From a fairy-tale palace towering over the Rhine River to one of Germany’s oldest forts, there are a number of impressive medieval castles to explore outside Frankfurt and they each make for a great day trip destination. Here are a few of the best.
Greifenstein Castle (Burg Greifenstein)
Talstrasse 19, Heiligenstadt
Leave yourself at least a couple of hours to explore the castle ruins as there’s plenty to see. Stroll around the medieval courtyards, herb garden, and bastions; peek into the former torture chambers and catacombs; and see the underground wine cellar. Additional highlights include the ruins of a baroque-style church, the German Bell Museum, and a restaurant with medieval-inspired cuisine served by costumed knights. Climb to the top of the twin towers for a panoramic view over the forested Dill Valley.
Things to Know Before You Go
Greifenstein Castle is a fun attraction for children with interactive exhibitions and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.
Admission tickets for the castle include access to the castle grounds and Bell Museum. Children under 6 are free.
There are steps and uneven ground around the castle ruins, so wear comfy shoes; access for wheelchairs and strollers is limited.
How to Get There
Greifenstein Castle is located just outside the village of Katzenfurt, 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Frankfurt. It’s a little over an hour by road from the German city and easy to find, signposted off the A45 motorway. There is no public transport directly to the castle, so you will need to get there on your own or visit as part of a tour.
When to Get There
The castle is open daily in July and August but is closed on Mondays throughout the rest of the year—closures due to snow are common in January and February so check ahead. The castle restaurant is only open from April to October.
German Bell Museum
Greifenstein’s most unique claim to fame is its huge collection of church and castle bells, on display at the German Bell Museum. Housed in part of the castle ruins, there are more than 50 different bells, showcasing various sizes, styles, and sounds. As well as learning about the bells, their uses, and how they are made, you can have a go at ringing them.
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- Bad Nauheim
- Bad Homburg
- Botanical Garden Frankfurt (Palmengarten)
- Bockenheimer Warte
- Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Senckenberg)
- Old Opera House (Alte Oper)
- Frankfurt Main Tower
- Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof
- Goethe House & Museum (Goethehaus)
- St. Paul's Church (Paulskirche)
- Frankfurt City Hall (Romer)
- Römerberg Square
- Frankfurt Cathedral (Frankfurter Dom)