Castle vacations are all the rage, and why not? Who doesn’t want to channel their inner king, princess, knight, or jester by staying in authentic castle rooms!
Europe arguably offers the most diverse castle experience, with lodging ranging from medieval mansions to opulent palaces, to delightful chateaux.
Below are some recommendations for your castle break. All prices are in $USD
- 1. Chateau Mitrowicz, Czech Republic
- 2. Kilkea Castle, Ireland
- 3. Walworth Castle, United Kingdom
- 4. Romantik Castello, Switzerland
- 5. Lundy Castle, United Kingdom
- 6. Castle Tennessus, France
- 7. Civita di Bagnoregio Palace, Italy
- 8. Culzean Castle, Scotland
- 9. Obidos Castle, Portugal
- 10. Schonburg Castle, Germany
- 11. Czocha Castle, Silesia, Poland
- 12. Palácio do Buçaco, Portugal
- 13. Ballyseede Castle, Ireland
- 14. Rheinstein Castle, Germany
- 15. Château de Villiers-le-Mahieu, France
- 16. Książ Castle, Poland
- 17. Panemune Castle, Lithuania
- 18. Cardona Castle, Spain
- 19. Castle Wernberg, Germany
- 20. Thornbury Castle, United Kingdom
- 21. Chateau de la Treyne, France
- More Castles
1. Chateau Mitrowicz, Czech Republic
Formerly known as Chateau Koloděje nad Lužnicí, the romantic Chateau Mitrowicz, on the bank of the Lužnice River, about an hour south of beautiful Český Krumlov.
Dating back to 1565, , it had a rich and troubled history, changing ownership often. In the 1700s, the castle was renovated from a Renaissance-style manor house to the present Baroque style, adding the extension of the ornate Chapel of St. Anne.
Unique frescoes helped the chateau become a national heritage site, listed among monumentally protected buildings. The entire first floor is decorated with eye-catching murals, created at the end of the 18th century.
While the rooms maintain the charm, appeal, and furnishings of the Baroque period, they have been thoroughly modernized to meet today’s luxury standards, particularly the spacious en suite bathrooms and the comfortable beds.
To stay at Chateau Mitrowicz, visitors must reserve all the rooms (one floor) in the castle, including the exquisite wedding suite. The castle sleeps up to 18 and costs $1,100 USD.
Patti Morrow of Luggage and Lipstick
2. Kilkea Castle, Ireland
One of our favorite castles while touring Ireland was the 12th-century Kilkea Castle located one hour outside Dublin in County Kildare. Kilkea Castle is one of Ireland’s continually inhabited medieval castles and it comes with its own stories of witchcraft and ghosts.
If you stay there on the 7th night of the 7th month of the 7th year you may just witness the Wizard Earl riding his silver horse around the castle. But what year is the 7th year? Do you dare?
There is a range of accommodation from staying in the castle rooms, the carriage rooms, or the lodges. If you love golf the Castle has its own golf course and can offer equestrian and falconry activities.
There are many dining options from restaurants and bars to BBQ’s on the terrace in summer.
Prices vary from $225 per night upwards depending on the type of accommodation.
Jane Dempster-Smith of To Travel Too
3. Walworth Castle, United Kingdom
Walworth Castle is a 12th Century Castle in Darlington, County Durham (UK). This magnificent Tudor Castle has won a handful of awards including ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ and features four-poster suites, a recently renovated castle restaurant and lots of facilities on site including dungeon tours, birds of prey experiences and family trails and children’s playgrounds through the adjoining ancient woodland.
Standard double rooms are available from just $80 or $160 for a four-poster castle suite – staying in a castle doesn’t have to break the bank!
Samantha Rickelton of Northeast Family Fun
4. Romantik Castello, Switzerland
Romantik Hotel Castello Seeschloss in Ascona was built on the spot of a 13th-century castle with four towers of which only one remains. During the first half of the 20th century, the castle housed the first free art school in Switzerland and later on a marionette theatre.
