Johannisburg Castle Germany, Castles near Frankfurt am Main

So, you’ve found yourself in Frankfurt am Main Germany and want to see a castle! The bad news, the city of Frankfurt doesn’t really have many worthwhile castles, the good news, there are tons of great German castles just down the road!

Day trips to castles near Frankfurt am Main

It’s no surprise that you’ve found yourself here, Frankfurt International Airport is Germany’s busiest airport. Frankfurt’s castles may be nearly non-existent but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on seeing a castle. You don’t need much time to visit some of the closest and many are just a short drive or regional train ride away.

How to get there: by car or public transport?

Pick up a rental car at one of the many rental car agencies right in the airport and you’ll be on your way to some of the most beautiful castles in the Frankfurt area! Additionally, there’s a train station at the airport, where train tickets can be purchased for you and your travel companions. One of the best things about traveling from the airport is that the train stations are right in the airport! (shuttle bus available.) Long distance train station: Frankfurt (Main) Airport Fernbahnhof. Regional train station: Flughafen Regionalbahnhof

Don’t forget about Germany’s reliable buses! You can check bus and train travel times on Deutsche Bahn or Rome2Rio. Travel times are from Frankfurt International Airport. (drive and train times are an approximation)

The best castles near Frankfurt am Main Germany

Here is a list of the best castles in Western Germany that can be done on day trips from Frankfurt Airport: add them to your travel itinerary! (listed by closest to furthest away by car, train times listed too)

(1) Höchster Schloss (Das Neue Schloss Höchst)

If you are short on time and need to get your castle fix Höchster Schloss, which sits on the banks of the river Main, is a good option. This compact little baroque castle with its lofty tower was built between the 14th and 16th centuries. The surrounding parks can be viewed any time and there’s a small cafe/bistro and beer garden on site. Fresh fruit and vegetable market Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday mornings. Check castle opening times here.

location: Burggraben 1, Frankfurt am Main
travel time: car (10 minutes) train (30 minutes)

Höchster Schloss, castles near Frankfurt Germany
Höchster Schloss (EvaK, CC BY-SA 2.5)

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(2) Rüsselsheim Fortress (Festung Rüsselsheim)

This cute little 600-year-old fortress is one of the best places to visit since it’s quite close to the airport. Walk the ramparts of this moated fortress for a real trip back in time! If you’re looking for a wonderfully unique experience, consider joining one of the torchlight tours of Rüsselsheim Fortress. No time for a tour? Audio and media guides are available to assist in your self-tour.

location: Hauptmann-Scheuermann-Weg 6, Rüsselsheim am Main
travel time: car (15 minutes) train (34 minutes)

(3) Bierbrich Palace (Schloss Biebrich)

This early 18th century red baroque palace sits directly on the banks of the Rhine River. The English landscape garden that is home to 13th century ruins and is a great place for a leisurely stroll. Sit back and relax on the large outdoor terrace of Bierbrich Palace and enjoy some refreshments from the bistro-café. It’s the perfect way to escape the insanity of the airport!

location: Rheingaustraße 140, 65203 Wiesbaden
travel time: car (23 minutes) train (1 hour)

Biebrich Castle Germany,  castles near Frankfurt Germany
Biebrich Castle (by Ansgar Koreng CC)

(4) Bad Homburg Castle (Schloss Bad Homburg)

The massive barracks-like 17th century Bad Homburg Palace replaced the original castle built here in the 12th century. Located in Bad Homburg, one of Germany’s famous spa towns, it was once the residence of the last German emperors and empresses. Emperor Wilhelm (revitalizer of Hohenzollern Castle which can be seen on a day tour from FRA) once lived here. A castle tour introduces visitors to a lavish dining room, museum, and beautiful palace park which includes a wonderful garden with a great view of the Taunus Region and nature walks. Afterwards consider unwinding at one of the town’s many spas.

location: Schloss, 61348 Bad Homburg “vor der Höhe” (which distinguishes it from other places using the name Homburg.)
distance: car (24 minutes) train (50 minutes)

Homburg Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt am Main Germany
Homburg Castle (By Carsten Steger CC 4.0)

(5) Kronberg Castle (Burg Kronberg)

