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I’m such a sucker for “Bucket list” type of travel activities. Like when we went to Triberg in the Black Forest, I couldn’t pass up both the longest waterfall in Germany or the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock!!! Then there’s the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival in Ludwigsburg that I just had to go to.
So, naturally, when I found out that Burghausen had the world’s longest castle, well…you can imagine how quickly it got put on my “To Do” List!!!
If you are looking for a fantastic day trip in Bavaria (or one of my Favorite Day Trips from Munich), want something a bit more “Germany off the beaten path,” or just want to see some of the Best Castles in Germany then going to Burghausen is definitely a place to consider! So, in this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know for a fantastic trip to Burghausen including how to get there, things to do, cost, and even a few places to stop nearby.
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- Hohenbaden Castle (Baden Baden)
Burghausen is both the name of the city itself as well as the castle. It’s located literally on the border of Germany and Austria basically straight East of Munich. Long ago, the town got a boom from the popular Salt Trade that happened along the Sulzach river, which happens to go riiiiiight by the town and is the natural border between Germany and Austria today.
The location itself is believed to have had civilization and inhabitants upwards of 4000 years ago! But, it probably wasn’t until around 500 AD that an actual town began to form along the river and finally around 1000 AD, an official town became recognized.
Getting to Burghausen
The easiest way to get to Burghausen and the castle is to drive to the town.
- Munich to Burghausen: 1.5 hour drive
- Passau to Burghausen: 1.5 hour drive
- Salzburg to Burghausen: 1 hour drive
If you drive into the Altstadt, you might be able to find parking (this is what we personally did). Just check to see if you need to pay or if you need to put a Parkschein (a little parking wheel that your rental company should keep in your car) in your window.
Otherwise, you can park at the Curaplatz parking lot (GPS Coordinates: 48.16445789287091, 12.832143633085765) but you can type in “Curaplatz” and your GPS/ Google maps should find it. (Blogger Fail: I can’t remember if you have to pay at the Curaplatz, but my guess is that yes, it’s a few Euros that you’ll probably need to get from a ticket machine, so have a few coins on you just in case)
There is also a “Tiefgarage” (Parking Garage) that you can park at for the day. Address: Mautnerstraße 251, 84489 Burghausen
This will obviously depend on exactly where you are coming from, so use the DB Navigator App or Bahn.com to look into exact trains. There is a Bahnhof (Train Station) at Burghausen, so that will be your destination. However, from there, you’ll either need to walk the 30 minutes into the Altstadt or to the castle or you can take Bus 1 to the Stadtplatz stop (also about 30 minutes).
*** Don’t forget to use the Bayern Pass which covers all Regional (RE/RB) trains and all public transportation on the day of travel within Bavaria!
The Burghausen Castle
Today, one of the main draws to the town of Burghausen is the impressive fortress, or “Burg.” This commanding castle sits upon the hilltop overlooking the pastel town and the flowing Sulzach river below. Clocking in at over 1000 meters (that’s over half a mile for us “Mericans!!) the Burghausen Castle gets the title of “Longest Castle in the World” and it truly is pretty impressive to see. In fact, because it is so long, it’s almost impossible to get a full panorama view on the entirety of the walls!
In addition to being really darn long, it’s also pretty cool because it’s a very well preserved and intact medieval fortification. While you can’t go inside hardly any of it, with over half a mile of walls, there is still plenty to explore. In fact, there is the main castle itself, which has an absolutely beautiful inner courtyard, 5 outer courtyards, a fun drawbridge to walk over, and more.
Burghausen Castle Admission
Free: The castle grounds are completely free to walk and wander around
State Castle Museum: 5 Euro. Children are free. More information and opening hours of the museum can be found here
The museum is the only thing that has hours (and it changes seasonally, so check the link above).
Otherwise, the castle grounds are always open unless there is a special event going on
How To Spend a Day in Burghausen
If you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you know the several reasons for the name. One, being that WANDERING in Germany is one of the best ways to experience this country and Burghausen is JUST the town that is basically made for my kind of wandering in Germany! It’s a fantastic, off the tourist beaten path, underrated gem yet still is a fun and memorable day. It’s perfect for slowing down, enjoying the culture of Bavaria, whether that be eating some Eis at the Cafe or just relaxing at the Biergarten for the afternoon!
Here’s how I personally spent my wonderful day in Burghausen
Drive to the Altstadt
If you can find some street parking around the church area, that is great. Park the car and don’t be tempted to head down the Altstadt, but don’t worry, we’ll be looping our way back through it to see the colorful buildings.
Stop into St. Jakob’s Church
Other than the huge castle, the other main building jutting into the “skyline” of Burghausen is St. Jakob’s Catholic Church. To be honest, I actually think that the outside of the church is much more beautiful than the inside, but I always love dipping into quiet, calm, and often cold, old German churches, even if for just a few minutes.
Follow the Path Up To the Castle
Walking past St. Jakob’s start looking for signposts for the Burg and you’ll eventually come across the cobblestone path that will lead you right in through one of the gates (Stephan’s Tower) that will open up into the huge castle complex.
