Visit Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is the world’s second-largest hillside park. It’s an incredible achievement of sloping landscapes mixed with classic architecture.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


It’s a grey afternoon by the time I arrive at the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. The clouds have all merged into one and the light rain comes and goes.

Mist has collected at the top. At first I’m a bit disappointed, but then a beauty starts to emerge from the dull atmosphere.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

I don’t see the mist at the top for a while, though. Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a park – but it’s no ordinary park.

A good way to see the highlights of Kassel (including different parts of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe) is with this city bus tour.

Built on a large slope at one edge of the German city of Kassel, it is the world’s second largest hillside park. In total, it covers more than 2.5 square kilometres and takes hours for me to explore.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

Germany has some other impressive parks, even ones that are also World Heritage Sites – like Dessau-Wörlitz and Muskauer Park. But this one is different.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe was first conceived in the early 1700s and has been gradually expanded and altered over the past three centuries. As well as the landscaped gardens, it has water features and dense forests in part.

There are also buildings influenced by the Baroque and Romantic periods. It is considered to be one of the most magnificent examples of European garden art to ever be achieved.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

The only way to really see all of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is upwards.

Starting at the bottom, the first thing you come across is the Palace Wilhelmshöhe. The large rounded building dominates the lower part of the site and is used these days as a museum.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

At the very top is the famous Hercules Monument, which stands 70 metres tall. It is made up of an octagonal base with a pyramid on top and an 8 metre high copper statue of the ancient god at the peak.

Today you can hardly see it, unfortunately, surrounded by a grey enclosure reminiscent of the mythological cloud palace of Mount Olympus.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

Although the palace and the statue would be considered the highlights of a visit to the park, getting between the two is what the site is really all about.

A 1.5 kilometre long complex of cascades connects the two – sometimes as constructed water features, occasionally as majestic waterfalls and also as more natural-looking streams.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

Although there is a direct line of sight between the top and the bottom, there is no straight path. The design of the garden encourages visitors to meander through the area and discover other attractions.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

There’s a pagoda, an old castle and a greenhouse that I see on my wanderings. At one point I find myself in a thick forest filled with trunks and mist, so dense that I can’t see an end to it in any direction.

Across the whole park, there are more than 400 types of trees and shrubs.

Visiting Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

I think the best way to visit Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is by foot. It is possible to use a bicycle but there’s a lot of uphill which can be slightly unpleasant at times. Also, not all the tracks are suitable for bikes and you’ll be restricted to certain paths.

It takes several hours to walk through and see it properly. There is no need to rush and no particular route that’s best to follow – the enjoyment comes from meandering along and exploring the different paths the forks in the road point you in.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe , Kassel, Germany

The Palace Wilhelmshöhe is easy to access because it is at the bottom of the gardens. The final climb along a series of water features to the Hercules statue is quite steep but easy enough if you take it slowly.

The best forests are in this area and are a nice alternative way to get back down if you’ve walked up the main corridor in the centre of the park.

But… if you don’t want to walk all these paths, there is another option. Have a look at this city bus tour, which will drive you to the main parts of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe and also some of the other landmarks of Kassel.

Entry to the park and all the natural features are free. There are admission charges for most of the buildings including the palace and the Hercules statue.

Where is the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe?

The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is located at: Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, 34131 Kassel, Germany. You can see it on Google Maps here.

How do you get to Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe?

To get to Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, catch the train to Cassel-Wilhelmshöhe and then take the tram number 1 to the site, which is just five stops away.

When is Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe open?

The park is open to the public every day and doesn’t have any official closing time. Each of the attractions inside the park has its own opening hours but most are open from 1000 – 1700 every day except Monday, when they’re closed.

How much does it cost to visit Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe?

Entry to the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is free.
For specific attractions within the park, the following admission prices apply:
Museum Palace Wilhelmshöhe: €6/€4
Weissenstein Wing: €6/€4
Lion’s Castle: €4/€3
Hercules and Octagon: €6/€4
Great Greenhouse: €6/€4

You can find out more information at the official website of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.

Time Travel Turtle was supported by DB Bahn, the German National Tourist Board and Youth Hostels in Germany but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.


This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List!
I'm on a mission to visit as many World Heritage Sites as I can. Only about 800 more to go... eek!

3 thoughts on “Visit Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe”

  1. Thanks for this article about the Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe, it is the town where I grew up, I am used to the park but always got lost in it enjoying what it had to offer, like a pyramid overgrown with wild strawberries or the wild life around the lake of the Palace…This park has been an ancient cult place of the celtics – long before it got conceived around 1700…and somehow you feel this ancient power still when you are walking around…Thanks for these beautiful pictures as well.


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