German castle

Covering the big four- Eltz Castle / Cochem Castle / Heidelberg Castle / Hohenzollern Castle

Did you know there are over 20,000 castles in Germany?
I mean I knew there were a lot (since practically any German town I come across seems to have one) but 20,000 is quite the surprise! Given that number, it’s understandable why you may be looking for some guidance on which castles are worthy of a stop on your German castle expedition. You can take it form us, we’ve lived in this beautiful country for over 3 and 7 years respectively and have had the fortune to see many of Deutschland’s most prominent castles.
In this article, we’re covering 4 castles across Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg Germany that keep us coming back. This route is perfect for a weekend road trip!

Eltz Castle

Burg Eltz 1, Wierschem, Germany
Burg Eltz
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another German castle that rivals the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle as much as Burg Eltz. Upon driving through dense, evergreen forest you’ll come across this hidden gem perched on a rock above the Elzbach River. You can either take a 0.8 mi (1.3 km)-long hike or shuttle bus to Burg Eltz from the parking lot.Thanks to its secluded location, you can bag some pretty stunning photos backdrops that match that of childhood Disney fantasies. But before that, do take a moment to meditate on the absolutely breathtaking structure that is Burg Eltz. Nothing really prepares you for the moment you see it for the first time. You’ll likely find yourself just standing there in awe for a few minutes.
Burg Eltz
Go early enough or eltz you’ll be stuck waiting in long lines and have a hard time getting a picture without tourists in the background. 
There’s an entrance fee (inclusive of a guided tour) of 10€.

Cochem Castle

Reichsburg Cochem, Schlossstrasse 36, Cochem, Germany
Cochem Castle

A wise man once said Its not the Destination, Its the journey. Well that man was Ralph Waldo Emerson and he MUST have been referring to Cochem Castle because half the joy of visiting this pretty castle is the peaceful ride along the River Moselle.

The Moselle Valley is a dreamy little area of land that winds through some of Germany’s best landscapes. You’ll spot many sloping vineyards, picturesque river promenades, and rolling hills. Cochem Castle is the shining star of the Moselle Valley. This is a castle with over 1,000 years of history behind it. It was originally built around 1100 to collect tolls from passing ships, then later destroyed by French crusaders, and ultimately renovated back to its original form in 1689. There’s an entrance fee of 5€.

Heidelberg Castle

Schlosshof 1, Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg Castle

My favorite thing to do when visiting a historical town is to try to imagine what life must have been like once upon a time. Who were the people that resided there? What did they look like? Did they think and act the same as us? How was this all built without the technology we have today? While I’ll never truly know the answers to these questions, I can traverse down the same roads and walk down the same corridors as people did over thousands and thousands of years ago and get a glimpse of what life might’ve been like. And I think that is so amazing!

Anyways, you’ll surely have an interesting trip down memory lane when touring the Heidelberg Castle. This is a castle that was constructed as early as 1214 and later expanded into two castles. The upper castle was sadly struck by lightning in 1537 and later invaded and burned by the French army. It’s truly a miracle that there’s anything left to see today!
Heidelberg Gate

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle, 72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany
Perched atop the Swabian Alb, the Hohenzollern castle is a stunner! So much so that it serves as the backdrop in many blockbuster films even today. It’s rich in charm and history. Many prominent figures from the Prussian dynasty once lived within the Hohenzollern quarters. A house fit for royalty indeed! However, the impeccable castle we see today is actually the third reconstruction of the original. It was completely destroyed in 1423 and later rebuilt. It again sadly deteriorated by the end of the 18th century and the third and current castle was built as late as 1867. It’s hard to believe that despite so much wear and tear, the castles we know and love still stand today. I feel so unbelievably lucky to be able to see the places I’ve read about in history books.
Question for you guys: Are there any other German castles you would add to this list? Add your favorite German castle in the comments!
In the meantime, read on about other popular travel destinations in Germany like Dusseldorf and Leipzig.
Our buddy Sayon also has some beautiful images from his travels to German castles in Heidelberg and Bavaria worth checking out!

An American living and working in Dusseldorf, Germany. If you couldn't tell already, I spend most of my free time cooking, travelling or writing about either of the two. Thanks for stopping by!


post a comment