Have a Picnic Lunch in the Grass or Eat at the Biergarten
We stopped at a bakery on our way to Burghausen and picked up some mouthwateringly good Salami sandwiches as well as some fruit and chips that we had on hand (or go to a local grocery store- Aldi is the most affordable). Right in front of the castle is a huge green space, which was originally the “First Courtyard” so we all plopped down under the trees, opened up the beers we brought, let the kids run around playing tag in front of the medieval castle, and just enjoyed the sun for a bit.
Alternatively, at this end of the castle, there is also the Burghuasen Burgcafé. Fun Fact: this cafe was actually the castle’s functioning brewery and bakery once upon a time! Grab a beer at the Biergarten, a full lunch, or even just a coffee and cake.
Walk Over the Moat and Into the Castle Courtyard
From the drawbridge, there is a fantastic viewpoint out over to the river and the town below. But don’t worry, there are plenty more where this comes from along the rest of the walk. It’s a ton of fun to walk over the moat, which is now all just filled in grass, but if you use your imagination enough, who knows what you could envision below you (the boys thought “Bears”).
Walking into the courtyard is like walking back in time. It is an absolutely beautiful and well preserved area. In fact, just the style, architecture and stone work had me remembering our time in Italy a lot. Maybe it’s just that medieval style, but it really was really cool to just wander around this section of the castle. There is an armory and a chapel in this area as well, but most likely both will be closed.
One of the buildings in the main castle courtyard is the impressive Knight’s Hall, which dates all the way back to 1255! Today, the inside of the Knight’s Hall is the visitor center that you can go into if you’d like.
After you explore this area for a while, head back out the way you came in, going back over the moat and start heading in the direction of the Cafe/ Biergarten.
Walk Through the Georgstor (George Gate)
After you walk passed the restaurant, keep walking along the path and you’ll soon pass through George’s Gate. Right around here, there is a fantastic lookout over the town below that couldn’t have been more picture perfect!!! There is a path here that leads you on the “Stethaimerweg” which will take you back down but we don’t want to go that way quite yet. So, instead, soak in the views for a few minutes, maybe even hear the church bells ring out, and then go back up to the main Burgweg path and continue on.
Stroll Along the Castle Walls
The next part of the walk down this path is fascinating simply because as you continue to walk, the castle fortress wall will remain on your right. You are still within the castle grounds! There are buildings all around but what is so cool is that some are businesses but many are now homes. Can you imagine!? How cool would it be to be able to say, “Oh yeah, I just live in a castle up on that hill.”
You’ll also pass the Hedwigskappelle (Hedwigs Chapel) which is the Fourth Courtyard in the huge castle, and while it wasn’t open on the day we were there, you can always see if it’s open for you.
You’ll keep walking until you get to the Burgparkplatz and if you are like me and have the world’s smallest bladder you’ll be relieved (literally) to know that there is a public bathroom here. Huzzah!
Take the Path/Road Down to The Altstadt
Walk Down to the Altstadt and Get an Eis
There is really just one main street in the Altstadt and It.Is.ADORABLE! I love the pastel houses and architecture. There are a few shops you can stop into as well along your stroll.
Next, head towards the fountain in the town square and you’ll most likely find a long line of people ordering Ice Cream (Eis). I often joke that Germans love their Eis no matter the time of year and it’s always fun to do as the locals do.
We all grabbed our ice creams and sat along the fountain with the church towering above us and the view of the castle behind that. It’s moments like this that I’m like “WOW! THIS is Germany!!!”
Cross the Sulzach River on the Bruchgasse
Some of the most impressive views of the castle are actually across the river. What’s fun about this is that you actually can say you stood in Germany and Austria at the same time, since crossing the river you cross the borders!!!
If you want, you can even walk up the steep hill and head to the Lookout Point, which supposedly gives some of the absolutely best views of the WHOLE castle (I was super pregnant so at this point, I settled for the photos from just across the river #PregnantLife).
Bonus Stop for the Day: Wöhrsee
Germans LOVE their outdoor spaces and often flock to the lakes in the summer months. Whether they just sit on the green grass lounging for an afternoon with a Radler or actually hop in for a dip in the waters, they are typically places for socialization, relaxation, and fun. The Wöhrsee is no different! In the summer, you’ll find locals swimming in this “Bathing Lake” right below the longest castle in the world! You can Stand Up Paddle Board or even rent a paddle boat.
Burghausen Festivals To Consider
Annually On the Second Weekend of July
Step back into the middle ages at this huge Medieval Festival. You’ll feel like your in a fairytale wandering around the world’s longest castle as people dressed in authentically recreated garb and outfits pass you by, jugglers put on a quick show around every corner, and of course, there is plenty of food and drink to help the merriment continue!
Burghausen Jazz Festival
Dubbed as the “Bavarian New Orleans,” for a week, Burghausen becomes an amazing place for all Jazz lovers. From the actual festival itself to impromptu jam sessions in the restaurants, it can be an amazing time for people who love anything Jazz.