Europe

The Best Castles in Europe

Europe is one of the most diverse continents on the planet, with regards to food, language, culture, and more; yet, it is also incredibly diverse with its range of castles, and their various architectural styles and histories. This list will present the 50 best castles in the whole of Europe, providing the highlights of each particular castle, a brief summary of their history, as well as practical information, such as location and opening hours.

 

50 Famous European Castles you should visit

1. Windsor Castle, England

English Castles Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle has been the home of British royalty for well over 1000 years and is absolutely full of fascinating history and original features, artefacts, and furnishings. The castle was originally built in the 11th Century after the invasion of England by Willian the Conqueror, and today, is still one of the Royal Family’s most favorite residences; visitors can tell when the Queen is there if the flag is flying!

Where: Windsor, England

When: 11th Century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: March to October – 10:00am – 17:15pm. November to February – 10:00am – 16:15pm.

2. Eilean Donan, Scotland

Best Scotch Castles Eilean Donan Castle

This Scottish castle is one of the most famous and recognizable in the country and attracts many tourists. Located on its own island, offering views of the beautiful Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan Castle is incredibly Romantic and picturesque. The castle’s site has its origins in 634AD, where Bishop Donan chose to settle; the first official castle was then constructed in the 13th century and has been altered and reconstructed throughout the centuries.

Where: Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland

When: Origins in 634AD

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

3. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Best Castles in Europe Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle dominates the city skyline and has been a highlight for tourists for years. The castle houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland, as well as several other impressive and fascinating treasures; the oldest part of the castle is St Margaret’s Chapel, which dates back to the 12th century. Edinburgh Castle is the perfect place to visit on any trip to the city, as it in itself is fascinating, and it also offers beautiful views of Edinburgh below.

Where: Edinburgh, Scotland

When: 12th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:30am – 17:00pm

You might also want to check: The best castles near Edinburgh.

4. Caerphilly Castle, Wales

European Castles Caerphilly-Castle

Located in South Wales, Caerphilly Castle is the second largest castle in Britain, and has, since its construction in the late 13th century, been an architectural wonder. It is a Medieval fortress with an impressive moat, as well as many original architectural features, such as archways and windows. The castle was constructed by Gilbert de Clare, as a means to conquer Glamorgan, and today, this history is still very much alive.

Where: Caerphilly, Wales

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:30am – 5:00pm

5. Rock of Cashel, Ireland

Castles in Ireland The-Rock-of-Cashel

Renowned as one of Ireland’s most famous and historically rich sites, this 13th-century Gothic cathedral has so many beautiful and spectacular features, for example, its 12th-century Romanesque chapel and some astonishing frescoes, which are some of the oldest in Ireland. As well as the incredible features, there are also amazing views of the Tipperary countryside that can be seen from the top of the Rock, which is also just a few minutes’ walk from the town center.

Where: Tipperary, Ireland

When: 12th century

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00 am – 17:30 pm (hours may vary in the winter)

6. Segovia’s Alcazar, Spain

European Castles Alcazar-of-Segovia

After being burned down in 1862, Segovia’s Alcazar was rebuilt to emulate European Renaissance castles of the 16th century, and therefore has a truly Romantic and idealized form. One of the best rooms in the castle is the Hall of Monarchs, which is filled floor to ceiling with artwork of saints; the art was commissioned by Felipe II as a way of firmly establishing his family’s claim to the Spanish monarchical crown.

Where: Alcazar de Segovia, Spain

When: Origins in the 12th Century

Style: Gothic and Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 19:00pm

7. Sintra Palace, Portugal

best castles in Europe - Pena Palace Portugal

Sintra, a wonderful Portuguese town located just outside of Lisbon, makes the perfect day trip; the town itself is beautiful, but undoubtedly, its highlight, and huge tourist attraction, is its palace. Located on top of a luscious green hill with spectacular views, Sintra Palace has over 1000 years of history to show off; its history began during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula and has since seen several reconstructions and extensions in accordance to contemporary styles and various leaders.

