7 Reasons To Visit Hohenstein Castle

Hohenstein Castle Grounds
Hohenstein Castle is a prefect day trip destination from Nuremberg.

On the highest point in Middle Franconia and above the Franconian village of Kirchensittenbach sits Hohenstein Castle, a gorgeous and very well-preserved medieval complex dating back to the 11th century. With only a handful of visitors on the weekends and some great hiking opportunities in the beautiful nature around, I consider this castle a perfect day trip from Nuremberg.

In this post, you’ll learn why you should visit Hohenstein Castle, this real hidden gem in the Franconian Switzerland Nature Park, and why this place offers excellent value for money.

General Information:

Opening Times:  The castle grounds are open on Sundays and public holidays from 11am – 5pm from March through November. Additionally, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, visitors may collect the keys from Mr. Maul (Hohenstein Nr. 36).

Admission: 2 €

Hohenstein Castle Exteriors
If you want to see a medieval castle complex away from the crowds. visit Hohenstein Castle in Franconian Switzerland!

1. Medieval Castle Grounds

Very few is known about the construction of Hohenstein Castle. Its origins go back to the 11th century, though the castle was first documented in 1163. Over the centuries, the castle has solely been used for administrative purposes and as a residence for a reeve. The complex consist of numerous buildings, including a chapel, an assembly room, the living quarters and a castle keep, all of which are very well-preserved. Inside the assembly room, you can also learn about the history of this castle and other castles in the area in an audio-visual presentation.

Hohenstein Castle
The castle complex consits of different well-preserved buildings.

2. Art Exhibition

Hohenstein Castle regularly hosts art exhibitions inside the residential quarters. These temporary collections focus on a particular topic and feature the artworks of both domestic and international artists. In 2019, you will find all kinds of nature-themed acrylic paintings. Best of all, you get to see the exhibition for free as it is included in the castle admission of 2 €.

Art Exhibition
Artworks from different artists are displayed in temporary art exhibitions in the former residence quartes of the castle.

3. Botanical Garden

It might sound pretty unusual for a castle, but the Hohenstein castle grounds are home to a beautiful botanical garden. Both the courtyard and the access area offer an abundance of medicinal plants and spice plants with little name tags. Strolling around the castle, you will have the chance to get to know local, protected and even endangered species of plant. Again, this comes at no extra cost.

Botanical Garden
At no extra cost, visitors can marvel at local medicinal plants and spice plants at the botanical garden inside the castle grounds.

4. Beautiful Nature & Views

Surrounded by karst rocks, large fields, and mixed forests, Hohenstein Castle has a perfect location in the southern part of the Franconian Switzerland Nature Park. If you’re a nature lover, I recommend traveling even deeper into the Franconian Jura, where you’ll get to see more stunning natural attractions, such as caves, deep river valleys and an extensive limestone landscape.

>> See also: 9 Incredible Ways To Explore Franconian Switzerland

From the top of the castle’s residential quarters as well as the viewing deck in the courtyard, you’ll have panoramic views over the nature reserve. By the way, Mount Hohenstein is the highest point in Middle Franconia with an altitude of 634m.

View From Hohenstein Castle
Hohenstein Castle offers amazing 360° views over the Franconian Switzerland Nature Park.

5. Great Hiking Trails

From all directions, numerous marked hiking trails lead to Mount Hohenstein. Both round trips and multiday hikes are possible – you can conveniently adjust the trek to whatever length and duration you prefer. Rich mixed forests cater for fresh air. The remote location ensures you will likely not see anyone else on your trek. And the charming village at the foot of the castle guarantees relaxation and rest. Can it get any more perfect?

Nature Around Hohenstein Castle
The area around Hohenstein Castle is home to numerous well-signposted hiking trails.

6. Windbeutel Café

The answer is, yes, it can get even more perfect! Probably one of my favorite reasons to visit Hohenstein Castle is the Hohensteiner Hof in Kirchensittenbach, the village located at the foot of the castle. This café is famous for its delicious giant cream puffs (German: Windbeutel). They offer a wide selection of flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, blueberry, raspberry, and walnut. Don’t miss out on the local puffs along with some coffee after visiting the castle.

Windbeutel Cafe
The Hohensteiner Hof is famous for its wide selection of giant cream puffs.

7. Perfect Day Trip Location

If I haven’t convinced you yet to take a trip to Hohenstein Castle, this will certainly do!

The complex is only 40 km from Nuremberg and can even be reached in less than an hour by public transport. Other towns near the castle are Schnaittach and Lauf an der Pegnitz.

>> See also: Budget Travel Guide: Experience Nuremberg In 2 Days

If you’re going to Franconian Switzerland by car, you could also check out Pottenstein, which is home to the largest limestone cave in the nature park, Gräfenberg, which has some of the best breweries around (take my word for it!) or Bayreuth, which is one of the three major cities in the region.

>> See also: 9 Incredible Ways To Explore Franconian Switzerland

If you have more time in the area, I also recommend going on a few day trips from Nuremberg and spending at least one day in Bamberg to sample unique beer styles, visit the gorgeous UNESCO Old Town and learn about the traditional Franconian culture.

You May Also Like:

7 Reasons To Visit Wartburg Castle in Thuringia, Germany
5 Awesome Day Trips From Nuremberg
Authentic Off-The-Beaten-Path German Towns You Have To Visit

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Hi, I'm Lena. I've been on the move traveling the world, diving oceans and climbing mountains for almost 10 years. On the blog, I share with you my favorite once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences, places off the beaten path and tips on how you can travel and dive the world without spending a fortune. Also, say hi and join my journey on Instagram - see you there!

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