When people think of places to see in Germany, magical and enchanting aren’t usually the first words that come to mind. However, there are many places, such as the enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle, that prove otherwise. After all, it is the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm.
Full of storybook castles, enchanted forests, and mystical landscapes, these 11 places look like they’re straight out of a fairytale.
1. Schloss Drachenburg
This private 19th-century villa in Königswinter was built by Baron Stephan von Sarter. Looking like a cross between a medieval castle, a gothic cathedral, and a Victorian mansion, the “Dragon’s Castle” is also full of fascinating reproductions.
Located between Berlin and Dresden this idyllic landscape is set on the banks of the Spree River. Now a biosphere reserve, it full of canals, alder and pine forests, and even grasslands. Rent a boat and explore the rustic waterways of Spreewald.
3. Hohenzollern Castle
The former ancestral seat of the Imperial House of Hohenzollern, this castle was originally constructed in the 11th century. Though the current Hogwarts-like structure only dates back to the 1860s, it’s full of historical artifacts, such as the crown of Wilhelm II or some of Fredrick the Great’s belongings.
4. The Town of Monschau
Located near the Belgian border in West Germany, this quaint medieval town is full of half-timbered houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Up above, the spectacular turreted Monschau Castle looms over the town and offers picturesque views.
5. Linderhof Palace
This ornate palace is tiny compared to other entries on this list and was commissioned by King Ludwig II, who also built Neuschwanstein Palace. While it’s full of paintings, tapestries, and stunning gardens, its most fascinating feature is the ‘wishing table’ in the dining hall. This fantastical table can be lowered into the kitchens below and lifted up, set with a delicious meal.
6. Watzmann Eiskapelle
Below the famous east face of the Watzmann is the famous “Ice Chapel” created by the Watzmann Glacier. In the spring, a gate-shaped vault forms in the ice of this permanent snowfield in Berchtesgaden National Park. However, visitors are advised to be very careful of falling ice.
7. Eltz Castle
Dating back to the 11th century, this magnificent castle is nestled among the Wierschem woodlands. It is still owned by the Kempenich family, who have preserved many of the original interiors and furnishings, that transport you right back in time to the age of knights, jesters, and jousting.
8. Rakotzbrücke “Devil’s Bridge”
Located in Kromlau Park, the Rakotzbrücke looks like something out of The Lord of the Rings. Constructed from basalt boulders, this stunning bridge spans a tree-lined lake. On clear days, its reflection in the water creates a perfect circle.
9. Castle Lichtenstein
Leaning against the rocks of the Swabian Alps in Wurmttenberg, this castle was inspired by Wilhelm Hauff’s novel Lichtenstein. Built in 1840, it has inspired countless German artists, writers, and filmmakers throughout the decades, and is even credited with inspiring German romanticism.
10. The Historic Town of Freudenberg
The center of this tiny medieval town in the German province of North Rhine-Westphalia consists of 50 or so almost identical half-timbered houses, with white walls and grey shingle roofs. During the winter, it looks like a black-and-white photo come to life.
11. Saalfelder Feengrotten
Filled with surreal underground rock formations, this “Faries Grotto” is actually located in an abandoned mine. Stalactites in startling browns, reds, and greys fill the caves and are reflected in the still waters of the underground lakes.
Do you know of any more fairytale-esque places to see in Germany?