Traveling can lend itself to incredible views, experiences, and journeys. However, sometimes it needs to start with a common goal. This post is focused on 6 of the best castles around the world. They are all located in incredible destinations and offer jaw-dropping views that you’ll hold onto for years to come.
Castles not only hold a lot of history but tell a story worth knowing. With the help of this blog post, you can journey through the history of cities and towns all over the world.
While on your history journey, you’ll probably find yourself imagining you and your travel mates are part of the original royal family, ordering your team of workers to build the castle of your dreams. Or imagine you were the raider who attacked the castle to find treasure, gold, and to rule the nation one town at a time! Wherever your imagination takes you, there’s only one way to know which castle your royal family would rule: read on and visit one-off this list of best castles around the world!
This list of best castles around the world features:
- Kronborg Castle, Denmark
- Osaka Castle, Japan
- Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
- Château de Chambord, France
- Bojnice Castle, Slovakia
- Prague Castle, Prague
Table of Contents
Kronborg Castle, Denmark
North of Copenhagen, is the small town of Helsingør, Denmark. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the sea you will find the Kronborg Castle. This castle was built in 1420 and has been through many events in history. Not only was it burned to the ground and built back up but it is the inspiration for the William Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet known as Elsinore.
The structure itself is built on an intricately designed piece of land carved out to defend against attackers. Among castle peaks and massive towers, the weathered copper-colored pinnacles create a fortress that stands out. Explore the once royal home, garrison, prison and now museum for an interesting jump into the past.
Something to absolutely check out is in the gallows of the castle. Deep below the friendly tours and bright skies above are the catacombs of Kronborg Castle. Here, you will meet Holger the Dane. Holger is a large statue of a man in a thoughtful rest. With his sword in hand and shield propped up against the side of his chair, he is said to be waiting. The legend is that in the time of Konborg’s greatest threat, he will wake from below its green fields to defend his home and its people.
Kronborg castle is irresistibly playful and has hidden items all over its grounds that give you a deeper understanding of its history.
Osaka Castle, Japan
The number one place to visit during the cherry blossom bloom season is the Osaka castle in Japan. The beautiful castle gives way to a large grassy park, known as the Nishinomaru Garden, with 600 cherry blossom trees to provide shade for a picnic, a break from a soccer game, or a relaxing place to reflect on Osaka’s intense history.
Building the castle started in 1583 thirteen years after the destruction of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple by Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga was a religious fighter who captured Owari in 1559 and killed in 1582 by general Akechi. Akechi was killed by one of Nobunaga’s followers, Toyotomi Hideyoshi who continued on his fight for unity until 1590 when Japan was reunited.
Toyotomi built the castle to be a symbol of this unity and at the time, it stood as the largest castle. Soon after his death, however, the castle was attacked, rebuilt, and then struck by lightning and burned down in 1665.
It wasn’t until 1931 that the castle was rebuilt. It survived WWII and was partially repaired in 1997. The inside of the castle is now entirely modern and serves as a museum to the castle’s exciting history.
Something to be aware of before you decide to visit is that both the garden and the castle require admission fees. Although minimal, these fees keep up Osaka traditions, landscapes, and livelihood.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
This castle is not only breathtaking but the story of its creation reads almost like a tragic novel. It’s the story of a father, a son and a son’s need to escape. There’s even a link to modern-day architecture that if you look closely will recognize right away. Neuschwanstein Castle is located in Schwangau, Germany and represents incredible artwork storytelling only a true creative could bring to life.
Only a few days after Kind Lewdin I died, his son built the Neuschwanstein Castle to draw away from the human culture around him. At an early age, he was known to have an active imagination and often dressed up in costumes and performed original plays. The prince became obsessed with fantasy and built a castle modeled after stories of his childhood.
Because of this withdraw from society, he shirked his financial responsibilities and fell into debt. While in court to settle his debts, King Ludwig II was incapable of answering the judge’s questions coherently and was deemed insane and thrown into a facility. Here, he spent his days out until one night he mysteriously drowned in the nearby lake with the psychiatrist that deemed him insane.
Despite the king’s natural dislike for human interaction, over six thousand people come to visit his residence just over the summer where nearly 1.4 million people visit each year. If you look up this castle and find that it looks oddly familiar, it is the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle in the Disney story and Disneyland Park in California.
Château de Chambord, France
This breathtaking castle is home to 5,440 hectares of parkland, surrounded by almost 20 miles of walls and has 500 years of history. Located in Chambord, France you can visit this beautiful escape by a simple two-hour car ride southeast of Paris.
