Every time I pack my suitcase and head off into the unknown, I always find a way to visit at least one castle in my destination… Since I was little, these immense fortresses with walls steeped in history have caught my attention.

But with the number of picturesque castles scattered across the European continent, the list can be endless. For now, check out the top 10 castles in Europe that I have been lucky enough to visit and admire. Medieval castles, castles of princesses, of different sizes, styles and colors, but which have played an important role in the course of history.

Curiously, these majestic castles have changed somewhat, since at first they emerged as great protection fortresses and used to be frequented by well-to-do people. 

Killarney, Ireland

Ross Castle

Only for Romantics: 10 Castles in Europe that will make you fall in love

In the southwest of Ireland, precisely in County Kerry, we find this tower-house castle, one of the main tourist destinations in the Celtic country. This stone fortress dates back to the 15th century and straddles the shores of one of Killarney’s three largest lakes – Lough Leane. 

Sintra, Portugal

Moors Castle

Moorish castle, sintra

Sintra, known internationally for its imposing and romantic 19th century monuments, is a colorful fairytale Portuguese village located about 45 minutes from central Lisbon. It extends over a beautiful and green region of Portugal far from the hot and bustling Portuguese capital (which I recommend you visit without a doubt!).

The Castelo dos Mouros is one of the main attractions in Sintra that cannot be missed. Built by the Moors in the 9th century, it extends over the Sierra de Sintra, and is located next to the colorful Palacio da Pena (it is also essential to visit it together with the Palacio de Monserrate). 

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Castle

Only for Romantics: 10 Castles in Europe that will make you fall in love

The Prague Castle (if you dare in Czech it says  Pražský hrad ), is an architectural complex very close to the Vltava River, dating from the 9th century. This beautiful Gothic-style castle was the throne of the Kings of Bohemia (former Kingdom of Central Europe), the Holy Roman Emperor and the Presidents of Czechoslovakia. However, today, it is the current President of the Czech Republic who occupies this place.

Sinaia, Romania

Peles Castle

Only for Romantics: 10 Castles in Europe that will make you fall in love

Peles Castle is one of those typical Disney-style castles. It’s from a love movie.

Of neo-Renaissance architecture, this enormous fortress is located in the beautiful alpine town of Sinaia, anchored in the Carpathian Mountains, about 124 kilometers from the Romanian capital: Bucharest.

This true marvel of architecture was built by Charles I of Romania between 1873 and 1914 and is the second most visited castle by tourists in Romania.

Barcelona, ​​Spain

Montjuïc Castle

Montjuic Castle_ Castles in Europe

Barcelona has it all. No doubt. From perfectly equipped beaches with all the services, through the architecture of Gaudí or the art of Picasso, and those tasty pintxos with the obligatory vermouth… and if you didn’t know, Barcelona even has castles!

Transylvania, Romania

Dracula’s Castle

Only for Romantics: 10 Castles in Europe that will make you fall in love

Dark like few others, Dracula’s Castle is the typical horror movie castle. I was lucky enough to visit it twice, and I wish I had a third. For me, without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful castles in Romania.

Dating back to the 13th century, this medieval fortress sits high up in a valley anchored in a rock, very close to the city of Bran, right on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia.

The castle is the birthplace of one of the darkest vampires in history: Dracula. For a long time now, this fortress has been linked to the history of this famous earl, with Christopher Lee being the first actor to play the vampire in the 1958 British horror film, which is based on the novel Irish novelist Bram Stoker.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

Only for Romantics: 10 Castles in Europe that will make you fall in love

Located on top of a hill with incredible views of the Scottish city, Edinburgh Castle is part of the World Heritage Site. Recently voted the UK’s top attraction, this beautiful stone fortress is Scotland’s top tourist attraction chosen by curious tourists.

The fortress, which stands on volcanic rock, is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Scone, the famous huge 15th century cannon: Mons Meg, the Thirteen Hour Gun, and the National Memorial of the Scottish War.

Budapest, Hungary

Buddha Castle

Only for Romantics: 10 Castles in Europe that will make you fall in love

I must admit that Budapest left me speechless… like this castle! The Buda Castle (or Royal Palace) is a true journey back in time and one of the most emblematic buildings in the city of Budapest. This beautiful complex belongs to the Kings of Hungary and its construction was completed in 1265.

The massive fortress rises 48 meters above the Danube and can be admired from anywhere in the city of Budapest. It is located at the top of the hill, next to the Chain Bridge.

Chenonceaux, France

Chenonceau Castle

Castillo de Chenonceau, Castles of Europe

ESP-EC-TACULA-RRRRR! I can’t think of a better word to describe this imposing and romantic château, and you?

Lost in the town of Chenonceau, in the one and only Loire Valley Region of western France (best place in the world to see castles), this fairytale-like residential-style castle dates back to the 16th century and is known as the “Castle of the Ladies” for the imprint left on it by the nobles.

Dublin, Ireland

Malahide Castle

Only for Romantics: 10 Castles in Europe that will make you fall in love

This visit is a good excuse to escape the urban bustle of Dublin in search of tranquility. Where can we go? Malahide Castle is the answer.

Lost in a fishing village on the outskirts of the Irish capital, this medieval gem is spread out in the middle of a large park. Unchanged over time, this fortress is located about 13 km to the north and is one of the oldest castles in Ireland.

This fortress was built in the 12th century, and until 1975 it was owned by the English Talbot family… that is, almost 800 years!

I already feel like the empress of the kingdom, and you?…

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