Not only do castles all over the world have a rich and vibrant history, but they simply look incredible, floating on hilltops amongst the clouds, or somehow integrating themselves in nature in a breathtaking way. Here are the coolest castles we could find from all over the globe. Put them on your bucket list!
1. The Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Prefecture of Matsumoot, Japan
This stunning castle in Japan is so unique, looks like a sculpture. It’s located in Matsumoot, Japan, and was built in the 16th century. Some castles reside on an island or on top of a hill, which is classified as a Hirashiro. This simply indicates that moats, gatehouses, and walls were the defenses of the castle. And surrounded by cherry blossoms. So lovely.
2. The Hohensalzburg Castle, Salzburg, Austria
This massive fortress dominates a hill in Salzburg, Austria. It is 250 meters long and 506 meters high, making it one of the biggest castles in Europe. It was constructed in 1077 under the Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein, who resided on the top floor.
3. The Hohenzollern Castle, Baden-Württemberg – Germany
When it’s foggy out, this castle looks like a dream, floating in the clouds of the Swabian Alps. It dates back to 1061, and artistically drop-dead gorgeous. But it wasn’t always so – in the 1400’s it was destroyed when it was under siege, and rebuilt much sturdier.
4. Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
The notorious King Ferdinand II resided here, and the 19th-century romantic style that was popular in Portugal at the time definitely reflects that. The dreamy canary yellow and other vibrant colors are less serious than a lot of castles in Europe, and we love the creativity behind it. It was designed so one could see it from any point in the park of Pena, which was filled with lush forestry and luxurious gardens containing over 500 species of trees.
5. The Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic
It’s foundation started in the 9th century, but after a slow and steady journey of building, it’s the biggest castle in the world now! It’s 570 meters long, and the majestic castle is unique because it contains almost every architectural style of the past millennium!
6. The Castillo de Coca, Coca, Segovia, Spain
This powerful castle in scenic Spain sits on a hill in the lovely Segovia, inside a tiny walled town known as Coca. The Gothic/Moorish style is ever haunting, and the large moat is also quite beautiful. It was constructed in the 15th century and has been altered a lot over time, but in the 1950’s it was officially declared a National Historic Landmark.
7. The Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh
Thought islands were just for tropical places? Think again! This beauty sits on an island off Scotland called Loch Duich, and was created in the 13th century. This was once referred to as a “Sea Kingdom”, and surrounded by serene waters and flora, it looks like just that. It’s frequently featured in film and TV filming locations, and was named after an Irish saint it was dedicated to.
8. Predjama Castle, Predjama, Slovenia
This jaw-dropper literally sits inside the mouth of a cave, and looks like something out of a novel! Built in 1274, this Slovenian gothic-style castle was build during the Renaissance, and due to its unique structure and heights, made it through numerous attacks in the 15th century!
9. The Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany
People call this 19th century Romanesque Revival palace the fairytale castle, and for good reason! It was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle. Sitting on a lush hill, in the village of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria, this castle was designed to be a refuge for Ludwig II. It was actually commissioned by Ludwig II himself, who paid for this palace out of his own personal funds, rather than the public’s! Wow!
10. Castle Ksiaz, Wałbrzych, Poland
This lovely castle overlooks the Pelcznica River and was built by Tootokar II of Bohemia in 1263. The castle was taken over by the Nazis in 1944, and was supposedly going to be a future abode for Hitler, but that never happened. It’s the third biggest castle in Poland, and a mysterious gold train was recently discovered nearby. What’s a real castle without its secrets?