The hotel is built around a peaceful garden with a heated open-air pool, and although it doesn’t have direct access to the lake as the castle used to in the past, it still offers the most magnificent views over Lake Maggiore.
If you really want to spoil yourself, I recommend staying in the medieval tower. While each room is unique, the tower rooms are by far the most lavishly decorated and offer a luxurious and pampering experience.
Rooms start at around $195.
Laura of Travelers Universe
5. Lundy Castle, United Kingdom
If you want to get away from everything and go back to simplicity, then Lundy Castle may be the place for you. On a small Island off the North Devon, UK coast, not many people have heard of the 750-year-old castle. King Henry III originally paid for the castle through the sale of rabbits and has been in various states of disrepair.
The landmark trust is now conserving this special building and funds the upkeep through holiday rental. The castle is divided into four holiday rental units and each has some modern comforts such as comfortable but simple furniture, electricity (but only during daylight hours whilst the Islands generator is on) and hot water.
Between March and August, you need to brave a 2-hour choppy boat ride but off season the magic happens and the only way on and off the island is a twice a week helicopter service. Nature is outstanding with puffins, rare goats, wild horses. If you are active there is climbing and diving and to relax take part in “letterboxing” the local treasure hunt or games in the local pub. The 28 residents will make sure you feel welcome and have everything you need.
Rates start at $260 for 3 nights self-catering, depending on the season.
Sarah Meharg of Moodlifter
6. Castle Tennessus, France
The usual castle in France is more of a stately home or Chateau rather than the stone fortresses we associate with medieval history.
But there is a castle in France that ticks every box when it comes to living out your dream of being a knight or princess, Castle Tennessus near the historic town of Parthenay in Western France.
It may seem to be in the middle of nowhere but the castle has a rich and exciting history dating back over 600 years and you get to spend a night or more in one of five beautifully renovated rooms.
Tennessus features the obligatory moat with a working drawbridge which is raised overnight to keep out stealthy invaders. A nice touch to add to the authenticity of the experience.
The rooms are decorated with tapestries, weapons, and armor which also add to the feeling that you are living history. It is a special place which has not been ruined by having the rooms updated to look like a modern hotel. The walls are original stone and the furnishings suitably sparse.
Prices run from around $145 to $225 per night which can include breakfast and other inclusions. It is worth every cent for a unique chance to be a knight for a night.
Dean Williamson of La Vida Global
7. Civita di Bagnoregio Palace, Italy
Civita di Bagnoregio is a secluded town of Italy that does not bustle with tourists like other places. The town is so unique, it is on top of a plateau of volcanic tuff. The youngsters have left the place to enjoy the modernity of Italy, however, there are still a few families living here despite the place being in constant danger of destruction due to erosion that might cause the plateau to collapse.
To enter this palace you need to hike up a bridge and you will find the main entrance to this place which is a huge stone passageway, cut by the Etruscans 2,500 years ago. Once you enter this place it feels like you have entered a whole new world and you can walk around it, talk to people or eat good Italian food. As enchanting it is in the morning, it is equally beautiful during the night as well.
There are many stay options here and a price to stay for a night might cost you around $120.
Radhika Sharma of Nomllers
8. Culzean Castle, Scotland
Culzean Castle sits on the Ayrshire coast in the southwest of Scotland. From its towers and turrets, you can look out at the waters of the Firth of Clyde below, and imagine the generations of Scotsmen who have done the same. For six hundred years, Culzean Castle was owned by the Kennedy clan (one of Scotland’s oldest families), but in 1945 the castle was handed to the National Trust for Scotland who now looks after the property.
They’ve opened up the lower floors of the castle and surrounding grounds to daily visitors – but at night, the top floor is reserved for a privileged group of guests.
Upstairs, the castle has a circular Drawing Room, a private Dining Room and six double bedrooms which can sleep a maximum of twelve guests. It’s possible to rent rooms independently or hire the entire suite: the latter option is popular for birthday parties, anniversaries and weddings. It’s a stunning place to spend a night – although there are some hair-raising ghost stories which may lead to a lack of sleep!
