There’s something so enchanting about an elegantly-designed castle in an equally charming destination. From a French chateau to Sleeping Beauty’s home to Dracula’s fortresses, here are five must-see castles around the world.
Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France
Nicknamed Chateaux Country, it’s not surprising that the Loire Valley has some of the world’s most opulent castles. Known for its grand French Renaissance architecture, surrounding gardens, and hunting park, Château de Chambord is actually the largest castle in Loire Valley. Inside the lavish walls is an impressive collection of renowned works of art, especially tapestries and paintings.
Get up close to this French masterpiece on a tour of the Loire Valley
Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England
A preferred residence of the British Royal Family, Windsor Castle is one of the most well-known castles in the world. Originally built by William the Conquerer in the 11th century, it’s the oldest inhabited castle in the world. Over the centuries, Windsor Castle has evolved and expanded into the legendary landmark it is today.
Pop by the Queen’s weekend home on a trip to London
Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania
Set in a storybook setting among rolling green hills, the main draw of Bran Castle is its connection to Dracula. While it’s not 100-percent certain that author Bram Stoker meant to set his famous vampire novel here, the connections are countless—which is why the intriguing fortress is known as Dracula’s Castle the world over.
Visit this literary inspiration on our Bulgaria, Serbia & Romania tour
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany
There’s a reason this spire-studded castle looks like it’s been plucked from a fairy tale—its whimsical design was used as inspiration for Disney World’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Commissioned by King Ludwig II, the German retreat shows off the young king’s eclectic tastes, including chambers housing a stalactite grotto, artifacts of all kinds and murals depicting his favorite scenes from Wagnerian operas.
See why Neuschwanstein draws in 1.5 million visitors annually on a Bavaria tour
Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland
Keeping guard above the Scottish capital, Edinburgh Castle is located on Castle Rock, a site that’s been a royal residence since at least the 12th century. Deeply engrained in Scotland’s heritage and history, the expansive fortress now holds the Scottish crown jewels and the Stone of Scone.
Enter this hilltop castle on your Edinburgh trip
What castles around the world would you love to visit? Tell us in the comments below!