13 Must-Visit Castles Near Strasbourg (A Local’s Guide)

While Strasbourg might be known for its charming half-timbered houses and awe-inspiring Notre Dame Cathedral, I’ve found there is so much to explore beyond its city limits.

Since I moved to this quaint Alsatian town in 2019, I’ve made it my mission to uncover everything this part of France has to offer. I’ve been to inspiring museums, toured gorgeous cathedrals, and eaten at traditional winstubs.

I’ve even hiked to the most remote castles.

And, today, I want to share with you the most incredible castles near Strasbourg. Each one has played a role in the region’s history and offers a glimpse into the past.

Below I’ll cover which ones are worth adding to your itinerary.

Castles Near Strasbourg France
Best Castles to Visit Around Strasbourg

13 Must-Visit Castles Near Strasbourg

From Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg to Château de l’Ortenbourg, there are so many impressive castles around Strasbourg.

So, without further ado, here is a list of the best ones to visit.

1. Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

This is the view from from the terrace of Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg. There is the side of the castle with its main tower on the left and on the right there is the valley below. You can see farms, village, and tree-covered mountains.
View from Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

Perched high in the Vosges Mountains, Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in Alsace.

The earliest recording shows it existed in the 12th century, but the exact date it was built remains unknown.

It served as a lookout point and fortress from the Middle Ages to the Thirty Years’ War, when most of the castle was destroyed. It has since undergone massive restorations to return it to its former glory.

This is the inside of one of the rooms in Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg. There are two candle lamps and tapestries on the walls with designs from the Middle Ages.
Inside Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

I loved walking through the halls and taking in the views of the valley from its terrace. This is one of only a handful of castles in the region that are completely furnished. So, getting to see what it looked like during the Middle Ages was so cool.

If you’re spending a long three-day weekend in Strasbourg, it’s worth adding to your itinerary. You can rent a car, take the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg from Sélestat, or go on a tour.

Admission is €9. 

2. Château de Kaysersberg

This is the exterior of Château de Kaysersberg. Thee is a tall stone wall surrounding a tower that has a French flag on top.
Château de Kaysersberg

Built in the 13th century, Château de Kaysersberg overlooks the small town of Kaysersberg. And it served to guard the border between Alsace and Lorraine.

Today, you can climb the main tower and take in the views of Kaysersberg and the surrounding valley. Admission is free, so there’s no reason not to visit!

When I stayed in Kaysersberg, I woke up early to watch the sunrise over the castle. It was an incredibly peaceful setting, and I had the entire place to myself.

Helpful Tip: Château de Kaysersberg is sometimes referred to as Château de Schlossberg.

3. Château du Haut-Barr

This is Château du Haut-Barr. It's the main entrance with stone arch then a stone tower behind it. The stone tower has three flags on top.
Château du Haut-Barr

Of the castles I’ve visited, Château du Haut-Barr has the best panoramic view of Alsace. It’s even been nicknamed the “Eye of Alsace.”

It was built in the 12th century, but the castle you see today comes from the 16th century.

You can tour the grounds for free and there’s even a restaurant near the main entrance.

I visited Château du Haut-Barr twice so far. That’s how cool this place is.

This is the view from Château du Haut-Barr. There's a valley with farms, small towns, and pockets of forest.
View from Château du Haut-Barr

The views from its high terraces are incredible.

Unfortunately, I did struggle to get to the highest one. I had to climb steep iron stairs and then cross a bridge, aka the Devil’s Bridge.

It took me about an hour to overcome my vertigo, but, as you can see in the photo I took above, it was worth it.

4. Château des Rohan

This is the exterior of Château des Rohan. There are stairs leading to a giant wall that is lined with stone columns and windows. On the roof there are sculptures of eagles.
Château des Rohan

Château des Rohan is in downtown Saverne. Like the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg, it was one of many residents of the Archbishops of Strasbourg.

Construction began in the 18th century but stopped shortly after the French Revolution began.

It was later renovated by Napoleon III.

Today, it serves as a museum (Musée du Château des Rohan) showcasing local history and art. The interior is lavish and well-preserved so you can get a feel for life in the French aristocracy.

I visited on a Sunday after I hiked to Château du Haut-Barr. I particularly enjoyed the section on Louise Weiss and relaxing in the gardens at the back of the castle.

Admission is €5. 

5. Les Trois Châteaux de Ribeauvillé

This is the view of Château Saint-Ulrich from Château du Girsberg. It's a pink stone castle surrounded by mountains. In the center there is the main tower.
Château Saint-Ulrich

Ribeauvillé is a small village along the Alsace Wine Route that is home to three towering castles – Château de Saint-Ulrich, Château du Girsberg, and Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre.

Château de Saint-Ulrich and Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre were built in the 11th century while Château du Girsberg was built sometime in the 13th century.

All three were occupied by the Lords of Ribeaupierre until the 16th century when they were left abandoned. Today, you can explore the ruins of these castles and admire their impressive architecture.