The six rooms are priced differently, ranging from $290 to $510 per night.
Flora Baker of Flora the Explorer
9. Obidos Castle, Portugal
The gorgeous medieval town of Óbidos is about an hour north of Lisbon. It’s possible to visit Óbidos as a day trip from Lisbon, but you could spend a night or two inside the ancient stone walls of Óbidos Castle. Older than Portugal itself, the castle was finally conquered at the end of the 12th century by King Sancho I. Its fortifications were strengthened over the coming centuries and the castle, along with the town, was given to King Dinis and his Queen, Isabel, as a wedding gift in the 13th century.
In the early 1950s, the castle became Portugal’s very first Pousada, one of a collection of national monuments such as monasteries and castles that have been converted into luxury accommodation full of charm and history.
The guest rooms and public spaces are mostly contained within the 16th century Palace of the Alcade, with its frilly Manueline windows, arched stone doorways, painted tiles and other historical features.
Aside from the hotel, the space within the castle walls is regularly used for events such as the annual Chocolate Festival, Medieval Fair and Christmas Town.
Rooms cost around $180 per night but vary by season.
Julie Fox of Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
10. Schonburg Castle, GermanyWith its position high above the River Rhine, Germany’s Schonburg Castle once provided a strategic lookout post. Today it offers an incredible location to lay your head.
Dating back to the 12th-century, the castle was destroyed five hundred years later and then rebuilt in the late 19th-century and restored to its former glory.
Hotel guests have access to the private castle garden and meals are served in either of the traditionally furnished dining rooms or on the terrace overlooking the Rhine.
A museum and observation deck is housed in one of the castle’s old gate towers. Make sure you climb to the top for superb views over the Rhine valley below.
Schonburg Castle is located above the pretty town of Oberwesel in Germany’s Upper Middle Rhine Valley and is easily accessed by either car, train or the KD Line ferry.
It’s not only those with ‘royal’ incomes that can stay at Schonburg Castle, though. Rates start from around $220 for a small double room in the 4-star hotel.
Carolyn of Holidays to Europe
11. Czocha Castle, Silesia, Poland
Czocha Castle is a mysterious and extraordinary place in Lower Silesia, Poland. It is situated far away from the hustle and bustle and surrounded by beautiful forests and rivers, which makes it easy to take a break from everyday life. It is located 6km to the Czech border and 150km to the nearest airport in Wroclaw city. The castle offers a variety of spa and wellness treatments. Guests can also enjoy an on-site sauna. The restaurant in the castle offers traditional polish cuisine.
Czocha Castle offers a three-star hotel’s standard rooms. In addition to typical ones (standard, economy, superior), guests can choose one of seven themed rooms (such as Knight’s Room, Traveler’s Room, Wizard’s Room).
Prices vary depending on the room size. The least expensive double room can be booked from $50 per night.
Marta and Milosz of Backpackers.WRO
12. Palácio do Buçaco, Portugal
One hour and a half away from Porto, the most important city in Portugal, is located Palácio do Buçaco, a place that will always have a special place in my heart. After all, my parents got married there in 1987. I was born some months later so I can technically say that I have been to Palácio do Buçaco even before I was born.
Palácio do Buçaco used to be a hunting palace of the kings of Portugal. Designed in the nineteenth century by an Italian set designer, it quickly became one of the most impressive castles in the country. It was later on converted into a luxurious hotel with an impressive garden and immersed in a beautiful forest.
The price of this hotel starts at $140/night (classic double room or junior suite). Once there, do yourself a favor and have dinner at the castle. You’re welcome!
Sara Riobom of Portoalities
13. Ballyseede Castle, Ireland
When it comes to castles, Ireland certainly has no shortage of them. But when it comes to castle hotels in Ireland, it can be tricky to find one that won’t completely break your holiday budget. One Irish castle hotel that’s both historic AND affordable is Ballyseede Castle in Tralee.
