I don’t know about you, but I love visiting castles when I travel. While Berlin might not have as many castles as other parts of Germany, the city and surrounding areas still have plenty of gorgeous palaces and stately castles to visit while you’re here. Some are right in the city, while others are just a day trip away. Check out our list of 21 impressive castles in Berlin and near Berlin.
Where to stay in Berlin
Berlin has lots of great neighborhoods for you to stay in and explore. If you’re visiting Berlin for the first time, it might be best for you stay somewhere central. Many of the attractions are in Mitte or easily connected to Mitte by transport, so you should stay somewhere in that region. Here are a few hotels we recommend.
For a more detailed look at the different neighborhoods and our recommendations, check out our guide to where to stay in Berlin.
Castles in Berlin
This first list of Berlin castles includes castles and palaces located within the city borders, though some are centrally located and others are a ways out.
Built in 1695 as a summer palace for Sophie Charlotte (Queen Consort of Prussia at the time), the Baroque style Charlottenburg Palace is an exquisite royal residence. Easily one of the most beautiful palaces in Germany, Charlottenburg has plenty of wide sweeping gardens, elaborate Rococo interiors, and ornate furnishings.
Visitors to the palace – the largest in Berlin – can peer into the grand ballroom or “Goldene Galerie” and various state rooms as they explore. And it’s Christmastime, the Christmas market in front of the palace is one prettier ones in the city.
Located at Spandauer Damm 10-22, 14059 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: S Westend or U Richard-Wagner-Platz or U Sophie-Charlotte-Platz.
Sitting at the center of Berlin’s Tierpark (the zoo on the East side) is the eye-catching Friedrichfelde Palace. Originally constructed in 1685, the palace tells the story of Berlin’s history through its string of Prussian kings and nobles who once owned it. Their portraits hang on the walls of its rooms decorated with lavish furnishings, floral wallpapers and gleaming chandeliers. Strolling through this Berlin palace gives you an insight of what it may have been like to live in utter luxury during the 18th century.
Today the palace holds events and concerts and even hosts weddings. When you visit the zoo, make time to see the palace as well.
Located at Am Tierpark 41, 10319 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: U Tierpark.
With an idyllic setting on the Spree River, the name of the palace is fitting, translating to “beautiful view” in French. It was built in 1786 as a summer residence to Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia, and t was actually the first Neoclassical style palace built in Germany.
During World War II the palace was destroyed, but it was rebuilt and has been the official residence of the President of Germany since 1994. Though not open to the public, you can admire the building from the Tiergarten, the giant park in central Berlin that was once a hunting ground.
Located at Spreeweg 1, 10557 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: S Bellevue.
Also known as “City Palace”, or Berliner Schloss in German, Berlin Palace is situated right in the middle of the city, a stone’s throw away from the famous Museum Island complex. This palace has a mixed-up history of state rulers and royal ownership, and has survived both World Wars, but was severely damaged after WWII.
It wasn’t until 1950 that it was completely destroyed. The shoddy Palace of the Republics was built in the 1970s, but in 2013, the palace in its original Baroque form was fully restored. Today it is the home of the Humboldt Forum where you can admire important art exhibits.
Located at Schloßpl. 1, 10178 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: U Rotes Rathaus.
The Baroque style Schönhausen Palace is an imposing structure surrounded by manicured green gardens through which runs the Panke River. It was built between 1685-90 for General Joachim von Grumbkow, but it was later the summer residence for Prussian Queen Elizabeth Christine in the 18th century.
She expanded the palace and made additions such as a ballroom, grand staircases, magnificent tapestries and a cedarwood gallery, making it the ornate Rococo style palace you see today. The garden also draws visitors for its Baroque fountains and colorful ceramics.
Located at Tschaikowskistraße 1, 13156 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: S & U Pankow, then take the M1 tram to Hermann-Hesse-Str./Waldstr.
Britz Palace is a manor home built in 1706. Inside the palace itself visitors will find a museum dedicated to the era of the Grunderzeit – an opulent time in Germany and Austria before the stock market crashed in 1873.
The sweeping palace grounds are also well worth visiting, complete with fountains, winding pathways, exotic plants and even Berlin’s oldest ginkgo tree. The gardens are well known for the rose garden section.
Located at Alt-Britz 73, 12359 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: U Parchimer Allee.
Spandau Citadel (Zitadelle Spandau in German) is a very well-preserved military fortress and one of the best examples of Renaissance era defenses anywhere in Europe. It was built in 1559 atop a medieval fort on an island where the Havel and the Spree Rivers meet, making it the oldest building in Berlin.
It was intended to protect the town of Spandau, now part of the German capital itself. Imposing and built of red bricks, it’s certainly a sight to behold.
Located at Am Juliusturm 64, 13599 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: U Zitadelle.
Located on an island in the Dahme River, Köpenick Palace is attractively placed within an English-style landscape garden. This beautiful natural setting is part of the appeal of visiting, with plenty of pathways to wander and explore. The royal residence itself is a Baroque building also known as the “Water Palace” and is the only surviving Baroque building (still in its original state) in Berlin.
