Romantik-Schloss Burg Rheinstein Castle, Germany

More than once, medieval Burg Castle Rheinstein has been awarded as the most beautiful castle in Germany and I would have to agree with that assessment! Schloss Burg Rheinstein Castle is truly one of the prettiest castles I have ever seen!

Burg Rheinstein Castle seen from a distance overlooking the Rhine River and the Rhine River Valley
on the banks of the Rhine Middle Ages Burg Castle Rheinstein

Burg Castle Rheinstein (Romantik-Schloß Burg Rheinstein)

This Storybook perfect little castle was originally built in 1316. It is immaculate, compact, and almost homey.

Romantik-Schloss Burg Rheinstein Castle, Germany
Romantik-Schloss Burg Rheinstein Castle, Germany

Reminiscent of the perfect little knight’s castle, enchanting Burg Rheinstein Castle is perfectly located on a steep slope of the Bingen Forest, overlooking the Rhine River in Germany. Its location high on the hill offers Panoramic views of the River Rhine which flows through the Rhine River Valley below.

Panoramic Views of the Rhine River Valley as seen from Burg Rheinstein Castle
Panoramic Views of the Rhine River Valley as seen from Burg Rheinstein Castle

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Rhine River Valley, the perfect setting!

Castle Rheinstein is located in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley region, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. This 65 km-stretch of valley follows along the lazy Rhine River between Bingen/Rüdesheim and Koblenz and is often referred to as the most scenic section of the Rhine. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is dotted with 21 castles, historic villages, and terraced vineyards.

castle tour

The Rheinstein Castle complex has a beautiful courtyard with a lush garden and a working portcullis and drawbridge which are typical of medieval castles. You’ll also find a gift shop, restaurant, and overnight accommodations.

Visitors can explore the castle on their own and at their leisure. Entry tickets get you a floor plan of the castle. Informative brochures available for an extra €2. Pick up a children’s castle guide in the gift shop!

The Portcullis Gate at Burg Rheinstein Castle Germany
The Portcullis Gate, reminiscent of medieval construction

the inner courtyard and castle garden

My favorite place in the entire castle is the courtyard garden. Lush vines stretch in all directions and are dotted with colorful blooms of well cared for flowers.

One of the most interesting features of Rheinstein castle is the 500-year-old grapevine found in the courtyard. It still produces grapes!!! Rheinstein’s courtyard is known as the Burgundy Garden after the “burgundy grape” vine that grows there.

a closer view of Burg Rheinstein castle courtyard and garden. Don't miss the ancient 500-year-old grapevine
the castle courtyard and garden. Don’t miss the ancient 500-year-old grapevine!
a closer view of Burg Rheinstein castle courtyard and garden. Don't miss the ancient 500-year-old grapevine
The inner courtyard romantic castle garden at Romantic Castle Burg Rheinstein: Don’t miss the ancient 500-year-old grapevine!
Burg Rheinstein Castle coat of arms located in the castle courtyard, can you imagine a scene any more medieval!
coat of arms located in the castle courtyard, can you imagine a scene any more medieval!(photo courtesy: Angela M. Kunze)

staircases take visitors to new heights

Climb the outside staircase for fantastic views of the Rhine Valley! Just past the gift shop near the entrance is an opening on the left to the courtyard, which has views of the Rhine.

Staircases in the Burg Rheinstein Castle complex  allow visitors to enjoy a great view of the surrounding Rhine River Valley
Staircases in the Burg Rheinstein Castle complex allow visitors to enjoy a great view of the surrounding Rhine River Valley
scale the many staircases in the castle complex to explore the higher regions of the castle

scale the many staircases in the castle complex to explore the higher regions of the castle
Burg Rheinstein Castle: Although a relatively recently reconstructed, the whole castle, right down to the entrance to the toilets, has an old world feel.
Although a relatively recently reconstructed, the whole castle, right down to the entrance to the toilets, has an old world feel.

the chapel

The little neo-gothic chapel of rheinstein castle, was built in 1839-44 south of the castle itself, just over the castle wall. From the garden, steps lead down to a small chapel. In the basement of the chapel you’ll find a Gothic altarpiece with a wood carving depicting Jesus at the Last supper. Additional steps lead down to the royal crypt where you will find the coffins of the Prince Fredrich Wilhelm family (more on them later.)

