In the 19th century, a stockbroker envisioned his new mansion to stand out from the crowd. And the result certainly does. Atop a hillside near Königswinter and overlooking the meandering Rhine River, he built the dreamy Drachenburg Castle. After he passed away, the villa was repurposed several times before Allied bomb raids damaged it. A private investor saved the castle from being knocked down at the last minute and opened it to the public. Pompously decorated rooms, the vast gardens and stunning views over the river draw tourists to the site year-round, but the annual Christmas market is extra magical.
Schloß Drachenburg, Drachenfelsstraße 118, Königswinter, Germany, +49 2223 901970