Five Must-Visit European Castles
If you're like me and you find castles fascinating, then this is the article for you. There's just something about them - they speak to something so different than our every day, especially if you live somewhere there isn't any like I do. It doesn't matter to me if they are still in use, set up like a museum, or merely remains - I want to see them all. With so many options to choose from, it was hard to narrow it down - but here's five amazing ones worth checking out during your travels in Europe.
Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany) - There's a good chance you've seen pictures of this castle, or that it looks a little familiar to you. That's because it's known to be Walt Disney's inspiration for Cinderella's castle. Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II and is now one of Bavaria's most visited attractions. Consider visiting outside of the prime summer season to avoid some of the crowds.
Edinburgh Castle (Scotland) - Perched atop the city of Edinburgh on aptly named Castle Rock, you find Edinburgh Castle (and amazing views). It's definitely worth spending some time here, where you can visit the Crown Jewels (Honours) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the National War Museum of Scotland, and the Mons Meg cannon.
Peles Castle (Romania) - While not as well known as Bran Castle (often referred to as Dracula's castle), Peles Castle at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains is definitely worth a visit. It's considered one of the most stunning castles in Europe. It was the summer residence of the royal family until 1947 and no expense was spared in its construction. It was even the first European castle to have electricity.
Mont-Saint-Michel (France) - On a rocky inlet between Normandy and Brittany, you'll find the stunning Benedictine abbey and the village that surrounds it. One of the most-visited places in France, it should definitely be on your list. At high tide, it appears to hover above the water, and at low tide you'll have different vantage points for viewing. Wear sensible shoes and get ready for lots of stairs - but the visit will be worth it.
Alhambra (Spain) - Named for its reddish walls (in Arabic the name means red castle), the Alhambra is Spain's most significant example of Islamic architecture and one of the most unique palaces in the world. While there, you'll definitely want to explore the Nasrid Palaces (entrance is capacity controlled), the Charles V Palace, Alcazaba, and the various gardens.