Teaser photo castles park garden around Chateau Chillon Lake Geneva (Photo: Chateau Chillon)

The 20 most worth seeing castles in Switzerland

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In this article you will find information about 20 of the most worth seeing castles in Switzerland. They are located in the midst of spectacular nature on lakes, above wine terraces or nestled in the mountain landscape. there are 749 castles in Switzerland. Very often they originated from converted castles of the Middle Ages. From the 15th century onwards - mostly noblemen - converted the castles into magnificent palaces.

Find out more about Castles

The castles in Switzerland often have a very unique charm. Many castles were created by rebuilding earlier castles. Primarily built in the Middle Ages, these served as residential and defensive buildings

Castles provided protection from enemy attacks. In addition to being the seat of government, they also became a place of residence for castle lords, staff and farm animals. Often, self-contained supply units were built within the castle walls, which functioned even during a prolonged siege

In the 15th century, in addition to the nobility, wealthy townspeople also began to take a liking to castles. They bought them and rebuilt them into shining castles. Most of the castles and palaces in Switzerland are located in the tourist regions of Bern, Grisons and Eastern Switzerland/Liechtenstein. However, the Aargau region is particularly famous for its many castles.

In this article we will give you an overview of some very popular, worth seeing and unique castles and palaces.

Number of castles and palaces in Switzerland

13 tourist regionsCastles and fortresses
Bern region154
Graubünden region103
Region Eastern Switzerland/Liechtenstein95
Zurich region71
Basel region70
Lucerne/Lake Lucerne region55
Aargau region49
Fribourg region39
Valais region31
Lake Geneva region29
Jura and Three-Lakes Region18
region Ticino18
Region Geneva11
Switzerland total743

Chillon Castle

Chillon Castle is located on the shores of Lake Geneva. It presents itself in front of the mountainous backdrop of the Vaud Alps. It is a former moated castle, which you can reach by train from Montreux train station in 10 min. Since the 17th century, the castle was owned by the Bernese. After that, the Vaudois gained the lakeside castle.

During a guided tour of the castle, you can see the special murals in the various interior rooms

  • Location: The castle is located in Veytaux in the canton of Vaud
  • Year of construction: 12th century
  • Entrance fee: 13.50 CHF
  • Season: All year round
  • Special: Exhibition of archaeological finds

Offers at Swiss Activities:

Chateau Chillon Lake Geneva aerial view (Photo: Chateau Chillon)Chateau Chillon Lake Geneva aerial view (Photo: Chateau Chillon)
Chateau Chillon interior (Photo: Chateau Chillon)Chateau Chillon interior (Photo: Chateau Chillon)

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Hallwyl Castle

Hallwyl Castle is one of the most beautiful moated castles in Switzerland. It dates back to the late 12th century and is located on Lake Hallwil in the middle of a nature reserve. The entire complex extends over three islands. Behind the castle walls you can discover an interactive museum with 800 years of family history

There is a café in the castle courtyard. Events take place here from time to time in the summer.

  • Location: The castle is located in the municipality of Seengen in the canton of Aargau
  • Year of construction: 12th century, rebuilt as a moated castle in the 14th century
  • Admission: 14 CHF for adults, 10 CHF for students, 8 CHF for children
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: castle bistro and souvenir store for small souvenirs
  • Tip: Regular events at the Seetaler Wasserschloss let you experience life at the castle a bit. Castle inhabitants tell about their lives, or you can do archery or baking like 1000 years ago.

Lenzburg Castle

When you visit Lenzburg Castle in the canton of Aargau, things get mystical. The high castle is called a magical knight and dragon castle. In the exhibition you can experience 1000 years of castle history up close. The castle also holds a prison in the deep castle cellars, which you can see.

In addition, you can always find various special exhibitions in the castle.

  • Location: The castle is located above the town of Lenzburg in the canton of Aargau.
  • Year of construction: Before 1036
  • Admission: 14 CHF for adults, 10 CHF for students, 8 CHF for children
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: For families, Lenzburg Castle is a popular destination with the castle dragon Fauchi and a children's museum.
  • Tip: There is a large children's playground on site called Burg Waldegg. It has a wooden hut and tables with space for a picnic with the whole family.
Hallwyl Castle (Photo: Michel Jaussi My Switzerland)Hallwyl Castle (Photo: Michel Jaussi My Switzerland)
Lenzburg Castle (Photo Jürg Zimmermann MySwitzerland)Lenzburg Castle (Photo Jürg Zimmermann MySwitzerland)

Wildegg Castle

Wildegg Castle is a dream in baroque style. On the hill in the municipality of Möriken-Wildegg, it is visually reminiscent of the home castle of the Empress Sissi. The castle is surrounded by a magnificent garden. Inside there is a museum about the former inhabitants of the castle and old hunting stories from the Middle Ages to the 20th century

Children have the opportunity to dress up as damsels and knights.

