15 European Castles You Can Spend the Night in
Have you ever dreamed about spending the night at a castle, surrounded by beautiful gardens, romantic turrets, and breathtaking interiors? Turns out you could do that right now, especially in Europe, where you’ll find several gorgeous castles where you don’t have to be part of royalty if you want to sleep like a king.
With their fairy-tale like charms and hundreds of years of history, these castles have always intrigued travelers, and right now they’ve been converted into high-end hotels, keeping their medieval atmosphere intact. From superb British fortresses to massive German mansions and old medieval forts, here are 15 incredible castles where you can spend the night.
- 15. Castelo de Obidos, Portugal
- 14. Margam Castle, Wales
- 13. Parador de Granada, Spain
- 12. Schloss Hugenpoet, Germany
- 11. Hazlewood Castle, England
- 10. Schloss Hornberg, Germany
- 9. Chateau de Castel Novel, France
- 8. Bran Castle, Romania
- 7. Abbeyglen Castle, Ireland
- 6. Castel Brando, Italy
- 5. Glenapp Castle, Scotland
- 4. Parador de Cardona, Spain
- 3. Balfour Castle, Scotland
- 2. Amberley Castle, England
- 1. Ashford Castle, Ireland
15. Castelo de Obidos, Portugal
Located in the charming little town of Obidos, Portugal, this imposing castle was first mentioned back in 1153, and almost 900 years later it’s considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal. The whole town of Obidos is actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a small part of this gorgeous castle has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind hotel, offering a truly medieval experience surrounded by towers and stone walls.
14. Margam Castle, Wales
Found in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales, this breathtaking castle was built between 1830 and 1840, during the Victorian period of Great Britain, with an aesthetic that’s actually a mock interpretation of the Gothic Revival style. Although it’s called a “castle”, this is basically a large country manor, built on a site where there was a monastery and an abbey for thousands of years. That’s why this castle is highly popular among people interested in the paranormal, because there were apparently many hauntings reported here. You need to check that out by yourselves!
13. Parador de Granada, Spain
The wonderful Parador de Granada is part of the medieval palace and mosque of Alhambra, which was built between 1332 and 1354, and later on it was converted to a Franciscan convent. The small boutique hotel features beautiful gardens and fountains, bringing together Christian and Arab cultures, with lovely terraces and several restaurants, offering great dishes inspired by the local cuisine, in this overwhelming ambiance.
12. Schloss Hugenpoet, Germany
This small castle, nestled in the outskirts of Essen, Germany, was originally built during the middle ages, but it was destroyed in the 30 Years War. It was rebuilt back in 1647 by Johann William of Nesselrode Hugenpoet and after 350 years of amazing history it was transformed into a gorgeous hotel. Schloss Hugenpoet is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World right now and you could even host wedding ceremonies, business conventions or banquets here.
11. Hazlewood Castle, England
Just a few minutes outside of Leeds you’ll find the gorgeous Hazlewood Castle, a magnificent property that was first mentioned back in 1086. It was a monastic retreat for hundreds of years, and it became a hotel only in 1997, when it was beautifully restored and converted into a high-end retreat. The hotel tries to bring out some of its past, but it will also impress you with modern luxuries, a wonderful spa, and a classy restaurant which offers both traditional and modern dishes.
10. Schloss Hornberg, Germany
Set in the beautiful Black Forest region of Germany, this small castle was built in the 11th century, and it was bought by Reinhard of Gemmingen in 1612, remaining in the possession of the Gemmingen-Hornbach family to this day. The charming castle also hosts a museum, opened in 1968, and it runs as a three-star hotel in this wonderfully romantic setting, offering numerous interesting activities, like medieval banquets or hiking opportunities.
9. Chateau de Castel Novel, France
Located in Varetz, France, this wonderful castle was apparently built on a rock in the 13th and the 15th centuries, but its current design and architecture dates back from the 18th century. Over time, Castel Novel has belonged to several of the region’s greatest families, and later on it became the property of Henry de Jouvenel, a talented journalist and influential politician. The picturesque retreat was converted into a hotel years later, with a beautiful restaurant and accommodations following the idea of “simple luxury”.