Kronberg is an 11th century castle which was originally built as a fortress in the Middle Ages. The structure eventually evolved into a Renaissance-style castle with a fun mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque. The compact little castle has classic castle features like towers, turrets, and battlements. On guided tours, visitors can explore the castle’s art galleries or take in castle rooms with period furnishings, providing a glimpse into the medieval period. Kronberg Castle grounds provide great views of the Taunus Mountains and the surrounding countryside. Various events are held throughout the year, including a medieval festival.

location: Schloßstraße 10–12, 61476 Kronberg im Taunus
travel time: car (28 minutes) train (1 hour 30 minutes)

Kronberg Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt Germany
Kronberg Castle (by Barnyz via Flickr)

(6) Eltville Castle (Kurfürstliche Burg Eltville)

The tower of the 12th century Eltville Castle, a former prince-electoral castle, houses an art gallery and an art of printing museum. Visitors can tour the cathedral chamber and various other castle rooms, or attend one of the various cultural events hosted by the castle throughout the year. The top floor of the tower, which can be reached via 118 steps, now serves as a viewing platform with views of the Rhine Valley, the town of Eltville, and surrounding vineyards.

location: Burgstraße 1, 65343 Eltville am Rhein
travel time: car (29 minutes) train (1 hour)

Eltville Castle Germany, Castles near Frankfurt am Main Germany
Eltville Castle (by Larry Myhre via Flickr)

(7) Saalburg Castle (Römerkastell Saalburg)

Saalburg Roman Fort is a must-see for those interested in Roman history. Saalburg Roman castle fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site that opened in the year 90 AD and is the most completely reconstructed Roman fort in Germany. Today the site is home to an archaeological park and museum which exhibits a large collection of well-preserved military artifacts from Roman Germania. The venue is also home to occasional classical concerts.

location: Saalburg 1, Bad Homburg vor der Höhe
travel time: car (30 minutes) train (difficult to reach by train)

Saalburg Roman fort Germany, castles near Frankfurt Germany
Saalburg Roman Fort (by Carole Raddato CC)

(8) Schloss Philippsruhe (Historisches Museum Hanau Schloss Philippsruhe)

The imposing Philippsruhe Palace has a History Dating from the early 18th century. Visitors can tour the place museum, as well as two impressive gardens (the baroque style garden park and the English Country Park) and enjoy the onsite restaurant.

location: Philippsruher Allee, Hanau
travel time: car (32 minutes) train (1 hour 9 minutes)

Philippsruhe Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt Germany
Philippsruhe Castle (by Jörg Braukmann, CC 4.0))

(9) Burg Frankenstein Castle

Historians believe that Frankenstein castle was built around 1240. According to the castle website, Mary Shelley visited this medieval castle 2 years before penning her famous novel, “Frankenstein” aka “the Modern Prometheus.” The atmospheric castle, perched high above the town of Mühltal, offers visitors panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and features a fine panoramic restaurant. (reservation require) Note: may be closed for renovations. Check the Google listing before heading out. You can still access the surrounding trails and view the castle exterior.

location: 64367 Mühltal
travel time: car (32 minutes) train (2.7 hours)

Frankenstein Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt am Main
Frankenstein Castle (by YVO Geis via Flickr)

(10) Runkel Castle (Burg Runkel)

Runkel Castle is a ruined hill castle from the High Middle Ages. The Renaissance building overlooks the Lahn River and houses a museum, chapel, and a private wing. The Upper Castle is still in ruins and inaccessible to visitors, but it is still possible to enter the main keep.

location: Schloßpl. 2, Runkel
travel time: car (43 minutes) train (1 hour 15 minutes)

Runkel Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt Germany
Runkel Castle

(11) Schloss Johannisburg Palace (Schloss Johannisburg)

This dreamy 17th century red sandstone palace overlooks the Main River and is one of the most worthwhile castles on this list! The massive structure contains four wings surrounding an inner courtyard, with fanciful towers located on each of the four corners. In addition to yearly events, Schloss Johannisberg hosts several museums and includes an art gallery, wine cellar, residential rooms (furnished in Neoclassical style) and the world’s largest collection of architectural models made from cork.

location: Schloßpl. 4, Aschaffenburg
travel time: car (43 minutes) train (1 hour)

