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Best Castles you can visit from Munich

From the capital of Bavaria it is possible to visit some of the best palaces in Germany just a few kilometers away. Here are the castles you can visit from Munich.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

10 min read

Best Castles you can visit from Munich

Munich | ©Datingscout

Among the best things to see and do in Munich is undoubtedly to visit the emblematic and mysterious castles that surround the city. A few kilometers away from the Bavarian capital and surrounded by mountains, many of these buildings have been marveling visitors for centuries.

From Linderhof to Neuschwanstein and from Blutenburg to Rothenburg, Munich's surroundings include must-see castles that crown magical villages and are easily accessible with guided tours or on your own.

1. Neuschwanstein Castle, the most emblematic castle in Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle| ©Rob Faulkner
Neuschwanstein Castle| ©Rob Faulkner

Neuschwanstein Castle is the most famous castle in Germany and also one of the most beautiful. Located on the heights of Bavaria, this palace built by Ludwig II is known as The Mad King's Castle. Its architecture is reminiscent of a medieval building, but it is actually from the 19th century.

The beauty of this castle lies in the fact that it was built with a mixture of architectural styles and also with the aesthetic freedom of a palace that was not built as a fortress, but as a romantic fantasy of King Ludwig II.

So it is not surprising that this castle has become an inspiration for fairy tales and Disney stories.

To visit the Neuschwanstein Castle the most comfortable way is to hire an organized bus tour with round trip from Munich and with the assistance of an expert local guide.

It is also an attraction you should include in your list of activities if you travel to Munich in winter to enjoy the peak of its snow-capped towers and the surrounding mountains.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the castle starts at 28 euros for adults and five euros for minors. If you prefer an excursion from Munich, it will cost about 50 euros.
  • Location... The castle is located at Neuschwansteinstraße 20, Schwangau, 109 kilometers from Munich.
  • How to get there by train... By services RB74 and BRB RB77 to Fussen and then combining with lines 73 and 78 to the castle.
  • How to get bybus... By bus with FlixBus service to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then combining with bus 9606.

Book an excursion to Neuschwanstein Castle

2. Grafenburg Castle, the oldest castle in Rothenburg

Grafenburg Castle| ©änder grethen
Grafenburg Castle| ©änder grethen

The oldest building in Rothenburg, the medieval town that crowns the Bavarian Romantic Road and one of the most visited attractions from Munich, is the remains of the main room of Grafenburg Castle, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1356.

This castle was the emblem of Rothenburg and one of the largest in Germany at the time.

Although part of it was renovated, the room, which adjoined the castle gardens, still retains the remains of original painting from the period and is one of Rothenburg's main attractions. It also retains the remains of the flights of stairs that did not collapse during the earthquake and the entrance gate to the gardens.

As a tribute, one of the walls of the room also includes the names of people from the town who lost their lives during World War II. Today it is possible to visit what remains of Grafenburg Castle on any of the tours from Munich to Rothenburg.

Details of interest

  • Price... The entrance to visit the gate and the room of the old castle is free of charge. The excursion from Munich is around 56 €.
  • Location... The room is located in the gardens to the left of the Siebersturm at Plonlein 14, Rothenburg.
  • How to get there by train... Take service 41 to Nuremberg, then take service 61 to Ansbach and from there train RB80 to Steinach. The last part of the journey you will take the RB82 to Rothenburg.
  • How to get there by bus... By FlixBus service from Munich Central Station to Nuremberg and then take the train to Ansbach, where you take bus 732 to Rothenburg.

Book a tour to Rothenburg from Munich

3. Hohenzollern Castle, the home of the Brandenburg Dynasty

Hohenzollern Castle| ©Lukas Riebling
Hohenzollern Castle| ©Lukas Riebling

Located in a mountain cone in Hechingen, this castle was rebuilt three times and during the Middle Ages was the home of the Hohenzollern Dynasty that ruled Prussia and Brandenburg.

It is one of the largest castles in Germany and currently receives a large number of visitors from Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich.

Hohenzollern Castle also has a museum that houses the crown of Wilhelm II, personal items of Frederick II of Prussia and a letter from George Washington thanking the family of Baron von Steuben for their support in the American War of Independence.

