With a plethora of castles across Europe, there are plenty to add to your travel bucket list! From theatrically grand palaces to small, quirky medieval fortresses, avid explorers have a diversity of architectural gems to admire. But where to start?
Why not take a look at seven of our favourite castles, palaces and fortresses to explore across the continent! Exploring some of these beautiful buildings can be a fun family-day activity, romantic escape for two or group adventure delving into a foreign culture and its enticing history… which castle is calling you?
1- The Eltz Castle, Germany
The medieval Eltz Castle in Germany is a stunning attraction nestled in a forested, green valley between Trier and Koblenz. This picture-perfect castle, dating back to the 15th century, is a brilliant place to explore on your holiday, near the Mosel River, also boasting some gorgeous, landscape views for you to admire.
2- Alcázar of Segovia, Spain
The historic city of Segovia is famously home to the magnificent Alcázar of Segovia, an imposing fairytale castle which is today one of Spain’s most visited monuments! A stunning symbol of art and history, the beautiful castle was built on a rocky promontory. Today, visitors can explore inside the castle rooms and admire the views of charming Segovia city from a great height.
3- Spiš Castle, Slovakia
The incredible Spiš Castle is one of the largest castle compounds in central Europe and an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site certainly worth exploring on your break! The medieval castle, which dates back to the 12th century, is located in the region of Spiš, in north-eastern Slovakia. Partially in ruins, the beautiful castle offers scenic views of the Slovakian countryside as well as a great museum!
4- Château de Foix, France
France’s Château de Foix is another great castle to tick off your bucket list, located in the department of Ariège in the south-west of the country. Sitting beautifully on a hill above the quaint town of Foix, the castle is a focal point of the town’s history, offering fantastic guided tours as well as interesting museum collections.
5- Bran Castle, Romania
Romania is home to the incredible and iconic Bran Castle; another beautiful, fairytale fortress, but one which has also sparked the legend of Count Dracula! Widely dubbed simply as Dracula’s Castle, visitors here can admire the mountainous views and experience the myth and history behind the castle by exploring inside and out.
6- Caernarfon Castle, Wales
The 13th century Caernarfon Castle is a breathtaking, medieval attraction located in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. The castle is hugely popular amongst tourists visiting the country, with its 12 multi-angled towers, impressive gatehouses and fantastic in-house museum. As one of Wales’ most prized architectural treasures, the castle is not to be missed!
7- Miramare Castle, Italy
Around 8 kms north-west of the Italian city of Trieste is the magical Miramare Castle; an architectural masterpiece sitting idyllically on a cliff high above the sea. Dating back to the 17th century, the castle is beautifully surrounded by the green, picturesque Miramare Park, across a surface of 22 hectares. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the castle is a nature-lover’s and culture-vulture’s paradise!