Johannisburg Castle Germany, Castles near Frankfurt am Main
Johannisburg Castle

(12 – 29) Rhine River Castles

The very best of the river Rhine winds lazily through Germany. The 65 km from Bingen/Rüdesheim to Koblenz, is the perfect place for castle enthusiasts! The banks of the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley are dotted with around 20 majestic castles, terraced vineyards, medieval towns, and charming storybook villages. The Rhine River is sort of a one stop shop for castles! If you leave Frankfurt Airport by car you’ll reach Klopp Castle in about 45 minutes. Wind your way up the main road along the river for scenic views and seemingly never-ending castles!

list the most famous castles on the Rhine River: (listed by closest to FRA)

  • Klopp Castle (12)
  • Ehrenfels Castle Ruins (13)
  • Rheinstein Castle (14)
  • Reichenstein Castle (15)
  • Sooneck Castle (16)
  • Stahleck Castle (17)
  • Pfalzgrafenstein Castle (18)
  • Gutenfels Castle (19)
  • Schönburg (Schoenburg) Castle (20)
  • Katz Castle (21)
  • Rheinfels Castle ruins (22)
  • Marksburg Castle (16th century Schloss Philippsburg sits in the shadow of the famous Marksburg Castle) (23 & 24)
  • Stolzenfels Castle (25)
  • Lahneck Castle (26)
  • Koblenz Electoral Palace (27)
  • Ehrenbreitstein Fortress (28)
  • Namedy Castle (29)

Castle Hotels on the Rhine River

If you are looking for a truly unique experience, consider booking a room in one of the many castle hotels on the Rhine! From five-star hotel options to a youth hostel, you’re sure to find your ideal place! Check this article for complete details on the above listed Rhine River Castles.

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, one of the most unique castles on the Rhine River Germany
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, one of the most unique castles on the Rhine River

(30) Friedberg Castle (Burg Friedberg)

Friedberg Castle, one of the biggest castle complexes in Germany, has a rich history. It has been home to Romans, knights, and grand dukes over its 2,000-year history. The oldest preserved historic buildings are the fortifications built between the 14th and 16th century. Visitors will be delighted to find a Roman bathing complex, which is one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Hesse, and buildings from the late Middle Ages. The two tower galleries of the Friedberg castle complex offer stunning views over the surrounding landscapes, and don’t miss the lavish castle garden! (free entry)

location: In d. Burg 41, Friedberg (Hessen)
travel time: car (42 minutes) train (1 hour)

Friedberg Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt
Friedberg Castle

(31) Ronneburg (Burg Ronneburg Burgmuseum)

13th century Ronneburg is remarkably well preserved. The entire structure houses a castle museum complete with furnished living areas. As a guest you are welcome to roam rooms, towers, a medieval kitchen, an armory, and one of the deepest wells in Germany. Other exciting castle offerings include a falconry show, paragliding, medieval markets where German history comes to life, theater, and concerts.

location: Amanastraße 1, Ronneburg
travel time: car (42 minutes) train (2.5 hours)

Ronneburg Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt am Main
Ronneburg Castle

(32) Budingen Castle (Schloss Büdingen)

There’s something so quintessentially “German” about the 12th century moated Budlinglen Castle, a historic castle which morphed, over time, into a Romanesque/ Baroque structure. Budingen is still inhabited by the royal family today but can be visited with a guided tour. Rooms boast original furnishings, frescoes, ancient artifacts, and hunting weapons all representative of five centuries of history. The outer bailey is freely accessible, no tour required. Want to stay the night? Book a room in the renovated servants’ apartments or the old brewery. Book it here on Booking.com!

location: Schloßpl. 1, Büdingen
travel time: car (50 minutes) train (2 hours)

Buedingen Castle Germany, Castles near Frankfurt Germany
Buedingen Castle (by Lumpeseggl, CC 4.0)

(33) Heidelberg Castle (Schloss Heidelberg)

The beautiful and imposing 13th century Gothic Renaissance castle ruins stand guard high above the city of Heidelberg. Haphazard buildings surround an inner courtyard, each building highlights a different period of German architecture. The castle was first mentioned in 1196 but has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times over the centuries. Visitors can explore the castle ruins, take guided tours, and enjoy the stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.

location: Schlosshof 1, Heidelberg
travel time: car (50 minutes) train (1 hour)

Take a tour instead!

