As the capital of Bavaria, Munich is a city where history and culture intertwine magnificently, offering glimpses into the storied past of Germany’s biggest state. The cityscape is dotted with historical landmarks, from the iconic Marienplatz to a host of fascinating museums showcasing Munich’s rich heritage. Notably, among the many historical treasures of Bavaria are the breathtaking castles near Munich, each standing as a testament to the region’s grandeur and historical significance.

Each castle in the vicinity of Munich exudes its own unique charm, yet collectively, they offer an insightful journey into German history. These architectural marvels invite you to step into a world of luxury, power, and sheer beauty, showcasing the opulence and grandeur of bygone eras. In this guide, we highlight some of the most beloved and famous castles near Munich, as well as some lesser-known jewels, each with its distinctive story and allure.

Nymphenburg Palace

photo of Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Germany

A great place to start your exploration of castles near Munich is the Nymphenburg Palace (main image). As one of the largest in the city, it’s also a popular tourist attraction that stands out because of its unique design and lush gardens. 

Back in the day, the palace served as the summer residence for Bavarian prince-electors and kings. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, strolling through the beautiful staterooms, marvelling at the spectacular festive hall, and exploring the large landscape park surrounding the palace. 

Besides touring the palace and grounds and enjoying a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Bavarian history, there are lots more recreational activities to enjoy there. During the summer season, you can ride a gondola on the royal canals or enjoy a cup of coffee with a slice of cake in the cafe that’s right in the middle of the park. 

Linderhof Palace

photo of Linderhof Palace in Bavaria, Germany

Linderhof Palace (pictured above) is the first and only castle that King Ludwig II built and completed. As the smallest of all the King’s castles, Linderhof was designed and built as an intimate place offering maximum privacy for the king.  

Meticulously maintained gardens and ornate fountains surround the palace, which is just over an hour from Munich by car, while the interior boasts lavish decorations. The Hall of Mirrors, in particular, is a noteworthy part of the palace that’s a marvel of craftsmanship and design. When you visit this palace, you can wander through the buildings and grounds, enjoying the grandeur and elegance that this gem of Bavarian architecture offers. 

Neuschwanstein Castle

photo of Neuschwanstein Castle near Munich, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle (pictured above) sits high on a hill that overlooks the beautiful village of Hohenschwangau, offering a picturesque view unlike any other. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most photographed places in the world. The fairytale castle with stunning towers and turrets adorning it is the inspiration for King Stefan’s castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

When you tour through this castle, you get to see lavishly decorated rooms such as the dazzling Throne Hall and the King’s ornate bedroom that give a glimpse into the life of King Ludwig II who commissioned the castle in the 19th century. 

Schleissheim Palace

photo of Schleissheim Palace in Bavaria, Germany

Schleissheim Palace (pictured above) is Bavaria’s hidden gem among the many castles near Munich. Located in a grand baroque park within a Munich suburb, it’s made up of three individual palaces, all a marvel of baroque and rococo architecture. 

The Old Schleissheim Palace was built from the original country house founded by Duke William V and currently contains exhibitions on religious culture and Prussian history. The Lustheim Palace was built by a Swiss architect named Enrico Zuccalli for the prince-elector Maximilian II and houses a collection of early European porcelain. 

Finally, the New Schleissheim Palace that lies between the other two is an impressive baroque palace with decor that celebrates key moments in history. During summer visits to the palace, you can take a gondola ride on a canal of the court garden or spend time by the pools and fountains in Schleissheim Park. 

Nuremberg Castle

photo of Nuremberg Castle near Munich, Germany

Located a two-hour drive outside Munich, Nuremberg (pictured above) is a castle well worth the trip. Its mediaeval charm adds to the wonder of the place that was a key part of German history, even being deconstructed and reconstructed in the 1900s.

Most of the original structure was sadly destroyed during the bombing of Nuremberg in World War II. The Romanesque chapel remained intact throughout all this and is one of the best highlights of the castles to this day. The rest of the Nuremberg castle was reconstructed in the 1950s while the permanent exhibition was redesigned with a bit of a modern touch in 2013.

Munich Residence

photo of the Munich Residence or Munich Residenz

Located within Munich, the Munich Residence (pictured above) is now a museum offering a fascinating look into the lives of royalty. As it was once the residence and seat of Bavarian kings, dukes, and prince-electors, it’s no wonder the palace has elegantly designed rooms, paintings, furniture, and lots of religious items. Most of it was destroyed during World War II and was gradually reconstructed into the magnificent structure it is today. 

It is currently one of the largest museum complexes in Bavaria, consisting of the Residence Museum, the Treasury with free audio guides, and the grand Cuvilliés Theatre. The Hofgarten surrounding the palace is also a great place for a walk or enjoying a beer.

Prunn Castle

photo of Prunn Castle near Munich

Prunn Castle (pictured above) sits overlooking the Altmühl River Valley just north of Munich. Thanks to its location, the castle offers a spectacular view where you can connect with nature amidst the elegant royal setting. 

One of the most defining aspects of the castle is its Gothic-style architecture. The large hall on the ground floor of the castle is a perfect illustration of this, maintaining its Gothic style of the 13th century. As you tour this castle, you can also explore its history through its mediaeval decor.

Herrenchiemsee Castle

photo of Herrenchiemsee Castle in Bavaria, Germany

Herrenchiemsee Castle (pictured above) sits on an island in the middle of a beautiful lake called Chiemsee. King Ludwig II built the castle with the intent to replicate the magnificent Palace of Versailles, although he died before it was complete.

Everything about this castle is elegant; from the bed chambers fitted with gold decor to world-famous portraits that line the castle walls. The gardens outside are magnificent as well, giving you a well-rounded adventure both inside and outside the castle.


photo of Burghausen Castle in Germany

The Burghausen Castle (pictured above) is located just over an hour’s drive to the east of Munich, sitting right on the border with Austria. The castle overlooks the Salzach River and is the longest castle complex in the world at a length of over 1,000 metres. 

You can explore most of the rooms of the castle on your own during a self-guided tour and see the Gothic art collection in the State Gallery. The roof has a viewing platform from where you can get a beautiful view of the nearby river and catch a glimpse across the border into Austria.


photo of Hohenschwangau in Germany

Hohenschwangau (pictured above) is located southwest of Munich, a little way away from the Austrian border. The castle was built by King Ludwig’s father, King Maximillian II in the 19th century and was the childhood home of King Ludwig II.

The castle sits just across from the famous Neuschwanstein castle but has fewer visitors. It has many interesting, unique charms, such as the Swan Fountain just outside the castle and the ballrooms within.

Final Word

The castles near Munich offer a captivating journey through Bavaria’s history and culture. Each structure highlights key moments in German history and reflects the enduring legacy of Bavarian royal families. 

Whether you’re exploring the grandeur of Nymphenburg Palace, marvelling at the fairytale beauty of Neuschwanstein, or basking in the opulence of Linderhof Palace, these architectural wonders are sure to leave a lasting impression. If you’re looking for a captivating and enriching experience in the Bavarian capital, a visit to any of these castles near Munich is just the thing to add to your itinerary.

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