Germany has about 25,000 castles, so it’s not so difficult to find one. What is harder, is finding one that has something genuinely interesting to look at and also someone on hand to explain what everything is. Here are our nine best picks for castle tours in Germany.
Always at the top of every list of castles to see in Germany, Neuschwanstein is packed full of tourists nearly all the time. Still, it’s so iconic, a visit in the off-season is still worth it. Neuschwanstein can only be visited by guided tour, which must be booked for a specific time at least 48 hours before you arrive. If you are late collecting your tickets or showing up for the tour, your spot may be forfeited. Adult tickets are €13 each and children 18 or under attending with a paying adult are free.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Neuschwansteinstr. 20, Schwangau, Germany, +49 8362 930830
The House of Hohenzollern was the last royal house in power before the monarchy was abolished completely after the First Wold War. The castle itself is still privately owned, but it is open to the public. The general tour costs €12 and lasts 45 minutes. English tours are offered once day during the summer months and Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the rest of the year.
Hohenzollern Castle, Burg Hohenzollern, Germany, +49 74 712428
Germany’s best example of a Medieval castle is unique in that the same family has owned it for more than 850 years. They’ve not had an easy time of it, but being situated atop a 70-metre (230-foot) rock does help keep intruders at bay. Immerse yourself in the world of knights, damsels and distress. Entrance with a guided tour costs €10 per adult. English tours are available, but you need to write ahead of time to reserve your place.
Burg Eltz, Wierschem, Germany, +49 2672 950500
The neighbour to Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau was the summer home of King Ludwig II and his residence before Neuschwanstein was rebuilt in the 19th century. Since this is one of the most popular tourist sites in all of Germany, tickets must be booked at least two days in advance and are often sold out in the summer. All tours are guided and available in English.
Hohenschwangau, Alpseestraße 30, Schwangau, Germany, +49 8362 930830
Schloss Augustusburg Brühl
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, Schloss Augustusburg is a gem just 30 minutes by train from Cologne and Bonn. Originally the residence of the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, the palace is publicly owned and one of the rare examples of Neo-Classical architecture in the area. The tromp l’œil in the staircase alone is worth a visit. Tours are in German, but if there are enough English speakers in the group, the guide will usually switch. The entrance fee is €8.50 and includes the tour.
Schloss Augustusburg, Parkplatz, Max-Ernst-Allee, Brühl, Germany, +49 223 244000
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