The landscape of Germany is graced by more than 20,000 castles and palaces. Some are in ruins, but many castles are picture perfect and home to interesting museums and restaurants. Even better? You can live your own fairy tale by spending the night in a medieval German castle.
Many German castles have been turned into castle hotels, offering a unique experience for couples and families alike. And the best: It doesn't cost a king's ransom to stay at one of Germany's castle hotels.
Travel back in time with my top picks of the best castle hotels in Germany.
01 of 08
The first documentation of Burghotel Auf Schoenburg dates back to 911. Perched on a hill, the impressive Castle Hotel is located in the picturesque landscape of the Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Castle Auf Schönburg has a library, a romantic restaurant by candlelight, and two terraces looking out onto vineyard-covered hills. One of the best hotel rooms is the tower room; its wooden balcony sits high up above the Rhine, like a bird’s nest on the castle’s stone tower.
02 of 08
Set in Bavaria, the 3,000-year-old Castle Colmberg is a destination on both the Romantic Road and the Castle Road. Once the headquarters of Bavarian Kings, this hotel has it all. Ancient stone towers, fortified walls, overgrown royal stables, massive stuffed beer, a roaring fireplace and even a deer reserve. Ask for one of the historic rooms that have four-poster beds, centuries-old paintings, antique furniture, and wooden ceilings.
Want more than one special night? Create a night of a lifetime by booking the hotel for your wedding or special event.
03 of 08
The 5-star Hotel Hugenpoet, located close to the city of Düsseldorf, is an elegant 17th-century chateau. It lies in the midst of a lush park and offers upscale trappings like spa facilities, a historic pool room, a library, and a gourmet restaurant that serves organic country-style cuisine.
The hotel rooms feature a mix of antique furniture and exclusive designer pieces. Stay in an elegant split-level tower suite or even in your own villa on the castle grounds.
04 of 08
The family-run Castle Hotel Liebenstein sits high on a cliff above the River Rhine. It is the highest castle in the Middle Rhine Valley and the chance to visit another century.
The hotel rooms have canopy beds and fireplaces and offer commanding vistas of the river valley and the hills beyond. Some windows even open onto the ruins of the neighboring castle, Sterrenberg, which used to be the seat of the Liebenstein family. Rumor has it that the castle hotel was built for the younger of the two brothers whose feud over a woman split the family line forever.
Recharge with some medieval dining at the restaurant's knights' hall or dine out on nice nights on the castle terrace. Better yet, explore the region by taking a walk from the hotel to the river pier where Rhine cruises depart daily.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Culture and comfort, all in one place. The Parkhotel has 31 individually furnished rooms with modern amenities like televisions, minibars, bath salts, and wifi - all in a spectacular setting surrounded by a moat. Along with a comfortable abode, staying at Parkhotel offers free entrance to the castle park.
The main castle also houses a historic museum with a large collection of 17th and 18th-century porcelain, paintings, and tapestries.
06 of 08
Dornroeschenschloss Sababurg was the setting for the classic story of Sleeping Beauty who was said to have slept here for 100 years before her true love's kiss saved her. You too can fall into a deep slumber: The 650-year old castle is now home to a romantic hotel with modern facilities like a Jacuzzi bath. It is surrounded by immaculate gardens and an idyllic park with tall ferns and ancient oak trees. In the summer, you can enjoy theater performances in the castle’s courtyard.
If you want to see more Grimm Brothers fairy tale settings, hop in the car and follow the German Fairy Tale Road, which leads past Castle Sababurg. Or you can walk to nearby Sababurg Tierpark (animal park).
07 of 08
Even the budget-wise traveler can afford a royal accommodation in Germany. Jugendherberge Burg Stahleck has been converted from a 12th-century fortified castle in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley into a hostel. Although it is simple and newly renovated rooms lack medieval charm, the views of the vineyards and river from this peak are breathtaking. It is the #1 specialty lodging in Bacharach.
You can choose between dorms and private rooms, and the rates are unbeatable: Dorms start at 22 euro a night with breakfast. There is also a restaurant on site with hearty regional fare and good German wines.
08 of 08
You won't just be staying like royalty, you can play the game of kings - golf - at Schlosshotel Munchhausen. There are luxury suites, two restaurants (one with a Michelin star) and a location within Natural Park Weser Highlands Schaumburg-Hameln. Elegance and the best of Germany are all at your fingertips.
This castle hotel is also near the historic town of Hameln, where the Pied Piper allegedly lured away a town children.