Neuschwanstein Castle, German Fairytale Destinations

Are you looking to add a bit of enchantment to your Germany trip? You’re in luck because this magical land, with its rich history of folklore, is oozing with fairytale destinations! Germany is the land of bedtime stories, fairy tale castles, and fairy tale towns!

German Fairytale Destinations

Beautiful storybook perfect Germany where it seems as if there is something magical around every corner.

Use this list to plan your own fairytale adventure and step into a real life fantasy at these popular German destinations! This is guaranteed to be your most magical itinerary EVER!

NOTE: The photos in this article, most of which I have taken myself, are of actual places in Germany, digitally altered to look like storybook art!

Neuschwanstein Castle, German Fairytale Destinations
Neuschwanstein Castle, #1 German Fairytale destination!

*website disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you. I may earn a small commission.

The Black Forest (Schwarzwald)

The Brothers Grimm collected many of their fairy tales from the dark and densely forested Black Forest region. The famous woodland was the inspiration for many stories about witches, goblins, and other supernatural creatures.

One can easily imagine Hansel and Gretel dropping their breadcrumbs as they venture deeper into the forest, or maybe Little Red Riding Hood merrily making her way to Grandmother’s house, oblivious to the danger that lies ahead.

Little Red Riding Hood, The Black Forest Germany, Germany fairytale destinations
The Black Forest is a dark dense place, with many shadows for the Big Bad Wolf to hide from the innocent and unsuspecting Little Red Riding Hood

When visiting this region head to Triberg and walk the mossy trail to the Triberg waterfall in search of water sprites and fairies or set out on the Black Forest High Road and get lost among the evergreens!

Triberg Waterfall, Germany Fairytale Destinations
Triberg Waterfall

Hansel Gretel House

St. Anton, a Hansel and Gretel house if I’ve ever seen one, lies just kilometers from Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. This adorable cottage, with mountain views, is tucked back in the woods and has a cozy Swiss chalet inspired interior that’s decorated with fairytale murals.

Book a room on Booking.com Now!

St. Anton Bed and Breakfast, Germany Fairytale Destinations
St. Anton, Hansel and Gretel House!

Hexenhaus (Witch House)

If you can’t get enough of hex casting wart infested hags, then you’re going to the love The Hexenhaus (Witch’s House) located near Thale Germany. This wonderfully crooked shack is sure to “charm you” with its cobweb covered interior and fanciful carved wooden figures It’s sure to put a “spell” on children and adults alike, pure enchantment!

German fairytale towns

Germany has lots of beautiful storybook towns. Here are some of the most popular old world towns where you can let your imagination run free!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The small town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. With its winding cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses, it’s one of the best medieval towns in Germany. A visit to Rothenburg is like taking a journey through the Middle Ages!

Its higgledy-piggledy little streets and gingerbread perfect buildings could certainly have inspired endless tales from Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, the brothers Grimm. The little towns undeniable charm got the attention of Disney. Rothenburg was the inspiration for the 1940’s Walt Disney classic movie Pinocchio.

If your favorite bedtime stories include snow dusted cobbled streets and Christmas trees consider visiting Rothenburg during the magical Christmas markets!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, German fairytale towns
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, German fairytale towns

Bamberg

The centuries old Town Hall in Bamberg (Bamberg Rathaus), which spans a portion of the Linker Regnitz River, is one of Germany’s most recognizable landmarks.

The Old Town Hall is surrounded by Bamberg’s Old Town, with its medieval streets and Europe’s largest intact old city wall. The town is listed on the UNESCO World heritage list due to its abundance of historical buildings. Bamberg’s claim to fame is its specialty smoked beer. Give it a try!

Bamberg Rathaus, Fairytale Germany destinations
Bamberg Rathaus

Nuremberg

Nuremberg is another fabulous medieval town in Germany. Step back in time as you walk the streets of the old town which is enclosed by the city wall that protected the town from robbers and invaders in centuries past.

Bremen (Bremen Town Musicians)

Bremen, located near the North Sea in Northern Germany, is another UNESCO World Heritage site, and home of the famous four-legged town musicians. This Grimm Brothers tale tells the story of a donkey, a cat, a dog, and a rooster, all old, tired, and put aside by their masters. The group is intent on traveling to Bremen to become musicians and find their worth once more. The animals come upon a house of robbers and work together to frighten the robbers from the house, earning themselves a new place in the world.

