Behind the mysterious walls of the castle, one could assume many things - but not a youth hostel... Or is it? Here are four rock-hard arguments for your next castle adventure: yes, in a youth hostel.

We are opening a special door to the past for you: you can not only visit these four castles and palaces but you can also spend the night there.

The magic of a fortress: Burgdorf Castle

The impressive castle of the Zähringer family has crowned the crag on which it stands for more than 800 years. For many years only parts of the fortified complex, one of the largest in Switzerland, were accessible. However, this changed in the spring of 2020 when Burgdorf Castle was converted into a “castle for everyone”.

You can now even spend the night on the crag occupied by Burgdorf © Dyle Berger

A unique opportunity to journey back in time to experience the fascinating world of the Middle Ages. In the courtrooms where criminals were once tried and even in the cells where they were imprisoned you can now feast in the new restaurant or spend the night in an inimitable youth hostel room. Every room is dedicated to a topic taken from the building’s history and therefore furnished in a totally unusual style.

What sort of surprise is in store for you in your room? Family room in the castle youth hostel © Laura Gargiulo

History can also be exciting

Don’t miss the authentic experience of Schloss Burgdorf. Experience education and history first hand, instead of just reading about it in a brochure.

This starts on the climb up to the castle where a series of audio stations will carry you back in time. In the interactive museum, you can then wander from one chamber of wonders to the next – and if you’re staying at the youth hostel, you can even do so free of charge and at night.

You can learn about the life stories of knights, village mayors and gold prospectors; or, thanks to a multimedia show, you can gain an insight into old court cases. Alternatively, you can also slip into the role of a detective.

Immerse yourself in the magic of the chambers of wonders! © Laura Gargiulo

The countryside surrounding Burgdorf is also worth checking out. Take advantage of our Herzschlaufen package to explore the two new cycle routes.

Sleep and feast in a knight’s castle: Mariastein

Rotberg Castle at Mariastein is smaller but stands no less proud. The effort of the 150 steps to the crest of the “Blauen” presents a challenge – but it’s definitely worth it.

You immediately find yourself in the world of the Middle Ages as you pass through the castle gate. There’s more to your visit to the castle than just spending the night behind thick walls and solid doors. An authentically restored Great Hall with an open fireplace, battlements with a glorious view and an impressive tower room await you.

An exquisite panoramic view from the tower room of Rotberg Castle © Thomas Andenmatten

Every spring, Rotberg Castle hosts a knights’ weekend in true style, including an awesome medieval camp that you can experience up close and personal. The weekend comes complete with a staged medieval combat and a group of jugglers. You can also join in the festivities of Walpurgis Night with live music.

The next Summer Night Festival with a live band, grill and bar will be held on 20 August 2022. You will find more information on this event in the Events section of the hostel website.

Following in the tracks of the Romans and the Hapsburgs: Altenburg Castle

Legend has it that these walls in Brugg first served as a strategically important fortress for the Romans and then the Hapsburgs. Today the unmistakeable red and white shutters contrasting with the stone walls and the Great Hall remind us of an eventful past.

One thing is certain: the youth hostel in Altenburg Castle is surrounded by history: Vindonissa and Habsburg Castle are close by. And the castles of Lenzburg and Wildegg are also worth a visit.

Past and present merge in the castle courtyard © Laura Gargiulo

Höhenburg Tower: Ehrenfels

Travel groups and school classes please note: This medieval tower is available to rent as group accommodation in Sils in Domleschg for groups of ten or more. It can also act as a breathtaking backdrop for an out-of-the-ordinary celebration.

You will be enthralled by the four-storey high keep, the Great Hall and the bedrooms with their imaginatively named rooms. Just as unique are the special castle suite and the adventurous photo OL.

Jugendherberge Sils im D.

The historic keep was probably built in the 13th century © Laura Gargiulo

Schlössli Belair is not a castle but is still a very interesting old manor house in Schaffhausen which you can explore.

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We have collected more ideas and information for unusual overnight stays in old buildings for you here:

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