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The castle lights at Drachenburg Castle with its grandiose light illuminations have been taking place for several years on five weekends from the end of January to the end of February.
By chance I had read about it on the Internet and it was clear to me that I really wanted to go there with my family!!
So we started again to explore German history and nature. At first it was all a bit confusing. At least if you don’t know your way around Königswinter. Where is the Drachenfels, where is Drachenburg Castle, where is the best place to park? Does it make sense to go up with the Drachenfelsbahn? Where does it leave and where does it go? How long does it take to hike up the mountain? Questions about questions that I’ll be happy to answer here:
The location of Drachenburg Castle, the Nibelungenhall and the Drachenfelsen
The Drachenfels as well as the Drachenburg Castle and the Nibelungenhall are located in Königswinter, a small town on the Rhine, near Cologne and Bonn.
The entrance to the Drachenfelsbahn is down in the valley. The next uphill is the Nibelungen Hall with its reptile zoo, then the Drachenburg Castle, then the viewing platform with restaurant and at the top of the mountain is the Drachenfels with its castle ruins.
In the valley there are two large parking spaces right by the Drachenfels lift. Here you can park all day for four euros. There are no more parking spaces available further up.
Now you can decide whether you want to hike to Drachenburg Castle and then further to Drachenfels or take the Drachenfelsbahn.
It takes about an hour to walk at a leisurely pace to the very top of the Drachenfels. Sometimes the ascent is quite steep, but it can be mastered without any problems. (In between there was also a waffle stand, where we strengthened ourselves :-))
The train runs every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour. It first stops at Drachenburg Castle and then continues to the viewing platform. You can only climb the last part to the Drachenfels on foot.
Visit to Drachenburg Castle and the Nibelungen Hall
Next you should decide whether you want to see the castle and the Nibelungenhalle during the day or from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. when the castle is lit. Both with one ticket is not possible. Of course you can also buy two tickets!
We decided on the following solution: Immediately after arrival we bought a combination ticket for the castle lights including the ride on the Drachenfelsbahn – so we were flexible. It cost 15.00 euros for adults and 9.00 euros for children aged six and over. (Entrance tickets without the Drachenfelsbahn cost 9.00 euros for adults and 4.00 euros for children from the age of six. These can also be bought at the entrance to the Nibelungenhall or the castle entrance.)
Then we hiked up the mountain. Past the Nibelungen Hall and Drachenburg Castle, to the viewing platform.
From there we had a sensational view of the Rhine and the surrounding landscape.
Then we climbed up to the Drachenfels in brilliant sunshine.
The view from up there was even more spectacular than from the viewing platform, especially when the sun was slowly setting.
We had decided to hike back down the mountain and eat in the old town of Königswinter.
The Nibelungenhall at the castle lights
Since it was now already 5 p.m., it was slowly getting dark and our ticket for the castle lights was already valid, we visited the Nibelungenhall on the way back.
Here you will also find the illuminated stone dragon and the reptile zoo. So we saved ourselves having to go from the castle to the Nibelungenhall again later, as this is below the castle and the train does not stop here.
Castle lights at Drachenburg Castle
After the meal (we can recommend the Italian ‘Franco’ in Koenigswinter – the pizzas were really delicious) we went back the few minutes to the Drachenfelsbahn to go to the castle. Contrary to what we expected, the train wasn’t overcrowded and we were able to take the next one straight up.
Through the illuminated outer bailey we came to the castle park and the castle. Everything was really brilliantly lit and illuminated.
Inside the castle you could see the rooms and there were also light art works and illuminations everywhere.
Since only a limited number of visitors could access the towers of the castle at the same time, there were short waiting times. For this reason we only climbed one tower to admire the sea of lights from above – that was completely ok for us.
There are various stands at the castle where drinks and food are sold. So you can also eat here.
After we had looked at everything, we drove comfortably back down with the Drachenfelsbahn, were immediately at the car and after about an hour’s drive back home.
A successful, sunny and varied day on the trail of German history and legends – we really enjoyed it!
The next Castle Lights will take place from January 25 to February 23, 2020.
Have a great time, it’s worth it !!
Charming overnight accommodations around the Drachenfels
And if you want to combine a visit to the Drachenfelsen with a (weekend) family vacation, you will find wonderful accommodations in and around Königswinter here. After all, there are many other varied excursion destinations in the area.
For a weekend for two, you can have a look at charming accommodations here!
This was once again a non-sponsored post to tell you about our beautiful Germany.
Reading for children about the Drachenfels
On this website you will also find the book on the Nibelungen saga. Actually made for children, but still a bit brutal towards the end – so maybe read it through on your own first and then decide what exactly you want to read about it to your children.
Our boys loved the story of Siegfried and the Dragon!
More information about the Drachenfels and the Drachenburg Castle
For even more information you can find the links to Drachenburg Castle, the Drachenfels and the Drachenfels Railway.