Burg Rheinstein Castle chapel altar
The good craftsmanship throughout the castle denote a high standard in the castle construction: Burg Rheinstein Castle chapel altar
Burgh Rheinstein Castle:The graceful chapel: notice the gable of the façade / filigree gable facade and the gargoyles in the shape of dragons on the copper-studded turret which exhibit the prince's enthusiasm for the Middle Ages.
The graceful chapel is located in the complex just outside of the medieval ring wall: Notice a) the gable of the façade / filigree gable facade b) the gargoyles in the shape of dragons on the copper-studded turret (which exhibit the prince’s enthusiasm for the Middle Ages) c) the sculpted archway and the rich tympanum architectural details

inside Burg Castle Rheinstein

Explore Inside the rooms of the castle museum of Rheinstein Castle with its beautifully furnished rooms of the castle interior.

Special features of the rooms include:

  • Stained glass windows from the 14th century to 19th century
  • Armor from the 15th century
  • Antique furniture from the 17th century and 19th century
The Princess Bedroom Burg Rheinstein Castle
The Princess Bedroom
The Living Room area in Burg Rheinstein Castle Germany
The Living Room area: the living rooms give the impression of aristocratic living culture
the fireplace room Burg Rheinstein Castle Germany
the fireplace room: Düsseldorf painter Ludwig Poser was responsible for wall and ceiling paintings.

The largest and most impressive room at Rheinstein Castle is known as the Rittersaal or Knight’s Hall. It includes beautiful stained glass windows, as well as three-dimensional ceiling paintings.

Burg Rheinstein Castle armor in the Knight's Hall  (Rittersaal)
armor in the Knight’s Hall (Rittersaal)
stained glass window burg Rheinstein Castle Germany
stained glass window burg Rheinstein Castle Germany

How long do I need?

It takes approximately 45 minutes to tour the castle. They ask that you limit your visit to the castle to 2.5 hours. (This is an easy quick stop if you are trying to make a Rhine River Cruise, however, I recommend you slow it down and take in the feel of this magnificent castle!)

accessibility

Again, the steep path is the only way to access the castle which poses a challenge for people with physical disabilities.

pets

Dogs are permitted but must remain on a short leash while inside the castle as well as on castle grounds.

The best time to visit Castle Rheinstein

This castle is a bit of a hidden gem but general rules for avoiding crowds apply:

  • Visit early morning or late in the day (i.e., the first or last tour of the day)
  • Weekdays are often less crowded than weekends.
  • Travel in the shoulder or off season: Summer months are peak season / high season, spring and fall are considered shoulder seasons, and winter months are off season in Germany (outside of the Christmas market season.)

video of Rheinstein Castl

How to get to Burg Rheinstein Castle

location and address:

address: 55413 Trechtingshausen, Germany
GPS coordinates: 49.99436289338707, 7.858176588356264

parking

There are plenty of free parking spaces located just off of the main road below the castle. Parking for castle visitors only. 2.5 hour limit.

nearest airport:

Frankfurt Hahn (HHN): 55 km
Frankfurt International (FRA) (67 km)
(for approximation purposes only)

public transportation

If you are determined it is possible to get the majority of the way to Burg Rheinstein Castle via public transportation. However, this area is best seen with the freedom a private vehicle provides.

Nearest train station:

Trechtingshausen Train Station (2 km)
(from there you’ll need to hail a taxi or walk)

opening times and prices

Note: This information is to give you an idea of what time of hours and prices you may expect. Always confirm information. For the most current and up to date information on opening times and entry fees see the official website.

Opening hours: (2023/2024)

main season: March 18 – November 5 (2023)
Open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
last admission 5 p.m.

Low season: November 6 – November 24 (2023)
Sat/Sun 11 am – 4.30 pm
last admission 4 pm

Fairy Tale Christmas Castle:
November 25 – December 17 (2023)
Sat/Sun 12 – 7 p.m.
last admission 6 p.m.

