Castles of the Rhine Guide for Rhine River Cruising, Hiking or Biking Adventures to learn History and Have Fun.
The Castles of the Rhine will surely set your medieval imagination wild. Use this detailed printable and online guide to learn the history, tours, opening times, restaurants and more.
This UNESCO world heritage site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley spans 65 kilometers (40 miles) and enchants visitors with castles of the Rhine almost every 2.5 kilometers.
German Hotel Castles: Stay in a Castle in Germany
Some are ruined fortresses and some castles you can stay in Germany are fully restored castle fairytale hotels with restaurants, taverns, spas and torture museums.
You’ll also pass by:
- Niederwalddenkmal monument
- Lorelei Rock
- Deutches Eck
Hike, Bike, Train or River Cruise your Way between Castles on the Rhine
My preference to view the castles on the Rhine is definitely hiking along the Left Bank of this majestic Rhine River on the Rhine Castles Trail.
Here you’ll walk along cliff tops, forests and through the Grand Burg Rheinfels and up to the top of idyllic Burg Schönburg.
You can even spend the night there in restored castle hotel rooms and sip your morning coffee on a balcony overlooking the river.
Discover the History of the Rhine River Castles
Castles on the Rhine
Read until the end and get a free downloadable printable guide of the castles. If you’re a minimalist, use the free mobile friendly tool I created so you never miss a thing on your next river cruise, hike or bike trip along the River Rhine.
This post links to products and services we love, which we may make a small commission from, at no extra cost to you. This is how I can continue to make Sustainable Outdoor Travel Guides!! – Morgan
Quick Links to Castles on the Rhine
Best Rhine Castle Hotels
Stay in a Castle in Germany
Can you stay in a hotel castle on the Rhine river or hostel that is a castle conversion? Yes, fantasy dreams come true in castles of the Rhine.
2 of my friends have had their wedding celebration at one of these gorgeous castles overlooking the river Rhine River in Germany.
Castle Hotels on the Rhine : Comprehensive List
Stay in a Castle in Germany
- Rheinstein Castle & Hotel
- Reichenstein Castle & Hotel
- Stahleck Castle & Hostel
- Gutenfels Castle & Hotel
- Schönburg Castle & Hotel ***The best!
- Rheinfels Castle & Hotel
- Liebenstein Castle
Discover Castles on the Rhine River with a Free App
Use your phone to discover Castles on the Rhine as you river cruise, hike or bike along the Rhine River in Germany.
Free Google Maps Guide: Stay in a castle in Germany.
Location: Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Germany
Where to Stay in a Castle Hotel in Germany
Check out the links here from Booking – I always use them for my city and multi-day hikes because they are trustworthy and helpful to keep organized. Most castles on the Rhine are part of this system.
Best for River Views & Private Gardens
Hikers will LOVE the hilltop castle hotel Burg Hotel Schönburg dating back to the year 1000. This castles on the Rhine sits atop the romantic village of Oberwesel with the most hospitable hosts and interesting rooms including hidden bathrooms, towers, trebuchet and a 4 course dinner included with the hotel room.
Best for History Lovers
Burg Rheinfels is one of the largest and most well fortified castles in Germany, boasting multiple restaurants, cafes and museums with guided tours. Located above Sankt Goar next to a steep gorge and vineyard.
For a luxury experience book Burg Rheinfels, sometimes they even forget to charge you for stuff like at my girlfriends wedding where they didn’t even charge for the venue, only the food. You MIGHT get lucky, but don’t count on it.
On a Budget?
Going budget and have an SUV or car? It’s completely legal to sleep in your car (but only one night in each place) in a parking lot. Make it comfortable with a comfy car air mattress.
—–28 Best Castles on the Rhine
Castles Along the Rhine River. Castles starting from Rüdesheim and going “Downriver” toward Koblenz.
Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
Built 11th century, 38 meter high tower. (-) tours (-) hotel (+) Romanesque
Owned by the winery, not open to the public. In the heart of a cute walking town.
Bingen am Rhein, Germany
Built in the 13th century, destroyed and rebuilt multiple times. (+) self guided tours (-) hotel (+) medieval/gothic
Home to the local government.
Ehrenfels Castle Ruin
Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
Built in the 13th century, home of legends with Maus tower and destroyed by war and fire. (-) tours (-) hotel (+) previous toll castle (+) Romanesque
Rheinstein Castle & Hotel
Built 270 ft above river, Built 10th century, Romantic Ideal of Medieval example.
(+) tours (+) hotel (+) open to public March – November (+) medieval (+) restaurant
Reichenstein Castle & Hotel
Lovingly restored, Built 11th century, Neo-Gothic English-Medieval example. Otherwise known as Falkenburg.
