.

  • Castle Hours: April – October 9 am- 5:30 pm, closed January & December, November/February/March only open weekends 10 am- 4 pm
  • Castle Fee: Castle Courtyard Entrance Adults €2 and Children €1, Guided Castle Tour Adults €8 and Children €3.50

Satzvey Castle reflection in the pond, one of the castles in Germany you can stay in

4. Burg Satzvey

If you’re looking for a castle hotel in Germany, head to Burg Satzvey. We rented a room on Airbnb. There are seven rooms you can stay in average $125 a night. Click here to see the seven castle rooms available on Airbnb. Click here for $40 off your Airbnb.

If you are there at the right time, you can catch the castle reflection in the moat around the castle. Even if you don’t spend the night, it’s worth the visit. There are several restaurants and events held throughout the year.

  • Castle Hours:  Tours only Saturday, Sundays, and public holidays from 12 pm to 5 pm.
  • Castle Fee: Free to enter the grounds, castle tour adults €5, €2 children from 4 – 12 years, children under 4 years are free when accompanied by an adult.
  • Address: An der Burg 3, 53894 Mechernich, Germany

Related Article: How to Spend 3 Days in Berlin

 neuschwanstein castle view from Mary's Bridge in Fussen, Germany. The most famous castle in Germany

5. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein is Germany’s most famous castle, it’s a must-visit castle in Germany, but it’s just not our number #1 castle in Germany. Walt Disney modeled Cinderella’s castle after Neuschwanstein.

You’ll see the castle miles before you get there, it’s perched up on a hill above Hohenschwangau village. It gets very busy, over 1.4 million people visit annually and up to 6,000 per day in the summer months when tickets often sell out before noon.

The famous picture of Neuschwanstein Castle was taken standing on Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrücke), the bridge is often closed in the winter months due to weather and has been under maintenance recently.

To purchase tickets in advance and to see if Mary’s Bridge is open click here, note there is a service fee but trust us it’s better than waiting in line.

  • Castle Hours: October 16th – March 23rd 9 am -3 pm, March 24th – October 15th 8 am – 5 pm
  • Castle Fee: Adults €13 and children under 18 free
  • Address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany

If you are driving the Romantic Road in Germany Neuschwanstein is one of the many highlights along the way. We suggest ending your drive here as the castle is the most impressive of all the castles along the Romantic Road.

If you have time after time Fussen consider taking a road trip to Liechtenstein, which is only 2 hours away from Fussen. Liechtenstein is one of the smallest & wealthiest countries in the world and worth the trip. Here are some of the best Liechstein attractions to visit which includes some castles too.

drone photo of Mespelbrunn Castle with pond reflection, one of the best kept secret castles in Germany

6. Mespelbrunn Castle (Schloss Mespelbrunn)

Mespelbrunn is a small castle that not very many tourists visit but is unique as it is surrounded by water. It’s a late-medieval and early-Renaissance moated castle in the Elsava valley.

Do not follow Google directions to the Mespelbrunn Castle if it brings you down a dirt road. We almost got our car stuck on this road. The entrance fee includes a 40-minute tour of the castle. You can see most of the castle without a tour, but you might as well see the whole castle if you make the trip.

  • Castle Hours: 9 am – 5 pm March through November, exact dates change yearly
  • Castle Fee: € 5.00 adults and € 2.50 students
  • Address: Schloßhof 2, 63875 Mespelbrunn, Germany

7. Heidelburg Castle (Schloss Heidelburg)

Like many other castles in Germany, Heidelburg is 300 feet above the city on a hill with gorgeous views. The castle is more of a complex with several buildings and a courtyard and functioned as a city. Construction dates back to 1300 but was destroyed and was rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries. You’ll need a few hours to explore Schloss Heidelburg thoroughly.

  • Castle Hours: daily 8 am – 6 pm open year-round
  • Castle Fee: Palace ticket including funicular railway & German Apothecary Museum adults €7 and children €4 | Guided Tours adults €5, children €2.50, families €12.50
  • Address: Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

8. Burg Frankenstein (Frankenstein Castle)

Burg Frankenstein has quite the history. The castle was a jail and military hospital in the 1700s, but before that in 1604 bodies were dug up and medical experiments were performed on them. This, of course, makes for the perfect setting for a haunted house. Halloween at Burg Frankenstein, advance tickets are required, and they sell out fast. There is a restaurant on-site with amazing views.

  • Castle Hours: Daily 10 am – 8 pm
  • Castle Fee: Free
  • Address: Parkplatz Burg Frankenstein, 64367 Mühltal, Germany

Hohenschwangau Castle a yellow castle in Germany

9. Hohenschwangau Castle

If you visit Neuschwanstein, then Hohenschwangau should be your next or prior castle stop as they are located on the same grounds and you can buy a combined ticket for both. It’s not nearly as popular as Neuschwanstein, but it should be noted that it’s where the idea of building Neuschwanstein came about.