Where: Sintra, Portugal

When: Origins in the 11th century

Style: Moorish

Open for visit: 9:30 am – 20:00 pm (hours vary depending on the season)

8. De Haar, The Netherlands

Best Castles in Europe - De Haar Netherlands

This fairy-tale style castle is located next to the village of Haarzuilens in the province of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. With its roots in the 14th century, whereby some ruins of the original castle are still visible, the majority of the castle today was constructed between 1892 and 1912. Today, the castle is surrounded by a large and beautiful park and is full of a massive 7000 trees. As well as boasting a breath-taking exterior, De Haar Castle also has a beautiful interior, with luxurious furnishings and a vast collection of antiques and artworks.

Where: Village of Haarzuilens, The Netherlands

When: 14th Century

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

9. Chateau de Chenonceau, France

Famous Castles in Loire Valley Château-de-Chenonceau

Situated near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley of France, Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the most visited castles in the region. During the 16th century, when the castle was constructed, the original buildings were cleared to make way for it; since it’s originally built, many of its owners have added their own unique touch to it, such as Diane of Poitiers, who added a beautiful arched bridge, which is now quintessential to its overall appearance. Today, visitors are captivated by the castle’s heritage and its classic French architecture.

Where: Chenonceaux, France

When: 16th Century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00 am – 18:00 pm (hours vary depending on the time of year, so ensure that you check the website before planning a visit)

10. Castel San Angelo, Italy

Castles in Italy Castel-Sant’Angelo

Located on the banks of Rome’s river Tiber, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Vatican City, Castel San Angelo is one of the Eternal’s City’s most fascinating sites. The construction of the castle began in the year 135AD by Emperor Hadrian; centuries later, in 1277, an 800-meter corridor was constructed between the Castle and the Vatican, so that the Pope had the option to escape in time of emergency. Today, visitors are attracted to the extensive history of the castle and are also captivated by the wonderful café/bar located inside the castle, that offers an impressive view of St Peter’s Basilica.

Where: Rome, Italy

When: 135AD

Style: A hybrid of architectural styles

Open for visit: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 am – 7:30 pm

You might also want to check: The best castles to visit in Italy. 

11. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

German Castles Neuschwanstein-Castle

Built entirely for King Ludwig II, who only actually slept in the castle for a total of eleven nights, the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of Germany’s most visited sites. Meaning ‘New Swan Stone’, Neuschwanstein inspired the castle featured in Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’, and has captured the imagination of many of its visitors. Built-in the 19th Century during the Romanesque Revival period, this castle captures true Romanticism and fairy-tale elegance.

Where: Above the Bavarian village of Hohenschwangau, Germany

When: 19th Century

Style: Romanesque revival

Open for visit: April to October, 9:00am – 18:00pm. October to March, 10:00am – 16:00pm.

12. Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark

Best Castles in Denmark Frederiksborg Palace

Located in Hillerod, which is north of Copenhagen, this gorgeous Renaissance castle was first built in the 17th century by the Danish King Christian IV. Today, the castle boasts breath-taking gardens that are incredibly romantic, and constructed in the baroque style; there is also a modern café in the gardens, which is the perfect place to people-watch, and absorb the beautiful scenery and architecture.

Where: Hillerod, Denmark

When: 17th Century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

13. Gripsholm Castle, Sweden

Famous European castles - Gripsholm Castle Sweden

Situated in the picturesque town of Mariefred in Sodermanland, Sweden, this beautiful castle is idyllic, and the ultimate fairy-tale setting. Gripsholm Castle is also known as Gustav Vasa’s castle, as he was the original builder in the year 1537. The castle is both beautiful on the outside as well as the inside, where it proudly displays a vast array of artwork, which is the astonishing collection of the Swedish State; the grounds are incredibly romantic, and perfect for an afternoon stroll.

Where: Mariefred, Sweden

When: 1537

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

14. Akershus Castle, Norway

Europe's best castles - Akerhus Castle Norway

Located in the wonderful Norwegian city of Oslo, the Akershus Castle and fortress were constructed in 1299 under the order of the current king, Hakon V. During the 17th century, King Christian IV modernized the castle, by renovating it into the contemporary Renaissance style, whilst also establishing it as a royal residence. Today, many visitors to Oslo prioritize a trip to Akershus Castle, as they are captivated by its fairy-tale presence, and enticing history; there are many guided tours available if you wish to learn the entirety of the castle’s heritage.

