Growing up in Texas, the only “Braunfels” I knew was New Braunfels- that town just outside of San Antonio where we spent many childhood summer vacations visiting the castle-topped water slides of the Schlitterbahn water park. Fast forward 18 years, the same family is taking a similar road trip only to visit a different Braunfels. Castles: yes. Water slides: not so much.
Braunfels is about a 45 minute drive from Bad Homburg which makes it the perfect destination for a day trip. The town boasts authentic German charm and is famous for the castle (of course), Schloss Braunfels. Tours of the castle are offered daily and although most are conducted in German, you can reserve a group guided tour in English ahead of time (25 euro for four people).
We arrived in Braunfels about two hours before our scheduled tour leaving plenty of time to stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants lining Marktplatz- the town square area. Post-lunch we indulged in the German tradition of afternoon kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) at a nearby cafe.
Of all the castle and palace tours we’ve been on, this was by far one of the best. It lasts about an hour and was so interesting and very entertaining thanks to our wonderful tour guide. We learned about the extensive history of the castle and it’s previous residents, including Prince Carl who went on to establish that Texas town we grew up loving.
Due to the museum-like quality of the castle, no indoor pictures were allowed, so you’ll have to take our word for it when we say the inside was just as beautiful and grandiose as the outside!
If you’re looking to feel like you’re in a fairy tale for a day…head to Braunfels, you’ll love it!