Heidelberg Castle Ruins, medieval Germany
Heidelberg Castle Ruins

(34) Laubach (Schloss Laubach)

13th century Laubach Castle is located in the middle of the historic old town of Laubach and is still today inhabited by the original Count’s family. The castle with its round towers, and baroque hoods, exhibits beautiful architecture from different centuries. Visitors can tour the castle museum, library, vaulted cellar, and old vaulted kitchen. On site is a large castle park, Arnsburg monastery ruins, and a beer garden. Laubach Castle hosts numerous cultural events and outdoor activities throughout the year.

location: 35321 Laubach
travel time: car (57 minutes) train (2 hours 44 minutes)

Laubach Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt am Main
Laubach Castle (by Carl Hannig, CC 3.0)

(35) Marburg Castle (Landgrafen Palace/ Landgrafenschloss Marburg)

Marburg Landgrave’s Castle has been the location of Important historical events, perhaps the most important of which was the Marburg religious conversation in 1529 between Martin Luther (who translated the Bible from Greek into German at Wartburg Castle), and other reformers. Marburg was originally built as a fort in the late 10th century / early 11th century. Today, you can tour rooms of the fortress like the magnificent Gothic Prince’s Hall and the castle chapel with its impressive medieval frescoes.

location: Schloß (Schloss) 1, Marburg
travel time: car (1 hour) train (2 hours)

Marburg Castle Germany, castles near Frankfurt
Marburg Castle

(36) Hotel Schloss Montabaur

Planning to stay overnight in the area? Why not stay the night on the grounds of this Baroque castle? Direct Ice Trains can get you to the small town of Montabaur in under an hour! The restaurant serves buffet style meals and visitors have access to amenities like the spa, sauna, gym, and indoor swimming pool. Rooms are located in various buildings on the estate and offer views of the pretty yellow castle! Book it now on Booking.com!

location: Schlossweg 1, Montabaur
travel time: 1 hour, train (1 hour)

Montabaur Castle Germany, Castles near Frankfurt Germany
Montabaur Castle

(37) Braunfels (Schloss Braunfels)

This 13th century fairy tale castle, one of the most impressive on our list, has been in the same noble family for 800 years. Over time, this former stronghold has been transformed into the pleasing mixture of Romanesque and Gothic architecture that you see today. Tours take visitors through the Knight’s Hall, Staterooms, Princely family museum, and courtyard. The property surrounding this hilltop castle is flush with wildlife so make time to wander the grounds on your visit. Braunfels hosts culture events, including open air opera concerts, throughout the year.

location: Schloss 1, Braunfels
travel time: car (1 hour) train (2 hours 30 minutes)

(38) Mespelbrunn Castle (Schloss Mespelbrunn)

Schloss Mespelbrunn is a picturesque late-medieval / early Renaissance moated castle located in the Spessart forest in Bavaria. Renowned for its idyllic setting, it seems to float atop the water! A romantic design to be sure! Only the round tower remains from the original 15th century castle, the remainder of the structure was built in the Renaissance style in the 16th century. Mespelbrunn has remained in the possession of the same family for over 600 years. Come and enjoy the castle museum, open air theater, or enjoy hiking / cycling through the forested areas surrounding the castle.

Check out this list of the best fairytale castles in Germany!

location: Schloßhof 1, 63875 Mespelbrunn
travel time: car (1 hour) train (not easily reachable by train)

Mespelbrunn Castle Germany, Castles near Frankfurt am Main
Mespelbrunn Castle

(39) Castle Steinau (Schloss Steinau)

Continued construction of this 13th century castle complex transformed it into one of the most important Renaissance castles in Hesse, and if you love rustic castles, it’s not to be missed! Steinau Castle is a fun architectural mixture of fortress and castle construction that includes Gothic and Saxon elements. The sturdy fortified exterior, with its drawbridges and portcullis, gives way to fine Renaissance furnishings and beautifully decorated interior rooms that boast all manner of treasures! Inside you’ll find an exhibit dedicated to the Brothers Grimm.

location: Im Schloß (Schloss) 3, Steinau an der Straß (strass)
travel time: car (1 hour) train (1 hour 40 minutes)

Steinau Castle Germany, Castles near Frankfurt
Steinau Castle (via Wiki Commons)

(40) Reichsburg Cochem Castle

Sometimes referred to as Cochem Castle, this Gothic beauty sits majestically on top of a hill overlooking Cochem and the Moselle River (Mosel.) There are few castles as cute as this 11th century Gothic Revival beauty! It’s the quintessential “every child’s dream” castle! One night when I spotted it sitting atop a hill overlooking Cochem and the Mosel River I felt quite sure that I was seeing Hogwarts in all its radiant glory. There are plenty of things to do in Cochem besides the magnificent castle, consider staying longer! (check this list of top things to do in Cochem!)

