Every time I pack my bags and I go somewhere on holidays I always find the way to find at least one castle in my destination. If I cannot find it…I just close my eyes and imagine one! 💕
I am a fan of castles…a BIG one, I can’t help it. Since an early age, this massive buildings full of story caught my attention. I always felt part of them in a way; as if I had lived in one of them hundred of years ago. Every time I’m in front of one is impossible not to go back in time and imagine how it would have been to live in that period of time where everything was so different.
Funny enough, these gorgeous buildings have changed in a way as they were often born out of protection and frequented by wealthy people; though you no longer need to be a knight to gain entry (you lucky!). Nowadays, a large majority of castles around Europe are open to us just by paying (or not) a small fee.
As you can imagine with hundreds of picturesque castles to choose, the list can be endless. For now, I invite you to have a look at 10 Most Beautiful Castles in the World you should visit in Europe that I had the chance to visit and admire during my time in Europe. These include a mix of sizes, styles, colours and of course the important roles of these stunning fortresses throughout history.
10 Most Beautiful Castles in the World
Sintra, Portugal: Pena Palace
Sintra — known internationally for its many 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments — , is a Portuguese fairly tale located less than 45 minutes from the centre of Lisbon; exactly in a stunning region of Portugal (that’s well worth visiting!). This Unesco World Heritage–listed is like a page torn from a fairy tale! This is a must-see attraction! You’ll feel like the princess of the castle. Don’t miss Monserrate Palace and the Castle of the Moor. As you can see, there are so many things to do so I would advise you to spend a full day (why not two?) exploring the incredible palaces and castles placed on top of the hills overlooking the region. You’ll fall in love ❤
Killarney, Ireland: Ross Castle
This Castle — in Irish Caisleán an Rois — is a 15th-century tower house by the banks of the largest of the three lakes of Killarney: Lough Leane Lake, which is located in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. This stunning castle, which is part of the Killarney National Park, was extended in the 17th century. It has been restored and is open to the public.
Prague, Czech Republic: Prague Castle
Prague Castle — in Czech: Pražský hrad — is a castle complex dating from the 9th century. This stunning castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. Nowadays is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic and is Prague’s most popular attraction! Is also home to some of the Czech Republic’s greatest artistic and cultural treasures. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the W-O-R-L-D covering a total area bigger than seven football fields!
Sinaia, Romania: Peleș Castle
Peleș Castle is one of those Disney’s castle type! This Neo-Renaissance castle located in the Carpathian Mountains, 124 kilometres from Bucharest, was built between 1873 and 1914. It was constructed for King Carol I. This stunning castle was the first one in Europe to have central heating and electricity.
Barcelona, Spain: Montjuïc Castle
Montjuïc Castle is an old military fortress — dating back from 1640 — built on top of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona, Spain. How to get there? Super easy, just jump in Montjuic’s Cable Car, located next to the funicular Station. It will take you directly to the castle of Montjuic. During the ride you’ll be able to admire breathtaking views of Barcelona! So get your camera ready! You can get your online tickets by clicking here bit.ly/2tuWoO7
Transylvania, Rumania: Dracula’s Castle
I was lucky enough to visit this stunning castle twice in my life, and I wish one day I had a third change! For me, is one of the most beautiful castles in whole Romania! This 13th century fortress — located high above a valley perched on a rock — is situated near Bran on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. It is the ‘home’ of one of the greatest villains ever: Dracula. Bran Castle has long been linked to the story of Dracula, played by Christopher Lee in the 1958 film adaptation of the Irish novelist Bram Stoker. Although sharp-eyed curious visitors will point out that Dracula did not exist…and I am afraid to tell you that this could be true! Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see Dracula inside this scary castle as he exists only the imagination! But if you are looking for a place full of myths and a bit scary, this is it! Want to see Dracula’s Castle in 3 minutes!? Click below and enjoy!
Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh Castle
Perched on a high hill overlooking the city, Edinburgh Castle is part of the Old & New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. This beautiful fortress — recently voted top UK Heritage Attraction — is Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction.
The castle — which was built on a volcanic rock — houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg, the One O’ Clock Gun & the National War Museum of Scotland.
If you want to visit this stunning castle an audio guide tour is available in eight languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin). The audio tour takes the visitor on a tour around the castle and explains its architecture and dramatic story.
Budapest, Hungary: Buda Castle
I have to admit that Budapest left me speechless…as this building! Buda Castle is a stunning complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, which was first completed in 1265. This huge structure — rising forty-eight meters above the Danube — is easily visible from everywhere in Budapest and it is perched on the south tip of Castle Hill. The castle belongs to the Budapest World Heritage Site, which was declared in 1987.
Challain-la-Potherie, France: Chateau de Challain
I think that there is probably no better word than ’S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R!” to describe this romantic château. This French fairy-tale castle is located in Challain-la-Potherie, in the beautiful Loire Region of western France and was built as a private residence 1854.
In 2009 I had the change to attend a wedding in this stunning castle and the whole venue blew me away! This place provides an enchanted fairy-tale setting for your castle destination weddings or event.
If you feel sometimes like a Disney princess, so this is your castle…
Dublin, Ireland: Malahide Castle
Malahide Castle and the Talbot Botanic Gardens dates back to as far as 1175. This fortress — close to the village of Malahide, 14 km north of Dublin in Ireland — is one of the oldest castles in Ireland. The Talbots, an English family, built this historic castle and it was home to the Talbot family for over 800 years.
You can book online here bit.ly/2uSXEtI or at the castle. The main entrance is off the Malahide Road. How to get there? Dublin Bus route number 42, 102 and 142 and if you are travelling by train; Malahide Railway Station is near the castle end of the park.