(+) tours (+) hotel (+) open to year round except January (+) medieval (+) 3 star restaurant (+) museum (+) armory
Built in the 13th century, 2 times destroyed and rebuilt by Prussians as a hunting lodge, though never used. (+) turrets (-) hotel (+) self tours (+) medieval exterior, neo gothic interior
Built in the 11th century, destroyed and rebuilt in the 19th. Gothic Style (-) tours (-) hotel
Nollig Tower Ruin
Hilltop fortress ruins and tower built in the 14th century. Private property. (-) tours (-) hotel (+) medieval
Fürstenberg Castle Ruin
Hilltop fortress Built 14th century, destroyed Palatine Wars of Succession. Private property. (-) tours (-) hotel (+) medieval
Sauerburg Castle (previous Hotel)
Photo courtesy of www.Komoot.com
Previous Hote and Castles on the Rhine, now Private owned.
Lovingly restored castle complex atop a hill, Built 14th century, Medieval example.
(-) tours (+) previous hotel ( (+) medieval
Stahleck Castle & Hostel
Hilltop castle with great views of the river, Built 12th century, destroyed by Louis 14th and the French and rebuilt mid 1800s. Medieval example.
(+) tours of courtyard (+) hostel hotel (+) open to public (+) medieval (+) restaurant
Island castle built as a toll castle. Built in the 14th century, built to look like a bow of a boat. (+) guided tours (-) hotel
Gutenfels Castle & Hotel
Kaub castle built above town to work as a toll castle together with Pfalzgrafenstein. Built in the 13th century, destroyed once and rebuilt in the late 1800s. Hohenstaufen military and house construction style.
(+) medieval (+) hotel
Schönburg Castle & Hotel
Do you want to stay in a castle on the Rhine in Germany with the best service?
Hilltop castle complex with museum. Built in the 12th century, destroyed once and rebuilt in the late 1800s. Romanesque style.
(+) medieval (+) hotel (+) restaurant (+) museum
Reichenberg Castle Ruin
Interesting Mannerist shield wall, ruin and tower built 14th century. Private property. (-) tours (-) hotel (+) medieval
St. Goarshausen, Germany
Built as a military base in the 14th century to protect Rheinfels Castle. Built to oppose Maus castle. Burned, demolished many times and rebuilt. Was a hotel at one point but now private property. (-) tours (+) Previous hotel (+) medieval (+) toll collection
Rheinfels Castle & Hotel
Sankt Goar, Germany
Stay at Hotel Schloss Rheinfels : Best Castles on the Rhine River
One of the strongest and biggest Rhine Castles. Hilltop castle complex with museum, hotel, cafe, shops and restaurants. Built in the 13th century, destroyed and rebuilt many times. Medieval and Renaissance style.
(+) medieval (+) hotel (+) restaurant (+) museum
Known as Thurnberg Castle and one of the most iconic castles on the Rhine River. Nicknamed Maus due to it looking like it was playing cat and mouse from another castle across the river. Has falcon, eagle and owl shows in summer. (+) tours (-) hotel (+) medieval (+) falconry shows in summer.
Built in the 14th century as a southbank castle on the Rhine. Separated by a wall from Burg Sterrenberg. Highest castle on the Rhine and called “hostile brothers” though no history of actual fighting. Closed hotel and restaurant Jan-April. (+) tours (+) hotel (+) medieval (+) restaurants
Built in the 11th century. Separated by a wall from Liebenstein Castle. Part of the “hostile brothers” though no history of actual fighting. Also known as While Castle. (-) tours (-) hotel (+) medieval , gothic (+) restaurant tavern.
Built in the 13th century and fully intact, not destroyed. (+) daily tours, summer English language tours at 1 pm (-) hotel (+) medieval , gothic (+) restaurant tavern (+) historic shop (+) former prison
Built in the 14th century and fully intact, not destroyed. Iconic hexagonal tower. previously surrounded by moat. (+) guided tours through city (-) hotel (+) medieval , gothic (-) restaurant (+) toll castle
Lahneck Castle & Camping
Built in the 13th century, restored in the 18th with fine furniture. (+) guided tours July thru Nov (-) hotel (+) medieval , gothic (+) restaurant (+) pool, camping
Stolzenfels Castle & Gardens
Example of Prussian Rhine Romanticism. Originally built in the 13th century as a toll station but rebuilt in the 18th century into a palace. (+) guided tours (-) hotel (+) gothic revival (+) restaurant (+) palace (+) 5 gardens to tour
Known as the Guardian of the Rhine. Originally built in the 11th century as a toll station but rebuilt in the 18th century into a palace. (+) guided tours (-) hotel (+) Classical style (+) 2 restaurants (+) museum (+) gardens (+) cable car access.
