Germany is literally dotted with castles, so many in fact that it’s hard to find an exact count though one estimate places the number at 20,000. Spend a night at any of the hundreds which have been converted into hotels, and you’ll experience that singular combination that makes Germany such an appealing destination. Here old and new coexist comfortably or, perhaps more accurately, magically. After a night in a room with 21st-century comforts and technology, you can have breakfast in a baronial hall and then wander cobblestone streets. Spending a night at one also doesn’t require a title or even a fortune¬—doubles at the Schloss Waldeck hotel in the state of Hesse, for example, start at under $170.
From its location on a peak above the town of Waldeck, the 42-room Schloss Waldeck has sweeping views of the Edersee. While the castle has been a luxury hotel since 2009, its history dates back to the 11th century when a medieval fortress stood on the site. It was later the seat of the Counts of Waldeck until the 17th century. The castle’s museum is focused on the period when it served as a prison, after the counts moved out. If the displays border on the ghoulish, they’ll make you appreciate the modern amenities in your half-timbered room that much more.