The Bremen Town Musicians Statue is located at: Schoppensteel 1, 28195 Bremen, Germany

The Bremen Town Musicians, Fairytale Germany destinations
The Bremen Town Musicians

mythical creatures

There are a couple of nature parks in Germany where you’ll find wooden carvings of fairy tale and mythical creatures. These parks are open year-round, but particularly scenic in the summer months, or when there’s a dusting of snow in winter!

Zauberwald Fichtenau State Park

“Zauberwald” means “magic forest” in German, and the park is home to an impressive collection of magical creatures! Visitors to this enchanted forest should be on the lookout for fairies, trolls, dwarves, witches and all manner of fanciful creatures! There are over 80 wooden carvings along a network of hiking trails that wind their way through this forest. (I hit this one on my medieval Christmas Markets of Germany trip. I approve!)

located at: 74579, Wiesengrund, Fichtenau, Germany

Steckeschlääfer-Klamm Park

Near Bingen, where the Nahe and Rhine Rivers intersect, is another nature park with hidden magical creatures. Get lost in a world of wooden bridges, forest trails, and more than 50 carved wooden faces and statues. How many can you find?!

Located at: 55413 Weiler bei Bingen, Germany

How about a fairytale castle stay? There are several Castle Hotels right on the Rhine River and I’ve got a full list!

Whimsical tree path

Regensburg tree alley (Pappelallee) is a whimsical and enchanting tree path. Surely this must be a portal to a mysterious realm. (a little hard to find, locate it in Google Maps and it should take you there)

Location: Lieblstraße, 93059 Regensburg, Germany

Tree Path in Regensburg, Fairytale Germany destinations
Tree Path in Regensburg, Fairytale Germany destinations

Devil’s Bridge (Rakotzbrücke)

Devil’s Bridge is a whimsical half circle bridge that is one of Germany’s most fanciful iconic landmarks. The reflection of the arched Devil’s Bridge in the waters of tiny Rakotzee Lake causes the bridge to appear as a full circle.

The bridge brings to mind the famous book of The Frog Prince, a classic fairy tale popularized by the Brothers Grimm. The tale tells of a princess who happens upon a talking frog who claims to be a prince cursed by a wicked witch. He asks the princess to kiss him so that he might once more be transformed into a prince. One kiss from the princess and the frog is magically transformed into a handsome prince. Can’t you just see the frog prince peering at his reflection in the pond?

Location: Halbendorfer Str., 02953 Gablenz, Germany

Devil's Bridge (frog prince) Fairytale Germany locations
Devil’s Bridge (actual photo, frog added by me for fun!)

Obersee Lake

Obersee Is an enchanting emerald-green alpine lake so beautiful it doesn’t even look real. It must then indeed be something of myth or legend. Believe it or not, this place is real. Add it to your Germany travel bucket list! While you’re there continue through the meadow to Röthbach Waterfall, Germany’s highest waterfall! Find out how to see Obersee Alpine Lake in this article.

Obersee Lake, Fairytale Germany locastions
Obersee Lake, I promise it’s real! I took this “photo” myself!

Saxon Switzerland National Park

The Saxon Switzerland National Park (Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz), located in the Lower Saxony region, is one of Germany’s most unusual National Parks. It’s otherworldly and puts one in mind of a giant’s playground. Make your way to the top and you may just feel like a giant yourself!

Bastei Bridge at Saxon Switzerland National Park, Fairytale Germany destinations
Bastei Bridge

fairytale castles

Germany is covered in fantasy inducing castles. Plan a visit and let your childhood imagination take the reins!

I have an ENTIRE article dedicated to Germany’s best Fairytale castles!

Here are just a few of Germany’s fairytale castles:

Neuschwanstein Castle

The magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle, the grandest of all fairytale palaces, was dreamed to life by the fairy tale king, Ludwig II. Ludwig “The Swan King” was a romantic dreamer and his castle was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella Castles. The Castle is nestled picturesquely in the Bavarian Alps and can be visited with a guided tour.

Interesting fact: In North America, you can see life size versions of Cinderella’s Castle and Sleeping Beauty’s Castles at the Disney Parks.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Fairytale Germany destinations
Neuschwanstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle

The tiny 19th century cliff side Lichtenstein castle is situated high above the little town of Liechtenstein. It looks like it was dreamed to life by a children’s book author. Can’t you just envision Rapunzel’s long hair spilling down from the tower of this fanciful structure?