Enjoy a Private Guided tour of this UNESCO world heritage site to really soak in the experience.
Built in the 17th century. (-) guided tours (-) hotel (+) Classical style. Not typical of castles on the Rhine River.
Built 14th century, Destroyed by Swedes and rebuilt in 19th century (-) guided tours (-) hotel (+) Baroque style – -Fairytale Castle (+) corporate parties and events (+) weddings
Built 1882 in 2 years as a private residence. (+) guided tours (-) hotel (+) Gothic style (+) bistro (+) castle shop
Rhine River Map with Rhine Castles to Stay
Upper Middle Rhine Gorge : A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Castles on the Rhine River Map
How to use this map: Use your computer mouse or fingers to zoom in and out. Click on the icons to get more information. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the written index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your google maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open google maps, click the menu button, and go to “your places”/ “maps.”
Best Way to Get to Rhine River Castles
This region is easily accessed by car, train or bus. It is about 45 minutes from Frankfurt International Airport. Use the DB Bahn Navigator app to determine public transportation. Most people will start a river cruise in the town of Bingen and hop on hop off at the different wine villages.
Rhine Castle Trail – Hike it!
The castles on the Rhine Castles Trail spans 196 km (120 miles) on the Left Bank of the Rhine with some incredible views, history, castles and plenty of gorgeous wine villages to make pit stops for food, fun and laughs.
Castles on the Rhine River Germany – Bike It!
Both sides of the Rhine River offer divided safe trails for cyclists, whether long distance or e-bike friendly ladies on a wine tour. The Rhine Bike trail actually stretches from the Atlantic ocean to the source of the River Rhine at a shimmering alpine lake at 2,345m in Switzerland.
Rhine River Castle Cruise – The Best Way to Cruise the Rhine
Cruises on the Rhine River
This is by far the most popular way to view the scenic Rhein castles. You can see amazing Castles on the Rhine Cruise with multiple operators.
Rhine River Hop on and Hop off boat cruise to check out the adorable villages at each stop.
Rhine River Cruise from Frankfurt with lunch, wine tastings and transportation.
Dinner Cruise on the Rhine River
Want a dinner experience cruising the Rhine River? Stop in the best named village of all time…Assmannshausen. Yes. This is a real place to view Castles on the Rhine.
German Castle Road Trip
Want more than castles on the Rhine? Nearby, visit the most fairytale-like castle in Germany and take a private tour of Burg Eltz with a delicious dinner included.
“There are more German castles on the Rhine River here in the prettiest part of the Rhine Valley Gorge between Rüdesheim and Koblenz than anywhere else in Germany.
Enchanting Towns with German Castles on the Rhine River
Rüdesheim, Oberwesel and Bacharach top the list of impossibly cute villages filled with half timbered houses, wineries and enchanting medieval towers, castles and battlements. These towns are like stepping back in time to all the best parts.
Best time to view castle along the Rhine River and Castles on the Rhine
March – November
For river cruises, May through November would be the best, but if hiking or cycling, the trails are accessible year round and but are especially muddy during the winter and shoulder seasons.
If planning this as a winter (or late fall, early Spring) hike, carefully consider your daylight hours due to the high latitude and consider using winter traction devices like microspikes.
If you’ve got to do the night hike thing, take a serious Headlamp, it’s got 900 lumens to illuminate your path.
Don’t be like me and get eye pre-cancer while hiking near the castles on the Rhine, protect your eyes from the damage inflicted by the sun with cat 3-4 sunglasses.
Recommended Books for Exploring German Castles on the Rhine, Hiking & Cycling
Looking for an amazing Castle Hotel to Castle Hotel Hike of a Lifetime? Stimulate the senses with food, wine and hiking! Romantic Rhine River Gorge Castle Hike
🏰 Learn more about German Castles with this informative book.
🎯 🎨 🖼 Art lover? Walk in the steps of William Turner, English artists that used the Rhine River as inspiration for starting the Romanticism art movement in the early 1800s.
EU Classic Rick Steves Guidebook – This brand is so awesome, get some cool ideas for German travel.
USA : Rick Steves
♀️ If bikes are your thing and you want to explore the Rhine River in Germany – Check out this self guided bike tour.
🥾 Official RheinBurgenWeg website: Left Bank Hiking Site.
🚗 Reliable Rental Cars : Rent a Car and Explore Germany
Want to pop over to friendly Limburg in the Netherlands? The bike path goes there too beyond the castles on the Rhine.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy the Castles of the Rhine guide and its endless romantic castles and historic hotels with scenic hikes between them. The castles on the Rhine are truly a remarkable experience especially for medieval romantic people.
Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures over on our facebook group Untold Outdoor Europe Travel Planning.