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This article is a travel guide to Lichtenstein Castle in Germany.
Lichtenstein Castle or Schloss Lichtenstein is a fairy-tale castle in southwest Germany that is a bucket list destination for anyone visiting that area. In fact, it had been on my bucket list long before I even moved to Germany. The remarkable construction of the castle on a high cliff, the awe-inspiring views from the top, the small but serene garden and the magical walk up to it make Lichtenstein Castle a place worth visiting.
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History of the Lichtenstein Castle
Schloss Lichtenstein has a rather long history. Its origins can be traced back to 1100 when the lords of Lichtenstein were its residents. During that time, the castle was destroyed twice during various wars. And so, a new castle was built in 1390, approximately 500 meters from where the old Lichtenstein Castle once stood.
Since then, the new castle has been dismantled and converted to a hunting lodge, restored back into a castle, destroyed in World War 2, rebuilt again and parts of it restored to their former glory.
Lichtenstein Castle Location
Lichtenstein Castle is located in the German state Baden-Württemberg, in the southeast part of Germany. The castle is situated atop a high cliff overlooking the Echaz valley. As a matter of fact, when you’re driving towards the castle, you’ll see it from a distance on top of a tall hill.
How to Reach Lichtenstein Castle in Germany
Because of the remote location of the castle, the best way to reach Lichtenstein castle is to take a car there. However, that’s not the only way to reach the castle. Take a look at the various ways to reach Schloss Lichtenstein below.
How to Reach Lichtenstein Castle by Car
As mentioned above, the best way to reach Schloss Lichtenstein is to drive there. This is how we visited the castle and it was an easy, scenic drive that took us through small German towns.
How to Reach Lichtenstein Castle by Public Transportation (Train+Bus+Hike)
To reach the castle using public transportation, you’ll need to follow a number of steps, that are listed below:
- First, you’ll need to arrive at Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof.
- From Stuttgart, take a train to Reutlingen Hauptbahnhof which runs every 20 minutes on average.
- Once you reach Reutlingen Hbf, walk over to the Reutlingen Busbahnhof and take a bus heading to Honau, a district in Lichtenstein.
- Once you get down at Honau, you will need to hike to the castle which will take around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
As you can see, it can be a bit of a hassle to reach the castle using public transport so the best thing to do would be to rent a car at Stuttgart or Munich and drive to the castle.
Stuttgart to Lichtenstein Castle
Stuttgart is the closest city to castle Lichtenstein. To reach Lichtenstein from Stuttgart, you’ll need to take a combination of trains and a bus (read section above). That being said, the distance of 58 km between Stuttgart and Lichtenstein can be covered in under an hour.
Munich to Schloss Lichtenstein
Munich to Schloss Lichtenstein is a distance of 216 km which can easily be covered in 2.5 hours by car. That being said, it is possible to take a day trip from Munich to Lichtenstein, although it makes more sense to take a day trip from Stuttgart to Lichtenstein castle.
Parking at the Castle
There’s a parking lot at the castle where you can park your car for €2. You’ll find this parking lot all the way up near the castle, across the road. From here, it’s a 5 minute walk to the castle.
Best Time to Visit Lichtenstein Castle, Germany
Given the location of the castle high up in the woods, it wouldn’t be a good idea to come here in winter. The best time to visit the Lichtenstein castle is the summer season when the bright blue skies, the lush greenery and the warm weather will make your visit to the castle worthwhile! However, keep in mind that this is the most popular time to see the castle so expect a crowd.
Alternatively, you should even come here in the shoulder seasons i.e spring (April, May) and fall (September, October) when there will be a significantly lesser number of people there and the weather will be pleasant enough to enjoy your visit.
Lichtenstein Castle Tickets – Cost and Opening Times
The Lichtenstein castle opens from 9 am to 5.30 pm in the summer months. On the other hand, it opens from 10 am to 4 pm in the winter months and it is closed in the months of January and February.
You can buy the tickets to the castle at the counter at the entrance. Here you can choose to either visit the castle grounds and exterior for €3 or to take a guided tour of the castle for €9 per person.
Lichtenstein Castle Tour
If you want to see the inside of the Lichtenstein castle, it can be done only by taking a guided tour of the castle. You can purchase your ticket at the counter near the entrance to the castle. The cashier will give you the time at which you need to be present in front of the bridge of the castle. There, your tour guide will meet you and take the group inside and give you a tour of the castle courtyard, the first and the second floors and even give you knowledge of the history of the castle. The tour will last for 30 minutes and unfortunately photography is prohibited during the tour.Keep in mind that during covid times, you need to wear a mask at all times during your visit and that the tour groups will be limited to 10 people at a time, although this might change depending on the circumstances.
How Much Time to Spend at Schloss Lichtenstein?
At Schloss Lichtenstein, you need to spare sufficient time to roam the castle grounds, see the ruins of the old castle, the artillery and the displays. Plus, if you intend on taking a tour of the castle interiors then you need to spare another 30 minutes for that. All in all, expect to spend 1-2 hours at Lichtenstein castle at the very least.
Where to Stay near the Lichtenstein Castle
If you want to stay near the castle Lichtenstein so that you can wake up early and see the castle without the crowds, then I suggest staying somewhere in Honau, the closest town to the castle. Alternatively, you could even stay at the nearby places Sonnenbühl or Reutlingen. Checkout hotels in Sonnenbühl !
MID-RANGE : Forellenhof Rössle Hotel & Restaurant
If you want to stay super close to Lichtenstein castle then this hotel offers WiFi, a restaurant on the premises and a view of the Lichtenstein castle from specific rooms.. It’s the perfect mid-range hotel near Lichtenstein castle with a view!
Photo Credit: Forellenhof Roessle Hotel
BUDGET : S-HOF
S-Hof hotel in Sonnenbühl is the best budget stay near the Lichtenstein castle. Apart from the cheap rates, they offer a fully-equipped kitchen for guests to use. Plus, it’s situated in a nice area near restaurants and close to the castle.
Photo Credit: S-Hof
Where to Eat near the Castle Lichtenstein
There is a small but super cute restaurant near Lichtenstein castle near the parking lot. While they may not have a big variety of items, they standard German dishes like Wurst and Kartoffel (potato) fries. Additionally, they also serve coffee and beer. So you don’t need to worry about food if you’re not carrying something with you. Although, make sure you carry sufficient cash as small restaurants in Germany often don’t accept cards.
Trip to Heidelberg from Schloss Lichtenstein
If you’re spending a few hours at castle Lichtenstein then afterwards, you could head north towards Heidelberg – one of the most beautiful places in Germany. As you can see in the image above, Heidelberg is nestled along the Neckar river and is famous for the old bridge – the Alte Brücke and the view from the Heidelberg castle. There are many wonderful things to do in Heidelberg in 1 day which makes it the perfect day trip. You can combine a visit to Heidelberg and Schloss Lichtenstein as it takes a little over 2 hours to cover the distance between the two.
Trip to Tübingen from Castle Lichtenstein
When we visited Lichtenstein castle, we arrived here early in the morning to see the castle without too many people around. Afterwards, we headed to the beautiful little university city of Tübingen from Lichtenstein castle. It took around 40 minutes to get there by car, not to mention how scenic the drive was! It is the perfect place to base yourself for a day or two and you can even take a day trip to Lichtenstein castle from Tübingen instead of the other way around. It is a city that is off the tourist radar and incredibly picturesque so you are bound to love staying here for a while!
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