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The Best Castles and Palaces in Germany

Take a Trip Through Germany's Past and Visit Its Best Castles


There are over 25,000 castles in Germany today; some are only ruins, but many of them are well-preserved and home to museums, restaurants and even hotels.

So why are there so many castles in Germany?
During the Middle Ages, the country was divided into many small, competitive feudal states and principalities; these unstable times encouraged the construction of secure and fortified castles in Germany.

Where to start?
Check out my top-pick of the best castles in Germany. Just click on the name of the German castle and get in depth information that will make your journey through Germany's past an unforgettable experience.

1. Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein Castle
Keren Su/Photodisc/Getty Images

In Bavaria, the South of Germany, lies one of the most famous castles in the world: Neuschwanstein. In 1869, Ludwig II constructed this fantastic castle not for defense, but for pleasure. It was his private summer retreat.

The design of Neuschwanstein is medieval, but Ludwig made sure to built in modern technologies of the day, such as flush toilets and heating.

Guide to Neuschwanstein

2. The Wartburg Castle

Martin Hey

The Wartburg Castle lies in the East of Germany, close to Eisenach, and overlooks the forests of Thuringia; it is one of the oldest and best-preserved Romanesque castles in Germany, built in 1067.

The church reformist Martin Luther lived here and translated the Bible into German. Since 1999, the Wartburg Castle is added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Guide to the Wartburg Castle

3. Palace of Heidelberg


In the Southwest of Germany, you'll find the ruins of the once majestic Castle of Heidelberg. The castle used to be a gothic masterpiece, but was destroyed several times over the centuries. Partly rebuilt, you can still make out different architectural styles in the ruins.

Guide to the Palace of Heidelberg

4. The Eltz Castle


In the West of Germany, between Trier and Koblenz, lies the Eltz Castle. Hidden in the middle of a dense forest, the castle is owned by the same family that lived here in the 12th century.

The original furniture and art collection is impressive, and the armor in the Knights Hall dates back to the 16th century. Eltz Castle is still an insider tip and not nearly as crowded as other castles in Germany.

Guide to the Eltz Castle

5. The Castle Road

Sergio Dogliani

The Castle Road is lined with 70 castles and palaces; it is 625 miles long and leads you on small winding back roads from the southwest of Germany to the Czech Republic.

Highlights along the way are the castles of Heidelberg, Bamberg, and Nuremberg, the 1000-year old Castle Hotel Colmberg, and the best-preserved medieval town of Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Guide to the German Castle Road

6. Castle Hotels in Germany

Castle Hotel Schoenburg
Want to have a fairy-tale vacation and spend the night in a German castle? Check out this list of the Best Castle Hotels in Germany. From a 5 star chateau, and a medieval castle on the banks of the Rhine, to a budget-friendly castle hostel, these accommodations offer a unique experience for couples and families alike.
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