  • Location: Wildegg Castle is located on a rocky outcrop of the Chestenberg in the canton of Aargau.
  • Year of construction: 1242
  • Admission: 14 CHF for adults, 10 CHF for students, 8 CHF for children
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: Talking picture portraits are a highlight, as is the vegetable and rose garden around the castle building.
  • Tip: The spacious children's playground and fireplaces invite families and hikers to take a seat in the castle garden.

Habsburg Castle

Habsburg Castle is the cornerstone of the famous Habsburg dynasty. They are very important for the history of Europe. Habsburg is an imposing summit castle in the canton of Aargau. The castle is situated 505 meters above sea level on the crest of the Wülpelberg hill.

A part of the castle complex has crumbled. In the still existing part you can learn interesting facts about the history of the castle. The circular path is called the Habsburg King's Path. There is a castle restaurant where you can have a rest after the tour.

  • Location: The castle is located in the municipality of Habsburg in the canton of Aargau.
  • Year of construction: 1020
  • Entrance: free of charge
  • Season: all year round
  • Special: With VR glasses you can experience the castle virtually and in its original state.
Wildegg Castle (Photo: Oliver Wehrli MySwitzerland)Wildegg Castle (Photo: Oliver Wehrli MySwitzerland)
Habsburg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)Habsburg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)

Waldegg Castle

Waldegg Castle presents itself in the Swiss architectural style with small towers. It is a country seat near Solothurn and has extensive baroque gardens lined with avenues of trees. The castle was the summer residence of Schultheiss Johann Viktor I at the end of 1600.

Since 1991 there is a museum in the residence. The exhibition tells the story of the ambassadors and patricians in Solothurn. Since 2005, the Ministry of Culture and Sport is also located at Waldegg Castle.

  • Location: The castle is located in the municipality of Feldbrunnen St. Niklaus in the canton of Solothurn.
  • Year of construction: 1682
  • Admission: adults 6 CHF, pupils 4 CHF, children free of charge
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: The castle is a meeting center and place for cultural events and art exhibitions.
  • Tip: If you like hiking, the route through the Verena Gorge to the castle is worthwhile. Alternatively, we recommend the route via the Megalith theme trail.

Heidegg Castle

Heidegg Castle was a castle in the 13th century. After several changes of rulers, an owner extended it to a castle and country seat around 1700. The well-kept castle rises on a hill in the municipality of Gelfingen in the canton of Lucerne.

Exciting tower cellar stories in the museum and a beautiful park you can explore on site

  • Location: The castle is located in Gelfingen in the Lucerne Lake Valley near Lake Baldegg.
  • Year of construction: 12th/13th century.
  • Admission: adults 8 CHF, pupils 5 CHF, children 4 CHF
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: In the attic of the castle tower there is a marble run for children.
Waldegg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)Waldegg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Heidegg Castle (Photo: perretfoto.ch MySwitzerland)Heidegg Castle (Photo: perretfoto.ch MySwitzerland)

Kyburg Castle

The castle bears the same name as the village in which it stands. It belongs to the Canton of Zurich and was once a castle of important counties. The Kyburgs are among the most influential noble families along with the Habsburgs and Savoy.

In the castle museum you can learn about the history of construction and rule of the castle.

  • Location: Kyburg is located in the canton of Zurich.
  • Year of construction: 1027
  • Admission: adults 12 CHF, pupils 9 CHF, children 5 CHF
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: We recommend the audio guides in the museum. They cost 5 CHF and allow you to learn even more historical details at various listening stations.
  • Tip: We recommend a hike from Winterthur via the Bruderhaus Game Park to Kyburg Castle.

Thun Castle

The castle is visually a fairytale castle par exellence and is located in the canton of Bern above the city of Thun. The dukes of Zähringen once ruled here. In the castle you can see various medieval exhibitions and collections. The virtual 3D castle tour on the website gives you a first insight.

  • Location: Elevated in the city of Thun is the castle of the same name in the canton of Bern.
  • Year of construction: 1190
  • Admission: adults from 10 CHF, students from 8 CHF, children from 5 CHF
  • Season: all year round
  • Special: The event series "Night at the Museum" invites children and families to the witching hour with ghost stories and a castle tour.

Offers at Swiss Activities:

Kyburg Castle (Photo: Kyburg Castle My Switzerland)Kyburg Castle (Photo: Kyburg Castle My Switzerland)
Thun Castle (Photo: My Switzerland)Thun Castle (Photo: My Switzerland)

Schadau Castle

Schadau Castle is located on Lake Thun in the canton of Bern. Unlike the other castles, Schadau does not have a museum. Instead, it is a three-star boutique hotel and known for its gourmet cuisine.

