There are hundreds of stunning custles in Europe and every has it’s own style and beauty, my choice is more to inspire rather than rating these heritages. I chose these 10 most beautiful castles I’ve seen in Europe, as I found those places something more than just historic walls. Some of them would be known worldwide while pothers like Belfast castle very private and charming. I found them all very different and special, and there’s lots of things to do in their neighbourhood, so I would definitely recommend these destinations for a day-trip.
Belfast castle – Northern Ireland.
Located on the slopes of Cave Hill Country Park in north Belfast. Although there are plenty of impressive, historical castles out there, I want to present this one on a first place, as it surprised me with it’s unique and charming design. The original Belfast castle was built in 12th century by Normans, although after it was burned down it was built as a new castle rather than being rebuilt. It is open to the public daily with a Visitor Centre, antiques shop and restaurant, with an outside seating, where you can enjoy wonderful view over Belfast and a lovely garden with a fountain. Very easy to get there, convenient parking in the shade of the castle.
Malahide castle – Ireland.
It’s probably Dublin’s most popular historic landmark attraction. Hundreds of visitors from Dublin and outside of it arrive on a sunny weather to spend a day near Malahide castle 😉 Only Howth would be slightly more popular! So, bear in mind it might be a little crowded during weekend. This exceptional medieval castle was built in 12th century. It was owned by Talbot family for over 800 hundred years! There are lovely botanical gardens worth visiting and a famous souvenir and fashion boutique shop – Avoca – which is one of the best home brands. Malahide castle is definitely a good destination for a day-trip.
Malahide castle is easily accessible by bus, train and car. It’s located only 12 km from Dublin on the north side.
BUS: Take Dublin Bus number 42 from Dublin City.
TRAIN: The DART travels to Malahide Rail Station, which is a short walk from the castle.
Alhmabra – Spain.
Rather a palace that a castle, there’s a huge piece of Spanish history behind Alhambra. Alhambra dates from the 9th century and it’s probably the most magnificent castle in Europe. It was originally created for military purposes. It was called Alhambra because of its reddish walls (in Arabic, (qa’lat al-Hamra’ means Red Castle). It is located on top of the hill al-Sabika west side of Granada. It is difficult to describe the beauty of this place. You can spend few hours wondering among various structures of the palace. One of the best things you can do, which is followed by thousands of tourists, is to drive on the other side of the hill to admire the palace from further perspective. The hill is full of small cosy cafés, with balcony’s situated above the cliffs.
Krasiczyn – Poland.
This Late Renaissance castle is located in the south-eastern corner of Poland and it’s a magnificent medieval heritage. It’s one of the most beautiful European castles. It now performs as a heritage with stunning garden/park but there’s also a hotel with horse stable and plenty of other attractions. There is an entrance fee something around €5 which allows to take a tour of the castle.
Lazienki Krolewskie (Royal Baths) – Poland.
This beautiful park with Royal castle, art gallery and botanical gardens is located in the heart of Warsaw – capital of Poland. It’s one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. Hundreds of people gather every day during spring and summer time to listen to piano performances. Chopin compositions are played beneath the monument of this great composer.
Wilanow Royal Palace – Poland.
It’s a wonderful baroque yellow royal residence, which you absolutely have to visit while in Warsaw. This royal palace is located in the Wilanow district of Warsaw – capital of Poland, only 10 km outside city centre. It’s easy accessible by bus from any point in Warsaw. This magnificent heritage has survived both World Wars. The Wilanow Palace was used as a summer residence in the 17th century by King Jan III Sobieski, who’s museum is inside the palace. The entry ticket is about €5.
Malbork castle – Poland.
Well, probably most famous Polish castle in Europe. This 13th century Gothic castle is the largest brick castle in the world. It’s absolutely magnificent castle, very special to me, as my family comes from Malbork 😉 so I probably might have seen a bit more rooms that are accessible for regular visitors 😉 A panoramic view of the castle can be captured for the other side of the river Nogat. The castle dates back to the 13th century and was built by the Teutonic Knights – German Roman- Catholic crusaders. Malbork castle is located in the north of Poland, about 30km from the north coast.
Eastwell Manor, County Kent, England.
One of the most beautiful places I have been in England. I had this pleasure to win a scholarship in England, so aside of the research framework we had organized number of trips around Kent county. It’s hard to believe how beautiful this countryside is, along with surrounding farms and cosy local pubs. I’ve spent one of the best times in my life there at classic and vintage motor cars event. Summer of classic car events is usually run in August and September. People from all over England drive to show or sell their classic cars just to spend a fantastic picnic day with lots of games and facilities organized for visitors.
Chateau de Fontainebleau – France.
This is one of the most interesting destination near Paris. It’s an overwhelming palace located 65 km southeast of Paris. The restoration made between 1964-1968 made the château welcomes around half million visitors per year. The rooms that date from the 16th century are among the most breathtaking in France. There are 1530 rooms in the château and 4 museums where you can find the Marie Antoinette’s Turkish boudoir, the imperial theater of Napoleon III and Napoleon I’s opulent throne room.
Read more about fascinating French heritages: https://freestyletraveling.com/paris-sightseeing-around-and-best-spots-to-visit-around-on-a-day-trip/
Palais de Versailles – Paris, France.
A symbol of the French monarchy. It’s a great place to spend also a full day to explore impressive gardens around the palace. The history of Versailles is strongly associated with the figure of Louis XIV, who took the role of architect and built a masterpiece of the chateau and the forest surrounding it. Louis XV did not spent major time in Versailles but often resided at Fontainebleau. After his death Versailles entered a long period of neglect. In the late 18th century Louise XVI organized a huge wedding ceremony in Versailles and his wife – Marie Antoinette made it her exclusive domain. Versaille remained mostly untouched during French Revolution, it was closed during II world war to reopen and remain greatest world attraction.