location: Schlossstraße 36, 56812 Cochem
travel time: car (1 hour 30 minutes) train (2.3 hours)

Reichsburg Castle in Cochem Germany
Reichsburg Castle, Cochem

(41) Würzburg Residenz Palace (Residenz Würzburg)

The 18th century Baroque style Residenz Palace in Würzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the largest palaces in Germany. Extensive damage was inflicted on this beautiful place during WWII, but it has been lovingly restored, the interior stunning and extravagant. It is one of my personal favorite last minute itinerary additions! Tours start at the beautiful grand staircase! Tip: it’s a great place to break up your trip from Rothenburg to the airport.

location: Residenzpl. 2, Würzburg
travel time: car (1 hour 30 minutes) train (1 hour 50 minutes)

Wurzburg Palace Germany
Wurzburg Residenz Palace

(42) Burg Eltz Castle

There is just something most appealing about this 12th century decidedly fanciful fairytale castle, tucked away in a dense 300-acre fairy forest and virtually undisturbed for nearly 900 years. It’s the top castle on our list in terms of “can’t miss! ” and one of the most historic castles on this list! Eltz Castle has been in the possession of the same family through its entire existence and is a virtual trip back to the Middle Ages! Don’t miss out on the trails that wind their way around Eltz Castle, one of the most visited castles in Germany! Get more details on Eltz Castle!

Do it the easy way with a tour! Sit back, relax, and let someone else do the work!

location: 56294 Wierschem
travel time: car (1 hour 30 minutes) train (not easily reachable by train, consider a train/bus/taxi combo!)

view of Burg Eltz Castle Germany from the path below the castle
Burg Eltz Castle

(43) Lichtenberg Castle

800-year-old Lichtenberg, located about halfway between Kaiserslautern and Trier (the oldest town in Germany), is Germany’s largest castle ruin. The castle offers single day Blacksmithing courses and is home to the Geoskop Prehistoric World Museum where you’ll find fossils, dioramas of prehistoric times, and dinosaur skeletons. Dine on the restaurant terrace, or in winter settle down in the cozy dining room and warm yourself with some mulled wine. The castle is also home to a youth hostel and offers several RV parking spaces.

location: Burgstraße 17, Thallichtenberg
travel time: car (2 hours) train (not easily reachable by train)

Map of castles near Frankfurt am Main Germany

Use this handy map to string together several castles with a similar route for a fun filled day of castle hopping! (links to interactive Google Map)

Castles near Frankfurt am Main Germany map, links to interactive Google Map
Castles near Frankfurt am Main Germany map, links to interactive Google Map

see the castles near Frankfurt by boat!

Another option for seeing the Frankfurt area castles is by boat since many of the castles are along the area’s rivers. Boat and yacht charters:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is entry into the castles on this list?

At the very most you’ll be able to access these castles with a minuscule entrance fee, and some offer free entry. Check the official website for current information on cost and opening hours.

Is Neuschwanstein Castle easy to reach from Frankfurt Germany?

Unfortunately Neuschwanstein, Germany’s famous fairy tale castle, is not easy to reach from Frankfurt am Main. However, it is doable! It’s a 3 hour and 30-minute drive from Frankfurt International Airport. A train bus combo can get you there in as little as 5 hours.

Does Frankfurt have castles?

Unfortunately, Frankfurt doesn’t have many impressive castles. If you are looking to visit a castle while in Frankfurt and are short on time, then 14th century Höchster Schloss (Das Neue Schloss Höchst) is your best bet. You can be there in as little as 10 minutes by car, or 20 minutes by train. Another great option is Rüsselsheim Fortress, just 15 minutes by car and 34 minutes by train.

What is the castle between Frankfurt and Munich?

Headed to Munich? Consider these great castles which are located between Frankfurt and Munich: Frankenstein Castle, Castle of Bruchsal, Harburg Castle, Schaezlerpalais, for more options check out this map of Germany attractions: Google Map, Germany Attractions

What castles are near Frankfurt Germany?

There are many great castles near Frankfurt Germany, it all depends on how far you are willing to go. The closest castle to Frankfurt International Airport and easiest to get to is Höchster Schloss. There are over castles within a 2-hour drive of FRA. You’ll find the best in this article!

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