Where: Oslo, Norway

When: 1299

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 6:00am – 21:00pm

15. Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic

Best Castles in Czech Karlstejn Castle

Established as a place to store royal treasures by the Roman emperor Charles IV, this other-worldly Czech Republic castle is one of the country’s highlights, and should be high on every visitor’s to-do list. With its origins rooted in the year 1348, this magnificent Gothic castle is an important part of Czech history; like so many castles in Europe, it has witnessed several drastic changes to its ownership and its architectural style, but its unique history and charm continues to shine through.

Where: Karlstejn, Czech Republic

When: 1348

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

16. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

Hohenwerfen Castle Austria - famous castles around Europe

Built by the Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg, the original fortification was built between 1075 and 1078; like many castles on this list, Hohenwerfen has been altered and renovated across the centuries in which it has existed, depending on its current owners and wider political and social events. Today, the castle is predominately a museum, and many visitors embark on guided tours around the castle to learn about its fascinating history; it offers breath-taking views of the surrounding scenery and is itself, one of Europe’s most astonishing castles.

Where: Werfen, Austria

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

17. Vianden, Luxembourg

Best Luxembourger Castles Vianden-Castle

Constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries, Vianden Castle encapsulates an array of different architectural styles from a range of different periods; some aspects of it are highly Gothic, whereas others are more in keeping with the Romanesque fashion, providing it with a wonderful and unique charm. Throughout its history, it has consistently been a feudal residence, and a central hub of political and monarchical power, making it one of Luxembourg’s most important and symbolic landmarks and is quintessential to national heritage.

Where: Vianden, Luxembourg

When: 11th – 14th centuries

Style: A mix of Gothic and Romanesque

Open for visit: 9:00 am – 16:00 pm (hours vary depending on the season, so ensure that you double-check before planning a visit.

18. Trakoscan Castle, Croatia

top castles in Europe - TRAKOŠĆAN CASTLE Croatia in

Placed proudly on top of a beautiful hill, with lines of trees and luscious lakes beneath, Trakoscan Castle is one of Croatia’s national treasures; originally constructed in the 13th century, the castle has its roots as a defence fortress. Over the years, the castle has frequently been owned by Croatian nobles and has seen many different design features and renovations across time. Though today the castle has been slightly neglected, it is nonetheless incredibly picturesque and is bursting with history.

Where: Trakoscan, Croatia

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: Summer, 9:00am – 20:00pm, and Winter 9:00am – 17:00pm

19. Peles Castles, Romania

Best Romanian Castles Peles-Castle

Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873, this breath-taking Romanian castle is one of the highlights of the country for any visitor. Interestingly, the castle was the first castle in Europe to have electricity and is even equipped with its own power plant. The castle is idyllically nestled in the Bucegi Mountains, in the town of Sinaia, and is built in a neo-Renaissance style. As well as the magnificent exterior, the interior of the castle is filled with gorgeous artifacts and elaborate features, making visitors feel as though they have stepped into another world entirely.

Where: Sinaia, Romania

When: 1873

Style: Neo-Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00 am – 16:00 pm (hours vary on the time of year and day of the week, so ensure that you check before visiting)

20. Ravadinovo Castle, Bulgaria

European Castles Ravadinovo-Castle

Located not too far from Sozopol, this Bulgarian castle is truly unmissable; it is adorned with glorious turrets and bizarre but wonderful features. It is a bold, statement castle, that so stylishly reflects Bulgarian heritage and history; it gives off a Romantic aura and could have jumped straight out of a Disney movie or fairy-tale book. Today, visitors are attracted not only by the castle and its history but also by the wonderful grounds that are absolutely perfect for taking a summer’s day stroll.

Where: Ravadinovo, Bulgaria

When: 18th Century

Style: Neo-Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

21. Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania

Great european castles - Trakai Castle Lithuania

This castle, whereby the original construction began in the second half of the 14th century, is a very unique and captivating building. It was originally built for military and residential functions, but in the 16th century, it became a prison for noblemen. The castle has seen many changes across the years, due to changing architectural styles, as well as several renovations and reconstructions, due to war, battle, and the natural aging of the materials.