Located at Schlossinsel 1, 12557 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: S Adlershof, then take tram 61 or 63 to Schloßplatz Köpenick.
The Biesdorf Palace was built in 1868 and has a unique octagon-shaped tower and reddish facade. It was built for Baron von Rüxleben and is on the site of what was once a knightly manor. The palace sits among beautiful English style gardens.
Though the palace was neglected for decades, and even partially destroyed by a fire in 1945, it was recently renovated and restored. It is now a museum of art and culture, and sometimes holds lectures and concerts. The palace is also the office of the Commission for Art in Public Space in the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
Located at Alt-Biesdorf 55, 12683 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: U Elsterwerdaer Platz or S Biesdorf.
Castle on Peacock Island
The Castle on Peacock Island is named after Pfaueninsel, the islet in the River Havel where it is located. This romantic, fairytale-esque palace was constructed on behalf of Friedrich Wilhelm II in 1797 and purposely built in the style of a derelict Roman style villa. Though the walls seem to be made of white marble, they’re actually just painted wood.
Today the palace – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is a charming spot to enjoy not just the palace but also its picturesque, natural setting. It’s just on the edge of the city lines and makes for a good day trip from Berlin.
Located at Am Tierpark 41, 10319 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: S Wannsee, and then take the 218 bus to Pfaueninsel stop, and then hop on the ferry.
The UNESCO-recognized Glienicke Palace, sometimes referred to as Glienicke Villa, is a Neoclassical villa on the banks of the River Havel. Prince Carl of Prussia, after returning from traveling around Italy, wished to build an Italian style villa with Mediterranean gardens, and Glienicke Palace is the resulting Mediterranean manor house.
The garden is as highly regarded as the house itself, and is very enjoyable on a sunny day. Go for a stroll to admire the landscaping and the fountains.
Located at Königstraße 36, 14109 Berlin. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: S Wannsee, and then take the 316 bus to Schloss Glienicke stop.
Glienicke Hunting Lodge
Glienicke Hunting Lodge, or Jagdschloss Glienicke, may be a hunting lodge, but don’t let the name fool you. This is an impressively palatial country estate situated on the shores of Glienicke Lake, opposite Babelsberg Palace, on the border between Berlin and Brandenburg.
It was originally built between 1682-93 for the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg. It’s been through multiple changes – from French Baroque style remodeling, to a military hospital, a wallpaper factory and even an orphanage.
Though the lodge has a Potsdam address, it is on the edge of the Berlin-Brandenburg border, just on the Berlin side.
Located at Waldmüllerstraße 1, 14482 Potsdam. Closest Ubahn or Sbahn: S Wannsee, and then take the 316 bus to Schloss Glienicke stop.
Potsdam Castles near Berlin
If you’re looking to get out of the city for a day, taking a day trip to Potsdam from Berlin is really worthwhile. Here you’ll find lots of history plus several castles and palaces set in beautiful gardens.
Situated in Potsdam, near Berlin, Sanssouci (translating to “without worry” in French) Palace was an important royal residence for Prussian King Frederick the Great. This summer retreat retains its magical air of majesty, and it was King Frederick’s favorite palace, gradually becoming something of a sanctuary for him.
Today, you can explore his personal rooms lavished with elegant furnishings, and meander through the leafy park and grounds. Potsdam is a popular day trip from Berlin, and Sanssouci Palace is the most famous castle in the complex.
Located in Sanssouci Park, Maulbeerallee, 14469 Potsdam. Closest train station: Bahnhof Potsdam Charlottenhof.
Orangery Palace, located in Sanssouci Park, was built between 1851 and 1864 for King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. The largest palace in the park – over 300 meters long – this eye-catching structure is richly adorned with plant halls, sculptures, arcades and terraced gardens with a Mediterranean aesthetic.
The gardens here are particularly attractive and make for a fine place for a walk in any season. But go inside to see the plant halls that protects plants during winter.
Located in Sanssouci Park, An der Orangerie 3-5, 14469 Potsdam. Closest train station: Potsdam Central Station, then take the 614 bus to Bornstedter Str.
This former royal palace (also in Sanssouci Park) was the summer residence of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, given to him as a Christmas gift in 1825. It was built in a Neoclassical Roman style, complete with columns; most notably, the tent room was designed to look like tents used by ancient Roman generals.
There are ten rooms to explore here, all fully preserved in their original form. The surrounding garden, designed by Peter Joseph Lenne, features plenty of charming Italian style.
Located in Sanssouci Park, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 34A, 14471 Potsdam. Closest train station: Bahnhof Potsdam Charlottenhof.
Though in the same park as Sanssouci Palace, the New Palace is quite a different building. The Neues Palace is grand, large, and imposing. It was the last royal residence built by Frederick the Great, though he rarely lived in it. Mostly it was used for celebrations and to house guests.