  • Castle Hours: October 16th – March 23rd 9 am -3 pm, March 24th – October 15th 8 am – 5 pm
  • Castle Fee: Adults €13 and children under 18 free
  • Address: Alpseestraße 30, 87645 Schwangau, Germany

hohenzollern castle perched on a hill in Bisingen Germany

10. Hohenzollern castle

The Hohenzollern Castle dates back to 1061, but it was completely destroyed in 1423 and has been restored in the 19th century. It’s a steep walk up to the castle. It has a well-maintained path with stairs. There is a shuttle bus available for €3.30 round trip or €2 one way. We opted to walk both ways.

There are two types of tickets, you need a ticket to enter the castle complex, and if you want to enter the interior rooms, you’ll need a category 2 ticket. You can buy tickets down by the parking lot before getting on the shuttle or walking up to the castle.

In the castle courtyard, there are a few little restaurants with snacks and of course a German Beer Garden. It’s a great place to grab a snack while you wait for the castle tour. If you’re visiting during the holidays, they have a great Christmas Market in the castle complex.

  • Castle Hours: March 16th – October 31s10 am – 5:30 pm and November 1 – March 15th 10 am – 4:30 pm
  • Castle Fee: Category 1 Adult €7 & Children 6-17 €5, Category 2 Adult €12 & Children aged 6-17 €6, for complete pricing click here.
  • Address: 72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany

German Castle FAQ

Q: How many castles are in Germany?

A: There are more than 20,000 castles and castle ruins in Germany.

Q: Why are there so many castles in Germany?

A: Castles were a symbol of power in medieval times, and many dukes, earls, bishops, and kings build castles as a defensive stronghold and an organization or administrative point.

Q: Can you stay in a Castle Hotel in Germany?

A: Yes, several castles in Germany have rooms to rent to stay while you visit the castle regions of Germany. Burg Satzvey is the only one on this list where you can spend the night in a German castle.

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67 thoughts on “10 Amazing Fairytale Castles In Germany You Cannot Miss”

  1. 20,000 castles? Wow. My bucket list includes a trip to Germany and to stay a night or two in a castle just so I can say that I was a German princess for a day. I have traced my roots back to 1752 in Germany. Who knows. Maybe I am a German princess. Lol

  2. Thanks as always for your great list. We’ve just returned from touring Germany in our Motorhome and I can’t believe how many castles we didn’t get chance to see!! Although we did get to see Neuschwanstein and Hohenzollern- which was spectacular! Have added several of the others to our map for next time! 🙂

    • How long was your road trip in the motorhome in Germany? That would be a great way to visit some of the best castles in Germany. Any castles you think we should check out on our next trip? We are always looking for new places to visit in Germany.

  3. Its a wonderful information for all. I always come to your site and found many unique things and tips, which is very helpful for all the traveler, and its help them get the best traveling experience. Germany is always on top of the list of any traveler. Many beautiful and amazing things attract all the adventure, one of them is Castle, here you explore all the famous amazing castles, I never visit Germany, but now I planning to fix my next trip will be here, all the castle are amazing but I want to visit Cochem Castle because its behind the river and hill. I think it will be a great adventure in there, is it possible to go fishing or kayaking in the Moselle River? thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us.

    • Glad to hear we are a travel resource for you. Cochem Castle is one of the amazing castles in Germany and not super busy with tourists either. Its location is unique too. We are unsure about kayaking or fishing in the Moselle River, as we didn’t do it. That would be an epic way to visit Cochem Castle is to rock up on a kayak.

  4. Hi Hannah,

    Yes, thank you for the inspiration! I like the Mespelbrunn Castle but I wonder why not many people visit this place. I haven’t been to Germany but now I have a reason to go. 🙂

  5. Hi Hannah and Adam!

    As a traveler who constantly wants to explore the world, I thought I had seen it all! These castles are straight out of a storybook! They automatically reminded me of Disney princesses and even Dracula altogether. 😀

    I want to start my 2018 right so this tops my list.

    • So glad we could give you a little travel inspiration! Have you traveled to Germany before? There are so many castles in Germany to visit you could spend months there. Which castle would you like to visit first?

  6. I really want to say that you guys suck but you’re awesome so i cant but damn you!
    Hubby and i want to go to europe at the end of the year and i was only going to Germany to see Neuschwanstein castle but now i want to see allllll of these!! If only we had time!

  7. All of them are so beautiful! I never knew that Germany has so many fairytale castles. I would love to visit Neuschwanstein Castle. I have seen so many beautiful pictures of that place.

  8. I love this post as I am a huge fan of castles of Europe and always make it a point to visit the ones nearby! I have a recommendation to add to this list – Mortizburg near Dresden!

    Your pictures are magical….and each castle looks magical 🙂

  9. I didn’t realise there were so many castles in Germany either! Would love to visit them all, especially Eltz Castle. We actually got married in a castle last year – Bojnice Castle in Slovakia!

  10. Wow such a fairytale places, before reading this i wanted to visit Neuschwanstein castle but after this article i want to visit them all.

  11. 20000 castles? Germany is surely a fairytale wonderland! I haven’t visited any castle yet so this is high on my list. I will need to lok into Burg Satzvey for an overnight stay!

