10 Fairytale Castles in Europe You Need See to Believe
Whether it’s the quaint towns, the cobblestone streets, or the picturesque landscapes, there’s just something about Europe that makes you feel like you’re walking through a real-life fairytale.
Travelers who can’t get enough of Europe’s idyllic charm will be delighted by these 10 fairytale castles in Europe, which appear to have jumped out of the pages of your favorite storybook!
1. Château de Chenonceau - Chenonceaux, France
Constructed in the early 1500s, Château de Chenonceau is one of the most iconic and well known châteaux (manor houses) of the Loire Valley. Château de Chenonceau is as majestic as it is unique, with part of the château doubling as a bridge that stretches across the River Cher.
2. Schloss Neuschwanstein - Hohenschwangau, Germany
Enchanting and ethereal, Schloss Neuschwanstein sits perched amongst the Alpine foothills and lakes of southern Germany. Completed in 1886, this breathtaking Bavarian castle is most famous for serving as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
3. Peleș Castle - Sinaia, Romania
Situated in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, Peleș Castle is among the most striking and elaborate castles in all of Europe. Built for King Carol I between 1873 and 1914, the castle blends both Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival styles.
4. Miramare Castle - Trieste, Italy
Captivated by the wild, rough beauty of the limestone outcropping in Grignano harbor, Ferdinand Maximilian of the House of Habsburg purchased the land to build his new residence. Miramare Castle combines the rugged blue-green landscapes of the Mediterranean with the traditional Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance styles of Maximilian’s Austrian homeland.
5. Conwy Castle - Conwy, Wales
For classic medieval castle enthusiasts, look no further than Conwy Castle in northern Wales. Built between 1283 and 1289, Conwy Castle is considered one of the finest examples of late 13th century military architecture in Europe, and its dramatic appearance will conjure up images of knights, sieges, and epic battles.
6. Burg Hohenzollern - Hechingen, Germany
Sitting high on a hill above the rolling green landscapes of central Germany, Burg Hohenzollern boasts a strikingly grand exterior and regal interior. The ancestral home of the royal Hohenzollern family of Prussia, Burg Hohenzollern was destroyed and rebuilt repeatedly between the 12th and 19th centuries. The final version of the castle was completed in 1876.
7. Château de Chillon - Veytaux, Switzerland
Perched on the shores of Lake Geneva and framed by Alpine mountains in the distance, Château de Chillon is the sort of place you might expect to stumble across a real-life storybook character. In fact, Château de Chillon was used as the inspiration for Prince Eric’s castle in The Little Mermaid.
8. Bran Castle - Bran, Romania
This medieval fortress will appeal to those who prefer fairytales with a bit of a dark side - and with good reason. Although not officially associated with Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel Dracula, the castle’s ominous and imposing appearance have earned it the nickname “Dracula’s Castle.”
9. Quinta da Regaleira - Sintra, Portugal
Another castle with a slightly darker, more mysterious (yet absolutely enchanting) appearance is Quinta da Regaleira, a Gothic style estate constructed in the early 1900s. Towers, pinnacles, and gargoyles decorate the palace exterior, which is surrounded by scenic woods, lakes, grottos and fountains.
10. Eltz Castle - Münstermaifeld, Germany
Built during the middle ages and surrounded by thick German forest, Eltz Castle is as charming in appearance as it is bewitching. The castle is still owned by the 33rd generation of the Eltz family - the same family that lived there during the 12th century.