During the summer, the castle is used as a summer camp and has a structure prepared for this purpose, making it one of the main attractions to visit with children.

Due to its strategic location, this castle was not damaged during World War II, so it remains intact after its last reconstruction, although the only original part of the building is St. Michael's Chapel.

Details of interest

  • Price... The entrance fee to visit the castle starts at five euros.
  • Location... Burg Hohenzollern, Hechingen.
  • How to get there by train... Take services 11, 32, 42, 60, 62, 83 and 90 from Munich to Stuttgart and then line 6 to Hechingen.
  • How to get by bus... By FlixBus service to Tübingen Hauptbahnhof combined with line 6 train to Hechingen.

Book an excursion from Munich

4. Harburg Castle, the obsession of Michael Jackson

Harburg Castle| ©Viator
Harburg Castle| ©Viator

Harburg is one of the main towns on Germany's Romantic Road,especially on the stretch from Munich to Rothenburg.

It is also one of the best preserved medieval towns and has one of the largest and most well-kept castles in the country.

The castle stands atop Harburg and its design is a testament to life in the Middle Ages. Surrounded by lakes and ramparts, with numerous rooms and ballrooms, it also has prisons and torture rooms.

During the 1980s the castle gained worldwide fame because Michael Jackson, who was obsessed with the castle, came very close to buying it.

Today the castle is open to the public and its tour is often included in organized tours from Munich to Rothenburg.

Details of interest

  • Price... The entrance fee to visit the castle costs approximately 10 euros and is usually included in the price of organized tours.
  • Location... The castle is located at Burgstraße 1, Harburg.
  • How to get there by train... From Munich direct on the RB87 service.
  • How to get there by bus... FlixBus services are available direct from Munich.

Book an excursion to Harburg and Rottenburg from Munich

5. Blutenburg Castle, the weekend home of the Duke of Bavaria

Blutenburg Castle| ©SERRENA1998
Blutenburg Castle| ©SERRENA1998

Blutenburg Castle is different from all the other castles in and around Munich because it is the smallest, but also because its main function was not to be a fortress, but a rest house for Albert III, the Duke of Bavaria.

That is why it is surrounded by a lush forest and located in a place close to the historic center, just a few streets from the Nymphenburg Palace, which conveys peace and tranquility.

Blutenburg is also a reference for children's literature, since it houses the world's largest international library on that subject, in addition to having a biergarten with a restaurant in one of the inner courtyards.

This beer garden is one of the best in the city and is usually included among the best gastronomic and beer tours in Munich.

This castle is an attraction very close to the historic center of Munich, which makes it accessible by public transport or even by bicycle.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the castle is free.
  • Location... Seldweg 15, Munich.
  • How to get there... From Karlsplatz with Metro lines S2, S3, S4, S6, S7 and S8 to the Pasing stop and then combining with bus 56.

6. Linderhof Palace, Ludwig II's greatest whim

Linderhof Palace| ©Softeis
Linderhof Palace| ©Softeis

Linderhof Palace was Ludwig II's baroque retreat in the Bavarian Alps and the only one of the castles that the King saw completed before his death. It is also one of the most beautiful in Germany with lush gardens, artificial grottoes, a Moorish kiosk and a Moroccan house.

Nestled among the mountains, it was initially a hunting area, but later became the permanent residence of Ludwig II. The Venus Grotto is one of its most striking attractions and is inspired by Richard Wagner's opera Tannhauser.

Linderhof is open to the public and is often included in tours from Munich visiting Neuschwanstein, as both buildings are located in areas close to the Bavarian Alps.

Details of interest

  • Price... Entrance to the palace costs approximately nine euros.
  • Location... Linderhof 12, Ettal.
  • How to get there by train... By taking the RB6 from Munich to Murmau and combining with buses SEV and 9622.
  • How toget there by bus... With FlixBus service to Garmisch-Partenkirchen combining with bus lines 9606 and 9622.

Book an excursion to Linderhof Castle

7. Burghausen Castle, Germany's most secure fortress

Burghausen Castle| ©Bwag
Burghausen Castle| ©Bwag

On the border with Austria, on the banks of the Salzach River, George the Rich built, at the end of the Middle Ages, the most secure fortress in the country to resist invaders.

