Since we arrived in Germany nearly 7 1/2 weeks ago we’ve been itching to get to a castle and explore! Unfortunately most of the castles seem to close at the end of the year until April. Luckily with some research I was able to find Vianden Castle in Luxembourg that is still open! So we made the 1 hour drive to check it out. The castle and the cute medieval city of Vianden were great way to spend a few hours out exploring!
Vianden Castle is a great day trip because it’s only an hour away from the Spangdahlem area (50 minutes from Speicher) and open year round except for 3 days! Note the chair lift in the town, where you can get an arial view, is not open until April but we did not want to wait until April and there are other chair lifts at other castles as well. This is also a great spot for a day trip when the weather is being fickle as 90% of the castle tour is indoors, which worked out great since it has been raining on and off the day we went. There are lots of stairs on the tour and a bit of a steep hike to the entrance, but it only took us about 3 minutes to walk up it.
Finding the Castle – It’s a straight shot on the B50 and is a nice scenic drive, we just set the GPS for Vianden and picked the Château choice. The castle is easy to find go through the town, over the bridge, and up the hill. There is parking on both the right and left just past the path to walk up to the castle. The day we went the parking ticket machine was broken so we didn’t use it. You can see some of the parking area in the photo above. Going home was a little more scenic as Mr. B choose the scenic route, as he so often does, but eventually we found our way back to the B50 😉
Admission for our family of 4 (2 adults, a 13 year old, and a 10 year old) was 18,50€, Boo was away at a basketball game. It took us an hour to explore the castle so I’d plan for at least an hour, possibly longer, depending on if how much time you want to spend looking in each area. Also I highly recommend buying the English guide book for 3,50€ it is well worth it as all the signs in the castle are in German/French. It’s also a nicely made booklet (not a paper pamphlet) and has tons of great info, so it makes for a great keepsake as well, or to use again if you make another trip.
Vianden Castle was originally made between the 11th to 14th century, but has been added on to over the years and restored in the 1980’s, there was still some restoration going on when we visited but it did not impact our visit. Just know that the castle has been restored and that you’ll probably notice some things that have been updated, but it’s still a fun visit.
As we were walking up a nice fellow who was visiting the castle with his mom offered to take our photo. This is part of the path you walk up to the castle behind us. About 2-3 minutes to get up there, so not too bad.
As soon as you get through the entrance there is bathrooms ahead on the right, there will also be some in the castle later on in the tour.
The areas are numbered and if you have the English guide you can read what they are and the history with each area. Above is #2, The Arms Hall.
Uh oh, looks like Mr. B was misbehaving 😉
I loved the design of these windows.
A view down at the castles walls from one of the upper windows.
Area #5 The Lower Chapel, they also had neat mosaic artwork along the walls, those were pretty neat!
Area #9 The Byzantine Gallery. I loved the windows and the view from it.
There is also a display of models of the castle in all it’s stages, this is the original form as it was in 1643, it has expanded greatly since then.
Area #12 is The Banqueting Hall, and it has several neat items to see from furniture to the portrait on the wall. There is a rope and the end of the table though and you are limited to viewing the items from this distance.
The Bedroom is located in area #13, look how tiny the bed is! This room also has some neat items that are described in detail in the English guide book, my favorite is the chest next to the bed.
In The Grand Kitchen, area #16, you’ll find some creepy mannequins! I could’ve done without those and just used my imagination! I mean seriously that guy is CREEPY!
The Well can be found in area #18, sure makes me glad I don’t have to drink the water! Especially since they found lots of remains in there, ewwwww!
I loved this stained glass windows bearing the coat-of-arms, these are on the wall by the well.
I’m always just so fascinated with the architecture and history of these places, they make you realize just how ‘young’ America is!
The Black Tower, area #22, as you can see from Bub the enormity of it’s size.
I just love the look of these European towns! I just can’t get enough of them!
The Large Cellar is located in area #20 can be noted for it’s two naves.
Overall we had a great time exploring the castle, I liked that it was a self-guided tour so that we could go at our own pace. It was a perfect setting for the rainy & overcast day.
After visiting the castle we decided to check out the town of Vianden, and of course stop at a local bakery, you know us and our sweets 😉 There is actually quite a bit of history in this city and several things to see, we only seen a few of them so I wouldn’t mind a trip back when family comes to visit.
It is a cute medieval city with cobblestone streets and sidewalks. We were there on a Friday and many places were closed, it was also the week of the New Year so I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it.
When you first enter the town you can see Vianden Castle overlooking the area, behind to the right is the lodge where the chairlift goes up to.
There is a river that runs through the town, with german houses along it’s banks.
And even a little flashback to Japan with this little amphitheater in the town.
There is also 13th century Trinitarian church and cloister, we seen the church but did not actually visit it. There is parking in this area, we parked here and it was 1€ for an hour of parking.
Right across from the church is a bakery called Om Masgoort, where we were able to get some goodies. The dreary day called for some hot chocolate and doughnuts. We got 3 hot chocolates, 1 coke, and 1 bag of yummy spice cookies for 15,17€. The bakery also has a bathroom locate on the 2nd floor. There are also several restaurants along the main street as well, if your looking for something more hearty to eat.
If your looking for a day trip or in the area I recommend you stop by and check out this neat little city! It’s got some great things to explore and is a great way to get out and explore the surrounding areas.
Know Before You Go:
What: Vianden Castle & Medieval City in Vianden, Luxembourg.
How To Get There: Approximately 50 minutes from Spangdahlem and 1 hour 50 minutes from Ramstein. GPS addy: Montée du Château, 9408 Vianden, Luxembourg
Parking: Can be found near the castle and there is a parking meter. Parking can be found for free in the village using your blue parking disc.
Cost: Adults: €6, Students (ages 13-25) €4,50, Kids (ages 6-12) €2
Traveling with little kids: Baby wearing is best, there are stairs and walks uphill.
Dogs: Are not allowed here.
How long: Plan on at least 1 hour.
Where to find info: Above links