It was drizzling when I arrived at the parking lot of Burg Hohenzollern. I'd read that the climb up is pretty steep and so I decided to take the shuttle bus (€1.90 single, €3,10 return). Luckily, when we got there five minutes later the rain had stopped and I had the chance to wander around the castle grounds.
Burg Hohenzollern in the Swabian Alps
Burg Hohenzollern is located in the Swabian Alps or Schwäbische Alb, close to the Black Forest and at the edge of the Baden-Württemberg region in Germany. It's perched high upon a hill which makes that you can spot it from afar.
There are no large gardens, but visitors can walk around the courtyard and the castle walls, which is what I did.
Burg Hohenzollern is very well-maintained, almost looking anew on the outside, but what really caught my attention was the view I got from up there. As you can walk all around the castle, you really get a good view on the surrounding region.
There's also a terrace outside for when the weather is nice, and an inside restaurant for when it's… well, not so nice.
And don't be mistaken: it can get really cold up there. While it was around 16°C at ground level, it was only 12°C when I was visiting. That was extraordinary cold for June, but better to come prepared and bring a sweater.
Touring the castle
Burg Hohenzollern is a fairly new castle, dating back to the 19th century. However, the history of the place goes back much further as mentions have been found of there having been a castle in the 11th century already.
You'll learn all about that history, which is inextricably linked to that of the Hohenzollern dynasty when you take one of the free guided tours through the castle.
These run in German and English throughout the day and are the only way to enter the castle, but I can highly recommend taking one. The guide I had didn't just share historical facts, but all kinds of fun stories about the castle and its former inhabitants as well.
For example, that is was actually too cold to live there in winter as it couldn't be properly heated. Partly because of that, Burg Hohenzollern has never been a royal residence.
Unfortunately, it's not allowed to take photos inside the castle, but I can guarantee you it was worth it!
You can also watch this video directly on YouTube
You can leave your car in the parking lot which is located halfway the hill. From there you can walk up to the castle or take the shuttle bus. It's pretty steep so I took the shuttle bus up and walked back down.
You're free to walk around the castle grounds for as long as you like, but if you want to go inside the castle, you have to take one of the tours.
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I took this trip in light of Germany Travel's #joingermantradition campaign. This campaign wants to highlight traditions and customs all over Germany. Most of the costs I had for this trip were covered by Germany Travel. As always, all opinions are my own.