  12. I have heard of Neuschwanstein castle of course, but didn’t realize that Germany had so many other castles to offer! And here I was thinking France was the castle capital of Europe 😛 The Frankenstien Castle seems a little too creepy for my tastes though lol. Pinning this for future ref!

    • Germany could entertain you with castles for months. There are a ton of castles in France too, on our last trip we actually dipped into France for a few days. Burg Frankenstein definitely has a creepy appeal to it, not sure I could stomach it during Halloween.

  13. 20,000 castles??!!! Nope, I had no idea either! It’s a good thing you limited down the top ten, or I’d have no idea where to start. It’s also nice to see that all ten of these would only cost me 64 Euro, which is fairly cheap compared to some locations and attractions. I love castles (my home base is Edinburgh and has an amazing one), and I definitely look forward to exploring the ones in Germany, especially since those are the ones in the fairy tales! Thanks for the post.

    • You could spend months visiting all the castles in Germany but most tourists only have a week or two, in this case, a top 10 list was needed. Glad we could help narrow it down for you. Yes, visiting castles won’t break that bank. I am sure you have some amazing castles in Ireland! We need to get there soon.

  14. I have *ALWAYS* wanted to stay in a castle – and your Airbnb link will hopefully be handy for me someday. I’m fascinated with the fact that Germany has over 20K castles. On the surface, the country gives such a different impression of itself. Can’t wait to explore its; beauty in the future! Pinning your post for reference.

    • Staying in a castle was a dream come true for me too. There are tons of castles to stay in, many people have turned them into rooms and now you can find them on Airbnb. There are some castle hotels in Germany too. Glad to hear this article is pinned for the feature.

  15. I am half German so getting to Germany soon is a priority. Really wanting to visit and see where my ancestry is from. This trip most definitely will include seeing some castles so it’s great to learn your thoughts on the top ones. Have obviously heard of and seen NEUSCHWANSTEIN before. But it was great to learn about some other ones there too!

    • You should def go to Germany and learn about your heritage, it’ll be a great trip. Neuschwanstein is the most famous castle in Germany and it’s a must visit but you can’t forget about all the other amazing ones. Safe travels.

  16. Nice post – I love castles. We visited the Heidelberg Castle while in Germany, but missed the others due to timing issues. Eltz Castle, Burg Satzvey and Mespelbrunn Castle look like the three I’d most like to visit, so beautiful. I can’t believe there are 2000 castles in Germany! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. I loved this article. I love castles and I have only been to Meersburg castle in Germany. As I live in Austria (just at the border to Germany) I have to set myself a list to which ones to see next year. I think Eltz Castle is also my top 1.

  18. I’m also stunned that there are more than 20,000 castles in Germany. So, right of the bat, I decided I want to see Eltz Castle and Liechtenstein Castle the most. However, I’m pretty sure visiting any would be awesome. I also want to stay in a castle (I saw that mentioned in the comments).

    • Eltz Castle is amazing, go there before 9 am to get shots without people. There are many castles hotels in Germany and castles on Airbnb you can stay in. We stayed in several that we rented on Airbnb, link is above for one.

  19. I’m moving to Germany next year so I can’t wait to visit all of them 😀 I’ve been to Germany before but never had the time so I’m excited!

  20. Great post! I absolutely love Germany and castles! We visited Cochem – and the Cochem Castle – on our honeymoon almost 8 years ago. It was quite lovely and the extremely small town was super nice as well. Would love to see more of these throughout the country.

  21. Those pictures made my jaw drop – so incredible and I had no clue there was so many amazing places! I’ve only heard of #5. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Oh wow! I have been to Neuschwanstein but none of the rest of them, and your list is great for knowing prices and times in the future! I had no idea there were so many castles in Germany!

  23. I have a thing about castles and have always wanted to tour Europe to see some. Thanks for writing this article, now I feel like I have gotten to visit some and if I ever manage to get to Germany I can shorten the list down to a manageable number. I really like Liechtenstein Castle with it’s huge tower! I didn’t know you could stay at some castles, how cool.

  24. 20000 CASTLES?! I had no idea! I’ve been to Germany four times and have only visited a couple of the ones on your list- my fave is defiinitely Neuschwanstein though 🙂

    • We’ve been to Germany many times and on our first visit we visited a handful of castles but on our last visit, we made our visit about seeing as many castles as possible. Neuschwanstein is straight out of a fairytale.

  25. Wow! Lucky you. These castles are so beautiful. Wish I’d see at least one of them at some point. Would need to return to Europe for that to happen, though. Maybe in a year or two…

    • On your next trip to Europe def rent a car in Germany and drive down the Romantic Road it goes by some of the most famous castles in Germany, one of which is Neuschwanstein castle. (can’t-miss it). Safe travels.

  26. Great post! Germany has the best castles! I grew up there and my prom was actually in a castle! Another fun fact and explanation why there are so many castles: For a long time Germany was actually 300 different states, each with their own ruler, who in turn had their own castle.


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