The Best Castle Tours in Europe

best castle tours in Europe

One thing I really missed about Europe when I first travelled to Australia was the historical architecture - and nothing says European historical architecture like castles! So, once I came back to my home continent I made it my mission to find the best castles in Europe, and I (believe that I) succeeded in this mission, but like most missions I discovered something along the way that I didn't expect to: you kinda need a tour. I'm all about the self-touring (going off the beaten track and so on) and although 'just' visiting these castles by themselves is awe-inspiring, it cannot be denied that one just learns so much more by going on a castle tour with an expert who can explain everything. You'll discover things you didn't even know to look up in the first place. Anyway, here are my favourite castles in Europe and the best tours to go with them (in my opinion):

Some of the Best Castles of Europe

#1. Goodrich Castle, England

It's rare that I will put England to the top of any nice list but I just can't help myself when it comes to castles, I basically grew up in these thanks to my father and they're like one of my favourite things about England. England has some of the best preserved castles in Europe thanks to not being invaded for the past 1000 years. One of my personal favourites is Goodrich: built in the late 11th century, it is still in shockingly good condition nowadays and a real treat to visit.

The best castle tour of Goodrich Castle imo: I'm gonna be biased and recommend my dad :)

#2. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

I used to be engaged to this German guy called Tanbay, and I used to tease him about how German castles < English castles... which sounds mean and rude, because it was, but for some context we used to tease each other about everything, relentlessly. I would say the castle thing, he would say that England was thirty years behind Germany. Etc. Ultimately though, we both didn't mind the banter because we both low-key hated our own home countries and hence why we went to Australia at the ages of 19 and 22. Anyway, long story short: Germany doesn't have as many castles as England because of all the bombing that went on in WW2 :( But one castle that did survive was Neuschwanstein. That's not the only reason it's unusual though. It was built in the 1800s, way after castles were required for warfare, and it was built in a medieval way but with all the (at the time) modern home comforts!

top castles in europe

Here's the best castle tour we recommend of Neuschwanstein Castle - seriously, this is a good one! :)

#3. Eger Castle, Hungary

Although Buda Castle (in Budapest) is the best preserved castle in Hungary (and one of the sites where you can see actual bullet holes left over from WW2), I would always recommend Eger Castle as the best castle in Hungary (in my opinion). And in this case, it's a very biased opinion, as I have very fond memories of being shown around that site by a group of teenagers who liked my work on YouTube (for proof, see the video below :) Eger is known for repelling a Turkish attack in 1552 despite the outrageous ratio of fighters: the Ottoman army brought around 35,000 soldiers and although the castle only had around 2,200 defenders, the defenders won. But, like most Hungarian historical stories, it has a sad ending: 47 years later, the Turks attacked again and this time they won. Furthermore, in the 1700s, the Austrians blew up half the castle. Still, what's left of it is well preserved and offers some of the best views from the city.

The best tour of Eger Castle: is apparently led by local teenagers :D

#4. Prague Castle, the Czech Republic

Prague Castle is very special to me personally because I had one of those 'aha' travel moments there. I was walking up the hill (be warned, it is an effort to climb up there) and I saw these tourists taking a selfie with the castle, cool, cool, you do you babes, but then I noticed, not more than a metre from their feet was someone begging. And they were so wrapped up in their narcissism they didn't notice and they didn't help. It got me really disgusted in tourist culture and for the first time I started to get really into helping the houseless. So yeah, when you visit Prague Castle, go for the views, go because it was built in the 9th century and it's still really well preserved, but also, please, go with the intention to help those that need it most.

best castles to visit in europe

Here's the best castle tour we recommend of Prague Castle.

#5. Jajce Fortress, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last, but not least we have Jajce Fortress, and yes, technically a fortress isn't exactly a castle (the difference is castles are lived in), but Bosnia and Herzegovina is my new obsession and Jajce Fortress is so damn beautiful. Like many places in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jajce Fortress is blessed with an incredible view of the city and the mountains. Built in the 1300s, it's famous for being the last stronghold before the country fell to the Ottomans.

best castles of europe

The best castle tour of Jajce Fortress: I seriously recommend connecting with some locals via FB. Seriously, locals are the best. Excellent rakija, too.

Wrap Up: Some of the Best Castles to Visit in Europe

So there you have it, our little list of some our favourite castles around Europe :) I was gonna write about Raglan Castle in Wales, too (another one of our favourites) but then I thought one from England will suffice... anyway, here's the video we made about our visit there :) Enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments section below! Cheers :)

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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