Ballyseede Castle dates back to the 15th-century and was at one point the seat of the Earls of Desmond. Today, it’s a 4-star luxury castle hotel – the only one of its kind in County Kerry in Ireland. The castle hotel has 44 en-suite rooms on 30 acres of native Irish woodland, along with resident Irish wolfhounds and mini horses.
Staying at Ballyseede Castle is luxurious, but also unpretentious. You can read in fancy sitting rooms, sip on afternoon tea, or enjoy a pint at the cozy castle pub – all while feeling comfortable enough to roam around in normal clothes. Definitely something worth adding to your Ireland road trip itinerary.
Double rooms at the castle start at $130 during low season (November-March) and $195 during high season (May-September). Larger family-style castle rooms average about $275 for the night.
Amanda Williams of A Dangerous Business
14. Rheinstein Castle, Germany
Located along the Rhine River in southern Germany Rheinstein Castle is an almost hidden castle along the hillside. The castle has an incredible history, is one of the best-preserved castles in Germany and has spectacular views over the river and surrounding hills. Constructed in 1316 the castle was handed down through different hierarchal lines and eventually fells in ruins. Revived again in the 1800’s Burg Rheinstein was restored to its former glory which is apparent in its collection of armory and furniture collections.
The castle is available for overnight stays though there is very limited availability. For 2 adults, an overnight stay during the summer season is approximately $145 a night.
Diana of The Elusive Family
15. Château de Villiers-le-Mahieu, France
Château de Villiers-le-Mahieu is one of the most beautiful castle-hotels in France. Its location, nestled in a small forest on the outskirts of Paris, beautiful architecture and good facilities make of Château de Villiers an excellent weekend getaway from Paris, far from the bustle and hustle of the big city.
Château de Villiers still sits on its original medieval structure surrounded by a moat filled with water. However today the castle is the result of different renovation and extension works in different periods with the main building with a Renaissance touch.
Its main facilities include a spa pavilion, outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and other outdoor activities such as mini golf, ping pong or pétanque. Free bikes are at guests’ disposal for moving from one pavilion to another one or just for a leisure stroll.
The château-hotel has a different kind of rooms located in different pavilions and with different prices, starting at $200 for one night.
Elisa of World in Paris
16. Książ Castle, PolandKsiąż Castle (Zamek Książ in Polish) is the largest castle in the Silesia region and the third biggest in Poland. It is located in Wałbrzych in the South-Western part of the country.
The castle dates back to the 13th century, however, its history was marked by a number of stormy events. It changed hands often, belonged to various states, and was destroyed during the numerous wars that were waged on this territory.
In the past Książ Castle’s guests included Wilhelm I (King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany), Nicholas I (Czar of Russia), Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of Great Britain), Sophie (Queen of Greece), Marie (Queen of Romania), Wilhelm II (Emperor of Germany), Constantine I (King of Greece) and Wilhelmina (Queen of the Netherlands).
Nowadays the restored castle is available for guided tours and houses a hotel and a conference center.
The room rates range from $50 per night for a single room to $250 for the Presidential Suite.
Aina Ambroszkiewicz of Liquid Travel
17. Panemune Castle, Lithuania
Built between 1604-1610, Panemune castle is located in Lithuania. The castle stands in a park on a big hill and is surrounded by 5 beautiful ponds. You can wander the grounds of the castle, visit the tower for some breathtaking views, and even spend the night too.
Little has changed over the years within the architecture. On your visit, you can also visit the museum, play archery and even go for a horse ride. The ponds surrounding the castle are a perfect spot for a picnic in the sunshine. A truly magical experience.
You can experience the beautiful interiors and exteriors from only $80 per night
Bradley Williams of Dream Big Travel Far
18. Cardona Castle, Spain
Located just a quick hour drive from the Catalunya capital of Barcelona, is a small town called Cardona. While the city itself isn’t all that fascinating, the castle that sits atop the biggest hill in the region is absolutely stunning.