Closed:
December 18 2023 – March 15 2024

prices:

Prices: €8.00 for adults, €4.00 for children (5-14 years)
Walk-in visitors are welcome.
Discounts available for families and groups

Getting UP to the castle

It’s a bit of a trek getting up to the castle, but it always is isn’t it!? The higher the castle the easier to defend it! The 380 meter long steep footpath takes about 6-10 minutes to walk. Don’t miss the artificial stream that is part of a landscape park and the large boulder held together and secured with a chain and steel cables. Both are located on the path up to the castle.

The steep path up to Burg Rheinstein Castle
The steep path up to Burg Rheinstein Castle

Where to eat and where to Stay

Restaurant “Kleiner Weinprinz” (Little Wine Prince)

The castle restaurant is open (exclusively) to visitors to the castle. Dine al fresco on the terrace or choose a seat inside. Both options offer panoramic views of the Rhine Valley. Some offerings include Flammekueche, salads, burgers, desserts, sparkling wine from the Rhine Valley, and more.
No need to make a reservation unless you are bringing a group. Check the website for current times.

Rheinstein Castle hotel

Can I stay the night at Burg Rheinstein Castle?

Yes, you can overnight in the castle! They have one room that accommodates 2 people. Overnight guests have after hours access to the castle gardens and enjoy a delicious breakfast served on the terrace with river views.

The 2 floor overnight accommodation includes a bedroom with a 4-poster bed, a small balcony with a view of the Rhine, bathroom, and a living area (all houses in the residential tower of the castle)


Prices From €175.00 per night for 2 people. breakfast included. Minimum stay: 2 nights
Arrival days: Sun, Wed & Fri. Check availability here:

other “ Castle Hotel Rhine options “

Looking for more options? You’re in luck! There are several fantastic Castle Hotels on the Rhine River, and I have a full list! These are the closest options for an overnight stay in a castle nearby. Each of these offers romantic views overlooking the Rhine, or check the above link for a full list!

Is Burg Rheinstein Castle Worth it?

Indeed it is! This castle may not be as historic as other castles in Germany but what it lacks in age it makes up for in visual appeal. Again, this castle continues to win awards for the most beautiful castle in Germany. See it for yourself and I think you’ll agree!

Angie Kunze We're Not in Kansas Anymore at Burg Rheinstein Castle
unforgettable moments for the Kunze clan from Kansas!
Husband of Angie Kunze We're Not in Kansas Anymore
Burg Rheinstein Castle was the very first place that my husband, who is of German descent on both sides, ever visited in Germany. It did not disappoint!

Other things to do in the area

Steckeschlääfer-Klamm

is a ⅔ mile walking trail that winds through a scenic gorge. Transverse Wooden walkways as you hunt for the 46 wooden tree carvings depicting fun forest inhabitants such as gnomes, imps, witches and furry creatures. You’ll need to be on your toes to find them all since some are well hidden!
Wanderparkplatz Parking lot coordinates: 49.9782151986775, 7.827767921120609 (Weiler bei Bingen)
Distance from Rheinstein Castle: 14 km by car, 3.5 – 4 km walking (plan your route at Komoot as well as other hiking trails in the Rheinstein Castle area!)

“Not to be missed” charming villages in the area:

These villages were made for exploring!

  • Bacharach: Cute little Bacharach has remnants of a town wall that once protected the village from invaders. Stop for refreshments at one of these atmospheric restaurants: Posthof Bacharach Restaurant and Altes Haus, the oldest house in town (1368) You’l want to be sure to get a photo of Marktturm (market tower). Distance from Rheinstein Castle: 11 km
  • Sankt Goar: Sankt Goar sits in the shadow of Rheinfels castle. Beside the castle ruins, the attraction is the town itself. Distance from Burg Rheinstein Castle: 25 km

Nearby Castles

There are numerous Rhine Castles. These are in close proximity to Rheinstein:

  • Burg Reichstein castle, the origins of this beautiful castle are estimated to be around the year 1100 AD. Today the castle houses a hotel, restaurant and worthwhile museum. Distance: 1.3 km
  • Burg Rheinfels Castle was built in 1245 AD. Not only is it the best castle ruin on the river it is also still the largest castle on the Rhine. The castle was once 5 times its current size, and successfully withstood an army of 28,000 French soldiers. Impressive! There’s a nature trail that leads up to the castle but if you’re tired from all of the walking you’ve been doing, there’s a tourist train that will take you up to Rheinfels Castle. Stop in the museum at the castle for a Celtic grave that dates to 400 years before Christ. Distance: 25 km

You may be interested in: Must See Castles on the Rhine River!

Rhine River Cruise

The Rhine river winds lazily through Germany, its banks littered with castles and adorable villages. The famous Rhine is almost 800 miles long but the most scenic section spans a mere 50 miles, from Bingen to Koblenz. If you are looking for a short but sweet cruise on the Rhine River, head to Bacharach. The KD (Koln-Dusseldorer) Line cruise of the Rhine, round trip from Bacharach to Sankt Goar is a good option for a short 45 minute each way pleasant and relaxing ride down the river. You’ll have a 2 hour and 20 minute layover in Sankt Goar, enough time to visit the castle ruins and grab some lunch. There’s also a cruise that leaves from Rudesheim (just down the road) that includes wine tasting.

Burg Rheinstein Castle History

The reconstructed hillside castle you see today originally began life as a toll castle in the Mainz territory. The structure served a dual purpose, the second, to defend the territory of Mainz against robber knights. Its strategic location atop the hill made it easier to defend. Together with several other castles located along the Rhine, Rheinstein castle formed a sort of integrated shield wall to protect the area from these robbers.

Burg Rheinstein Castle was built in 1316 upon being granted as a fief by the Archbishops of Mainz. Its first owner: Matthias, Count of Bucheck, Archbishop of Mainz, 1323. By the time of the Palatine War of Succession (1688-97) the castle was very dilapidated. During the Romantic Period in the 19th century, (the time of Prince Frederick of Prussia ) the caste was in ruin.

The Prussian Prince purchased the Fatzberg Castle ruins, in 1823. The castle then became the royal summer residence and was renamed Burg Rheinstein. (Jägerhof Palace remained the prince’s quarters during the winter months.)

This time in history is known as the Romantic Era.The Romantic reconstruction of Rheinstein castle commenced with the participation of Karl Friedrich Schinkel according to the plans of the Koblenz building inspector Claudius von Lassaulx by the architect pupil Wilhelm Kuhn.

The ruins of the Medieval Castle now brought back to former grandeur, became the favorite residence of Prince Frederick. It was here that he entertained powerful people such as Queen Victoria, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, and many others.

Rheinstein was the first rebuilt castle of the 19th century in this area. Its revival began what would be the beginning of the reconstruction of numerous Rhine castles which had previously been destroyed in the Thirty Years’ War, the Palatinate War of Succession and the Napoleonic era.

(historical source: Oberdiebach Welterbe-Mittelrheintal)

Who owns Burg Rheinstein Castle?
Rheinstein Castle was passed down through generations. The last owner of German nobility was Princess Barbara of Prussia, the Duchess of Mecklenburg. Rheinstein remained in her possession until 1975 when it was purchased by opera singer Hermann Hecher. The castle has remained in possession of the Hecher family to this day. Cora and Marco Hecher, current owners, welcome guests to explore their perfect little castle.

Have a great interest in the Rheinstein Castle history? read more here: (you’ll need to use your Google translate app if you don’t read German)

painting of Burg Rheinstein Castle in Germany, circa 1900
The old castle on the hill now more, now replaced with a dreamy storybook castle: Circa 1900, unknown artist, CC public domain

Free Germany itinerary

We visited Rheinstein Castle on an epic 2 week Germany trip that included stops in France, Switzerland and Austria. Get the full 2 week itinerary here! Want to learn a bit of the language before you go? here are my best tips for learning a travel language! and don’t forget to check out my Ultimate Guide for Traveling Germany on a Budget.

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