The Best Bavarian Castles – Only 1 hour from Grafenwoehr, Germany!

Traveling during the pandemic was challenging, so my wife and I got creative and found 30+ Bavarian castles in our own backyard!

Pandemic or not, Bavarians are committed to spending time in the outdoors – walking, hiking, biking in literally all four seasons.

This got me thinking.

It’s no surprise Bavaria is known for their incredible castles, but what many people don’t realize is that you can actually enjoy them without even going inside. This also meant we could still travel during the pandemic without worrying about crowds of people, wearing a mask inside, or staying overnight in a hotel

So we decided to check out the all the incredible Bavarian castles around us. With my camera and Google maps in hand, we found 30+ Bavarian castles only 1-hour from our home in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Americans Living in Germany: Know Before You Go

These 30+ Bavarian castles are close enough for a family day trip, but some may require a small fee. So you’ll want to make sure you have cash (euros), plus, carry your military ID, passport, and vaccination documents (if necessary).

Not sure which passport you need? Check out our passports guide!

Wear comfy shoes.

To get to the castles, you’ll have an uphill hike, but you’ll notice some are wheelchair/stroller friendly.

How to find Bavarian Castles

No matter where you live in Germany, here’s a tip to understanding the different types of castles in your area. A simple google search of “castles” will put you in the right direction, but here’s the english translations of what you’ll find on the map.

Good to know:

die Burg = The Castle

das Schloss = The Palace/Castle

What’s the difference?

A “Burg” is essentially a castle, strategically built in the middle ages to protect citizens from its enemies. Not to be confused with “Berg” which is the German word for mountain. Although many castles in Germany have the word “Berg” in them such as “Schloss Heidelberg.”

You may also see the word “Burgruine” which refers to the remains of a castle or “ruins.”

A “Schloss” is also a castle but often referred to as a palace. These palaces were usually built after the middle ages as a display of wealth with no intention to help “defend” citizens. You will often see these castles near beautiful fountains & gardens, easily accessible by foot, and covered with expensive artwork inside.

*Click the address for the exact location!

Now on to the castles!

For a google map listing of all the castles click here!

Burg Dagestein castle in vilseck Germany
Burg Dagestein

Best Bavarian Castles

1. Burg Dagestein

  • – Located at SchloBgasse 6-8, 92249 Vilseck and originally built in the 12th century. 
  • – Vilseck is named after the location of Burg Dagestein which sits on the corner of the “Vils” river; Corner = “eck” in German. Hence the name, Vilseck.
  • – It’s a short walk from the parking lot and is wheelchair/stroller friendly.

2. Burgruine Lichtenegg

  • – Located at Lichtenegg 7, 92262 Birgland and originally built in the 12th century. 
  • – It’s just a short walk uphill from the parking lot.
Burg Pottenstein

3. Burg Pottenstein

  • – Located at BurgstraBe 13, 91278 Pottenstein and built between 1055 and 1070.
  • – Nestled in a scenic location with a fantastic view of the city and countryside.
  • – Just a short walk from the parking lot.

4. Burgruine Hohenberneck

  • – Located at 95460 Bad Berneck and built around 1478. 
  • – To get to the castle, it’s a short hike uphill from the city parking lot.

5. Burgruine Waldeck

  • – Located at 95478 Kemnath and built sometime in the 12th Century. 
  • – It’s just a short hike uphill from the parking lot

6. Burgruine Weißenstein

  • – Located at 95679 Waldershof and built in the 13th century.
  • – Long history of being destroyed and rebuilt several times. 
  • – From the parking lot, it’s about a 16m hike (20 minutes) and you’ll need to be extremely careful when walking up the stairs (especially in the winter months).
Burg Falkenberg
Burg Falkenberg

7. Burg Falkenberg

  • – Located at In der Schwaige 3, 95685 Falkenberg.
  • – Historically, the first mention was in 1154.
  • – In front of the castle is a moat and gatehouse.
  • – The castle is wheelchair/stroller friendly.
Castle in Pottenstein
Burgruine Flossenbürg

8. Burgruine Flossenbürg

  • – Located at 92696 Flossenbürg and founded around 1100.
  • – There’s a memorial there to honor those that were at the Flossenbürg concentration camp from 1938 to 1945 where the granite was quarried.
  • – A short hike uphill from the parking lot.

9. Burgruine Leuchtenberg

  • – Located at Burgweg 92705 Leuchtenberg.
  • – Founded around 1300. The first mention of it was 1134. 
  • – Currently undergoing restoration and preservation.  
  • – Short uphill hike from the parking lot.

10. Hotel Burg Wernberg

  • – Located at SchloBberg 10, 92533 Wemberg-Köblitz and first mentioned in 1280.
  • – This castle was transformed into a fully functioning hotel with two restaurants and a spa.
  • – Short walk from the parking lot.

