If you’re looking to go on a castle tour of Europe, you probably already planned for such well-known destinations as Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany or the Chateau de Chambord in France. They’re certainly dazzling and worth your time, but they’re not the only ones. In this guide, we bring you 7 more magical castles from around Europe to really enchant your itinerary.
Windsor Castle – Windsor, England
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, and has been a royal residence for over 900 years. Its magnificent architecture, beautiful gardens, and extensive art collection make it a must-visit destination.
The best time to visit Windsor Castle is in the spring or autumn when the crowds are smaller, the weather is mild, and the gardens are in full bloom. The nearest airport is London Heathrow Airport and visitors can take a direct train to Windsor & Eton Central Station, or take a taxi or private transfer. Buses require a transfer at Slough.
Blarney Castle – Blarney Village, Ireland
Blarney Castle is one of Ireland’s most iconic landmarks. It’s known for its legendary Blarney Stone, which is said to “give visitors the gift of the gab”. That’s to say, the stone is supposed to improve your eloquence if you kiss it. The castle itself is also an impressive sight, with a rich history dating back to the 15th century.
Much like Windsor, the best time to visit Blarney Castle is in the spring or autumn, so you might want to plan for both when packing for Europe. The nearest airport is in Cork City (about 30 minutes away), and you’ll need to take a taxi or rely on the village bus service.
Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress that sits atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the city of Edinburgh. The castle is home to numerous historic buildings, including the iconic St Margaret’s Chapel, and the Scottish Crown Jewels.
The best time to visit Edinburgh Castle is in the summer when the city is buzzing with festivals and events. Getting there is easy enough: London to Edinburgh train travel times are convenient for most regional residents, and the city itself has an airport for welcoming foreign visitors.
Conwy Castle – Conwy, Wales
Conwy Castle is one of Wales’ most iconic castles, known for its impressive fortifications and stunning coastal location. The castle is best visited in the summer months, and visitors can explore the extensive ramparts and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Conwy doesn’t have an airport of its own. Foreign visitors will need to land at the Liverpool John Lennon Airport and take a taxi or train, or arrange private transfer.
Castello di Miramare – Trieste, Italy
Castello di Miramare is a stunning 19th-century castle located on the Adriatic coast of Italy near Trieste. The castle is known for its beautiful architecture, rich history, and gorgeous seaside location.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the castle’s interior, explore the nearby botanical gardens, and enjoy magnificent views of the sea and coastline.
The best time to visit Castello di Miramare is in the spring or autumn when the crowds are smaller. Trieste Airport is near the city centre, and the castle itself is 15-30 minutes away, reachable by car, taxi, or public transportation from the city.
Alcazar of Segovia – Segovia, Spain
Alcazar of Segovia is a stunning mediaeval castle located in the historic city of Segovia in central Spain. The castle is known for its unique shape, remarkable fortifications, and striking location atop a rocky hill overlooking the city.
The best time to visit is in the spring or autumn. You can take a guided tour of the castle’s interior, then explore the city’s historic streets, all while enjoying splendid views of the surrounding countryside.
The nearest airport is Madrid-Barajas Airport, about 60 miles south of Segovia. The best transportation option is taking a direct bus (to Segovia bus station) or train (to Guiomar station on the outskirts of the city).
Prague Castle – Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Castle is one of the most impressive structures in Europe. It’s renowned for its exquisite Gothic and Renaissance architecture, extensive art collection, and rich history dating back over a thousand years.
The castle is best visited in the spring or autumn months. You can take a guided tour of the interior, enjoy views of the city and surrounding countryside, or explore the nearby historic neighbourhoods.
Václav Havel Airport Prague is located approximately 16 kilometres (10 miles) northwest of the castle. The distance is around 20-30 minutes by taxi or private car, or 30-45 minutes by public transportation (bus or metro).
On a final note, keep in mind that this list features only some of the most impressive and well-known castles in Europe. There are many other fantastic castles throughout the continent that are worth exploring if you have the opportunity!