I almost couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I saw Schloss Benrath, an actual pink castle in Germany. To be honest, it doesn’t look like a traditional castle, but more like a palace; so much so that the kids and I dubbed it the “Pink Palace.”
The entire facade of Schloss Benrath looks like it was dipped in the perfect shade of bubblegum pink paint.
It also looks like it was plopped straight out of France with its larger-than-life statues in the gardens, perfectly manicured trees, and a gorgeous garden complete with not one, but two reflection ponds. I know I said France, but I also got some major Bridgerton vibes, too.
You might have a hard time remembering that you’re in Germany.
A Bit About Schloss Benrath
Technically we’re not far off from calling it the “Pink Palace.” Back in the 18th century, Elector Carl Theodor von der Pfalz-Sulzbach had a maison de plaisance (or, a “pleasure palace”) built by French architect Nicolas de Pigage.
It was supposed to be a summer house and a hunting lodge, but, like most castles (it seems), he only stayed there once before he had to move on.
No, Seriously. It’s a Pink Castle in Germany!
Y’all. I’m not even kidding when I say this: we all did a giddy, happy dance when we saw Schloss Benrath for the first time.
I only told the kids that we were going on an adventure (per usual), and that they’d really like it.
Since we’re all experiencing this for the first time, I ended up parking fairly far away and we had to walk about 15 minutes through the castle’s gardens. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous, and they had fun hiding behind hedges and playing the red light/green light game.
But when we came to the clearing where you could see the palace? They were speechless and then started dancing and jumping with excitement.
While this pink castle in Germany is indeed pink, it just doesn’t look like a castle, so don’t get your hopes up for a traditional castle.
The first time we were there was during Germany’s lockdown, so we couldn’t go inside. I was totally bummed since the inside is supposed to be gorgeous. (Spoiler alert: keep reading, because it is gorgeous!)
That first time we just had fun traipsing around the gardens.
Even with not going inside that first time we still managed to spend a good two hours there, so plan your time accordingly.
You’ve Gotta See the Inside
Dying to see the inside, I loaded up the kids one Saturday morning—four months after our first visit—and we headed back to Schloss Benrath.
This time (in the fall), there were significantly less people around, which was actually delightful for walking around the castle.
The inside of this German pink castle was truly breathtaking.
From the windows, to the walls, and from the intricate floors to the gorgeous ceilings, each room had all four of us ooing and ahhing.
Even my four year old son was reminding us to look up.
Since I was there solo with three kids I opted not do take a guided tour, but wish I had, and would even consider going back for a third time to do their Hidden Spaces tour.
I don’t know if that Hidden Spaces tour takes you there, but there are underground passageways that the elector and electress would take to “discreetly” meet each other in the middle of the night.
I also have a huge desire to see the bathrooms—I bet they’re beautiful. (is that weird?).
I love soaking up more info about the places we’re seeing, and even though there are little info places in each room (with an English translation), I’m certain we would’ve heard more with a guided tour.
(Also, we only saw the ground floor. There was a rope across the stairs, so we didn’t go up, but I think you can on the tours? If you go on a tour, please let me know!)
If you do buy tickets to see inside, you’ll have to wear some big “slippers” so you don’t ruin the floor. They provide them as you walk in, so just beware—I was sliding all over the place and I’d worried about elderly people falling!
There’s also a coat/bag check as you walk in, so be prepared to leave your things.
When to Visit
Definitely make plans to visit this pink castle in Germany on a weekend…at least until Covid simmers down. You can only go inside on a Saturday or Sunday (you must get tickets ahead of time), and while the outside of Schloss Benrath is worth it alone, it’s so much better if you can see inside, too.
We were there in the spring and early fall. Spring had the added benefit of a few extra flowers in bloom, but both seasons were still delightful. The green hedges and evergreens looked just as perfect as they did in the spring.
I was actually surprised at how few people there were when we visited on a Saturday in late September. The weather was gorgeous, but it was practically empty.
What to Do Around Schloss Benrath
We’re still exploring the area around Düsseldorf, so I’ll update this post as I have more things to recommend. In the meantime, if you’ll be in the area, check out these great looking tours:
Where to Eat
I highly recommend packing a picnic for lunch. There are lots of benches around the gardens, or you can sit along the Rhine just outside the gardens and eat there.
There is a cafe at Schloss Benrath, but it had a very limited menu this past time we were there.
We did technically “ate” at a restaurant near where we parked (see below), but I don’t recommend it if you have kids. Their menu was for more of an eclectic/expensive taste. We were jonesing for something casual and did not find that there. Instead of lunch, we got apple juice and some apple pie.
If you have time or don’t mind walking, you can always find some spots in the town just beyond Schloss Benrath.
When all else fails, there’s a McDonald’s about five minutes away.
Plan to stay for several hours. The first time we visited (without even going inside the palace) we stayed for two hours, so including a tour I would shoot for at least three hours.
Website: Schloss Benrath
Address: Benrather Schloßallee 100-106; D-40597 Düsseldorf
Kids (starting at 6): €6
Family Card (2 adults):€14
Times/Hours: check website for current information
How to Get There
Schloss Benrath is near the southeastern Düsseldorf, Germany.
Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base/JFC Brunssum: about 1 hour away
Spangdahlem Air Base: about 2 hours away
Weisbaden: about 2 hours away
Where to Park
Finding parking the first time almost made me want to give up and leave before we even started. Thankfully, I ended up finding this (FREE) parking spot bordering the Rhine River. This address will take you to a business exactly next to the free lot: Benrather Schloßufer 35, 40597 Düsseldorf.
There is also this very small parking lot, but both times it was full: Regerstraße, 40593 Düsseldorf.
If you check out Schloss Benrath, I’d love to hear about your experience!