7 Real-Life Fairy Tale Castles in Europe You Can Actually Visit

neuschwanstein castle travel to germany

Europe is rich with history. Every street, pub, and government building has a story that dates back hundreds of years. If you’re really interested in the past, then a trip to one of these amazing castles may be just what the vacation doctor ordered. Each of these castles in Europe still stands today and offers visitors the chance to reflect on a time when fortresses dominated the continent.

Or to go searching for Sleeping Beauty. Whatever your tastes.

7. Malbork Castle – Poland

Measured in land area, Malbork Castle is the largest in the world. It sits in the town of Malbork in Poland and was built by the Teutonic Knights. Today, the castle hosts exhibitions and serves as a museum for visitors to explore.

travel to malbork castle poland
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6. Conwy Castle – Wales

Built between 1283 and 1289 by Edward I, Conwy Castle is one of the most dominating looking castles on our list. The castle played an important role in several wars and is today classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Head to Northern Wales and check it out for yourself.

conwy castle in wales
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5. Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany

Maybe the most famous castle on our list, Neuschwanstein is one of the must-visit places in Germany. The castle was the inspiration for the design of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, and it’s drawing in Disney-like tourist numbers. 1.3 million people visit annually, with sometimes as many as 6,000 people per day. It’s a stunning scene.

neuschwanstein castle travel to germany
Shutterstock / Naumenko Aleksandr

4. Bran Castle – Romania

Sitting high over the city of Bran is Bran Castle. While it may not have the pure beauty that can be found at some of the other castles on this list, Bran Castle’s folklore is unmatched. Bran Castle is the national monument and landmark of Romania, home to the lead character in Bran Stoker’s classic, Dracula.

bran castle romania
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3. Edinburgh Castle – Scotland

Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline of the city, watching over Edinburgh from Castle Rock. Humans have occupied the rock since the Iron Age, and there has been a castle on the rock since at least the 12th century. The castle is Scotland’s largest tourist attraction, bringing in over 1.4 million visitors every year.

edinburgh castle in scotland
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2. Bodiam Castle – England

East Sussex, England is home to Bodiam Castle, a 14th-century moated castle. It’s been owned by the National Trust since 1925 and is open to the public for viewing.

bodiam castle travel england
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1. Hohenzollern Castle – Germany

The Swabian Alps is home to one of the most dramatic castles in the world. Sitting atop a 700-foot bluff lies Hohenzollern Castle, which looks down on the towns of Hechingen and Bisingen. It is truly one of the most beautiful structures in Europe, and that’s saying something.

hohenzollern castle in germany
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