Are you a lover of all things medieval? Do you get excited about the chance to explore historic castles?
If so, then this blog post is for you! We’ve compiled a list of the best European courts that will take your breath away.
From grand fortresses and fairytale palaces to ancient ruins and hidden gems, there’s something here for everyone.
Read on to learn more about these must-see European castles!
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1) Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most iconic castles in Europe.
It is perched right in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland, and has seen some of the best and worst periods in Scottish history, including the 14th-century Wars of Scottish Independence.
The castle is a great family day out; visitors can book tickets online for the best price and guaranteed entry. There are plenty of attractions to experience, including the Crown Jewels, The Great Hall, and The Stone of Destiny.
With a range of services and amenities, it’s easy to see why Edinburgh Castle is considered one of the best castles in Europe.
2) Bodiam Castle, England
Next on our list is Bodiam Castle, located in England.
This 14th-century moated castle is one of the best castles in the country to visit. You can explore the castle and its nearby attractions, including The Castle Inn, a 533-year-old pub, and the National Trust property at Windsor Castle.
With its picturesque and romantic setting, Bodiam Castle is a great place to visit for a school trip or group outing.
3) Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria
If you’re looking for a castle experience like no other, then Hohenwerfen Castle in Austria should be your next destination.
Located 40 km south of Salzburg, the 900-year-old fortress is surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps and sits atop a 623-meter-high precipice.
A tour of the castle will allow you to discover its hidden corners and take in the beauty of the stunning mountain scenery.
4) Mont Saint-Michel, France
Next on our list is Mont St. Michel in France, an iconic sight that is a must-visit when in the country.
This unique island, topped by an Abbey, is one of France’s most stunning sights and attracts more than 3 million visitors to its gates each year.
While it is possible to make a day trip to the Mont Saint-Michel from Paris, it’s best to plan to spend at least one night here and explore all its attractions.
With its breathtaking views, this is one of those castles you must see to believe!
5) Eltz Castle, Germany
If you’re looking for a fairytale-like castle experience, then Eltz Castle Germany is the perfect castle for you!
Located in the middle of the Mosel River Valley, this castle is as untouched as courts can get in this century.
It was built in the 12th century and has remained virtually unchanged. Burg Eltz is a must-see if you are in the Mosel River Valley and is a recommended day trip from the Rhine River Valley for those who enjoy castles.
Find everything you need to plan your visit to this incredible castle here!
6) Guaita Tower, San Marino
The next must-see castle on this list is the Guaita Tower in San Marino.
The small, independent country of San Marino is home to some of the oldest and most impressive fortifications in the world.
The Guaita Tower has stood for almost a thousand years and is the most iconic of San Marino’s three fortresses.
It was constructed in the 11th century and served as a residence for the people of San Marino.
Exploring the narrow streets and squares leading up to the tower is an experience you won’t forget and will leave a lasting impression.
7) Alcázar Of Segovia, Spain
The Alcázar of Segovia in Spain is easily one of the most recognizable castles in Europe.
This magnificent castle is surrounded by gardens and has unbeatable views.
Its shape resembles the bow of a ship, and with its many turrets, it’s no wonder it is considered one of Spain’s most iconic castles.
It was once a medieval fortress but was rebuilt in its current castle-like style following the 15th century.
Don’t forget to take lots of pictures, because this fairytale-like castle will remain one of the oldest historical monuments.
8) Castello Di Miramare, Italy
If you’re looking for a romantic castle experience, Miramare Castle in Italy is the perfect place to visit.
Located at the border with Slovenia and Croatia, this 19th-century castle was the home of Archduke Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte.
The grounds are peaceful and pretty, with a large variety of trees.
Take a pleasant stroll around the grounds and enjoy Miramare Castle’s beauty.
9) Corvin Castle, Romania
If Scotland, England, Austria, France, Germany, San Marino, Spain, Italy, and Slovenia weren’t enough for you, Romania also has a breathtaking castle.
Corvin Castle, also known as the Hunyadi castle, is one of Transylvania’s most beautiful and well-preserved medieval castles.
It is included on the list of Best European Castles and is a must-visit, a must-photograph, and a must-read about the place.
Corvin Castle is one of the most spectacular Gothic-style castles and an essential cultural landmark in the heart of Transylvania.
The designs of Iancu de Hunedoara have made this castle stand out among all the others in Romania, so if you’re looking for something special to explore on your travels, Corvin Castle should be on your list!
10) Bled Castle, Slovenia
If you’re looking for a fairytale-like destination, then the Bled Castle in Slovenia is the perfect place to visit.
Located on a cliff overlooking the turquoise glacial lake in the Julian Alps, Bled Castle is one of the oldest castles in Europe, first mentioned in 1011.
The castle boasts an incredible view from its 130-meter-high cliff above the north shore of Lake Bled, making it one of the most-photographed castles in Europe.