Lichtenstein Castle, German fairytale destinations
Lichtenstein Castle

Rapunzelturm at Trendelburg Castle

Another place you can find Rapunzel is at the Rapunzelturm (Rapunzel tower) castle tower in Trendelburg. The tower features characters from the story, and of course Rapunzel’s hair falling from the window. The castle also offers fun events throughout the year. Spend the night in the castle to really feel like a princess. Rapunzel makes frequent appearances and loves to read her story to visitors! (in German of course) Contact the website for more information.

Rapunzel is another Grimm tale. You’re probably familiar with the princess with yards of long golden hair who was taken at birth by a sorceress and locked up in a high tower. The princess is finally rescued by a prince and her own braided hair, which allows him to climb his way to her rescue.

Sababurg Castle

Sababurg Castle is a medieval castle which is often referred to as the “Sleeping Beauty Castle” It is said that the castle may have been the inspiration for the Brothers Grimm Sleeping Beauty tale. Sababurg Castle is located in Hofgeismar and is open to visitors.

Sleeping Beauty, or Little Briar Rose as she’s known in Germany, is another Grimm princess. She’s the princess who falls into a deep deathlike sleep and is saved by true loves kiss. Guten Morgen Sleeping Beauty!

The Parish Church of St. Sebastian

The Parish Church of St Sebastian is an adorable little postcard perfect chapel located in the tiny town of Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden. The church is idyllically situated in the foothills of the alps and looks like something straight out of a painting! In the forefront of the church is a little wooden bridge that spans a delightful babbling stream. It’s the perfect setting for a “happily ever after” ending! Find out how to see the Ramsau Church in this article.

The Parish of St. Sebastian Church Ramsau, German Fairytale destinations
The Parish of St. Sebastian Church Ramsau

Berlin

Berlin locations include:

Märchenbrunnen fountain

The Märchenbrunnen (fairytale fountain) is located in the Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin. The fountain depicts various Grimm fairy tale characters including Hansel and Gretel, Puss in Boots, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White with the 7 Dwarfs, and Sleeping Beauty.

Graves of the Grimm Brothers

If you would like to stop and pay your respects, The Alter St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof (Alter Sankt-Matthäus-Kirchhof or Old St. Matthew’s Churchyard) cemetery in Berlin is the resting place of the brothers.

German Fairy Tale Route (Deutsche Märchenstraße)

The German Fairy Tale road trip route is 600 kilometres (so NOT a day trip) and runs from the town of Hanau in central Germany to Buxtehude, the last stop in the north. The scenic route winds through picturesque towns, all with storybook flare! There are more than eight nature parks along the route. It’s one of the best culture trips in Germany!

The Märchenstraße has a very good website that gives travel tips and detailed information about the towns along the route. It also has maps and a calendar of events which includes more than 150 events throughout the year, including open-air plays. You can order and download brochures and information available in German, English, Dutch, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Chinese. There’s a special bike route for those who prefer to do the trip on two wheels. They even have an app for your smartphone!

Many of the destinations in this article are included on the German National Tourist Board list of Top 100 Sights in Germany. The best places in Germany to fill your free time!

Here are some other main attractions along the route: (from south to north)

Steinau Germany

The Grimm brothers lived in Steinau during their childhood.

  • The picturesque old town of Steinau is where you’ll find the beautiful half-timbered Bruder Grimm Haus (Brothers Grimm House.) The historic site is the childhood home of the brothers and is now a museum offering a glimpse into the lives of the famous brothers (look for the seven dwarves, the frog prince, and the Bremen Town Musicians outside!)
  • In 2015 a permanent exhibition about the Brothers Grimm was added to Schloss Steinau Castle.
  • The Theatrium Steinau is a popular stop for theatrical performances and puppet shows!
  • Don’t miss the whimsical Märchenbrunnen (fairy tale fountain) which depicts several of the Grimm’s tales.

Hanau Germany

Hanau is the birthplace of the Grimm brothers.