From the sun terrace you not only have a wonderful view of the lake. You can also take a closer look at the impressive exterior facade of the castle

  • Location: Schadau Castle is located in the city of Thun on Lake Thun in the canton of Bern.
  • Year of construction: 1846
  • Admission: free of charge
  • Season: Hotel and restaurant are open all year round.
  • Special: Castle tours are available on request on selected dates

Spiez Castle

Spiez Castle belongs to the castles with very early mention. Around 762 the Bishop of Strasbourg named the castle in a will. Like Schadau and Thun castles, Spiez Castle is located directly on Lake Thun. It is surrounded by a magnificent park.

The castle church is particularly impressive because of the Romanesque wall paintings. They show Jesus Christ surrounded by angels. You can admire him high up in the apsidal cupola.

  • Location: The castle is located on the lake section of the town of Spiez in the canton of Bern.
  • Year of construction: 762
  • Admission: adults 12 CHF, pupils 10 CHF, children 5 CHF
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: The castle museum shows various exhibitions. You can also view art exhibitions and art collections in the historic library.
  • Tip: We recommend a beautiful hike directly on the lake from Interlaken to Spiez. It is about 20 km on foot. Duration: approx. 4 hours.
Schadau Castle (Photo: Christoph Gerber aerial photo drone Thun MySwitzerland)Schadau Castle (Photo: Christoph Gerber aerial photo drone Thun MySwitzerland)
Spiez Castle with park (Photo: My Switzerland)Spiez Castle with park (Photo: My Switzerland)

Burgdorf Castle

On a hill of the town of Burgdorf shines the castle of the same name in the Emmental. At the time of the Hohenstaufen dynasty it was an important high noble castle

Burgdorf Castle is a castle of the senses. On site there is a restaurant, a museum, a youth hostel and regular events such as a story afternoon.

  • Location: Burgdorf Castle is located in the Emmental in the canton of Bern.
  • Year of construction: 1130
  • Admission to the museum: adults 14 CHF, children 10 CHF
  • Season: all year round
  • Tip: You can book bicycles on site. We recommend a trip to Affoltern to the Emmentaler Schaukäserei. The visitor tour is called Königsweg.

Gruyères Castle

Gruyères Castle is called Chateau de Gruyères in French and is located high on a hill in the western Swiss town of Gruyères. It is surrounded by the impressive mountain panorama of the Franches-Montagnes foothills. Various medieval stained glass, wall decorations and much more can be discovered in the collection in the museum. Highlights are the knights' hall and the magnificent courtyard garden.

  • Location: Gruyères Castle is located in the Gruyères region in the canton of Fribourg.
  • Year of construction: 1270
  • Admission: adults 12 CHF, students 8 CHF, children 10 CHF
  • Season: all year round
  • Special: Guided tours take place on request with medieval dressed storytellers.
  • Tip: A walk from the town of Gruyères up to the medieval estate is just the right recommendation for nature lovers. The route takes about half an hour on foot. By the way, right next to the train station is the show dairy of the famous Gruyère cheese
Burgdorf Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)Burgdorf Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Chateau de Gruyeres (Photo: Chateau de Gruyeres-Pierre Cuony MySwitzerland)Chateau de Gruyeres (Photo: Chateau de Gruyeres-Pierre Cuony MySwitzerland)

Rapperswil Castle

The historic castle walls of Rapperswil Castle are located on the castle hill of the picturesque rose city. From up here you have a wonderful view over Lake Zurich and over the islands of Ufenau and Lützelau. Below the castle is the old town.

The castle itself is mainly used as an event location. Tours of the castle interior can only be booked upon request. It is only open to the public by appointment, but can be visited from the outside at any time.

  • Location: Rapperswil Castle is located in the canton of St. Gallen on Lake Zurich.
  • Year of construction: 1220
  • Admission: Not specified
  • Season: Event related, only accessible by appointment
  • Special: The most beautiful view of the castle can be enjoyed from one of the piers near the lake promenade.
  • Tip: Travel by boat from Zurich to Rapperswil and enjoy the view during this approximately two-hour trip.

Oberhofen Castle

Besides the castles of Schadau and Spiez, Oberhofen Castle is another estate directly on Lake Thun. The castle exhibition shows a different perspective into the count's society: you discover the 800 years old history of the castle from the point of view of the servants.

The castle park was laid out as early as 1850. If you are interested in royal gardens, it is best to stroll along the lakeside path and contemplate the beautiful grounds.

