When we think of castles today, we often think of fairytales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. These buildings seem so magical that we sometimes forget that they’re real – and that you can visit many of them! Germany is often overlooked as a place to visit, but when it comes to castles, there's simply no better place to explore and find hidden gems tucked into the countryside.
Germany alone is home to over 20,000 stunning castles, and many of them are worth a visit. But visiting 20,000 castles would require way too much time. So to help you narrow down your search, I’ve put together a list of the 10 best castles in Germany. And who knows? Some of these hidden gems might surprise you!
I've chosen ten castles that helped inspire the Grimm Brother's fairytales, Disney, and remind us that castles have an ancient history that inspires. While it's hard to choose just 10 out of thousands of castles across Germany, these castles truly represent what we think of when we think of traditional castles. Germany makes it easy for us to see a castle – when I lived in Germany for three years I saw a castle everyday! But the castles I choose have a significance in history, are architectural masterpieces, and will ensure you have the best experience.
Germany contains some of the best castles in Europe, and you'll be enthralled with the beauty, history, and wonder of each castle. Transport yourself to a real life fairytale and see some of the best castles in Germany!
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I might be a little bit biased since I lived in Heidelberg. But regardless, I think Heidelberg Castle is one of the best castles in Germany. With its ornate details and towering sandstone walls, a visit to Heidelberg Castle is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Heidelberg.
Originally built in 1214, Heidelberg Castle is one of the oldest castles in Germany. And over the past 800 years, Heidelberg Castle has endured through wars, fires, and even direct lightning strikes. Yet despite these disasters, many of the most beautiful parts of this castle are still standing, including the Frederick Building and the Otto Henry Building.
Cochem Castle, also known as Reichburg Cochem, may be the oldest castle on this list. No one’s actually sure when this soaring structure was built, but the earliest written record to mention the castle was from 1130!
But as with many of the historic German castles, this is not the castle you can see today. That castle was ruined by French King Louis XIV’s troops in 1689 during the Nine Year War. Luckily, a wealthy businessman named Louis Ravené opted to rebuild the castle – although he wanted something a little different from the castle’s original Romanesque style. Instead, he opted for a more neo-Gothic rendition with touches of Romanesque design.
While at the Cochem Castle, you can explore the Trophy Room, the Knights’ Hall, the Dining Hall, and even the Witches Tower. And during the first week of August, this German castle hosts a medieval festival complete with performance troupes, talented artisans, and costumed guests.