In 1515, Francis I decided to build the structure and began construction in 1519. This castle was built not necessarily to live in but as a symbol of his power and rein. As a result, at 426 rooms, 83 staircases, and 282 fireplaces he created the largest chateau of the Loire group.
The architecture seems to be inspired by Leonardo da Vinci but it’s unclear whether or not the famous artist actually designed it. It wasn’t until Louis XIV came to power that he finally finished the construction of Chambord. Throughout its long life, Chambord has been passed along to many different counts, kings, and widows until 1930 when it was bought by the state and opened to the public.
With so much acreage and beauty, where do you start after deciding to visit? Take a tour of the land of course! You can get lost in the enchanted forest while riding around on a bike, horseback, a horse-drawn carriage, a 4×4 or hoofing it on your own two feet.
In 2017, they started reconstructing the land to be an almost exact replica of its original design by Francis I. You can also pick up a personal tour app through a 3D AR video called Histopad that will bring you around the castle. Using the Histopad or a real tour guide will give you insights into the history of the castle you couldn’t find anywhere else.
While you’re here, you can’t miss a sunset on top of one of their skyscraping terraces. They offer a 360-degree view of the Chambord. If you find yourself on a beautiful evening with clear painted skies and low wind, you must find your way up to one of these for a once in a lifetime view.
Feel like you couldn’t possibly fit 5,440 hectares into one day? Don’t worry, you can stay in the castle! Kind of. There is a hotel next to the castle on the same grounds where you can enjoy royal views and life-changing room service. Find yourself feeling like part of the royal family by staying here.
Bojnice Castle, Slovakia
As the most famous castle in Slovakia this castle is a must-see. The castle is set in Bojnice just a few miles from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The structure was built with light brown brick and completed with copper pointed rooftops that have since changed into a lime green contrast. It sits on top of a hill above the town that remains lush and green throughout the summer months while surrounded by a reflective river.
Bojnice Castle hosts the annual international festival of specters and ghosts. It’s their take on Halloween earlier in the year where people can visit for a real spook, hear scary folk tales from long ago and even dress up as a ghoul and be part of the fun. It’s no wonder why this castle decided to put on such a frightening festival. They have a few scary stories of their own that will bring shivers to anyone’s spine.
One story, for example, stars ‘the black lady’. She and her husband, the lord of the Bojnice, were happily married, lived a wonderful life and have a child of their own. As the story goes, relatives came to stay and grew envious of her grace and virtue. They told the lord she committed infidelity. He grew furious at the news and decided that there was only one way to prove that she did not commit adulty and that she was true to her word. She had to jump from the highest tower into the river holding their baby. If she floated, she was telling the truth. She jumped from the highest tower without hesitation, knowing that she would never betray him. Instead of hitting the water and immediately sinking, she indeed floated away. At the same time, the relatives who had spread the rumor vanished in a puff of smoke. Residents of the castle say she still wanders the halls with her baby always wearing black.
You can visit this castle at any time of year and find yourself in an enchanting environment. There is no limit to what you can experience here.
Prague Castle, Prague
With a UNESCO World Heritage badge, this eclectic series of architecture buildings represent styles from the 10th and 14th centuries. It is the largest castle in the world at 753,473.73 square feet. It is a series of palaces and buildings that create a small village around the castle.
The Prague Castle was most likely founded by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty in 880. Throughout the years it has gone through many architectural updates and remodels including during the First Republic from 1918-1938 by Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik.
Exploring this beautiful castle can consist of a tour of their whopping 10 gardens. Another option is to take in the interior of the castle. It features informational and awe-inspiring war museums, the breathtaking Basilica of St. George, the Cathedral of St. Vitus, a picture gallery and the Old Royal Palace with Vladislav Hall.
During the 10th century, the St. George Basilica was founded, creating the first covenant in the small town. Also, during this time, St. Vitus Cathedral was also founded. This cathedral is the center of how Prague Castle became the center of the Holy Roman Empire.
Take a walk down Golden Lane and gander at the modest housing that the castle guard, fortune tellers, and goldsmiths once lived. In fact, it was because of the goldsmiths that the cobblestone street got its name. The houses have been preserved perfectly and still, represent how these first residents lived out their days.
Prague is known as a fun and exciting place to visit. Why not start your travels around the historical party country by visiting one of the largest castle grounds in the world?
Did you get lost in the stories? Where did you find yourself ruling? Castles are often built for protection against battle but other times, they are simply residence buildings made for only those in the family. Simpler times, right?
Let us know which castle from this list of best castles from around the world that you want to visit most and if you’ve already visited one of these on the list, let us know how it went!
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