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A Quaint, Fairytale-Like German Castle,

Did you know that there are more than 20,000 castles and castle ruins in Germany? Twenty THOUSAND! This weekend we saw our first castle, the Paffendorf Castle, and while it may just be a drop in the bucket as far as castles go, we thought it was pretty extraordinary.

Check out Paffendorf Castle, a free 16th century castle less than an hour away from Geilenkirchen, Germany. It's perfect for a day trip.

Not only was it free to walk around the Paffendorf Castle grounds, but this particular castle was surrounded by a moat—a real moat!

Although, Julia stated that next time she wants to see a real life draw bridge, so clearly her expectations were a little higher than mine.

This best part about this castle is that it was only about 30 minutes from our guest house, making it a perfect half-day trip from Geilenkirchen!

Walking around the Paffendorf Castle

Just outside the castle gates were some trails so you could mosey around ponds (filled with lily pads), and some great tree-lined paths.

We spotted a few picnic tables and several benches, and the lush green parks would make a perfect setting for a picnic, so pack a lunch, dinner or snacks.

Eating at Paffendorf Castle

Speaking of food, you can eat within the castles’ walls at the Brasserie Schloss Paffendorf.

The small menu was just what we needed for lunch. Since we’re still learning what foods are what out here, we just got one of (almost) everything.

They had some HUGE baked potatoes, but some were topped with salmon, and since Logan is allergic to salmon, we didn’t want to take any chances, so we skipped those.

We all split a bratwurst, schweinenackensteak (pork neck steak), and a flammkuchen (like a super thin pizza) that was lecker (yummy).

They had a great area for outdoor table service, and they often have live music, too.

A Bit of History

Paffendorf Castle was built in the 16th century. They started building the all-brick manner in 1532, and completed it 15 years later.

A few decades ago the owners sold it to a local power company who now has an exhibition inside on the first floor.

While parts of the castle have been restored and modernized (for the exhibition), it was still neat to actually go inside.

Also, in case you were wondering—and much to my son’s disappointment—there were no actual real life princesses at this particular castle.

More German Castles

We’re totally hooked on castles now, and can’t wait to see more.

My husband and I have visited the famous Neuschwanstein Castle years ago, so we’ll definitely go back there with the kids, but I’d love to hear about your favorite castles in Europe.

Tell me about your favorites below!


  1. Love all your posts! Keep them coming. So glad you are seeing everything you can while you are over there. And what a great experience for the kids! The pictures are great. Thank you so much and give everyone a big hug from Grandma Scharf!

    1. I left you a reply but don’t know if it went through. Love all your posts and appreciate your including me. Have fun and see everything you can! Hugs to everyone from Grandma Scharf.

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