11. Burg Trausnitz im Tal

  • – Located at 92555 Trausnitz and founded around 1261
  • – This is one of the best-preserved and most legendary castles in Bavaria. Mainly because of a famous 28-month imprisonment of Frederick the Handsome of Austria after the Battle of Mühldorf. 
  • – Wheelchair/stroller friendly and a short walk from the parking lot. 

12. Burgruine Kürnburg

  • – Located at 93491 Stramsrid and created around 1354.
  • – Still considered one of the largest castle complexes in the Upper Palatinate.
  • – Short walk uphill from the parking lot.

13. Burg Stockenfels

  • – Located at Stockenfels 1, 93149 Nittenau and built around 1300.
  • – Regularly open for guided tours and a short walk uphill from the parking lot

14. Donaustauf Castle

  • – Located at BurgstraBe, 93093 Donaustauf and built around 914-930.
  • – The ruins are safe and renovated with beautiful views of the Danube river. 
  • – A short walk uphill from the parking lot and just down the street from Walhalla.

15. Burg Wolfsegg 

  • – Located at Burggasse 18, 93195 Wolfsegg and built around 1278.
  • – Open May 1 – October 3rd.
  • – There is a place for visitor parking with a stairway to the castle. There is also a slightly longer walk, but not as steep on a path. 
Aerial view of Burgruine Kallmünz
Burgruine Kallmünz 

16. Burgruine Kallmünz 

  • – Located at 93183 Kallmünz.
  • – Outer walls built around 1600 BC.
  • – There are several paths to the castle from the village. It is accessible all year round. 

17. Burg Hohenfels 

  • – Located at Am SchloBberg 17-19, 92366 Hohenfels and first mentioned in 1292.
  • – This medieval castle housed a boarding school until 2017. 
  • – A short walk from the parking lot. 

18. Burg Lupburg 

  • – Located at 92331 Lupburg and first mentioned in 1129.
  • – Partially rebuilt and restored. 
  • – Wheelchair and stroller friendly path.
Castle in in Parsberg
Burg Parsberg

19. Burg Parsberg 

  • – Located at Burgstrass 24, 92331 Parsberg and first mentioned in 1205.
  • – A fully-functioning castle with a museum and cafe. 
  • – Wheelchair/stroller friendly.

20. Burgruine Velburg 

  • – Located at Burgstrasse, 92335 Velburg and first mentioned in 1129. 
  • – Only ruins remain today. 
  • – Short hike uphill from the parking lot

21. Burgruine Schöneberg 

  • – Located at 92366 Hohenburg and created around 1000. 
  • – A short hike uphill from the parking lot.
Aerial view of Burg lengenfeld
Burg Lengenfeld

22. Burg Lengenfeld 

23. Burgruine Wolfstein 

24. Burgruine Haselstein

  • – Located at 92696 Floss and built in the 11th century.
  • – A castle ruin near the village of Haselstein.
  • – A short hike from the parking lot.

25. Burgruine Schellenberg (Oberpfalz)

  • – Located at 92697 Georgensberg and built around 1347.
  • – The castle ruins are located on a rocky summit.
  • – A short hike from the parking lot

26. Burgruine Liebenstein

27. Sulzbacher Schloss

28. Burgruine Poppberg

  • – Located at 92262 Birgland and built in the 13th century.
  • – Most of the castle walls have been destroyed.
  • – Short hike from the parking lot.

29. Schloss Neidstein

  • – Located at Neidstein 1, 92268 Etzelwang and built in the 16th century.
  • – Privately owned castle (not open to the public)
  • – Hiking trails will take you close to the castle for pictures

30. Burgruine Leienfels

  • – Located at Leienfels, 91278 Pottenstein and built in the 14th century.
  • – A short walk up the ruins of the castle is a lookout point over the Franconian forest.

31. Neues Schloss (Bayreuth)

32. Schloß Holnstein

33. Schloss Friedrichsburg

34. Burgruine in Simmelsdorf (Burgruine Wildenfels)

35. (Bonus) Burgruine Runding

  • – Located 1.5hrs from Grafenwoehr at Burgweg 1, 93486 Runding.
  • – First mentioned in 1118
  • – Was once the largest castle complex in the Bavarian forest.
  • – Although a little further away, it’s definitely worth a day trip to see with the family!
Donaustauf Castle in Regensburg Germany
Donaustauf Castle

Download these Bavarian Castles

We hope you enjoyed learning about all the castles within 1HR of your home. Whether you live in Bavaria or any other part of Germany, we encourage you to find all the castles in your backyard as well.

If you’d like a consolidated list of these castles, you can download my pdf for FREE here – Local Castle Travel Guide!

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