Tour the castle grounds, learn about Bled’s history in the museum, and take in its extensive collection of artifacts.
If you’re visiting Slovenia, then this castle is a must-see.
11) Bojnice Castle, Slovakia
If you’re looking for a fairytale-like castle experience, you should add Bojnice Castle in Slovakia to your list.
Located two hours from Bratislava, Bojnice is one of the most visited castles in Europe.
Its towering walls and beautiful chapel are sure to take your breath away.
The castle’s unique design, the steep rock wall, and the river Vah below make it one of the most picturesque castles to visit.
It’s certainly worth the drive to be able to witness this fairytale castle for yourself.
12) Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark
If you’re looking for a castle with a mix of architectural styles and impressive history, look no further than Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark.
Built by the great Christian IV in the early 1600s, this stunning castle is on three islands and surrounded by a lake and beautiful gardens.
It has housed The Museum of National History since 1878, and a tour through the museum’s many rooms is an encounter with kings, queens, and all kinds of fascinating artifacts.
If you’re visiting Copenhagen, it’s worth taking a day trip to see this magnificent castle.
13) Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
Hohenzollern Castle is one of the most impressive castles in Europe.
Located in southwest Germany, just south of Stuttgart and close to the excellent Black Forest, it’s the second-largest castle in Germany and a cultural monument.
The breathtaking views of the Bavarian Alps and Hohenschwangau Valley make it an ideal destination for a romantic getaway.
It was also once a childhood home for the ‘Mad’ King Ludwig II, so there is a lot of history to explore here.
Whether you’re a biker or just looking for a great day out, Hohenzollern Castle is undoubtedly one of the best European castles you must see to believe.
14) Château De Chenonceau, France
If you’re looking for a breathtakingly beautiful castle steeped in history, Château de Chenonceau is a perfect choice.
Located in the Loire Valley, this castle was constructed in the early 1500s and is one of the region’s most iconic and well-known châteaux.
With exquisite gardens, grand architecture, and even a moat that you can canoe under, Château de Chenonceau is worth a visit.
In addition to being the second most visited château in France after the Royal Palace of Versailles, there’s plenty to see here, including a guided tour and three must-see exhibitions.
So don’t miss this stunning castle when you visit France and explore Europe’s best castles.
15) Castel Del Monte, Italy
We can’t forget Castel Del Monte in Italy, nestled in the Alta Murgia National Park.
This 13th-century citadel and castle was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Southern Italy.
Constructed by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, the octagonal castle is made of gleaming crushed coral stone, limestone, and marble.
It’s seen as the greatest masterpiece of medieval architecture, full of symbols and mysteries, and appears on the Italian version of the one-cent Euro.
Take a walk around its historic center and discover its ancient limestone sport antichi’. You’ll understand why this is one of the best castles in Europe.
16) Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Next on the list of the best castles in Europe is Eilean Donan Castle, located on an isolated island overlooking the Isle of Skye where three great sea lochs meet.
This iconic Scottish castle was built in the 13th century and stood as a symbol of the turbulent history of Scotland.
Eilean Donan offers an unforgettable view of the rugged Scottish Highlands and is a must-see for anyone interested in exploring European castles.
17) Egeskov Castle, Denmark
If you’re looking for a castle with a fairytale-like feel, then Egeskov Castle in Denmark is the perfect destination.
Constructed in 1554, this castle is one of the best-preserved Renaissance water castles in Europe and is known for its copper spires and gorgeous moat.
With Falck Museum, a Motorcycle Museum, gardens, a play forest, and other attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Egeskov Castle.
18) Conwy Castle, Wales
Conwy Castle in Conwy, Wales, is the most beautiful castle in Europe according to Condé Nast Traveller.
Built between 1283 and 1287 by King Edward I and architect James of St George, this magnificent fortress is a complete set of royal residential rooms inhabited by the medieval monarchy.
Located on the banks of the River Conwy, it is one of the best-preserved castles in North Wales and a stunning example of medieval architecture.
If you’re looking for a spectacular destination for your next holiday, then be sure to add Conwy Castle to your itinerary!
19) Pena Palace, Sintra Portugal
If visiting castles with a touch of romance is your thing, then the Pena Palace, in Sintra, Portugal’s municipality, is the ideal destination.
Located just 30km from Lisbon, this UNESCO-listed castle is perched atop the lush hills of São Pedro de Penaferrim.
Its vibrant colors and intricate design make it one of the most romantic castles in Europe, and its unique architecture makes it a must-see.
20) Windsor Castle, England
If you’re looking for a royal experience, Windsor Castle in England is a must-see. It’s the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the official home of The Queen.
It has over 1000 years of history, making it one of the most famous castles in the world.
You can purchase tickets to explore the castle and experience its ancient architecture and grandeur.
Check out Harry and Meghan’s wedding venue in St George’s Chapel during your visit!
21) Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
If you’re looking for a truly unique castle, Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle is the place to go.
Built at the end of the 19th century, this iconic castle is nestled in the Bavarian Alps and overlooks Hohenschwangau Valley.
It’s one of the most visited castles in Europe, with more than 1.5 million visitors each year, and it’s easy to see why its beauty is simply stunning.
From its dramatic towers to its intricate interiors and breathtaking views, Neuschwanstein Castle should be on your European castle bucket list.
22) Semur en Auxois Castle, France
If you’re looking for a romantic and historic castle, look no further than Semur-en-Auxois Castle in France.
This castle was constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries and is now surrounded by the town of Semur-en-Auxois.
The castle is home to a unique bridge, the Pont de Pierre, built in 1780.
A walk through the castle reveals many secret passages and areas to explore.
The dungeon still stands intact from the original medieval structure and provides a unique insight into the history of this castle.
So if you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an exciting exploration of history, Semur-en-Auxois Castle is worth visiting.
23) Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany
Next is the 19th-century Neuschwanstein Castle, located in the Bavarian Alps and overlooking Hohenschwangau Valley, which was once the childhood home of the ‘Mad’ King Ludwig II.
No cameras, dogs, or smoking are allowed in the castle, but it is worth the visit to experience its grandeur.
For a truly unique experience, you can book a guided tour to explore its breathtaking architecture and learn more about its fascinating history.
24) Alhambra, Spain
If you’re looking for a truly breathtaking experience, a visit to Alhambra in Spain is an absolute must.
Located in Granada, this stunning palace-fortress complex is said to be one of the most magnificent buildings in the world.
Alhambra was originally built as a fortress in 889 and later converted to a royal palace in 1333.
Alhambra is Arabic for ‘red or crimson castle,’ and it’s not hard to see why.
Once inside, you’ll be mesmerized by the incredible architecture and ornate decorations.
The Alhambra Museum is also worth a visit, located in the same building as the Charles V Palace.
You can find some of the best Islamic art and architecture examples here.
Visiting Alhambra is a must on any Andalusia road trip and tops the list of things to do in Granada!
25) Bran Castle, Romania
It’s time to head to Romania and check out Bran Castle. This castle dates back to the 14th century and is a popular destination for visitors to Transylvania.
It was once home to Vlad the Impaler, and today it is often referred to as “Dracula’s Castle.”
You can visit this castle as part of a day trip from Brasov that includes Peles Castle and Rasnov Fortress.
Inside the castle, you will find moody and mystical photos, as if you have stepped inside a fairytale.
Bran Castle isn’t the only castle in Romania; there are plenty more to explore.
26) Azay-le-Rideau, France
If you’re looking for a fairy tale castle experience, then Azay-le-Rideau in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France is a must-see.
Set on an island in the middle of the Indre River, this Renaissance castle is a sight to behold with its graceful turrets and charcoal-grey rooftop.
You can get the best overview of French history from this Loire Valley castle and its nearby attractions.
Take a day tour of the Chateaux of Chenonceau, Chambord, and Caves Ambacia from Tours/Amboise.
The 40km drive east from Tours to Chambord is worth seeing the largest Loire castle, an example of megalomania built by Francis I in 1519.
27) Chillon Castle, Switzerland
Chillon Castle in Switzerland is the country’s most famous historical site. Step inside Chillon Castle, where dungeons whisper weird stories!
Located on a small rocky island in Lake Geneva near the resort Montreux, Chillon Castle is a unique tourist attraction that we invite you to discover.
It has been around since the 12th century and is an excellent reminder of the country’s history.
It’s a picturesque setting on the lake, and its dungeons will leave you awe-inspired.
Be sure to include a visit to Chillon Castle in your itinerary when visiting Switzerland.
28) Carcassonne Castle, France
The next stop on our magical castle tour is Carcassonne Castle in France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This magnificent medieval walled city features the restored 12th-century Château Comtal de Carcassonne atop a hill, complete with a museum to explore its history.
It’s one of the most visited sights in France, and together with the Eiffel Tower, the castles of the Loire, and Mont Saint-Michel, it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country.
Many of its turrets have been restored, and it’s fun to imagine Rapunzel letting down her hair from them!
Carcassonne has a horrible history that adds to its allure, and you can find beautiful murals of the castle to take home with you.
Which European country has the best castles?
Germany is one of the countries with the most impressive castles, with over 25,000. Some of the oldest are Meerburg Castle and Wartburg Castle. It is also home to some of the most beautiful castles in Europe, such as Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenzollern Castle.
As a lifelong traveler and founder of lovefortraveling.com, I, Alex Deidda, have always been driven by my passion for exploring new places and cultures.
Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to live in various countries, each offering unique perspectives and experiences.
My love for traveling led me to create lovefortraveling.com, a website and blog dedicated to helping people plan their trips.