  • Your younger travel companions will be delighted by the Hessian Doll and Toy Museum (Hessisches Puppen- und Spielzeugmuseum) and the GrimmsMärchenReich Children’s Museum.
  • You’ll find a bronze statue of the Brothers Grimm in Hanau.
  • The Brothers Grimm Festival takes place every year between May and July.
  • The tales of the Grimm Brothers are represented by 10 sculptures in the city center of Hanau. Go on a hunt on the “Hanau Fairy Tale Trail” to find them all! Download the brochure and map here.
Grimm Brothers statue Hanau Germany
Grimm Brothers statue Hanau Germany

Alsfeld Germany

Alsfeld is home to The Alsfeld Fairy Tale House. The town hall (Rathaus) in town looks like something straight out of a storybook!

Bad Wildungen Germany

The Spa town of Bad Wildungen is the location of Snow White’s House! The Snow White (Schneewittchen) House (Schneewittchendorf Bergfreiheit) is a little cottage that is fit for all seven dwarfs and their pretty houseguest! Look for the lifesize dwarfs outside and then take a walk through the gnarled Hutewald Halloh forest before you leave town!

Hessisch Lichtenau Germany

Hessisch Lichtenau is a magical little town that epitomizes German fairytale towns! It looks like it sprung from the pages of an illustrated book!

Göttingen Germany

The Brothers Grimm worked at the University of Göttingen. Visit the central square of the romantic old town and look for the statue of the young girl and her goose. Be sure to give her a kiss on the cheek, or give the goose a little peck on the head, it’s said to be good luck!

Polle Germany

The Burg Polle Schloss castle ruins are often referred to as the home of Cinderella. You’ll find the princess sitting in her room, broom on the ready for her cleaning duties, surrounded by adoring birds. Look for the bronze statue of her glass slipper on the grounds of the castle. Cultural events take place in the castle courtyard several times a year, including Cinderella performances.

Hamelin

“The Pied Piper of Hamelin” is a famous German folktale about a town plagued by rats. In search of a “rat catcher,” a piper is hired to rid the town of the rats, but when the townspeople refuse to pay him, he uses his magical pipe to lead all the children out of town, never to be seen again. You’ll find plenty of Pied Piper references in the picturesque town of Hamelin.

  • One of the cobbles in the walkway outside of the Hochzeitshaus Hameln (wedding house) sports a cute rodent.
  • Several times a day the Glockenspiel (Rattenfänger Figuren- und Glockenspiel mechanical clock), puts on a fanciful “Pied Piper” show. Check times on the official website.

maps of fairytale Germany

There’s no need for a local guide, pick up a map and plan your own personalized trip with these handy maps!

Deutsche Märchenstraße Map

The official website has a very good map listing the towns along the German fairytale route. They even offer an interactive map. Click on the map to be linked to the official website and the interactive map.

German Fairytale Route Map
fairy tale references galore! follow the link to an interactive map

Map of Fairytale Destinations in Germany

Use this Google Map to find a bit of magic near you!

Google Map of German Fairytale destinations, links to interactive Google Map
Google Map of German Fairytale destinations, links to interactive Google Map

About the Brothers Grimm

Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm went around collecting fairytales from local villagers and peasants and compiling them for future generations. They published their first collection of fairy tales in 1812. Over the years, they continued to collect and publish more fairy tales, eventually publishing over 200 German Fairy tales. Some of the best-known tales like “Cinderella,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Little Red Riding Hood” were popularized by the pair.

The pair became local legends but through the years Grimm’s fairy tales came to be recognized and loved throughout the world. Their fairy tales were notable for their dark and sometimes violent themes, as well as their focus on German folklore and tradition.

Today, the duo and their tales are celebrated all over Germany through various cultural events and attractions, including themed amusement parks, museums, and festivals. The Brothers Grimm are also remembered through various monuments and memorials, including The Brothers Grimm Museum, Grimmwelt Kassel museum (World of the brothers Grimm) dedicated to their work in their hometown of Kassel.

The Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm: literary giants in German history

Frequently Asked Questions

What town in Germany looks like a fairytale?

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the quintessential fairytale town. With its timber-framed houses and crooked cobbled streets, it’s simply magical!

Does Germany have a famous folk story?

The Brothers Grimm, famous German authors, are the crafters of some of the most famous folk stories, legends, and folklore known around the world. Some of their most well known stories include Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and Rose Red, and many more!

Want to hear more about my travels around Germany and the rest of our amazing planet? You may be interested in my Germany page and be sure to submit your email address to my subscriber sign up at the end of the page to be the first to know when a new blog publishes!

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