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Best Castles to Visit in Bavaria with Kids

May 19, 2022 5 min read No Comments

If you’ve never been to Germany, but more specifically, Bavarian region of Germany, then you should know that there are literally HUNDREDS of castles to visit! Each with it’s own unique story to tell and place in history.

However, I’m not going to go over ALL of those in this blog post. I’m only going to cover some of the top castles to visit with kids in Bavaria Germany!

1. Neuschwanstein Castle

When we went to Germany in March of this year (2022) visiting this castle was the main reason why I wanted to go! Since I was a little girl, my mom had a photo of Neuschwanstein Castle hanging on the wall in our kitchen. I used to imagine that that was my castle…as little girls do imagining they are princesses.

Best Castles to Visit in Bavaria with Kids
Neuschwanstein Castle
Photo Copyrighted by The Backpacker Mom

Many people know this castle as either the Cinderella Castle or the Walt Disney Castle – or if you’re me a Danish Viking Princess Castle 😄. These are just a few of the many nicknames given to this 19th-century palace perched in southwest Bavaria. Neuschwanstein castle is definitely the among the most famous Bavarian castles, and visiting it is simply a must-do experience.

Overlooking Hohenschwangau Valley, this castle was the dream of King Ludwig II, who nearly went bankrupted the entire country trying to build it, along with two other extraordinary projects. Work began in 1869 but, like many of Ludwig’s grand plans, it was never finished. In fact, the King only ever spent about 170 days in residence at the castle.

Best Castles to Visit in Bavaria with Kids
Overlooking the Hohenschwangau Valley
Photo Copyrighted by The Backpacker Mom

Inspired by the operatic works of his friend, Richard Wagner, one of the most impressive rooms is the Sängersaal (Minstrels’ Hall) with its frescos depicting scenes from the opera Tannhäuser. You can wander through this and other completed sections, and don’t forget to gaze out of the windows for awesome views across the plains stretched out below!

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about visiting this dreamy castle was the fact I was unable to take photos inside the entire castle.

Insider Tip: Neuschwanstein Castle is best seen on a guided tour from Munich. Don’t want to book a tour? You can get there yourself by taking the train from Munich Hbf to Füssen, then a bus to Hohenschwangau, then walking, taking another bus, or riding a horse carriage for the final leg to Neuschwanstein Castle!

Where: Town of Fussen, Southern Bavaria
Dates to: 19th-century
Style: Romanesque
Open for visiting? Yes. See here for more information.

2. Hohenschwangau Castle

When I went to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, I had no idea that there was more than one major castle in this area…come to find out there are 3! The second is Hohenschwangau Castle! This castle sits at the bottom of the hillside beneath Neuschwanstein Castle in the village of Hohenschwangau.

Best Castles to Visit in Bavaria with Kids
Hohenschwangau Castle from the balcony of Neuschwanstein
Photo Copyrighted by The Backpacker Mom

Built by King Ludwig II’s father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria. Unlike Neuschwanstein, this castle was actually in constant use – as the childhood home of Ludwig II and more! Our tour took us to see this beautiful, though not as famous, castle that dates back to the 12th Century. Once you arrice you can join one of many guided tours to get inside. Make sure to spend time to appreciate Germanic historic legends painted on the walls.

More than 300,000 visitors from all over the world visit the palace each year, many of whom combine it with a tour of Ludwig’s rather grander Neuschwanstein Castle on the same day.

Where: Town of Füssen, Southern Bavaria
Dates to: 12th-century
Style: Gothic
Open for visiting? Yes. See here for more information.

3. Nuremberg Castle

During the Middle Ages, the Nuremberg castle was one of the most important imperial castles of the Holy Roman Empire.

It’s well worth the (VERY) steep walk up to this ancient castle. Take it slow for sure if you’re traveling with little ones and I’d recommend carrying them rather than pushing a stroller. The views down to the city of Nuremberg are just as spectacular as the castle itself. The views are the best from the 13th-century defensive tower (Sinwell tower).

Best Castles to Visit in Bavaria with Kids

The castle is estimated to date back to 1105 AD. It was a prestigious residence for the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, earning it the title of the Imperial Castle.

Sign up a head of time on the website to take the hour-long guided tour to visit the main parts of the castle and the chapel. There’s also a museum to browse through, filled with armor and weapons. I also recommend visiting the Deep Well, which was the castle’s most important source of water in times of siege.

Where: Nuremberg
Dates to: 12th-century
Style: Medieval
Open for visiting? Yes. See here for more information.

4. Würzburg Residenz

Wurzburg Castle is the former residence of the prince-bishops of Wurzburg. Designed by renowned architect Balthasar Neumann, Würzburg Residence is a key work of south German Baroque architecture, earning it UNESCO World Heritage status.

The castle features a world-famous staircase with a ceiling painted by Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Representing the four continents, this is one of the largest frescoes in the history of painting.

Unfortunately, parts of this beautiful Bavarian castle were destroyed in a devastating fire in 1945, but a long process of restoration has brought it back to its former glory.

It’s a good idea to join one of the guided tours so that you can get more information about the ceiling painting and visit the most impressive rooms of the Residence. The guided tour takes 45 minutes and is available both in German or English. The tour’s price is included in the admission fee (regular ticket 9 euros, reduced 8 euros, under 18 free).

Where: Wurzburg
Dates to: 18th-century
Style: Baroque
Open for visiting? Yes. See here for more information.

5. Linderhof Palace

Renovated at the request of eccentric King Ludwig II, whose imagination stood behind the construction of the magnificent Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee castles, Linderhof is undoubtedly one of the top sights in Bavaria.

Best Castles to Visit in Bavaria with Kids

Ludwig already knew the area around Linderhof from his youth, when he had accompanied his father King Maximilian II of Bavaria on his hunting trips in the Bavarian Alps. Once he inherited the original building, they started large restorations and enlarged the grounds.

Built in the style of a 19th-century French castle, this spectacular Baroque building is also known as the Little Versailles. The interior features lavish furniture and decorations. Outside, beautiful fountains, lawns, and symmetric flower arrangements form an enchanting landscape.

Where: The village of Ettal in Graswang Valley
Dates to: 19th-century
Style: Baroque
Open for visiting? Yes. See here for more information.

These are just five of the hundreds of castles that you can find throughout Germany and Bavaria. All of these castles are amazing to bring kids! Even the longer tours are kept interesting by the guides. Overall, Bavaria is an amazing region of Germany to travel to with your family.
Stay tuned for more amazing locations to travel to with your family!

The things I love the most...Wine, traveling, and photography! Join me on my adventures as I travel the world and share my experiences as I travel with my daughter, top places to visit and how to travel on a budget!

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The Backpacker Mom

Hey there! I'm Phylicia, but you probably know me as "The Backpacker Mom." As a passionate wine educator and travel blogger, my daughter and I embark on exciting adventures around the world, sipping wine and creating unforgettable memories together. Join us on our wonderful adventures around the globe! Read More Here

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