Almost every corner of Europe has its fair share of castles. Some of them are luxury homes, others are in ruins, and some operate as museums or are privately owned. But which are the most magical and beautiful ones? Let’s find out:
Schonbrunn Palace – Vienna, Austria
Famous from the Sissi movies, Schonbrunn Palace and its Baroque park are Vienna’s most popular tourist destinations. The former imperial residence certainly offers enough to keep even the keenest history buffs busy. The Baroque park is popular not only for its Maze and the Labyrinth, it is also a favorite jogging and walking destination.
Dromoland Castle – County Clare, Ireland
The Dromoland Castle is actually one of the most impressive and distinguished castle hotels in Ireland tracing its history to native Gaelic Irish families of royal heritage. The Dromoland offers its guests the experience of living like a king and therefore serves as one of the most sought after destinations in Europe. The luxurios SPA at Dromoland guarantees an ultimate SPA experience, and the 6 824 yard par 72 parkland course is among Ireland’s elite and offers a fair challenge to all levels of golfer.
The Royal Château de Chambord Castle – Loir-et-Cher, France
The royal Château de Chambord is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture combining traditional French medieval and classical Italian style. The beautiful double staircase planned by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous architectural features of Chambord.
Neuschwanstein Castle – Schwangau, Germany
The Neuschwanstein Castle which literally means „New Swan castle“ is one of the most frequently photographed and visited sights in Germany. Located on the top of the hill, in the Alps in Bavaria, it really looks like a fairytale castle. It boasts incredibly stunning views over the Hohenschwangau valley and is known for its romantic architecture.
The Palace of Versailles – Versailles, France
While being a former French royal residence and centre of government, the Palace of Versailles is one of the largest and most opulent castles in the world. The most popular attractions include the Hall of Mirrors, King’s Grand Apartment, and Royal Chapel to name a few.
The Palace of Pena – Sintra, Portugal
Perched high on a hilltop in the Sintra hills, the Palace of Pena is probably one of the most iconic sights in Portugal famous for its colorful turrets seen from as far as Lisbon. The Palace is considered to be one of the world’s best examples of nineteenth-century Romantic architecture and i soften compared to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.
The Buckingham Palace – London, UK
Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official London residence and is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. The Buckingham Palace’s 19 State rooms, ballroom and gardens are open to visitors during August and September while the Queen makes her annual visit to Balmoral. For a display of British pomp and ceremony, watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.