This is the outer wall of Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre. It's a large stone structure with a main tower in the middle. It's surrounded by trees.
Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre
This is Château du Girsberg. I took this photo from the terrace of Château Saint-Ulrich. It's a castle with an outer stone wall and a main tower in the middle. It looks it was carved into the side of the mountain.
Château du Girsberg

Admission is free but you’ll have to follow a steep hike to get there.

There are a few starting points, but I used the entrance at 2 Route de Sainte-Marie aux Mines. It’s the most direct path.

Of the three castles, Château de Saint-Ulrich was my favorite. It’s the biggest, most intact, and looks like something from a fairytale.

I enjoyed walking through the halls and exploring the different rooms. It’s not covered so I don’t recommend visiting when it’s raining.

For the best view of Château de Saint-Ulrich, head to the main terrace of Château du Girsberg. That’s where I took the photo above.

Helpful Tip: Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre is crumbling and only the outer walls are left. You can’t enter the castle, but you can walk around it.

6. Château de l’Ortenbourg

This is the exterior of Château de l'Ortenbourg. It's a tall stone tower that is surrounded by a shorter outer wall. At the base there are trees and shrubs.
Château de l’Ortenbourg

Château de l’Ortenbourg has had a difficult history. Construction began in the 13th century, but it soon fell to the Bishop of Strasbourg in the 14th century. It was rebuilt shortly after only to be burned down by Swedish forces during the Thirty Years’ War.

This is the view from Château de l'Ortenbourg. It's a massive valley with vineyards, farms, and small towns.
View from Château de l’Ortenbourg

When I visited, the outer walls were intact, but the inside was mostly in ruins and under construction. I was still able to tour the inside and take in the incredible views from its terrace.

To get to Château de l’Ortenbourg, you’ll have to hike up a modestly steep hill. From the Scherwiller’s train station, it took me about an hour.

But, if you are driving, you can cut your hiking time in half by parking at Auberge de la Huhnelmuhle. It’s also a great place to stop by for lunch after your hike.

Admission is free.

Helpful Tip: Château du Ramstein is a short walk from Château de l’Ortenbourg. When I visited most of the castle was under construction, but the views were as incredible as those from Château de l’Ortenbourg.

7. Les Trois Châteaux d’Éguisheim

This is the trail leading to Les Trois Châteaux d'Éguisheim. There is a dirt path surrounded by vineyards. And in the distance there is a hill with the three castles on top.
Les Trois Châteaux d’Éguisheim

Les Trois Châteaux d’Éguisheim (Three Castles of Eguisheim) look over the little town of Eguisheim.

They date back to the 11th and 12th centuries and were used as watchtowers over the region. But the brutality of the War of the Six Oboles in the 14th century left them in ruins.

This is the ruins of Les Trois Châteaux d'Éguisheim. THere is one tower surrounded by trees.
Ruins of Les Trois Châteaux d’Éguisheim

Today, they are still in shambles, and efforts to restore them to their former glory are ongoing.

Compared to the other castles that were under construction when I visited, these three castles needed the most work. I enjoyed walking around the ruins and taking in the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Overall, I thought it was a fun day hike from Eguisheim. But the castles themselves were not that impressive.

Admission is free.

Helpful Tips:

  • I combined my visit with other castles on the Route des Cinq Châteaux (The Five Castle Route), including Château du Hohlandsbourg.
  • You can walk, drive, and bike the Route des Cinq Châteaux.

8. Château du Hohlandsbourg

This is the view from Château du Hohlandsbourg. It's a massive valley with vineyards, towns, and farms. In the foreground there are brushes of trees.
View from Château du Hohlandsbourg

Since the 11th century, Château du Hohlandsbourg has served as a defensive fortress. It withstood several attacks but was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. And what was left was further demolished by local French troops.

Then, in the 19th century, extensive efforts went into restoring it. Today, it stands as the largest fortified castle in the region.

You can visit the castle, learn more about its history, and tour the outer ramparts.

Along with Château du Haut-Barr, the views from Château du Hohlandsbourg are the best I’ve seen.

Admission is free.

Helpful Tip: From the 11th of November until Easter weekend, the castle is closed. It will reopen on the 6th of April 2024.

9. Château de Bernstein

This is the exterior of Château de Bernstein. It's a large stone wall with a terrace. It's surrounded by trees. At the base there is a large stone barrier.
Château de Bernstein

Overlooking the small village of Dambach-la-Ville, Château de Bernstein is one of the oldest castles in Alsace.

Various sources suggest the castle dates to the 11th century, but the ruins you see today come from the 12th and 13th centuries.

It was built by the Counts of Eguisheim-Metz-Dabo family and later occupied by the Bishops of Strasbourg until the 15th century.

Like many castles in the region, it was burned by Swedish forces during the Thirty Years’ War.

It has since undergone extensive restorations, and, in 1931, it was labeled a historic monument.

