My daughter spotted Schloss Wernigerode before anyone else did as we were driving into town.
“Look, Mama,” she exclaimed from the backseat of the van, “There’s a castle on that mountain!”
Low and behold, she was right. There was, indeed, a giant castle nestled on the hillside in front of us.
Schloss Wernigerode is a site to see; my kids immediately decided it was Rapunzel’s castle (not her tower, of course…that one is over here in Wernigerode), but her actual castle. And call me a liar, but I just don’t have the heart to tell them it’s not.
We loved spotting the castle as we walked around town.
Having it situated on a hill means that almost every street had a direct line of sight to the castle, making us ooooh and ahhhh every few minutes.
Visiting Schloss Wernigerode in the Fall
The entire town of Wernigerode is something straight out of a fairytale, but seeing it in the fall just took it to a whole other level.
I must’ve said the phrase, “This is amazing,” about a hundred times.
Red, orange, and yellow leaves crawled their way up the castle walls, making the fairytale even more enchanting.
We visited on a somewhat overcast day, which just made the colors and the ambiance even more vibrant and alluring.
Fun Facts About Wernigerode Castle
The first part of the castle was built in the 12th century (around 1100 AD), and began as a medieval castle—carving a path for German royalty in the middle ages as they’d go on hunting trips into the Harz Mountains.
At the end of the 15th century they expanded the castle and it morphed into more of a gothic style, and then 100 years later it took on more of a Renaissance look.
The Thirty Years’ War took a toll on Schloss Wernigerode, and a baroque/romantic style came from that devastation.
In the early 1990s, the castle morphed into a castle museum, and was the first German museum center for art and cultural history of the 19th century.
Inside the Castle
We walked through almost 50 rooms and saw how those who used to live there lived hundreds of years ago.
The rooms are furnished with original furniture that the nobles used dating back to the 15th century.
I don’t have many photos from inside, because I swear I saw a “no photo” sign when we first walked in (but never again after that; I didn’t want to get in trouble).
The kids got a kick out of looking out the windows and seeing the land sprawled before them.
Basic Info on Schloss Wernigerode
We visited in October 2020, and the castle was open, but make sure you check out their website before you make the drive to see Schloss Wernigerode.
The castle typically opens at 10am, and we highly recommend arriving just before then so you don’t have to wait in long lines. The crowds picked up immensely, and the line to get tickets was very long by the time we finished exploring.
Pro tip: Carve a little extra time into your schedule to explore on foot once you leave the castle grounds. We didn’t do this, and I regret it, but there is an amazing spot for pictures at this address: Stempelstelle HWN 31Agnesberg, 38855 Wernigerode.
There are also two restaurants just outside the castle walls, but they were closed when we were there. Perhaps they’ll be open for you.
Also, once you follow the signs to exit, you will completely leave the castle walls. Just keep that in mind in case you (or little ones) need the bathroom or want a souvenir (buy those when you buy your tickets).
Kids (6-14 years): €3.50
Kids (under 6): free
Family card: €17.50
How to Get There
Hanover: one and a half hour
Berlin: three hours
Brunssum: five hours
Geilenkirchen: five hours
Spangdahlem: about five and a half hours
Ramstein: five hours
Since Schloss Wernigerode is nestled on a hilltop, you can’t actually get to it by car; there is zero parking up there (unless you have a special, fancy schmancy permit).
You can, however, get to it by train, bicycle, or by foot.
Taking the Train up to Schloss Wernigerode
We picked the first option above since the train was adorable and we got a nice look at the town on the way up.
The kids got a kick out of it, of course.
Plus, the gorgeous fall trees gave us all the autumn vibes on the way up.
We used the Wernigerode Castle Railway. It was prompt and got us to and fro quickly.
Pro tip: It was only about 15 minutes for the ride up, but about 30 minutes on the way back. There are restrooms inside the castle in case little ones need to go before getting on the train again to go back down.
There are three places to catch the train, but we started at the free parking spot (Parkplatz Anger/Schloss Wernigerode), which is also the beginning of the orange/castle line. You can buy your tickets when you get there:
The best part was the free parking lot; we left our car at the Parkplatz Anger.
Then, on our train ride back down from the castle we got off at the Krummelsches/Haus stop, wandered around town for a little bit, and then made our way back to Parkplaz Anger.
Where to stay
We stayed just down the street from the castle at an excellent AirBnB that I highly recommend. The owners of were full of helpful suggestions on what to see and do in town.
And, if it’s all booked up, or you’re looking for another spot in the area, here are a few more options:
This down was absolutely adorable and perfect for families with kids.
I’d highly recommend staying at least for two or three days. You can see more things to do in Wernigerode here.
If you visit the Schloss Wernigerode I’d love to hear about your adventure! Tell us about it below.