Where: Trakai Island, Lithuania

When: 14th Century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

You might also like: The best castles to visit in Lithuania. 

22. Toompea Castle, Estonia

Toompea Castle Estonia - Europe's best castles

This magnificent baroque creation is one of Estonia’s national treasures and is a true highlight for any tourist. Although its origins lie in the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle that we see today was built between 1767 and 1773 and has a wonderfully grand and regal façade. For the entire time the castle has existed, it has been an important social and political hub for Estonia, as every foreign empire that has ruled the country has used it as a base. Ensure that you allocate a large portion of your time visiting this castle, as there are so many fascinating secrets and facts to uncover.

Where: Toompea Hill, Estonia

When: Origins in the 13th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

23. Chillon Castle, Switzerland

Best Swiss Castles Chillon-Castle

One of Switzerland’s highlights, this out of this world castle is one of Europe’s most picturesque and idyllic. Situated on the banks of Lake Geneva, Chillon Castle, or otherwise, ‘Chateau de Chillon’, is built in the Medieval fortress style, and is built on a very important site, which dates back to Roman times. Interestingly, over 330,000 tourists visit the castle each year, and it attracts international visitors as well as just Europeans. The castle has a wonderful history and is the perfect place to visit on a sunny afternoon.

Where: Lake Geneva, Switzerland

When: Origins in the Roman era

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00 am – 17:00 pm (hours vary significantly depending on the time of year)

24. Buda Castle, Hungary

Buda castle Hungary - Best Castles in Europe

One of the world’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sights, Buda Castle is one of the finest and most unique castles in the whole of Europe. The castle was completed in 1265, but the Baroque style castle that visitors can see today was built between the years 1749 and 1769. Many visitors travel up the steep hill in order to admire both the beauty and amazing architectural charm of the castle, as well as to take in the astonishing views of the city below; Buda Castle is an unmissable sight when visiting the Hungarian city of Budapest.

Where: Budapest, Hungary

When: 13th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

25. Turaida Castle, Latvia

Turaida Castle, Latvia - europe's famous castles

Otherwise known as ‘God’s Garden’, Turaida Castle is one of Latvia’s national gems, and a real pull factors for foreign visitors. The castle has a rich and extensive history, which begins right the way back to the beginning of the 11th century; today, visitors are attracted by the castle’s unique appearance, breath-taking views, and surrounding landscape, as well as its peaceful atmosphere, which makes for the perfect location for a sunny afternoon stroll.

Where: Turaida, Latvia

When: Origins in the 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

26. Bojnice, Slovakia

Famous European Castles Bojnice

This magnificent fairy-tale Slovakian castle is one of the most visited and recognizable in the country. It was originally built in the 11th century, in the Medieval architectural style; since then, it has housed several noble families of multi nationalities. Inside, there is a vast collection of artistic and historical artefacts, as well as many examples of original furnishings and features. There are also many contemporary events held at the castle, as it creates the perfect atmosphere.

Where: Bojnice, Slovakia

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00 am – 16:00 pm (hours may vary depending on the time of year, so ensure that you check the website before planning a visit.

27. Bled Castle, Slovenia

Bled Castle, Slovenia

The history of Bled Castle is extensive, dating back to the year 1004, however, the castle that we see today was not there, it was merely a Romanesque style tower that stood. It was not until the late Middle Ages when more was added to the castle, making it a far more imposing and impressive sight; it was built in the Gothic style, which still remains today. Many visitors are attracted to the castle for its wonderful views, and idyllic surrounding landscape.

Where: Bled, Slovenia

When: 1004

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 8:00am – 8:00pm

28. Pidhirsti Castle, Ukraine

Pidhirsti Castle, Ukraine

One of the most unique and fascinating castles on this list is Ukraine’s Pidhirsti Castle, a heavily neglected, fortified castle that dates back to the 17th century. The castle today is incredibly withered and worn, showing signs of life from previous eras, but still retains its wonderful charm. The castle has been used for a variety of things over time, such as a location of leisure for noble people, a library, and a theatre. Today, visitors can explore the museum, that was opened at the beginning of the 20th century.