I visited as a day hike from Dambach-la-Ville. It was a steady uphill climb, and it took me about an hour from the train station. Most of it was intact, although there were some parts still under construction.

Admission is free.

10. Château d’Andlau

This is the outside of Château d'Andlau. It's a massive stone wall with a tower on the left hand side. There are a few windows on the walls.
Exterior of Château d’Andlau

Sitting above the small town of Andlau, Château d’Andlau is one of the few castles that still belong to its original family, the Andlaus. But it did change hands a few times over the centuries.

It was built in the 13th century and remained with the family until the French Revolution. Then, in the late 18th century, it was sold to a merchant who auctioned off the castle piece by piece.

The castle was reclaimed by the Andlau family and has since undergone restorations.

This is the inner courtyard of Château d'Andlau. There are two stone walls and a massive tower in the center. There are window on every wall.
Château d’Andlau’s Inner Courtyard

I must have visited Château d’Andlau at least ten times since 2019. It’s easy to reach with a short hike. The views don’t compare to some of the others on this list, but you can tour every part of the castle. 

There are a few ways to hike to Château d’Andlau.

  • If you’re starting from Andlau, pick up the trail from the viewpoint called Andlau Aussichtspunkt.
  • You can also start hiking from Mittelbergheim. Head to the end of Rue du Holzweg and follow the signs to Château d’Andlau.

Admission is free.

11. Château du Landsberg

This is the exterior of Château du Landsberg. It's a large stone wall with a tower on the right hand side. It's surrounded by large trees.
Château du Landsberg

Château du Landsberg was built at the end of the 12th century to fortify the surrounding towns and protect Mont Sainte-Odile.

It was destroyed in 1632 during the Thirty Years’ War and later auctioned off as a national property.

Today, it’s owned by the Turckheim family who have worked tirelessly to restore it.

I visited as a day hike from Barr and enjoyed touring the ruins. The outer walls and some of the corridors are still intact. It’s not as impressive as some of the other castles on this list, but still worth a visit.

Admission is free.

Helpful Tip: To hike from Barr head to the corner of Chemin du Gaensbroennel and Place de l’Église. There’s a trail with an information board detailing directions to the castle.

12. Les Châteaux d’Ottrott

This is Château de Rathsamhausen. It's a stone tower with windows. At the base there is a small stone wall surrounding the main tower. And there are lots of trees around the castle.
Château de Rathsamhausen

Les Châteaux d’Ottrott is a collection of two castles located in the town of Ottrott. These two castles, Château de Rathsamhausen and Château de Lutzelbourg, were built between the 12th and 13th centuries.

The best way to visit these castles is on a day hike from Ottrott. The trail starts at Église Saints-Simon et Jude (3 Place de l’Église).

I hiked to both castles then followed the trail to the Ruines du Château Koepfel (the ruins of Koepfel Castle) for a view over Les Châteaux d’Ottrott.

Admission is free.

Helpful Tip: Château de Rathsamhausen and Château de Lutzelbourg are next to each other.

13. Château du Wildenstein

This is the view from Château du Wildenstein. There is a town, Kruth, in the middle that is surrounded by tree covered mountains.
View from Château du Wildenstein

Château du Wildenstein was originally built in the 14th century and destroyed after the Thirty Years’ War.

At its peak, it was the largest castle in the region. But little work has gone into restoring it.

So, you might be wondering why I’ve added it to this list.

Because it’s the perfect off-the-beaten-path spot, the views over Kruth are incredible, and it’s an easy 30-minute hike from the parking lot. Best of all, when I visited, I had the place to myself.

Then, if you have extra time, I recommend going for a stroll around Lac de Kruth-Wildenstein. There’s a well-marked path and a few extra side trails.

Admission is free.

Map of Castles Around Strasbourg

Below is a map with all the castles listed here. Click on the map to open Google Maps.

Map of the Castles to Visit Around Strasbourg France
Map of Best Castles to Visit Around Strasbourg

Conclusion: Best Castles to Visit Near Strasbourg

Strasbourg’s surrounding landscapes are dotted with historic castles, each one with a unique story.

From the awe-inspiring Château du Haut-Barr to the less-trodden paths leading to the ruins of Château du Wildenstein, there are so many to choose from.

But, if you’re looking for the best of the best, then Château du Haut-Barr and Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg should be at the top of your list.

Now that you know which castles to visit, it’s time to plan your trip. Why not start with an itinerary that follows the Alsace Wine Route?

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I hope you enjoyed my post and found it useful. Here are some other articles that I think you might find interesting.

Jen Ciesielski
Jen Ciesielski

Jen Ciesielski is the creator of Dabbling in Jet Lag. She has lived abroad for over ten years, traveled to more than 50 countries, and speaks French and English fluently. Her areas of expertise include moving abroad, learning languages, and travel planning. Originally from the United States, she now lives in France, where she has been for more than six years. She has also traveled extensively around the country. She shares her experiences as an expat living in France and helps thousands of people plan their trips every month.

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