Burghausen Castle, which is the longest castle in the world. With a total length of more than a thousand meters, it has six courtyards and a wall that is still considered impassable today.

Today, the castle is also home to a museum of artifacts including weapons, battle tanks and the camera used in the first flight of a manned spacecraft. Some of its rooms can also be rented for private events.

The castle offers one of its most beautiful views at night, when it illuminates the town of Burghausen from the top of the mountain.

Although it is not included in the main circuit of the castles visited from Munich, it is worth visiting it and seeing the medieval village at its feet. Due to its proximity to Salzburg, it receives many Austrian visitors.

Interesting details

  • Price... Entrance to the castle costs approximately 20 euros.
  • Location... Burg 48, Burghausen.
  • How to get there by train... From Munich you can reach the castle by services RB54, RB44 and RB42.
  • Bybus... FlixBus services to Braunau and then bus 884 and 885 to Duttendorf Ort.

Book a tour from Munich to Salzburg

8. Nymphenburg Palace, the frozen Christmas paradise

Nymphenburg Palace| ©Pixabay
Nymphenburg Palace| ©Pixabay

The NymphenburgPalace is the most spectacular palace in Munich. The size of its gardens and the importance of the building as a summer residence of the kings increased its fame to become one of the favorite places of the Munich people.

Today it is one of the most visited palaces in Germany and during the summer locals and visitors spend the day in its gardens.

However, the best side of Nymphenburg comes in winter and during the Christmas season, when its main water channel, more than 500 meters long, freezes over and turns into a natural ice skating rink.

With a location close to the historic city center and easy access by public transportation or bicycle, visiting Nymphenburg is one of the top activities in Munich during Christmas.

Details of interest

  • Price... Entrance to the palace costs approximately 8 euros.
  • Location... Schloß Nymphenburg 1, Munich.
  • How to get there... By streetcar 17 from Central Station, by cab or private car or by hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus.

9. Schleißheim Palace, Munich's hidden treasure...

Schleissheim Palace,| ©Marcus Brown
Schleissheim Palace,| ©Marcus Brown

Schleißheim Palace is not usually among the top attractions to visit in Munich, but it is one of the city's most distinguished sites.

The complex of three palaces and the large central baroque garden is a hidden treasure in the Bavarian capital.

The palace was built as the retirement home of Duke Wilhelm V and given the fragile state of his health was built a few kilometers from the city center.

Today, in addition to being open to the public for visits, it is home to several porcelain museums and a site reserved for cultural activities.

Among the great attractions of Schleißheim are the Clock Tower of the Old Palace and the large canal in the central park, which during the winter is frozen and used for curling, similar to Nymphenburg with its quadrangular canal converted into the largest ice skating rink in Munich.

Interesting details

  • Price... The entrance fee for the visit of the three palaces and the central garden is approximately ten euros.
  • Location... Oberschleißheim, Munich.
  • How to get there... By subway line S1 to Oberschleissheim station.

10. Herrenchiemsee Palace, the Bavarian Versailles

Herrenchiemsee Palace| ©Michimaya
Herrenchiemsee Palace| ©Michimaya

Along with Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee Palace was one of the great follies of Ludwig II. Determined to surpass the beauty of Paris, the King bought the island of Herrenworth in Lake Chiemsee and ordered to build there a palace in the image and likeness of Versailles, but more luxurious and larger.

Ludwig II died before seeing it finished and in fact the work was never finished, because only the main wing was built, but this was enough to glimpse that the King's ideas were going in the right direction.

The luxurious furnishings of the central nave and the main garden show the beauty of the palace, which was not to be open to the public but only a private retreat for royalty.

Today it is possible to visit the island and the building with excursions from Munich. If you want to get to know the Bavarian Versailles, you can take the train to Prien am Chiemsee and then a boat from the pier to the island.

Interesting details

  • Price... Entrance to the palace costs approximately eleven euros.
  • Location... Herrenchiemsee, Lake Chiemsee.
  • How to get there... By train taking the BRB RE5 service to the Chiemsee pier to take a boat to the island.