The 5 most beautiful castles to see in Germany

Chateaux en Allemagne

Visit Germany’s most beautiful castles and step into a fairytale medieval world!

Germany, a great European power with an impressive allure, is a dynamic country with an incredible heritage that you’ll enjoy discovering. From its historic monuments to its rich gastronomy, it will seduce you and make you want to stay indefinitely.

If you decide to venture away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where lakes and woods form picture-perfect landscapes, you may just find the castle of your dreams. Nestled among the trees or suspended on a hilltop, it’s waiting to reveal its most beautiful secrets.

Want to discover buildings and stories from another time? Here’s a selection of Germany’s most beautiful castles to visit!

1. Neuschwanstein Castle

Chateau de Neuschwanstein

Worthy of a fairy tale, Neuschwanstein Castle actually inspired Disneyland’s famous Sleeping Beauty castle. Located in the mountains of the Allgäu region, in the village ofHohenschwangau, Neuschwanstein Castle was created according to the wishes of <b>King Ludwig II</b>, who wanted it to be a poetic place inspired by the operas of Richard Wagner.

Built on the ruins of two small castles, Neuschwanstein was intended to embody Ludwig II’s perfection and desire for recognition. It was finally completed between 1886 and 1892 under the supervision of Julius Hofmann, who also designed the entire interior in Romanesque and Flamboyant Gothic style.

Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II, his fabulous limestone refuge was opened to the public. Since then, it has become one of Europe’s most visited castles, with some 1.4 million visitors a year.

2. Reichsburg Cochem

Château de Reichsburg Cochem

Perched on a hill overlooking the Moselle valley, the imperial castle of Cochem offers breathtaking views over a verdant landscape. The largest hilltop castle on the Moselle, the Reichsburg Cochem with its slate roof overlooks the surrounding area from the top of its enormous rock.

Built around the year 1000, under the reign of Count Palatine Ezzo, the Reichsburg Cochem – originally in Gothic style – was finally rebuilt in neo-Gothic style under the direction of architect Hermann Ende between 1871 and 1877.

A particular witness to the intrigues and power plays of medieval Germany, it was also the property of the German Reich from 1943 onwards. It wasn’t until 1978 that the castle became the property of the town, making it a popular tourist attraction in the region.

3. Hohenzollern Castle

château de Hohenzollern

Standing 855 meters high on a Swabian hilltop, Hohenzollern Castle is considered the ancestral home of the Hohenzollern dynasty.

Rebuilt for the last time around 1850, under the impetus of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, the neo-Gothic castle represents the influence of the Romantic movement.

Today, this historic castle is still owned by the Brandenburg-Prussian line of the Hohenzollerns, and houses items from their art collection: the famous crown of the King of Prussia, precious porcelain, a gallery of paintings and much more. Welcoming some 300,000 visitors a year, it has been a summer camp for Berlin’s needy children since 1954.

4. Hohenschwangau Castle

château de Hohenschwangau

Once the residence of the Schwangau lords, Hohenschwangau Castle has changed owners several times since the 16th century. In 1832, its ruin became the property of the future King Maximilian II – father of Ludwig II – who had it rebuilt according to the original plans in Gothic style. It is located directly opposite the famous Neuschwanstein castle.

After serving mainly as a summer residence for the Bavarian royal family for many years, Hohenschwangau castle now belongs to the Wilttelsbacher Ausgleichsfonds (compensation fund of one of the oldest sovereign families in western Germany).

5. Lichtenstein Castle

château de Lichtenstein

Inspired by Wilhelm Hauff’s fairy tale of the same name, Lichtenstein Castle is a historic building first erected in the 13th century under the sovereignty of the Lichtenstein knights. After being destroyed several times by the citizens of Reutlingen during the « city wars », it was rebuilt for the last time in 1842 in the « troubadour » style at the request of Duke William of Urach.

Also known as the « fairytale castle of Württemberg », the edifice seems to stand majestically balanced on a rocky spur overlooking the town of Lichtenstein. Combining robustness and finesse, it boasts a sumptuous garden and romantic courtyard, justifying its pretty nickname.

How do I get to Germany?

Have you decided to take on the most beautiful castles on the other side of the Rhine? Want to know how to get to Germany? Here are a few options!

From France

Relatively close to France, Germany can be reached in a number of ways:

Plane

The fastest way to get to Germany from France is by plane. Allow around 1 to 2 hours for your journey, depending on your exact destination. Several airlines offer scheduled and low-cost flights to Germany.

Whatever your departure dates, consider checking prices on the Ulysse flight comparator to find the one that suits you best. By measuring over 500 low-cost and scheduled airlines in real time, this flight comparator makes it easy to organize your departures. A little extra: the site shows you the extra costs associated with credit cards and/or baggage. No more last-minute surprises. And we say yes to that!

Train

Another option for reaching Germany is by train. Many lines, especially from northern France, offer this type of itinerary. A typical Paris-Berlin journey takes around 9 hours.

Bus

Several companies offer bus departures to Germany from several French cities. Please note, however, that while ticket prices can be very attractive, the journey is relatively long.

For example, the Lyon-Berlin journey takes around 22 hours.