Castles have always been a stunning architectural achievement. Whether to demonstrate power, swagger, or to protect, palaces and fortresses remain breathtaking landmarks, visited by crowds of tourists. See our list of 29 gorgeous castles from around the world – which one would you like to see?
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01. Castle Howard, Yorkshire
This beautiful estate has been home to the Howard family for over 300 years, one of the grand private residences in Britain.
02. Castle Hohenschwangau, Germany
Schloss Hohenschwangau is a 19th-century palace in Germany that receives more than 300,000 visitors per year.
03. Corfe Castle, Dorset
Corfe Castle is a fortification that dates back to the 11th century, designed by William the Conquerer.
04. Malbork Castle, Poland
Malbork is the largest castle in the world (surface area) and the largest brick building in Europe.
05. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Ludwig II of Bavaria built this castle as a personal refuge. After he died in 1886, Neuschwanstein opened to the paying public and has had over 60 million visitors.
06. Château de Chambord, France
This palace was built to serve as a hunting lodge for François I and has very distinct French Renaissance architecture. It opened to the public in 2007 and has drawn in more than 700,000 visitors.
07. Osaka Castle, Japan
One of Japan’s most famous castles, Osaka, has a five-story exterior and an eight-story interior. It was built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers during the 16th century.
08. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria
This 11th-century castle is surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Tennengebirge mountain range. The movie Just Married used exterior shots of the castle as a French hotel.
09. Kilkenny Castle, Ireland
Kilkenny was built in 1195 by William Marshal and now serves as a conference and graduation venue.
10. Peleș Castle, Romania
This Neo-Renaissance castle is located in the Carpathian Mountains, built between 1873 and 1914.
11. Schloss Moritzburg, Germany
Named after Duke Mortiz of Saxony, this palace lies on artificial land surrounded by woodlands used for hunting.
12. Castillo de Coca, Spain
This castle was built on the site of ancient Cauca, the birthplace of the Roman emperor Theodosius. The castle now serves as a training school for foresters.
13. Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, California
The Sleeping Beauty castle was inspired by Neuschwanstein (#5 on the list) and stood as a landmark in Disneyland.
14. Kronborg Castle, Denmark
Built in the 1420s, Kronborg is one of the essential fortifications in Northern Europe. It has been immortalized as Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
15. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Alnwick’s interior and exterior were used to film Hogwarts scenes in the Harry Potter films and has roughly 800,000 visitors annually.
16. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
This 12th-century palace is positioned upon the volcanic Castle Rock and has become a recognizable symbol of Edinburgh.
17. Highclere Castle, United Kingdom
Highclere is a 19th-century castle that serves as the primary filming location for the hit-TV show Downton Abbey.
18. Château de Versailles, France
This royal château in France has a whopping 2,300 rooms, 67 staircases, and 5,210 pieces of furniture.
19. Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Prague Castle was named the largest ancient castle in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, occupying 70,000 square meters.
20. Kylemore Abbey, Ireland
Kylemore was built as a private residence for wealthy London doctor Mitchell Henry. The estate was sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1909, but they were forced to sell due to gambling debts.
21. Bodiam Castle, United Kingdom
Sir Edward Dalyngrigge built this 14th-century moated castle to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War.
22. Burg Hochosterwitz, Austria
One of Austria’s most impressive medieval castles, Hochosterwitz, sits 520 feet high and can be seen 19 miles away on a clear day.
23. Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland
This island castle consists of 100 individual buildings, merged into the palace it is today.
24. Catherine Palace, Russia
This residence began construction in 1717 and was built for Catherine I of Russia to provide a summer palace for her pleasure. In 1752, it was redesigned in Rococo style.
25. Windsor Castle, England
This 11th-century royal residence is the longest-occupied palace in Europe.
26. Hogwarts At Universal Studios, Orlando
Based on the wildly successful Harry Potter films, Hogwarts was brought to life at Universal in Orlando, Florida.
27. Balmoral Castle, United Kingdom
Balmoral has been a residence of the British Royal Family since 1852 when it was purchased by Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert.
28. Conwy Castle, North Wales
This medieval fortification was built by Edward I in 1283 and cost roughly £15,000.
29. Schwerin Castle, Germany
The first reports of the castle were made in 973 and currently serve as the state parliament seat.
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