Where: Pidhirsti, Ukraine

When: 17th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

29. Schwerin Castle, Germany

Famous Castles in Germany Schwerin-Castle

Famed as one of Germany’s most magnificent, and romantic castles, Schwerin Castle is an architectural gem; it is formed of so many different turrets, wings, and domes, and one could spend hours mulling over its beauty. Completed in the year 1857, this castle truly captures Romantic expression, particularly through its emphasis on an idealized past, and the gorgeous surrounding landscape, which makes it seem like something straight out of a fairy-tale.

Where: Schwerin, Germany

When: 1857

Style: Neo-gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

30. Corvin Castle, Romania

Famous Castles in Romania Corvin-Castle

Corvin Castle is situated in the Romanian town of Hunedoara, near the larger city of Deva, and is one of the country’s most beautiful castles. It is a quintessential fairy-tale castle, with its gorgeous, towering turrets, moat, and Renaissance-Gothic architectural features. Construction began in the 15th century by John of Hunedoara and has since been a symbol of and center for socio-political rule and influence.

Where: Hunedoara, Romania

When: 15th century

Style: Renaissance-Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

31. Culzean Castle, Scotland

Best castles in Scotland Culzean-Castle

This magnificent Scottish castle, which is situated approximately 13 miles south of Ayr, is one of the most visited castles in Scotland and is a key reason why tourists visit the area. The history of the castle dates way back to the 16th century, whereby the 4th Earl of Cassillis gave the lands of Culzean to his brother Thomas Kennedy; however, at this time, all that stood was a tower house. Some of the highlights of the castle’s interior include the Culzean Castle Staircase, and the Culzean Castle Dining Room, which make you feel as though you have stepped back in time.

Where: Ayr, Scotland

When: 1569

Style: Gothic/Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

32. Eltz Castle, Germany

Castles in Germany Eltz-Castle

Nestled in the center of luscious green landscape, between Koblenz and Trier, Eltz Castle has been taken straight out of a fairy-tale story; it literally towers above visitors, which injects it with a sense of awe-inspiring wonder. The castle has been owned by the Eltz family since the 12th century and has been their family home for a whopping 33 generations. Eltz Castle features a museum, which holds incredible original furniture and artwork; it is also recommendable to visit the Knights Hall, which features astonishing original armor from the 16th century.

Where: Between Koblenz and Trier, Germany

When: 12th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:30am – 18:00pm

33. Conwy Castle, Wales

Best Welsh Castles Conwy-Castle

Built under the orders of King Edward I of England, construction of Conwy Castle commenced in the year 1283 and is one of the best-preserved castles in the entirety of North Wales. Despite the inside of the castle being nearly completely run-down, the overall form nonetheless gives visitors a taste of what life was like in the 13th century. Over the years, the castle has seen a vast amount of military action, as well as various owners and purposes, which makes its condition all the more impressive.

Where: Conwy, Wales

When: 1283

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:30am – 16:00pm

34. The Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

Best German Castles Hohenzollern-Castle

Hohenzollern Castle has been a prime center of power for kings and emperors of multiple nationalities for centuries, such as Kings of Prussia and German Emperors. The castle boasts an impressive 1,000-year history and has seen a significant amount of renovations and owners. In the 15th century, the original castle was destroyed in the war, before being rebuilt shortly afterward. On average, around 350,000 visitors come to the castle a year and are attracted by the castle’s impressive exterior, and its equally fascinating interior, where tourists can visit staterooms and an array of incredible objects and artifacts.

Where: Mount Hohenzollern, Germany

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:30pm

35. Warwick Castle, England

Best Castles in England Warwick Castle

One of England’s most famous and easily recognizable castle is Warwick Castle, which is located in the town of Warwick. During the time of William the Conqueror, the castle was merely a wooden motte and bailey castle, before becoming converted to an impressive stone fortress, which we can see today. One of the highlights of the castle’s interior is The Great Hall; it is one of the largest rooms in the castle, and remains the exact same as it did in the 14th century!

Where: Warwick, England

When: 1068

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

You might want to check: The best Castles near London. 

