Castles are usually from the medieval period. They have thick walls and their main purpose was defense. Palaces are more impressive and decorated buildings that served or still serve as a residence of kings, princes and other royalties. These buildings are one of the most important part of the architectural heritage of European history. Not only the artwork, but the technology used in constructing them also reflect the progress of our civilization.

In spite of the wars we suffered there are still so many of them around Europe that “the top castle” lists you find are so different from person to person. Our list is not an objective top 25 – it simply includes our favorite ones we visited and took great pictures of. Please enjoy this trip through history where we explore Europe through some of its magnificient castles and palaces. Are you ready? Enjoy the tour!


25. The Belvedere, Vienna, Austria

A precious baroque castle built by the Habsburg dynasty.

Castles and Palaces in Europe - Belvedere Austria

24. Buckingham Palace, London, UK

The well-known official residence of the Royal family of the United Kingdom.

Buckingham Palace London

23. Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, close to Madrid, Spain

A historical Royal residence, where the pantheon of Spanish Kings is found.

Escorial Madrid

22.  The Castle of Tamarit, Altafulla, Catalonia, Spain

A wonderfully situated medieval castle in the province of Tarragona.

Altafulla Castle

21. The Castle of Eger, Eger, Hungary   

A charming medieval castle, famous for its heroic defense against the Turkish in the 16th century.

Eger Castle Hungary

20. The Royal Palace of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

The official residence of the Spanish king and his family.

Madrid Palace

19. Castle and Old Town, Tossa de Mar, Catalonia, Spain

A medieval hilltop castle in the Costa Brava.

Tossa del Mar

18. The Castle of Cardona, Cardona, Catalonia, Spain

The most important medieval fortress in Catalonia, situated on top of a hill.

Cardona Castle

17. The Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal

One of the most impressive example of Romanticist architecture.

Sintra Palace

16. The Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany

A baroque masterpiece, the summer residence of Bavarian rulers.

Nympehnburg Palace Munich

15. Loarre Castle, Loarre, Spain

A beautiful hilltop castle built in Romanesque style, mostly famous for its appearance in the Kingdom of Heaven movie.

Loarre Castle

14. The Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Aranjuez, Spain

Residence of the Spanish Royal family, open to the public.

Aranjuez Castle

13. Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, Italy

The cylindrical mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian, later used as a fortress.

Castel Angelo Roma

12. The Wavel Castle, Kraków, Poland

Gothic style castle, once residence of the Polish kings.

Castle Krakow

11. Buda Castle, Budapest, Hungary

A medieval baroque style royal residence with tumultuous history.

Buda Castle Budapest

10. The New Palace, Potsdam, Germany            

A great representative of the Prussian baroque architecture close to Berlin.

Potsdam Palace New

9. Schwetzingen Palace, Schwetzingen, Germany

Summer residence of the House of Wittelsbach with beautiful gardens.

Schwetzingen Castle

8. Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Germany

A wonderful castle built in Renaissance style on top of hill.

Heidelberg Castle ruins

7. The Palace of Versailles, Paris, France

Once residence of French kings and symbol of European absolutism.

Versailles Palace

6.  The Cité de Carcassone, France

A medieval fortress in the South of France.

Carcasonne Walls

5. The Château de Saumur, Saumur, France

A fortress transformed into a beautiful château on the banks of the Loire.

Chateau Saumur

4. The Papal Palace, Avignon, France

The residence of the Catholic popes in the 14th century.

Avignon Castle

3. Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The baroque style summer residence of Habsburg emperors.

Schonbrunn Palace Vienna

2. The Château de Chambord, Chambord, France

A masterpiece of the French Renaissance architecture in the Loire Valley.

Chambord Castle

1. The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The most amazing palace built by the Moorish Kingdom in European land.

Granada Alhambra View

Useful tools to organize your trip

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