I was left speechless when I discovered that this castle, which was built in 886 A.D, has been transformed into a hotel as well as a UNESCO world heritage site! The hotel chain is called PARADOR, and it’s owned by the Spanish government, and they’ve got a few castle properties spread around the country.
The food at the restaurant is delicious, and you’ll fall in love with the view from your castle window each morning during as the fog runs over the hills in the distance. It was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Spain, and would recommend it to everyone visiting Barcelona in the future!!
Sleeping in Cardona Castle costs around $120 per night.
Dave from Jones Around The World”
19. Castle Wernberg, Germany
Castle Wernberg, nestled in a small town in northern Bavaria, will make you feel like royalty. A small castle, with classic blue and white shutters, this residential castle is set up for you to have a romantic weekend. As you park and walk up to the main entrance, you encounter the moat, and although it’s dry, you can see how it was a huge part of the defense system. The castle may have been small, but it was safe and cozy. The tower, chapel, and courtyard are some of the best parts of the castle to visit while you are there.
There is a spa, two amazing restaurants, a fantastic wine cellar, and the castle hosts a number of events from wine tasting to the most charming Christmas market throughout the year. We took a cooking lesson with a 2 star Michelin chef, and it was amazing. It is the perfect place to share that special date with your partner.
Wernberg is located only one hour by car, two hours by train from Nuremberg, easy to add onto your river cruise or Germany vacation.
You can check the website to see what special events are happening, but if you plan to do one of those, book early. Wernberg is very popular and books up fast. It will be the stay of a lifetime.
Rooms range from about $130 for a standard up to about $300 for luxury suites. You can book your spa in advance, just remember there are no massages on Sunday.
Corinne at ReflectionsEnroute
20. Thornbury Castle, United KingdomBristol, in the United Kingdom, is known as a food and drink destination, with classic pubs and tons of craft beer brewers. But, just outside of Bristol, travelers can step back in time.
Thornbury Castle is located just outside of Bristol and it is a great way to feel like a member of the Royal family. Henry VIII once owned the castle, which dates to the 10th Century. Currently, each hotel room is individually decorated with four-poster beds and period furniture. Dine on modern versions of traditional Bristol food at the on-site restaurant, or even arrange to dine in the castle’s dungeon. There is a spa, plenty of grounds to explore, and guests can even arrange an archery expedition. Rooms start at $250 a night. Or, travelers can arrange to have afternoon tea in the library, which is available each afternoon.
Amber of With Husband In Tow
21. Chateau de la Treyne, France
The Chateau de la Treyne is a 14th-17th-century chateau hotel set on the banks of the River Dordogne in the Lot region of France. Part of the Relais-Chateaux collection, the chateau is in a stunning location on a clifftop overlooking the river and the valley below. There is a one Michelin starred restaurant on site. This luxury hotel is the best combination of elegance and friendliness. The hotel is both family and pet-friendly. The rooms are elegantly furnished and the service is superb.
Set on hundreds of acres, there are plenty of hiking opportunities as well as a heated pool and a tennis court. The nearby Dordogne valley is a nature-lovers paradise with opportunities for hiking and fishing. This hotel is a good base to explore the area which includes the UNESCO world heritage sites of Lascaux with its prehistoric cave art and Rocamadour, a town built practically vertically into a cliff.
There are 5 types of rooms from standard to luxury suites ranging in price from $340 to $1000 per night.
Shobha George of Just Go Places
Here are nine more European castles you can sleep in:
- Burg Stahleck Castle, Germany
- Burg Satzvey, Germany
- Castle Durrow, Ireland
- Ruthin Castle, Wales
- Castle of the Calatravos, Spain
- Colditz, Germany
- Dalhousie Castle, Scotland
- Balfour Castle, Shapinsay, Scotland
- Hotel Schloss Thannegg, Austria
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All photos are the property of each contributor unless otherwise noted.