There are more than 10 000 castles or ruins to be seen in Europe. Therefore, we sorted through this staggering list to determine the 10 most picturesque castles in Europe for our best places to visit series that you certainly must visit. Some of these stunning castles are probably recognizable because they stand iconic and unique as symbols that remind us of knights, kings and of course chivalry. So, without further adue here is our top 10 list of the most picturesque castles in Europe.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle - Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle is a Neo-Romanesque and Neo-Gothic style castle located in Schwangau, Germany. This magnificent fairytale castle that inspired the castle from the movie Beauty and the Beast was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. This is one of the most visited castles on our list having seen more than 60 million visitors already and welcoming approximately 1,3 million visitors per year.
2. Eltz Castle - Germany
Eltz Castle is not as well-known as Neuschwanstein, but it has steadily become one of the most-photographed castles on Instagram in recent years. The castle has a very mysterious feel and is often portrayed as such in photographs and videos. It is built on a hill surrounded by a thick forest, which adds a secretiveness to the castles feel.
The castle is still owned by the Eltz family to this day and due to its remote location was never destroyed like so many other beautiful castles.
3. Bran Castle - Romania
Bran Castle is a neo-Gothic castle situated in Bran, Romania. This castle was never actually home to Vlad III Dracula otherwise known by many modern people as Count Dracula. This is generally used just for tourism marketing. It is however ver effective as it has resulted in Bran castle becoming the most visited castle in Romania.
4. Alcázar of Segovia - Spain
The Alcázar of Segovia is a Gothic and Herrerian Renaissance influenced castle located in the city of Segovia, Spain. This castle like many others especially in Spain owes its origins to a roman fortress. This magnificent castle has been a declared UNESCO Heritage site since 1985. This is a rich cultural experience that is extremely picturesque and has a wonderful atmosphere.
5. Chambord Castle - France
Chambord Castle is a French Renaissance and Classical Renaissance castle located in Chambord, France. This large castle is a romantic and impressive French masterpiece that imposes amazing, beautiful notions into your mind. This is a castle you almost certainly will fall in love with once you see it for the first time.
6. Hohenzollern Castle - Germany
Hohenzollern Castle is a neo-Gothic castle found in Hechingen, Germany. It is still the official residence of the House of Hohenzollern which is an important and one of the oldest of noble families in Europe. This massively impressive structure built on top of a hill overlooking the landscape around of it. It is nicely isolated surrounded by forest which adds to its imposing look.
7. Mont-Saint-Michel - France
One of my favorite picturesque places in the world is the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in France. This magnificently magical island is the place where Normandy and Brittany meet. Even though not technically a castle. Theoretically it’s a beautiful monastery but this picturesque location looks like a fortification surrounded by water.
The area around the island constantly changes as the tides in the bay change. These changes can be very quickly and reveal drastic and spectacular setups for photography and timelapses. This is a must visit in my book.
8. Trakai Island Castle - Lithuania
This unique large brick castle can be found on lake Galvé in Lithuania. The castle is isolated on a small island with beautiful still waters which reflect the sky and sunrises beautifully to create a magical experience and wonderful picturesque scenery that is a photographers dream.
This castle was heavily damaged and fell into disrepair before it was eventually reconstructed in its original style in the 1960’s. Interestingly, this castle was also used as prison at some time in its history.
9. Bojnice Castle - Slovakia
A truly picturesque, romantic and almost fairytale-like castle is the Bojnice Castle in Slovakia. This Romanesque castle with some original Gothic and Renaissance elements, is the most visited attraction in Slovakia.
The castle was built in the 12th century and repared in the 19th century. It was given as a gift from the King Ladislaus V of Hungary to Matthew III Csák right in the beginning of its lifetime.
The castle is perched on a hill which makes it stand more dominating, and exentuates the romantic and fairytale feeling of the castle. This is a great place to visit for artists as not only is the castle absolutely inspirational, but it also features an artistic museum.
10. Peleș Castle - Romania
Peleș Castle is a Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance castle situated in the city of Sinaia, Romania. This castle is set in an amazing mountain landscape and is absolutely breathtaking. This castle was built with Neuschwanstein in mind and has many other influences that give it such a uniqueness that you have to spend time absorbing this beauty.
An interesting fact about this castle, is that it was the first castle ever to officially have electricity. The way the sun dances on the building with sunsets is amazing and picturesque.
This is the end of our wonderful list of the most picturesque castles in Europe. Please feel free to browse our blog for more interresting posts about some of the best places to visit in this world.