Germany is a country of enchanting folklore, and famed medieval castles are interspersed all throughout its pristine landscapes, from Bavaria to the Rhine. While it’s always nice to visit these castles at least once as a tourist, what if we told you it was possible to stay in some of them as well? Several of these romantic historical gems have, indeed, been transformed into hotels with accommodations for any budget.
Castle Sababurg is affectionately known as Dornröschenschloss, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It is located in the mystical Reinhardswald Forest. Castle Sababurg also serves as the inspiration behind the game, Enchanted Forest, thanks to it alluring surroundings. For much of its existence it functioned as a hunting lodge for German nobility. Since the late 1950s, however, the refurbished castle has been converted to a hotel where guests can live out their very own fantasy fairytales in the romantic hotel. There is also a popular café on the grounds, and theatrical performances often take place here. Be sure to take a stroll in the sumptuous castle garden during your stay.
Completed in 1208, Schloss Sommersdorf is a medieval castle located in Bavaria. It was home to Albrecht von Eyb, one of Germany’s most prominent humanist thinkers. For 500 years it was also the home of the noble Crailsheim family who attempted to have the eccentric Ludwig II diagnosed as insane due to his reckless decisions and staggering expenditures like the famed Neuschwanstein Castle. This fact curiously preceded his death, as his body was discovered drowned in Lake Starnberg shortly thereafter. Today, the fully restored castle contains multiple apartments set in Gothic and Bohemian styles where guests can stay or host special events.
Situated on a crag about 160m above sea level, the stark Stahleck Castle in the Rhine Valley is still host to many different events and activities including the refurbished Hostel Bacharach. Located in proximity to the picturesque Bacharach village on the Rhine, this family-friendly hostel contains 168 beds as well as a bistro, multiple lounges, and a children’s playroom. Plus, this fortified 12th-century castle is complete with a moat, which is an uncommon feature for many German castles. With astounding views of the Lorelei Valley from most of the rooms, this is one of the most affordable options on our list.
The beautiful Castle Hotel Liebenstein is also perched almost a kilometer above the Rhine River. The castle itself was the site of many feuds between the brothers who lived there, adding to the dramatic nature of its location and history. In fact, one of the castle’s most distinguishable features is the large wall that divides it at the center. Today, the castle hotel is a family-run operation with an interior decorated in medieval style. Nestled in the Rhine Valley, the views here are equally as spectacular as the immersive historical experience. In fact, the area where the castle is located is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They offer luxurious and cozy medieval castle suites and decadent candle-lit dinners in the elegant dining room.
Castle Hotel Auf Schönburg is a seasonal accommodation also located on the Rhine. One of the best features of this hotel is that guests can enjoy breakfast from the castle terrace overlooking the river, just as its noble inhabitants once had. Plus, Castle Auf Schönberg is located a mere kilometer away from the adjoining historical town center of Oberwesel. This hotel blends old with new, featuring modern amenities like flat screen TVs and minibars in conjunction with a fireplace lounge as well as antique furnishings and décor. Indeed, everything here feels balanced, tasteful and refined!
It is probably apparent by now that building castles on the Rhine was a particularly posh thing to do throughout German history. Castle Rheinfels, for instance, was also built in the Lorelei Valley. Set on a hill amidst other historic stone buildings, Hotel Castle Rheinfels is both modern and romantic. Inside, there is a pool, an opulent restaurant, and a conference room. Many of the interiors have been refurbished in more modern styles as well. Yet, the castle certainly maintains much of its historic charm. For instance, it is possible for guests to peruse the castle ruins, walk in the delightful stone courtyard, and bask in the many decorative details inspired by the original castle architecture.
We’ve saved what is perhaps the most notorious castle hotel in Germany for last. For over a millennium, the Franconian lands where Burg Colmberg is located have functioned as important hunting grounds and as a strategic military stronghold. Housed in the 1,000-year-old Castle Colmberg once inhabited by the Hohenzollerns, your stay will be marked by authenticity, marvelous vistas, local foods prepared in traditional styles, including wild game, and a serene environment. The location is set a bit off the beaten path and the castle architecture has been very well preserved, so this really is an ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.