Drachenburg Castle, located in Königswinter in western Germany is one of Germany’s over 25,000 castles, fortresses, and ruins. The castle was built in record time in just two years, but was badly damaged in the last days of World War II. To this day, you can still see bullet holes on the Rhine-side facade of the castle – despite the extensive restoration from 1995 to 2010.
This complete guide to Drachenburg Castle contains everything you need to know: how to get to the castle, how much it will cost you, which tours are available, photography tips for Drachenburg Castle and, last but not least, our opinion about our visit and if we’d recommend going.
Why visit Drachenburg Castle?
Drachenburg Castle was built from 1882 to 1884 as a private villa for Baron Stephan von Sarter from Bonn. The special thing about the castle for which he paid 1.8 million gold marks is that it was built on a mountain – the so-called Drachenfels. The Drachenfels has a height of 321m and was created by rising magma that could not break through the surface of the earth. Especially in the Middle Ages, the Drachenfels was a much used building block and, for example, used for the construction of the Cologne Cathedral.
Baron Stephan von Sarter never got to live in the castle, because he lived in Paris until his death. During World War II, the castle was heavily bombarded and damaged during the last days of war. As previously mentioned, you can still see some of the bullet holes on the west facade of the castle.
Moreover, the central dome of Drachenburg Castle and the stained glass windows of the art gallery were almost completely destroyed during war. Later on, refugees were housed there later and stole large parts of the murals.
Originally, the castle then was supposed to be demolished. However, in 1971 a private citizen saved the castle from its final disintegration and opened it to the public for the first time.
Only a few years later, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia bought the castle and the park and re-opened it with public access in 2009. Now, the Drachenburg Castle is a museum that tells its past history.
How to get to Drachenburg Castle
Address: Drachenfelsstr. 188, 53639 Koenigswinter, Germany.
Now, there are several ways to get to Drachenburg Castle. First, you have to get to Königswinter, the city where the castle is. Basically, you have two options:
CAR | When visiting by car, you can drive to a nearby parking lot which is directly linked to the footpath to the castle. To find the parking space, simply enter the address Drachenfelsstr. 188, 53639 Koenigswinter, Germany to your navigation system. At some point, you will see a spacious parking lot under a bridge. You could also drive further, but it’s not allowed unless you’re a resident. From the parking lot, it’s only a 30-minute hike to the castle.
TRAIN | Public transportation is another option when wanting to visit Drachenburg Castle. There are good connections between Cologne and Drachenburg Castle, and especially between Bonn and Königswinter. From the train station, you can either walk or take the Drachenfelsbahn.
Now, since you’re in Königswinter you have the previously stated two options: you could either walk to Drachenburg Castle or take the Drachenfelsbahn. Most people choose to take the Drachenfelsbahn since it’s Germany’s oldest operated rack railway connecting the old town of Königswinter and the Siebengebirge since 1883.
However, we chose to walk to Drachenburg Castle which is a pretty easy walking tour from the parking lot and takes around 30 minutes.
Don’t make the same mistake we made and simply just go to the Drachenburg Castle; you’re only allowed to enter during the opening hours. Then, the opening times of the castle vary depending on month and season:
- January & February: open daily from 12pm to 5pm
- March to June: open daily from 11am to 6pm
- July & August: open daily from 11am to 7pm
- September to November 24: open every day from 12pm to 5pm
- Christmas: Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 9pm
Costs of your visit
If you’ve already visited other castles in Germany, you may know that they’re usually free to visit unless you book a tour. At Drachenburg Castle, the park costs admission but given that the castle and the park are in very good condition and taken care of, this is absolutely fine.
Admission tickets to Drachenburg Castle cost:
- Adults: € 7 per person
- Children & Students: € 5 per person
- Family ticket: € 17
Guided Tours of the Castle
You can attend classic private tours in different languages (e.g. English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Russian). Prices for tours are always for the entire group and not per person. Nevertheless, the entry has to be paid by each person.
THE FOLLOWING TOURS ARE AVAILABLE:
Classic Tour | Tour of the museum and introduction to the history of the castle. Duration: 45 minutes. Cost: €75 + entry fee of €5 per person. Max. 25 people allowed.
Extended Classic Tour | Learn about the history of the castle. Duration: 90 minutes. Cost: €110 + entry fee of €5 per person. Max. 25 people allowed.
Comfortable Tour | Classic tour at slower pace. Duration: 75 minutes. Cost: €75 + entry fee of €5 per person. Max. 20 people allowed.
Children’s Tour | Complete tour of the castle. Duration: 45 minutes. Cost: €65 + entry fee of €5 per person. Max. 25 people allowed.
There are also special themed tours. For an overview, take a look at their official website.
Our opinion of Drachenburg Castle
We’ve visited Drachenburg Castle in May, but Tabitha already knew the castle from her childhood. However, we were absolutely impressed by the beauty of Drachenburg Castle and would definitely recommend it.
After visiting the castle, you can still continue to hike the Drachenfels. From above you’ll have amazing views over Königswinter! Also, there’s a ruin right at the top of the Drachenfels which is named Drachenfels Castle.
Drachenburg Castle is such a beautiful place and it’s impossible to not be happy-snappy all the time! Compared to other castles in Germany, Drachenburg Castle offers a lot more angles and photography opportunities. For example, when visiting Burg Eltz or Neuschwanstein Castle, you only have 1-2 photography spots.
If you are into flowers, the castle park is filled with incredibly beautiful rhododendrons and roses. A visit is worth it for that alone.
Here is some inspiration for your photos at Schloss Drachenburg:
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