ExecutiveChronicles | 5 Fairy Tale Castles in Europe You Should Visit | One of the things Europe is known for is the abundance of castles on the continent. The royal families who reigned before the monarchy were widely abolished lived in many of these castles. Others serve various purposes, with some owned by private individuals like families. While planning your next trip to Europe, you should consider locations close to some of these fairytale castles on the continent.
Pena Palace, Portugal
Pena Palace is a fairytale castle in Sintra, just out of Lisbon in Portugal. The town contains many attractive tourist sites, but none comes close to the popularity of Pena Palace. The castle has bright red and yellow walls framed by arches and other architectural designs that inspire castles in fairy tales. The castle is built on a hill, which makes it a prime spot to view all the surrounding areas. You can easily spot the bright walls of Pena Palace from Lisbon.
You can take a train from Lisbon or drive to the town to get to Pena Palace. If you are coming from the Southern part of Portugal, you can take a Faro to Lagos train, then hop on another to Sintra. This alternative will work if you cannot get a straight ride to Lisbon. From Lisbon, Sintra is just a day trip.
Castello Scaligero, Italy
Many women dream of having their fairy tale weddings one day. Castello Scaligero in Italy makes this dream come true. This castle is located in the beautiful town of Malcesine in Lake Garda, Italy. The castle is hemmed in by the largest mountain in the region, Monte Baldo. Regular tourists are not the only group to think the castle is remarkable. It fascinated notable artists such as the German poet Goethe and Gustav Klimt, an Austrian painter.
What makes Castello Scaligero a real fairytale castle, though, is its current purpose. Besides being the major tourist attraction in Lake Garda, the castle opens its doors to couples to tie the knot within its walls every year from April to October. So if you join tours of Italy during this period, you may be lucky enough to witness a couple tie the knot. If not, you can still enjoy the scenic views from the top of the tower and check out the museum.
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Windsor Castle is the first place many people think of when looking for fairytale palaces in the United Kingdom. However, you do not have to wait until a few months before the British royal family accepts tourists to see a fairytale castle in the UK. Instead, buy a flight or train ticket to Scotland. There, you can visit the magnificent Eilean Donan Castle. This castle is one of the continent’s most visited and photographed castles.
Eilean Donan Castle sits on a little island where three lochs meet. This fairytale castle can be explored by tourists every day of the year. Entering the rooms will make you feel like you stepped into a time machine as you behold arts and weapons from the past. Since the castle is on an island, it has facilities to satisfy tourists without having them leave the island. These include a visitor center, coffee, and a souvenir shop.
Château de Chambord, France
France has many castles that make even adults dream of fairy tales. However, you do not need to join the crowd at the Palace of Versailles. Chateau de Chambord is a castle out of a fairytale. Unlike other castles built in the same period, this one’s design is not focused on security but on beauty.
When visiting Chateau de Chambord, prepare to be stunned by everything from the architectural design to the decorative features. The structural masterpiece includes ornate designs of staircases, sculpted columns, and towers many fairytale castles try to depict. There is a lot to take in, so ensure you visit early as the castle closes to visitors by 5 pm.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
A list of fairy tale castles in Europe will be incomplete without the enchanting Neuschwanstein castle in Germany. A single sight of the castle, even from a picture, will leave you stunned. You are not the only one. Many people visit Germany exclusively to see the castle famed for having inspired Disney’s logo. In fact, it is the inspiration for many fairytale castles, including Cinderella’s castle, created by Walt Disney.
The construction of Neuschwanstein Castle took almost 20 years, and King Ludwig, who commissioned the building, died before it was completed. Two months after his death, the castle was opened to the public, despite the initial dream not being fully achieved. Yet, the level of completion was enough to make the castle the most visited landmark in Germany for over two centuries.
These are castles that will inspire you to write your fairy tale if you are yet to. You may even take some pictures as you imagine yourself as a character in your fairy tale. One thing you need to understand is that visiting them all requires adequate planning. The good news is that you can quickly get inexpensive flight tickets within Europe or use the extensive train system to get to each location.
ExecutiveChronicles | 5 Fairy Tale Castles in Europe You Should Visit