The Best Castles in Germany for Your Bucket List

Lydia Fulson

By: Lydia Fulson / Writer, Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Thrill Seeker, and Adventurer

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German castles: Lydia's castle view from the River RhineOur castle view from a relaxing River Rhine cruise

Germany is home to the most beautiful castles, fairy tale castles, and medieval fortresses of beautiful architecture that is out of this world. Touring Germany is such an experience; there is so much to see and do in this remarkable country for any kind of traveler.

For the relaxers who like to take it easy: enjoy a stroll through the cobblestoned streets and timber-lined houses, shop around and take a romantic walk by the River Rhine, or perhaps relax on a boat ride or two.

For adventurers and thrill seekers, take a hike – figuratively! Enjoy one of the hundreds of long-distance hiking trails through the mountainous terrain, including the Bavarian Alps. That's a view that can't be beat!

However, there's something that everyone will love, no matter how one likes to spend a vacation: a good old-fashion guided tour of a castle as old as time itself. Much like Cochem Castle near Frankfurt.

Cochem Reichsburg Castle among the trees

Want to learn more about this amazing hilltop acropolis?  

Below, you'll find a category for each castle-filled part of Germany, each that is 100% worth visiting.

First, though, let's go over a bit of what you'll see on your castle journey.

 Castle Construction

Castle construction

Note that these castles are old and sometimes require construction and upkeep. Be sure to check the official castle websites or local tourist stops to stay updated and informed of any construction in the castle to avoid a scene like this. After a trip up the mountain to see Heidelberg Castle, I was met with a lovely sight of an excavator instead. Stay in the loop on castle construction to plan your castle trip around it!

Visiting Castles in Berlin

Close to the enchanting Spree River, see the magnificent Charlottenburg and its unforgettable Porcelain Room, accompanied by a guided or audio-guided tour. Then, take a walk through the swirling paths of the castle grounds, creating a beautiful ambiance for a romantic stroll after crunching away at some history inside.

On the castle journey, you'll also see the“White House of Berlin”—the Bellevue Palace—the current private home of the president of Germany. Also see the Babelsberg Palace—the neo-Gothic style castle in all of its UNESCO World Heritage Site glory—and many others!

Just how did Babelsberg earn that UNESCO title? Check out Castles in Berlin to find out!

Visiting Castles in Bavaria

Along your Bavarian journey, you'll be introduced to the Nymphenburg Palace and the world's longest castle complex!

King Ludwig was known as a flamboyant and eccentric spender. One of his castles cost £154,000,000 (US$250,100,000) to remodel and design! Can you guess which one?

Browse through the Castles in Bavaria to learn all about it and more about each of Bavaria's most visited castles.

Visiting Castles in Cologne

About an hour and a half from the heart of Cologne is one of the more popular castles to stop for: Eltz Castle/Burg Eltz - an impenetrable fortress over 200ft (60.96 meters) high, surrounded by secluded cliffsides and peaceful rivers. It's worth the road trip!

Learn about the Augustusburg Palace and its Renaissance-style architecture built upon old castle ruins. Its stunning patterned driveway and grounds display the perfect late-18th century gardens.

See the bold and colorful castles of Cologne, like the Benrath Palace with its unique pink shade and the Falkenlust Hunting Lodge with its bold blue accents.

Visiting Castles near Frankfurt

Frankfurt offers so much for tourists and travelers. Why not stick around and do a few day trips, since are also stunning castles in easy driving distance from Frankfurt? 

Like these:

Heidelberg Castle is on the list of must-see castles. Made of red sandstone, this castle stands apart from the others. The rebuilt ruins of Heidelberg Castle now stands tall and strong, but what caused this castle to meet its fate over and over again? Find out below!

Mespelbrunn Castle is a simple fairytale castle located in a valley. It features a stunning round tower that inspired the Brothers Grimm to write the story of Rapunzel!

More on the list include the lovely masterpiece, Cochem Castle, and the huge Marburg Castle with its many museums of rich history.

Browse through the pages below, to discover wondrous structures to feast your eyes on while planning your castle touring trip. Then, one day, see them up close in person!

Castles in Berlin

Berlin Palace

Of course, one can't visit Berlin without seeing the famous and historic Brandenburg Gate. Make your day into a day trip and after photographing the massive gate, take some time to explore a castle or two!

Germany's capital may be small, but Berlin offers an abundance of great castles of very different architectural styles.

Castles in Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

See one of the most famous castles in Europe. The one that inspired Walt Disney to design the Disney castle: Neuschwanstein Castle, aka Schloss Neuschwanstein!

Built by the famous mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria in a remarkable medieval style, it has massive chandeliers and stunning scenery…and so much more!

Castles in Cologne

Cologne Cathedral, view from river

Located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne is full of lush forestry and castles of medieval times. Cologne is a wunderbar tourist destination full of opportunities to explore.

The unforgettable Cologne Cathedral is a sight to see. There's no way you can miss it! Its tall towers can be seen from miles and miles away! Add it to the tourism bucket list for sure.

Palace Vs Castle

Palace vs castle

How does one know the difference between palace and castle? Is there a hidden secret in the architecture? In the names? Or is the difference left in the past? Let's talk about it and the difference between some of your favorite German castles and palaces.

Castles Near Frankfurt

Marburg Castle

The city of Frankfurt, located in the wine region of Hesse, hosts an abundance of German history. Among that, a bunch of wondrous castles to see.

River cruise anyone? The Main River runs through the city, offering relaxing cruises and boat rides, and the perfect place to kick back and relax after a long day of castle adventures.

Castle Hotels

Schlosshotel Kronberg hotel

There are so many brilliant castles in Germany. Here's something that many may not know: there are a few that you can actually stay in! That's right. Live like royalty for a night or two, or more.

Explore the castles of different states and cities and their remarkable architectural style. Every place is different: that's what makes castle tours so exciting. One day, you're venturing into a medieval castle from the 16th century and the next, you're embarking on a baroque palace adventure.

The castles in Germany can range up to a thousand years old, some dating back to before the 11th century! All have a unique history of their own that has been preserved for visitors to see and learn from. Many German castles offer guided tours, audio tours, or feature museums inside displaying a rich insight into the past.

Step into the shoes of royalty as you roam the great halls that Napoleon once roamed. Enter that princess fairy tale fantasy or get inside the mind of a great Elector. Numerous big names and big decisions were made in these outstanding structures that shaped the Germany that we know and love today.

See them for yourself, and make your own memories and discoveries!

Top of Castles in Germany