36. Chateau de Chantilly, France

Castles in France Chateau de' Chantilly

The Chateau de Chantilly is one of France’s finest castles and has survived for centuries. It was constructed in the 19th century, and captures true Romantic charm; it is situated in a beautiful location and is truly awe-inspiring. The chateau also has the second largest collection of antique paintings, after the Louvre, which makes it appealing to an array of different visitors, as there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Where: Chantilly, France

When: 19th century

Style:  Neo-Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

37. Lichtenstein Castle, Germany

Best German Castles Lichtenstein-Castle

Situated on the brink of the Swabian Alps in Germany’s Baden-Wurttemberg, Lichtenstein Castle is built in the Gothic style and is one of the most idyllic and picturesque in the whole of the country. The castle is fascinatingly built on a jarring, exposed rock formation, and its history dates back to the year 1100, whereby it belonged to the Lords of Liechtenstein. Since then, the original castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, and has moved location multiple times. It was restored in the 19th century to bring it back to its true, Medieval appearance.

Where: Lichtenstein, Germany

When: 1100

Style: Medieval, Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: Hours vary depending on the time of year, so please ensure that you check the website before planning a visit to the castle.

38. Malbork Castle, Poland

European Castles Malbork-Castle

Famed as the world’s largest castle, with regards to land area, Malbork Castle in Poland is high on most castle lovers lists to visit. The castle’s construction began in the 13th century by the Teutonic knights and became their headquarter, and remained the same for nearly 150 years. The castle is built in beautiful red brick, and takes the shape of a Medieval fortress; visitors often spend a whole day wandering around the castle and its grounds, as there is simply too much to learn about and see!

Where: Malbork, Poland

When: 13th century

Style: Gothic/Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 20:00pm

39. Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

Best european castles kylemore in Ireland

Founded in the year 1920 by the Benedictine Monastery, Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Garden were originally built as a castle in the 19th century as a gift. Located in Connemara, in the west of Ireland, Kylemore Abbey is one of the country’s most beautiful sights and is a popular attraction for tourists. As well as visiting the Abbey and its many beautiful features, the surrounding area is just beautiful and makes the perfect place for an afternoon stroll and some tranquillity.

Where: Connemara, Ireland

When: 1867

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm

40. Orebro Castle, Sweden

Famous European Castles Orebro-Castle

Orebro Castle is believed to be first constructed in the 13th century and is believed to have been built at the request of Jarl Birger, who was Sweden’s ruler, and the founder of its capital, Stockholm. Over the years, it has switched hands of ownership between various royals, families, and noblemen, and has seen long periods of decay and neglect, before being renovated in new and contemporary styles. Today, visitors are captivated by the castle’s long and rich history, as well as its beautiful location and surroundings.

Where: Orebro, Sweden

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00 am – 17:00 pm (hours vary depending on the time of year, so ensure that you check before planning a visit.)

41. Kronborg Castle, Denmark

Best Denmark Castles Kronborg Hamlet's Castle

Kronborg Castle is famous for lovers of English Literature, as it is easily recognizable from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The history of the castle dates back to the 1420s, and was built by King Eric VII as a Medieval Fortress; from 1574 to 1585, the fortress was transformed into a Renaissance castle. The castle itself, today, is absolutely breath-taking, and has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list; it is the perfect place to visit on a sunny afternoon.

Where: Helsinger, Denmark

When: 1420s

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 15:00pm

42. Cesky Sternberk Castle, Czech Republic

Best Castles in Czech Cesky Sternberk Castle

Built-in approximately 1241 by Zdeslav of Divisov, the castle is remarkably still owned by the same family as it was 800 years ago. In 1467, the castle was renovated in the late Gothic style, and also acquired several other new architectural features. There are numerous tours available for tourists, that take visitors around the castle and the surrounding area, with plenty of fun and fascinating facts about the castle and its rich and exciting history.

Where: Cesky Sternberk, Czech Republic

When: 13th century

Style: A mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

43. Frazenburg Castle, Austria

Best European Castles Frazenburg-Castle

This wonderful water castle, which was built in the 19th century, is constructed to look older than it really is. The castle was built next to the existing Castle of Laxenburg and was named by Emperor Franz, hence the name. The castle holds a wonderful museum, which centers on the Medieval period, is thoroughly interesting, with many captivating exhibitions. The gardens and surrounding area are also equally wonderful and are very popular with tourists.

