10 Best Castles To Visit On Your Europe Tour

Waquar Habib

Castles in Europe

European castles vary in architectural styles, housing royal artefacts and breathtaking landscapes, making them enchanting destinations for history buffs and travellers.

Magnificent Mont Saint Michel cathedral on the island, Normandy, Northern France, Europe | Shutterstock

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is perched on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria. Commissioned by King Ludwig II in the 19th century, it is a prime example of Romantic architecture with its fairy-tale turrets and scenic location. The castle inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

A view of the Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany | Shutterstock

Château de Chambord, France

The Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley is a French Renaissance masterpiece built by King Francis I in the early 16th century. It features a double-helix staircase rumoured to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci and blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures.

The Château de Chambord of France | Shutterstock

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle sits atop Castle Rock and has been a royal residence, military stronghold, and symbol of Scottish heritage since the 12th century. Highlights include the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, and St. Margaret’s Chapel.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, from Princes Street Gardens, with the Ross Fountain in the foreground | Shutterstock

Pena Palace, Portugal

Pena Palace, located in the Sintra Mountains, is a vibrant example of 19th-century Romanticism. Commissioned by King Ferdinand II, its eclectic architecture combines Gothic, Manueline, Moorish, and Renaissance elements. The surrounding Pena Park is equally enchanting, featuring exotic plants, winding paths, and stunning countryside views.

A view of the Pena Palace, Portugal | Shutterstock

Alhambra, Spain

The Alhambra in Granada is a stunning palace and fortress complex showcasing Moorish architecture. Built in the mid-14th century, it features intricate stucco work, tranquil courtyards, and beautiful gardens, including the Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazaba Fortress, and the Generalife Gardens.

The beautiful Islamic Court of the Lions inside the Alhambra Palace | Shutterstock

Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle, also known as "Dracula's Castle," is a medieval fortress in Transylvania, Romania, built in the 14th century. Despite its association with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, there is no evidence that the real-life Vlad the Impaler ever lived there.

A view of the Bran Castle snowcapped in winter | Shutterstock

Prague Castle, Czech Republic

Throughout history, Prague Castle has been a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, Czechoslovakian presidents, and Czech Republic presidents. It is the world's largest ancient castle, featuring the St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, and the Golden Lane.

St. Vitus cathedral in Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic | Shutterstock

Windsor Castle, England

Windsor Castle, built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, is the world's oldest and largest inhabited castle. It is an official residence of the British monarch and has been occupied by British royalty for over 900 years. The castle features Gothic architecture and St. George's Chapel, where many royal weddings occur.

A view of the Windsor Castle | Shutterstock

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

Hohenzollern Castle, located on Mount Hohenzollern in the Swabian Alps, is a 19th-century reconstruction of a medieval fortress. It serves as the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, former emperors of Germany, and features neo-Gothic architecture, richly decorated interiors, and a treasury holding the Prussian royal crown.

A view of the Hohenzollern Castle, Germany | Shutterstock

Buda Castle, Hungary

Buda Castle, located on Castle Hill in Budapest, was completed in 1265 and features a blend of Baroque and modernist styles. It houses the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, and the National Széchényi Library. The castle's turbulent history, marked by sieges and battles, reflects Hungary's past.

Royal palace of Buda in autumn, Budapest, Hungary | Shutterstock

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