8. Bran Castle, Romania
Nestled right in Transylvania, this incredible castle was first mentioned back in 1377 as the ultimate defense against the Ottoman Empire. The castle if often referred to as the home of Bram Stoker’s famous character Dracula, but it also served as the customs port between Wallachia and Transylvania. The entire property was fully restored and transformed into a museum in 1996, and apparently the round tower of the castle will be converted into a luxury apartment where just a few select people will get to spend the night.
7. Abbeyglen Castle, Ireland
Hidden in the romantic setting of the Twelve Bens mountains, with gorgeous views of the Clifden Bay, the Abbeyglen Castle is one of the most incredible hotels in all of Ireland. Built in 1832, this castle has been converted into a girls’ orphanage soon after, and in the 1960s it was transformed into a charming hotel, with several tennis courts, a lovely spa and relaxation centre and many other interesting amenities.
6. Castel Brando, Italy
The spectacular castle in front of you can be found in Cison di Valmarino, Italy. Built near a Roman castrum from 46 AD, this imposing fortress was enlarged during the 13th century, and it received several additions as the years went by. The entire castle was used as a monastery from 1959 until 1997, and then it was converted into a lovely hotel, with spa and wellness services, a museum and a theatre as well. This castle is actually one of the largest in Europe and it stands on the Treviso hills offering an incredible view of the mountains and nearby villages.
5. Glenapp Castle, Scotland
The former family seat of the Earl of Inchcape, this gorgeous castle was completed back in 1870, and to this day it’s one of the finest examples of the Scottish Baronial style. Found in Ballantrae, South Ayrshire, Scotland, the Glenapp castle used to be owned by the Inchcape family until the early 1980s, and in 2000 it was opened as as high-end luxury hotel. You could only visit the castle and its grounds if you’re either a guest at the hotel, or if you’ve made a reservation to the hotel’s fancy restaurant.
4. Parador de Cardona, Spain
This incredible 9th century castle, nestled in the Spanish Pyrenees, was actually built by King Louis the Pious as a central point for the security of the territories he took back from the Moors. The castle even boasts a tower from 2nd century, and it offers gorgeous panoramic views over the Catalan countryside. The interiors still feature plenty of antiques, with gorgeous Medieval styling, stoned walls, vaulted ceilings, heraldic tapestries and iron torches setting up the atmosphere.
3. Balfour Castle, Scotland
Proudly sitting on a beautiful stretch of land in the Orkney Islands of Scotland, this charming castle was the creation of David Balfour, the 4th Laird of Balfour and Trenaby, and David Bryce, one of the most important architects of the 19th century in Scotland. The immense baronial pile has been completed in 1847 and it’s apparently the world’s most northerly island castle, offering now five star luxury with great views, a spectacular spa, and extraordinary amenities all around.
2. Amberley Castle, England
Located in the little village of Amberley, in West Sussex, England, this charming castle was built in the 12th century as a large manor house, and then it was fortified by the bishops of Chichester in 1377. The castle was converted into a stunning Relais & Chateaux hotel right now, completely enclosed by its old walls, and even retains a portcullis that’s lowered at night. You can dine in the gorgeous 12th century Queen Room here, with vaulted ceilings and an amazing atmosphere, or the Great Room, surrounded by suits of armor and fantastic Medieval details.
1. Ashford Castle, Ireland
Nestled on the beautiful shores of Lough Corrib in Ireland, the breathtaking Ashford Castle was originally built back in 1228, on the perimeter of a Monastic site. Over the centuries, this medieval gem has been expanded numerous times, and turned into a lavish five star luxury hotel, after a magnificent and respectful restoration, matching the latest in modern luxuries and technology, with timeless elegance and its imposing design.
Previously owned by the Guinness family, this castle has a long history of hosting notable guests such as King George V and Queen Mary, John Lennon or President Ronald Reagan, just to name but a few.
In the end, you also have to check out our list with the top 20 most beautiful castles in the world.