Where: Laxenburg, Austria

When: 19th century

Style: Neo-Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 15:00pm

44. Egeskov Castle, Denmark

Castles in Denmark Egeskov Castle

Hailed as one of the best-preserved moat castles in Europe, Egeskov has stood in its exact original location for over 460 years. With its glorious turrets, spires, and red brick façade, Egeskov Castle is one of Europe’s finest examples of Renaissance mastery. The castle is situated in the middle of a small lake, whereby many oak trees surround the area, making it both picturesque, and the perfect place to stroll around on a sunny afternoon.

Where: Kvaerndrup, Denmark

When: 16th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00 am – 20:00 pm (hours vary depending on the time of year)

45. Ksiaz Castle, Poland

Famous European Castles Ksiaz-Castle

Built-in the 13th century, between the years 1288 and 1292 by the Prince Swidnicko Jaworskiego Bolka I Surowego, Ksiaz Castle in Poland is one of Europe’s largest castles and is the third biggest in Poland. As well as boasting a magnificent façade, which sits proudly on top of a luscious green hill, the interior of the castle is equally amazing; it features over a whopping 400 rooms, each with its own unique design and quirky architectural features.

Where: Ksiaz Landscape Park, Poland

When: 13th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00 am – 17:00 pm (hours vary significantly depending on the time of year, so ensure that you check first.)

46. Gravensteen Castle, Belgium

Gravensteen Castle, Belgium

Originally built in the 10th century, as a wooden structure, the Belgian Castle of Gravensteen has a fascinatingly rich history and heritage. In the Castle, there are several museums; one of the most interesting is the Arms Museum, which holds a fantastic collection of original weapons, such as pistols and crossbows. There is also an amazing rooftop terrace, where visitors can take in the wonderful views of the entire city below.

Where: Ghent, Belgium

When: 10th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

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47. Castillo de Coca, Spain

Castles in Spain Coca-Castle

Built-in the 15th century, by the Archbishop of Seville and Don Alonso de Fonseca, Castillo de Coca is one of Spain’s most famous castles and is built with a range of influences, such as Moorish military architecture, and western, within the Mudejar artistic period. It also has elements of Gothic architecture, which gives it a slightly more central European appearance; what is undeniable is that the castle’s style is very unique, and it has a rich heritage and a wonderful charm.

Where: Coca, Spain

When: 15th century

Style: Mudejar

Open for visit: 11:00am – 13:00pm

48. Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Best castles in Scotland DUNNOTTAR-CASTLE

Situated dramatically on top of a cliff fortress with the rocky waves smashing against the sides beneath, the ruins of Dunnottar Castle are truly breath-taking. The buildings that survive are largely from the 15th and 16th centuries, though some are believed to be remnants from as far back as the early middle ages. Dunnottar Castle is a symbol of Scottish heritage, and is a national treasure; it is also a huge pull factor for many tourists to the area.

Where: Near Stonehaven, Scotland

When: Middle Ages

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:30pm

49. Mont Saint Michel, France

Best Castles in France Saint Michel

One of Europe’s most iconic castles is France’s Mont Saint Michel, which is located in the Lower Normandy region. The history of the land dates back to the departure of the Roman in 460 AD, but nothing was built until the 8th century, whereby the first monastic establishment was built. Today, visitors are captivated by the castle’s dominating presence and the way it looms over the surrounding beach. So many tourists visit this destination a year and continue to return time after time.

Where: Normandy, France

When: Origins in 460AD

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 8:00am – 18:00pm

50. Chateau de Chambord, France

French Castles Chateau de' Chambord

Built-in the quintessentially French architectural style, Chateau de Chambord is situated in the Loire Valley, and is the largest chateau in the area, and was built in the 15th century. The castle receives a staggering half a million visitors annually, who are all enticed by the beautiful charm of the building. It is fascinating to think when wandering around, how much has happened in the castle of the years, the people that have lived there, and the events that have occurred.

Where: Chambord, France

When: 15th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:30pm

As this list has demonstrated, Europe is jam-packed with a magnificent array of different and diverse castles. If this list has not made you want to pack your bags and book a trip across Europe to uncover centuries worth of history and castles, nothing will!