Europe is filled with fairytale castles that will leave you feeling the magic in no time. These are our handpicked favourites of the most magical castles in Europe, each with their own unique history and style.
Chillon Castle, Switzerland
On the shores of the idyllic Lake Geneva lies Chillon Castle, a castle so old that the exact date of the castle’s inception is unknown, though there are records dating back to 1005. Today this is one of Switzerland’s most visited landmarks and indeed, one of Europe’s most beautiful castles not to be missed.
Peleș Castle, Romania
If we could choose just one castle as the most beautiful in Europe, it would have to be Peleș Castle in the Carpathian Mountains, Romania. This Neo-Renaissance castle near Sinaia was strategically placed on a medieval route that linked Transylvania and Wallachia.
Eltz Castle, Germany
Surrounded by an ethereal forrest, Eltz castle was built in the 12th-century and has an eery appeal that welcomes visitors throughout the seasons. The forest comes to life in various shades of orange through fall and in winter the castle is surrounded by misty clouds.
Dracula’s Castle, Romania
Over in Transylvania you will find the real life Dracula’s Castle (formally known as Bran Castle) where it is said Vlad the Impaler may have spent a night or two or even may have attacked it once (depending on what you’ve read). Whether the legend is true or not, the castle has a spooky feel to its which only adds to the fun of it, along with its’ isolated location in the misty mountains of Romania.
This 13th century castle on the shores of Lake Thun is one of the most beautiful castles in all of Europe, especially when viewed from the lake itself. The castle is moated which only makes it more ethereal and to this day is one of the most visited sites in Switzerland.
This 19th century palace in the south of Germany was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria who later built his own castle nearby (Neuschwanstein Castle).
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
When he moved from his childhood castle to his own castle, Neuschwanstein, King Ludwig had the vision of creating a Romanesque Revival palace in honour of Richard Wagner. The castle was his home until his death in 1886 and shortly thereafter opened to the public. Since then the castle has welcomed more than 61 million visitors with around 1.3 million visitors coming to Bavaria to visit the castle each year.
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Located in the Scottish Highlands, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed landmarks in all of Scotland and indeed, a favourite for postcards. The castle has been a backdrop for many Hollywood films, including Made of Honor starring Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Located high above the city of Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most accessible and centrally located castles which, as the title suggests, is named after the city in which it resides. The castle is situated on top of Castle Rock and arguably has the best viewpoint over the city.
Sintra Castle, Portugal
In typical Romanticism style of architecture matched with vivid colours and painted terraces, Sintra Castle overlooks the city of Sintra and has sweeping views beyond the small city to the countryside in the distance. The castle has a unique history given the fleeing of the Portuguese royalty to Brazil during the revolution.