Step Into One of These 11 World’s Finest and Most Extravagant Castles That Would Make You Feel Like Royalty

The world is filled with some of the most exquisite and luxurious castles that have stood the test of time. From the imposing walls of Windsor Castle in England to the regal grandeur of Neuschwanstein in Germany, these castles are not only symbols of grandeur and power but also works of art that remain unparalleled even in the modern age.

But there is something even more special about them. These architectural masterpieces have seen countless kings and queens in their lifetime, and they have also been witness to some of the most important moments in history. So if you’re looking for a way to feel like royalty for a day or two, here is our list of the 11 most famous and impressive castles in the world that you can still visit today.

1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
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The building was completed on Neuschwanstein Castle in 1886. It is nestled in the Bavarian Alps and is a masterpiece of romantic architecture. Its fairy tale-like design, inspired by medieval castles, captivates visitors with its soaring towers and breathtaking views. This symbol of German craftsmanship was said to have inspired castles featured in Disney classics, including the Disney logo. 

2. Hearst Castle, USA

Hearst Castle, USA
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Hearst Castle is a testament to luxury and is perched high on a hill in California. Built by media mogul William Randolph Hearst, this extravagant estate features 165 rooms, lavish gardens, and a private zoo. Building on the castle began in 1919 and was completed three decades later. Its stunning architecture and art collections exemplify American wealth and grandeur. 

3. Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle, Romania
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The 600-year-old Bran Castle is often associated with the legend of Dracula and sits majestically in the Carpathian Mountains. This medieval fortress exudes an aura of mystery and Gothic charm. Its historical significance, breathtaking location, and stunning architecture attract countless visitors seeking a glimpse into Transylvanian folklore. 

4. Château de Chambord, France

Château de Chambord, France
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Located among vast parklands, the Château de Chambord was built in 1519 and is a perfect example of the French Renaissance. This grand castle showcases intricate stone carvings, elaborate turrets, and a double-helix staircase that amazes visitors. It embodies the pinnacle of French architectural elegance and is a testament to the rich history of a bygone era. 

5. Windsor Castle, England

Windsor Castle, England
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The seat of the British monarchy dating back to Henry 1 in the 12th century, Windsor Castle sits along the River Thames. This sprawling palace has over a thousand years of history and is home to priceless art collections, magnificent State Apartments, and the iconic St. George’s Chapel. Its regal stature and royal heritage make it an enduring symbol of England’s monarchy.

6. Alhambra, Spain

Alhambra, Spain
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The Alhambra, an architectural marvel in Granada, Spain, transports visitors to the golden era of Islamic rule. This Moorish fortress and palace dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries and boasts intricate tilework, serene courtyards, and elaborate archways. Alhambra’s fusion of Islamic art and Spanish culture creates a captivating blend of beauty and history. 

7. Prague Castle, Czech Republic

Prague Castle, Czech Republic
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Dominating the Prague skyline, the Prague Castle is a majestic ensemble of historical buildings, courtyards, and gardens. Construction started on the complex in the 9th century, but it has undergone several expansions since then. As the seat of Czech royalty and now the presidential residence, it showcases various architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. Its commanding presence and stunning panoramas make it a must-visit landmark. This is now a UNESCO-listed world heritage site.

8. Himeji Castle, Japan

Himeji Castle, Japan
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Himeji Castle, also known as the White Heron Castle, is a UNESCO architectural gem in Japan. Construction started in the 14th century and was expanded by various emperors over several hundred years. When Japan’s feudal system stopped in the late 1800s, the castle was sold for approx $2200. Its pristine white exterior and intricate wooden framework exemplify traditional Japanese castle design. Its strategic defenses, elegant interiors, and beautiful surrounding gardens immerse visitors in the grace and craftsmanship of feudal Japan. 

9. Matsumoto Castle, Japan

Matsumoto Castle, Japan
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Dating from 1594, Matsumoto Castle, also known as the Crow Castle, is a striking fortress in Japan. Its black exterior, multiple towers, and unique construction showcase the strength and elegance of Japanese castle architecture. Set against a backdrop of mountains and cherry blossoms, it is a cultural treasure that reflects the samurai heritage.

10. Malbork Castle, Poland

Malbork Castle, Poland
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Going by land mass alone, the sprawling Malbork Castle in northern Poland is considered the largest castle in the world. The 13th-century castle is also known as the Castle of the Teutonic Order and is a testament to medieval military might. This colossal brick fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage site with its fortified walls and grand halls. Its rich history as the headquarters of the Teutonic Order is brought to life through captivating exhibits and reenactments. 

11. Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark

Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark situated in the middle of a lake
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Situated on three islets (small islands) in the middle of a lake, Frederiksborg Castle is considered one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. Built to serve as the royal palace for King Christian IV in the early 17th century, this majestic castle was designed with intricate details inside and out. Today, the castle is still covered in its original architecture and houses Denmark’s National History Museum, making it a popular attraction for visitors.

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