  • Location: The castle is located in the municipality of Oberhofen in the canton of Bern.
  • Year of construction: Before 1844
  • Admission: Adults 12 CHF, students 10 CHF, children 6 CHF
  • Season: The museum is open from May to October. You can visit the lakeside path and the park from March to December.
  • Special: The family-friendly castle offers a studio for children to dress up.
  • Tip: From Thun, Interlaken and Spiez you can travel to Oberhofen by boat
Rapperswil Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)Rapperswil Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Oberhofen Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)Oberhofen Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)

Laufen Castle

The medieval castle is a rock castle located directly at the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen. A visit to the largest waterfall in Europe in conjunction with the castle is an impressive adventure.

In the north wing of the castle is the exhibition Historama, which tells about the history of the place, the lords of the castle and the importance of the Rhine Falls.

  • Location: The castle belongs to the municipality of Laufen-Uhwiesen and is located in the north of the canton of Zurich, directly on the Rhine Falls.
  • Year of construction: 858
  • Admission: adults 5 CHF, children 3 CHF (incl. Rhine Falls Tour, Belvedere Trail and Schloss Laufen Experience)
  • Season: all year round
  • Special: dogs are allowed on site. The castle has a restaurant and a sun terrace.
  • Tip: The boat ride to the Rhine Falls Rock is a must. Tickets are only available at the Schlössli Wörth or Schloss Laufen landing stages.

Offers Swiss Activities for bus tours from Zurich to Schloss Laufen with Rheinfallfelsen:

Schloss Laufen (Photo: MySwitzerland)Schloss Laufen (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Rhine Falls (Photo: MySwitzerland)Rhine Falls (Photo: MySwitzerland)

Wartegg Castle

Wartegg Castle combines an organic hotel, an English garden and a small art exhibition with sculptures and reliefs. The castle stands about 800 meters from the lakeside promenade of Lake Constance in eastern Switzerland. Even Empress Zita enjoyed the magnificent garden here for recreation.

  • Location: The castle is located in the village of Rorschacherberg on Lake Constance in the canton of St.Gallen.
  • Year of construction: 16th century.
  • Admission: free access to the art exhibition
  • Season: all year round
  • Special: Bathing vacations, cycling and concert programs in summer are possible on and around Wartegg Castle.

Werdenberg Castle

Around 1230, the castle in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley was founded by Count Rudolf I of Montfort. It is a late medieval castle. It is located 8 km away from Vaduz on the tranquil Werdenbergersee and is an optimal destination for nature lovers.

The museum includes various rooms, such as the imposing knights' hall, which you can visit

  • Location: Werdenberg Castle is located in the village of Werdenberg on a hill in the canton of St. Gallen.
  • Year of construction: 1230
  • Admission: adults 12 CHF, children free
  • Season: March to October
  • Special: In the first two weeks of June, an international music festival takes place at the castle town. Tickets can be pre-ordered from mid-March.
  • Tip: You can cycle or hike to the castle via the dam on the Rhine. The route from Sargans to Werdenberg can be done in 4.5 hours
 Wartegg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland) Wartegg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)
 Werdenberg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland) Werdenberg Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)

Tarasp Castle

Tarasp Castle is considered the landmark of the Lower Engadine. It is enthroned on a rocky hill in the midst of nature. Until the 19th century, the castle belonged to Austria. Today it is part of the municipality of Scuol and owned by the Swiss artist Not Vital.

At Tarasp Castle you will find an impressive collection of ancient and contemporary art. The view from the castle courtyard over the Engadine Alps will inspire you.

  • Location: The castle belongs to the municipality of Scuol and is located in the canton of Graubünden.
  • Year of construction: 1499
  • Admission: Adults 15 CHF, guest card 13 CHF, children 8 CHF
  • Season: Public guided tours take place in March and April by appointment.
  • Special: The Not Vitals Foundation also owns the Plantahaus in Ardez and a sculpture park in Sent. In summer you can visit both exhibition sites
  • Tip: Castle Tarasp actually as a destination of a bike tour. We recommend you the Innradweg from Guarda to Landeck with a stop at the castle. The journey time is 6 to 7 hours.

Sargans Castle

Sargans Castle is a former fortress and houses a restaurant and café. The bicentennial county can still be felt in the traditional Knights' Hall and Countess Agnes Stube. In the tower of the castle there is also a museum where you can learn more about the history of the region.

  • Location: The castle is located in Sarganserland in the canton of St. Gallen.
  • Year of construction: 12th century.
  • Admission: adults 10 CHF, students 8 CHF, children 5 CHF
  • Season: April to October
  • Special: In the museum there are puzzle walls and painting tables for children.
  • Tip: We recommend the walk through the town of Sargans via the Städtchenstrasse up to the castle.
Tarasp Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)Tarasp Castle (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Sargans Castle (Photo: Martin Maegli MySwitzerland)Sargans Castle (Photo: Martin Maegli MySwitzerland)

Each of the Swiss castles has its own charm. This is not least due to the surrounding landscapes. A short trip from castle to castle is therefore worthwhile for city and nature fans in both cases.

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