Castles remind us of a time when life was incredibly romantic.
People worked hard and played hard. Lives may have been shorter, illness more common, and resources less abundant, but passion was at its peak. Visiting castles gives us hope that romanticism is still alive!
I think many people feel this way, hence the popularity in castles all over Europe.
Castles also give us a look into the past. We can see what people lived like in different periods of time.
We can see how castles were built, and what type of lifestyle was enjoyed. Castles were built during different periods, so they offer varying views into the eras from before.
Here is our selection of must-see castles in Europe!
Castle Neuschwanstein in Germany
This is a must-see castle. It is incredibly popular and sought out by many tourists as a top castle to visit. It is incredibly popular because many believe it looks like the castle in Disney in Florida, and that Disney’s castle was modeled after it. The castle is huge, and it is very beautiful to look at from the outside.
You must visit this castle to see how beautiful it is. You will have to walk up the side of the mountain to reach it, but the good thing is that there are guided tours and the castle is still intact.
During the tour, you get to visit different rooms in the castle. There is a King’s bedroom, designed in gothic style, a Throne Hall, in the shape of a royal crown, and the Minstrel’s hall, where operas and plays were shown. The interior of the castle has scenes from operas on the walls.
This castle is located above the town of Schwangau, in the Bavarian Alps in Germany. It was built in the late 1800’s by King Ludwig.
It is in the style of an old German knightly castle, and the view is incredibly romantic.
Castle Liebenstein in Germany
I pick the Castle Liebenstein in Germany because it is a castle that you can stay in overnight and enjoy dinner medieval style! The castle has many of the original workings left, such as a windy narrow staircase to get to some of the rooms, and the original stones making up the courtyard. I stayed at this castle, and was incredibly enchanted by the whole place.
This castle is located on the Rhine River in Germany, and is one of only a couple of castles in this area that you can actually stay in. I don’t know that you really get the whole experience if you just take an hour long guided tour. I would recommend this as a castle to propose to your girlfriend/mate.
While we were there, someone proposed and it was one of the most special moments I have ever witnessed.
The castle overlooks the rhine river, and you can enjoy the rhine view while dining, as well as from your room.
This castle also is next to another castle, Berg Sterrenburg. The castles seem to be facing each other, and were nicknamed the warring brother castles.
Windsor Castle near London
This castl, in the town of Berkshire, is so incredibly authentic and well-preserved. The biggest draw for me is that the interior of the castle is impeccable. Every room, every hallway, every wall, is preserved and completely breathtaking. There is a gift shop on premises, and guided and nonguided tours are available.
There are so many rooms, that it takes awhile to get through the castle! Another big draw is the guards that stand outside the castle.
If you can’t visit London on your trip to England, or would rather avoid the crowds at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, this is the next best thing.
The guards are just the same here- if you approach them they will not flinch or speak to you. I tried it- it really works!
The castle is in a quaint little town that has English shops everywhere. Don’t miss seeing this castle!
Marksburg Castle on the Rhine River in Germany
Above the town of Braubach, this castle is the only castle that has not been destroyed on the Rhine. It remains completely intact. This castle’s construction began in the 12th century, and was owned by six different crests/families up to present day. The castle was molded over time and became what it is today.
You can tour this castle and visit rooms, such as the kitchen, the wine room, the sewing room, the bedroom for the royalty, and the dining hall. I find the Marksburg Castle to be a must-see castle because it is rare to find an intact castle on the Rhine River, and the castle looks old but also captivating.
Additional facts can be found at Marksburg Castle official website.
Leeds Castle in England
This is another must-see castle. This castle is like the ones you think about in medieval times. It was built on two islands in the middle of a lake. The grounds are just as impressive as the castle itself. The castle was built in the 1100’s, and came to be owned by six medieval queens in the period from 1278 to 1428.
The castle is now owned privately. Tours are available. You can also reserve a dinner at this castle, or come to one of the events, such as the Autumn Golden Flower Festival in the fall each year.
Time and again there are medieval banquets held, with jousting knights and jesters and minstrels.
To get to the castle there is a stone bridge that used to be a wooden drawbridge!
Canterbury Castle in Kent, England
This castle has been around since the third century. It is a must-see castle because of its importance in history.
It was valued by the Romans because it had a port on the western side of the Wantsum Channel. The castle was added to in the 11th century, and many of the walls you see today are from this addition.
The castle is still there, but is no longer intact. A second reason to visit is to stop by Dover and see the white cliffs above the English channel.
Pembroke Castle in Wales
This castle is on the banks of the River Estuary. The draw to this castle is that it has a number of tunnels, stairways and passages that you can explore. It has a place in history as well. It is the birthplace of Henry Tudor, who was the father of Henry VIII and grandfather of Elizabeth I.
The castle is mostly intact, and you can spend the day there visiting the grounds.
Located on the left bank of the River Elbe in Eastern Germany, this is a gothic castle, built at the end of the 1400’s. It sits at the top of a hill above the town of Meissen. It is considered an architectural masterpiece, and so is a must-see castle in Europe.
Today the castle is a museum, host to historic wall paintings.
Prague Castle in the Czech Republic
This castle is a must-see because it is the seat of the country’s administration, and has been for over ten centuries! It was built in the mid 9th century by the Premyslid family.
The castle was originally made of wood, but then had stone buildings added later. The Castle at one point was a massive fort and also housed churches and two monasteries. In the 1100’s, the Castle was redone, making it into a medieval castle of stone.
The current architecture of the castle is unforgettable.
Chateau de Versailles outside of Paris, France
This Castle was built by Louis the X111 to be a hunting lodge. It was later turned into a castle. In the 17th century, Versailles became the Court of France’s official residence. Work was done by Louis the XIV, XV, and XVI to keep the Castle what it is today. You can visit the castle and see the queen and king’s apartments!
This Castle is home to the famous Hall of Mirrors, the room where the Treaty of Versailles was signed by Germany to end WWI.
This castle is a must-see because of its beauty and its significance in the history of the world!
Featured Photo: Windsor Castle by Diliff