Harburg is a cute town on the Romantic Road in Bavaria, famous for its castle, scenic setting, and old stone bridge.
Harburg is a small town in Bavaria, Germany, between Nördlingen and Donauwörth. There are several car parks both in town and up by the castle. Alternatively, the train station is near the centre of town and has good links to Donauwörth and Munich to the south, or Nördlingen and beyond to the north.
Harburg Map of Things to Do
Tips for A Visit to Harburg
- Harburg is worth at least a half-day visit if you’re exploring the Romantic Road through Bavaria.
- The best time to visit Harburg is mid-March to early November when the castle is open to visitors.
- Some tours to Rothenburg ob der Tauber* also stop at Harburg Castle.
- Hotel-Restaurant Straussen* is a great, central place to stay in Harburg, in a lovely historic building.
- Explore other nearby towns on the Romantic Road such as Nördlingen or Donauwörth. Check out our Germany Page for more historic town walks and longer hikes.
Top Things to Do in Harburg
- Visit Harburg Castle
- Explore the Small Historic Town Centre
- Stroll across the Old Stone Bridge
- Hike to the Ries Crater & Castle Viewpoint
- Take a Walk along the River
- Hike the Albsteig Stage 1
1. Harburg Castle
Key Information: Open every day from mid-March to early November, 10am-5pm. Tickets are €3/2 per adult/child. Make sure to take a leaflet (available in English) which contains a little map of the castle. A guided tour (ask if it can be given in English), which allows you to see more of the inside, is an extra €4/2. There’s a cafe/restaurant within the castle grounds for a refreshing drink, snack or full meal.
Visiting Harburg Castle, or Schloss Harburg (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*), is the top thing to do in Harburg. It’s a very well-preserved medieval castle that stands high on the hill over Harbug Town. It’s one of the largest and oldest castles in Southern Germany, dating back to the 11th century.
Inside you can walk around the courtyards, enjoy the panoramic views from the walls, and admire the Medieval atmosphere and architecture of the castle. Additionally, you can visit St. Michael’s Church, a Romanesque church dating to the 12th century. You can only visit the inside of the castle on a tour. Enquire at the entrance if this can be given in English.
2. Historic Town Centre
Harburg’s historic town center is charming and well-preserved, with narrow cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and a medieval atmosphere. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll and to soak in the town’s history, though it’s very small. The Rathaus (town hall) is situated in a lovely old building and is the centre of the old town.
The church of St. Barbara is nearby, and on the other side of town the Herz Jesu Church has a lovely, rather unusual interior. For refreshments, there are several restaurants and cafes in this area. There’s also a great cafe halfway across the Old Stone Bridge.
3. Stroll across the Old Stone Bridge
The Old Stone Bridge (Steinerne Brücke) across the Wörnitz River is a very picturesque place to walk about. You can admire the views, including of the castle above, and the cute houses lining the river. On sunny summer days, you’ll see people paddling in the river here, or sunbathing on the grassy riverbanks.
4. Hike to the Ries Crater & Castle Viewpoint
If you’ve got the energy, you can walk from the castle to a great viewpoint of Ries Crater. You’ll also see some cool rocks, and reach the peak of Bockberg. On the way back you walk through a forest, fields, and then to the best viewpoint of Harburg Castle and the town below.
5. Take a Walk along the River
For a gentle stroll, you can head out of town and reach a cycle path leading right next to the scenic Wörnitz River. After a short distance you can take a wooden pedestrian bridge back across the river, up through a field, and back down into the historic centre of town.
6. Hike the Albsteig Stage 1
The first stage of the multiday Albsteig walk leads from Donauwörth to Harburg, or of course you can walk in the other direction. There is a train connection every hour between the two towns. The walk is 18km through lovely countryside and takes roughly 5 hours. See our Albsteig Stage 1 post for more details.
A One-Day Itinerary to Visit Harburg
- Take the train to Harburg and start by walking around the Wornitz Countryside loop.
- You’ll end up in the historic centre, where you can explore the streets and old buildings.
- Head across the Old Stone Bridge and back again and perhaps have lunch overlooking the river.
- After lunch, walk up to Harburg Castle, following part of the Castle Loop. Spend an hour or two exploring the castle.
- If you have the time and energy, head out on the Ries Crater and Castle Viewpoint Hike.
- Descend back into town on the other half of the Castle Loop. Cross over the bridge and back to the train station.