As one of the most historic cities in Germany, Munich is one of the most popular and beautiful places to visit in the country. It is surrounded by a number of stunning castles set in the city and the hills that surround it. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Alps. If you’re looking for a unique experience, explore some of these incredible castles.
A Guide to the Most Magnificent German Castles from Munich
1. Nymphenburg Palace
Nymphenburg Palace is one of the most famous castles in Munich, with its sprawling gardens and majestic Baroque architecture. Any visitor to Munich would be remiss to overlook this spectacular sight. It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of this place and appreciate its grandeur with its sweeping lawns, ornate fountains, and canals. Nymphenburg Palace is definitely worth the visit whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more extensive tour. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the famous Bavarian royals.
Check out all Munich has to offer on our Sightseeing Munich 24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Express Tour and our longer 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Tour to enjoy the city from the top of one of Gray Line’s famous buses.
2. Hohenschwangau Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle is another stunning sight. It has an impressive fairy-tale design and majestic views of the Bavarian Alps. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience and a great way to see what Munich has to offer, this is it. From the castle walls, you can take in the beauty of the area and explore the Museum of the Bavarian Kings. Hohenschwangau Castle is the perfect place to explore and admire the beauty of Munich on a romantic getaway or the perfect day trip.
3. Neuschwanstein Castle
If you only visit one castle in Munich, make it Neuschwanstein. This fairytale edifice, located just outside of the city, is perhaps Germany’s most famous castle. Famous as the Mad King’s residence, the construction of Neuschwanstein began in 1869 under Ludwig II. The structure and design were inspired by the palace of Amalias in Greece and Château de Chambord in France. The most famous feature of this stunning sight is the facade’s Swan Knight’s Tower and Swan Maidens. This monumentality and beauty have made Neuschwanstein a must-see attraction for travelers to Munich and Europe.
Join Gray Line’s Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace & Oberammergau Tour departing from Munich. You’ll visit Linderhof Castle, have time to shop and take beautiful photos in the charming village of Oberammergau and arrive at idyllic Neuschwanstein Castle around lunchtime, where you’re free to enjoy the afternoon exploring the castle.
4. Herrenchiemsee Castle
Not one, but two, Munich castles were built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II. Herrenchiemsee is the second of the two, and it was built as a replica of Versailles Palace in France. The castle is filled with artwork, and gilded rooms, and is a sight you don’t want to miss. Herrenchiemsee was partially completed before Ludwig’s death, so some sections were completed after World War II. The castle is now a museum and remains one of Germany’s most well-known attractions.
Herrenchiemsee may be easily reached by boat from the pier at Stachus Square in central Munich. When you arrive, you can enjoy a short walk through the palace grounds before entering the main building for the sightseeing tour. It is best to finish your Neuschwanstein tour at Herrenchiemsee.
5. Harburg Castle
Germany’s oldest castle may not be one of the most well-known sights in Munich, but it is a must-see for true castle enthusiasts. Originally built in 1089, only the ruins of Harburg Castle remain today, but these remains are among the oldest structures in all of Europe. The original building was expanded throughout the 12th and 13th centuries as a defensive fortress. But in 1309, the governor surrendered the castle without a fight after the citizens of Munich rebelled against him. A museum now occupies part of the castle grounds, featuring in-depth exhibits on medieval art and culture. If you’re interested in learning more about German history, this site can offer some interesting insights!
Travel the Romantic Road: Rothenburg & Harburg Tour from Munich and visit Germany’s oldest castle.
6. Linderhof Royal Palace
The charming Linderhof Palace was originally built as a summer residence for Ludwig II. This palace is much smaller and more modest than Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee but is still incredibly beautiful. The palace was completed shortly before Ludwig’s death, and this idyllic structure has served both as a museum and a television filming location over the years. Its gardens are considered to be some of the prettiest in the world and were again inspired by Versailles.
Linderhof features intricate woodwork, beautiful gardens, and paintings from various artists, including one of Madonna that once served as Leonardo da Vinci’s model.
Make this a trip to remember with a full day tour including Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace & Oberammergau Tour. Where you’ll first visit Linderhof Castle, and marvel at the French rococo-style castle inspired by Versailles itself and take some time to explore the immaculately manicured gardens.
What to pack on your day tour to german castles
Castles are some of Germany’s most arresting and enduring symbols, and a visit to at least one during your stay is a must. Exploring the majestic castles of Munich is an activity that can fill a day or even need an overnight stay. Gain a much deeper understanding of Bavarian history.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes
- Bring a camera to capture your memories
- Bring snacks and a water bottle to stay hydrated
- Make sure to bring the right weather protection
- Research the history and unique features of the castles
- Don’t forget to take your time to appreciate the beauty of the castles
- Make sure to visit at least one castle each day, if possible
- Make sure to plan your itinerary accordingly to maximize your visits to the castles
A day trip from Munich is the perfect way to explore the city’s many castles, from the world-famous Neuschwanstein to the historical Linderhof Palace. Whether you are looking for a cultural experience or an opportunity to relax in nature, Gray Line’s day tours from Munich will provide everything you need for an unforgettable sightseeing experience.