Today the palace is home to 18th century art. You can easily see this palace on the same visit as several castles located in Potsdam.
Located in Sanssouci Park, Am Neuen Palais, 14469 Potsdam. Closest train station: Bahnhof Potsdam Park Sanssouci.
Built from 1914-17 in the style of the English Tudor manor house, Cecilienhof Palace was final palace built for the House of Hohenzollern – the powerful dynasty who ruled Prussia for centuries, and later the German Empire, until World War I.
Surrounded by over 100 hectares of parkland, there are numerous apartment rooms and courtyards to wander through, including a library, a smoking lounge and, bizarrely, a room designed like a cabin on an ocean liner.
Located at Im Neuen Garten, 14469 Potsdam. Closest train station: Potsdam Central Station, then take the 603 bus to Schloss Cecilienhof.
Marmorpalais, or “Marble Palace”, was built on the grounds of Neuergarten on the shores of Lake Heiliger. It was commissioned by Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II, in the Neoclassical style, in the late 18th century, and was used as a residence until the early 20th century.
Originally a simple two-storey red brick building, various wings and additions have been made over the years to create the sprawling structure visitors can see today.
Located at Im Neuen Garten 10, 14469 Potsdam. Closest train station: Potsdam Central Station, then take the 603 bus to Potsdam, Birkenstr./Alleestr.
Another summer residence, this one was built in 1833 for Crown Prince William who later became Emperor William I – better known as Kaiser Wilhelm I. Designed in the Neo Gothic style with English Tudor inspiration, the interiors have been partially preserved as they were, with many Neo Gothic furnishings and decorations on display. With its battlements and flanking towers, it looks more like a Tudor castle than a 19th-century German palace.
Located at Park Babelsberg 10, 14482 Potsdam. Closest train station: Bahnhof Potsdam Babelsberg.
The Belvedere Pfinstberg is a palace that was built as an Italian Renaissance style villa for King Frederick William IV, although it wasn’t actually completed until two years after he died. This two-towered castle looms above the landscape, making for fantastic views of Potsdam and the surrounding areas.
While you’re here, you can also see the impressive Temple of Pomona located on the grounds nearby.
Located at Pfingstberg, Neuer Garten, 14469 Potsdam. Closest train station: Potsdam Central Station, then take the 603 bus to Glumestr.
Other castles near Berlin
Besides Potsdam, check out these other palaces and castles you can visit near Berlin in the state of Brandenburg that surrounds Berlin.
Oranienburg Palace was built in a Dutch style and is an elegant building. Built in the 17th century, it is also Brandenburg’s oldest Baroque palace. This is where Prussian King Friedrich III preferred to preside, expanding the palace and adding more elaborate designs.
Today, it’s been fully restored to its former glory. Though not very near to the center of Berlin, this historic site makes for a great day trip from the city. It is easily combined with a visit to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
Located at Schloßpl. 1, 16515 Oranienburg. Closest train station/Sbahn: Oranienburg Bahnhof.
Known as Neue Hakeburg, this palace is situated on the southwestern outskirts of Berlin in the town of Kleinmachnow. It’s a castle-esque mansion built in 1906 by the noble von Hake family – an illustrious family in German history. The estate met with financial difficulty in the 1930s, and it was sold off to the state.
It’s been through various uses in its time, from experimental aircraft center to Soviet school, but remains impressive and palatial to this day.
Located at Am Hochwald, 14532 Kleinmachnow. Closest Sbahn station: S Mexikoplatz, then take the 622 bus to Kleinmachnow.
Situated around 100 kilometers northwest of Berlin, Rheinsberg Palace is a bit farther from Berlin then the other castles and palaces on this list. The Rococo style palace is located on the banks of Lake Grienerick. It the middle ages, this was the site of a moated castle, with the palace today being constructed in 1556 in the Renaissance style.
In the 18th century, it became of the residence King Friedrich Wilhelm I, where he is said to have spent the happiest time in his life. The house is now a museum, the gardens have undergone much restoration, and the palace also plays host to an international opera festival.
Located at Schloß Rheinsberg 2, 16831 Rheinsberg. Closest train station: Neuruppin Rheinsberger Tor, then take the 764 bus to Rheinsberg, Schloss.
Although you probably can’t visit all of these castles and palaces in one trip to Berlin, you can visit quite a few. The ones in Potsdam can all be seen on a day trip from Berlin to Potsdam. The castles in Berlin’s central areas, like Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin Palace, and Bellevue, are all easy to reach while sightseeing.
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Berlin Travel Resources
I want you to have the best trip to Berlin, and hopefully this list of amazing castles in Berlin helps. But there are lots more tips on the site!
Here’s what you should know before coming to Berlin. From practical tips to quirky facts about the city, it’s all in there.
Read this helpful packing list for Berlin so you know what to bring and what to wear.
You’re probably going to be using public transport to get around Berlin. Read this handy guide to Berlin’s public transport system and how to get around Berlin.
Visiting Berlin? Don’t forget travel insurance!
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