The Best Castles in Germany
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Besides its modern cities, medieval towns, and beer, Germany is perhaps most well-known for its castles, from the fairytale Neuschwanstein to the historic Hornberg. Home to everything from Renaissance paintings and Neoclassical furnishings to treasuries, museums, and resplendent gardens, these palaces make for worthy visits, whether to learn about their fascinating histories or simply enjoy their sweeping views.
Schloßgasse 26, 63739 Aschaffenburg, Germany
Completed in 1614, Johannisburg Palace is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Germany. Located along the Main River, the immense, four-winged complex served as the second residence of the archbishop-electors of Mainz until 1803....
Residenzplatz 2, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
The former residence of Würzburg’s prince-bishops, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most important Baroque palaces in Europe. It was—remarkably, given its scale and level of detail both inside and out—built...
97990 Weikersheim, Germany
Widely considered the most beautiful palace in the Hohenlohe area, Weikersheim enjoys a scenic setting in the heart of the Tauber Valley. Inside the three-winged structure, visitors will find the Rittersaal (Knight’s Hall)—dating from...
Burg Hornberg 3, 74865 Neckarzimmern, Germany
Of the several castles spread between Heidelberg and Stuttgart, Burg Hornberg is one of the largest and most visited. With its oldest parts dating back to the 12th century, it rises dramatically above the town of Neckarzimmern, drawing guests with...
Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Perched picturesquely on a rocky hilltop overlooking the city, Heidelberg Castle is enigmatic, romantic, and one of the few castles in Germany that hasn’t been fully restored. Dating back to the 1300s, it served as the seat of the Palantine...
Schlossgasse 29, 67157 Wachenheim an der Weinstraße, Germany
Although it has just 4,800 inhabitants, the town of Wachenheim is quite well known, both for its vineyards and its castle. Thought to be built in the 12th century by King Konrad von Hohenstaufen, Castle Wachtenburg is popular mostly for its...
Schlossstraße, 67434 Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany
Perched high above the Rhine River, this somewhat unassuming castle may not be the most aesthetically striking in Germany, but it’s one of the most historically significant. The site of the 1832 Hambach Festival (a national democratic...
Königstraße 61, 76887 Bad Bergzabern, Germany
Constructed between 1720 and 1725 on the site of a 12th-century fort, this castle once served as the residence of the dukes of Pfalz-Zweibrücken. Attacked, burned down, and destroyed innumerable times over the centuries, it was restored in...
Schloßbezirk 10, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Built between 1715 and 1718, the Baroque Karlsruhe Castle served as the residence of the electoral princes and grand dukes of Baden for more than two centuries. Designed by Jakob Friedrich von Batzendorf, the palace exterior is especially...
72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany
For many centuries, the Hohenzollerns were one of Germany’s most powerful families, their influence only diminishing with the end of the monarchy after World War I. During their dominance, they lived in this majestic neo-Gothic castle, visible...
Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany
The seat of government and home of Bavarian royalty between 1508 and 1918, the Munich Residence now houses a treasury (where the royal jewelry collections are stored), the Residence Museum, and the Cuvilliés Theatre, all managed by the...
Schloß Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München, Germany
Built in the 17th century, Nymphenburg Palace is one of the largest royal castles in Europe. Planned as a summer residence for the Bavarian monarchy, it was expanded over time and now features additional pavilions and gallery wings, plus a French...
Alpseestraße 30, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
You know you’re in the Bavarian Alps when a majestic, fairy tale–like castle appears in the distance, perched atop a rugged peak. Thanks to King Ludwig II and his obsession with 19th-century Romanticism, this mountainous area is home...
Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
The most famous castle in Germany—and one of the best known in Europe—Neuschwanstein is renowned not just for its fairy-tale architecture (which directly inspired the Disney Castle) but also for its creator, “mad” King...
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