I thought I'd seen some impressive castles. (I mean, come on, I live in the UK. We have castles pretty much everywhere.) But I'm afraid Hohenzollern Castle might be in another league. This thing is impressive. Or IMPRESSIVE. With a capital Everything.
By the way, did you know that Burg means castle and Schloss means palace? Hohenzollern Castle is Burg Hohenzollern. And now you can impress your friends with that piece of
Where is Hohenzollern Castle?
Hohenzollern Castle is in south-west Germany, just south of Stuttgart and really close to the amazing Black Forest. (If you're a biker, this area is heaven. Seriously.) You can find the castle on our map, along with all our other itineraries and places we've stopped.
Address: 72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany
Opening hours: 10am-5.30pm, but please check the castle website in advance.
Is Hohenzollern Castle open all year?
Yes, although opening times vary between summer and winter. The castle is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There is also a Christmas market around the beginning of December, which would be a fun way to start the run-up to Christmas!
How to get to Hohenzollern Castle
The castle is in the middle of nowhere- on the top of a very very steep hill. My advice is to drive.
Train from Stuttgart to Hohenzollern Castle
The nearest train station is Hechingen Station. From there, you can get a bus which will drop you in the car park. Full timetable and details here.
Is there parking for motorhomes at Hohenzollern Castle?
Absolutely! We were impressed at how much parking was available- even for big motorhome with trailers on like us! You can't reserve parking, just turn up, but the parking attendants were really helpful and directed us to a suitable place.
Can you stay overnight at Hohenzollern Castle?
We found out that you can stay overnight in your motorhome at Hohenzollern Castle- for only 4€ a night!!! We were gutted not to be able to do this- although you can't get up to the castle during the night, it would be fun to stay on the grounds! Again, there's no way to reserve this and there are no facilities- it's just a parking place.
Some of the parking places are on a slope, but we did notice that they tried to put motorhomes on the flatter spots and the coaches on the slopes- very friendly and thoughtful of them!
When is best to visit Hohenzollern Castle?
Like all incredible castle in Germany, the best time to visit is away from the school holidays, which are around Easter, Christmas and most of July/ August.
I recommend getting there as early as you possibly can, as the castle does get busy during the day. There are a huge number of tours which visit the castle- if you arrive early you should miss most of them.
Ticket prices for Hohenzollern Castle
We opted not to tour inside the castle, so we paid 7€ each for the grounds and catacombs. The guided tour inside costs an extra 5€ (so 12€ in total), or you can get a family ticket for 23€. We were pretty amazed at how cheap it was- castles in England often charge a lot more for entry.
Is it a steep walk to Hohenzollern Castle?
Uh, yes. Very. There is a shuttle bus which you can pay extra for- I think the cost of this was around 2€/pp or 3.30€ return. You are of course welcome to walk up the hill and save the money… but it's a very steep hill! Don't forget, tickets are bought in the kiosk in the carpark, NOT at the top of the hill. Best to buy them in advance.
Visiting Hohenzollern Castle
The shuttle bus drops you off just below the entrance, which gives you a great view of just how BIG this castle is. It's a beautiful golden stone and the sunshine gleams off it. The entrance is through a cool tunnel with many alcoves- we joked that this was where the prisoners were kept but honestly, it may well have been! There were certainly enough steel bars all over the place.
Eventually, you stop winding your way up and reach the ‘proper' entrance gates- and see the view the castle has over the surrounding area. I don't know much about its history but I certainly wouldn't want to attack it! It's a pretty commanding position.
The ‘standard' entrance ticket includes the castle grounds, which are beautifully kept, the two castle chapels and the casemates, which are translated on the literature as ‘cellars'. It's not really the wrong word, but they were so much more than cellars! Down here is where the gunpowder was stored, so orders were given to dig an entirely new layer to help protect the castle should any accidents happen with the gunpowder. This layer was literally hewn out of the rock beneath the castle and it was fascinating to see and to walk through.
[irp posts=”5827″ name=”16 Amazing Fairytale Castles in Southern Germany (with map!)”]
Is there a restaurant or shop at Hohenzollern Castle?
Yes- I believe there are two restaurants, although only one was open when we visited. It was ridiculously busy so we didn't stop. The gift shop is a typical gift shop but we got a few trinkets to remind us of our visit.
How long does it take to visit Hohenzollern Castle?
We spent about 2 hours wandering the castle grounds, not including waiting for the minibus up & down. We would have been longer as we wanted a coffee, but, unfortunately, their cafe was crazy busy so we could not partake in ‘Kaffee & Kuchen' (coffee & cake).
Is Hohenzollern Castle the best castle in Germany?
We didn't really know what to expect from Hohenzollern Castle- after all, everyone says the best castle in Germany is Neuschwanstein- but we loved it! I would quite happily go back; just walking around the grounds felt magical. I wonder who I have to kill/ marry to live there….?!?!? Talking of which…
Who lives at Hohenzollern Castle?
The castle is still privately owned by the Royal Family. When they're at home, a flag flies on the flag tower.
When was Hohenzollern Castle built?
There have been several castles on this hill (called Mount Hohenzollern)- this one was built in 1867.
The ghost of Hohenzollern castle
Hohenzollern Castle is actually one of the first places where the ‘legend of the white lady' is recorded.
In the 14th century, the Lord of the castle wanted to marry a Countess. He said to the Countess “only 4 eyes will stand in our way” (of the marriage). The Countess took this to mean that her two children (from a previous marriage) were a hindrance, so she immediately and brutally murdered them! The Lord had actually meant his parents, who opposed the match, but he was so repulsed by her actions that he immediately broke off any engagement.
The Countess founded a cloister to try and redeem herself before God. She spent the rest of her life shut up in there, clothed in white. After her death, there were multiple sightings of her at the castle and the legend of the “white lady” began, which has then spread to many other castles and into several books!
Watch the Video of our visit to Hohenzollern Castle
See the parking, entrance, castle grounds, casemates and hear about the ghost of Hohenzollern Castle!
New drone laws in Germany
Germany have really tightened up their drone laws recently, so please do make sure you comply with the new requirements. There are signs on most historic and public buildings banning the use of drones.
Is Hohenzollern Castle worth a visit?
Absolutely!! It's possibly my favourite castle in Germany- maybe even better than Neuschwanstein… maybe. If we went back I'd definitely opt to do the tour around the inside as I would love to see what it looked like in there. If you're travelling down the Romantic Road of Germany I highly recommend a visit to Hohenzollern as well.
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