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When we can’t travel, we need to be creative. As a Europe and castle lover, I figured I should make a list of the best virtual tours of castles in Europe (after already rounding up the best virtual museum tours).
I must have researched hundreds of castles, and I think my eyes popped out of my head just like in a cartoon because I was blown away by the number of dreamy places in Europe I still need to visit.
I did want to include at least one castle from each country, but like the song says – you can’t always get what we want. So here they are – thirty virtual castle tours for times when you’re stuck at home.
Tip: Try these tours on your personal computer and not on your mobile.
VIRTUAL TOURS OF CASTLES IN WESTERN EUROPE
ALCAZAR OF SEGOVIA, SPAIN
Dating back to the 12th century, the Alcazar of Segovia is one of the most famous UNESCO sites in Spain. Throughout the years, it served as a fortress, a royal palace, a state prison, and a military academy, and it is now a museum.
I’m grateful that I was lucky enough to visit this fairytale castle in real life (as a day trip from Madrid), but I’m also happy to have found this great virtual tour of the Alcazar, so you can enjoy it as well.
BELVIS DE MONROY CASTLE, SPAIN
Located in the undiscovered region of Extremadura, this 13th-century castle is not on the list of the most visited places in Spain (which is exactly what I love about it).
It was damaged and abandoned years ago (and is now being restored), and this virtual tour does a great job of allowing you to soak in the history of this unique place.
Want to see more of Spain? Here are 21 virtual tours of my favorite country!
CHÂTEAUX OF THE LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
I’ve yet to visit the Loire Valley, but I know I’m not going to miss its dreamy chateaux, all built between the 10th and 18th centuries.
There are actually more than 300 of them (challenge accepted), so in the meantime, I’ll have to satisfy my wanderlust with these virtual tours on Google Arts & Culture and these 360-degree views of the chateaux from above (check out part 1, part 2, and part 3).
GRAVENSTEEN CASTLE, BELGUIM
Looking at this gorgeous medieval castle, you wouldn’t think that besides serving as a royal residence, it was also used as a court, a prison, and even as a cotton factory. Today it’s one of Ghent’s top points of interest, and you can explore it from the comfort of your home with this online tour.
CHÂTEAU DE PIERREFONDS, FRANCE
Originally built in the late 14th century and demolished in the 17th century, this beautiful castle was rebuilt 200 years later, taking inspiration from Middle Ages military architecture. To explore this remarkable chateau, take this virtual tour.
CASTLE OF GUIMARÃES, PORTUGAL
Originally built in the late 10th century as a refuge for the citizens of Guimarães (who had suffered attacks by Vikings and Moors), this castle is associated with the birth of the Portuguese nation.
It was here where the first king of Portugal (Alfonso) was born and where he fought for Portugal’s independence. You can (and should) explore this amazing piece of history on Google Street View.
PENA PALACE, PORTUGAL
An insta-famous UNSECO site and one of my top favorite stops on my road trip from Lisbon to Porto, I had to include this 19th-century castle-like palace on this list. Its mix of architectural styles and vibrant colors is a feast for the eyes, especially when it’s popping out of the green scenery surrounding it.
It’s no wonder why it’s one of Europe’s most visited attractions, so if you still haven’t seen this stunning palace in real life, take advantage of this virtual tour (or this one) and discover its beauty.
CASTELLO SFORZESCO, ITALY
Dating back to the 15th century, the Castello Sforzesco is a must-see landmark in northern Italy. The castle’s huge complex houses several museums and art collections, including pieces by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Luckily, you can explore some of them and a few parts of the castle with these virtual tours on Google Arts & Culture.
MIRAMARE CASTLE, ITALY
Living in a castle sounds awesome, but living in a castle overlooking the sea and surrounded by a huge park sounds even better. I really don’t get why the owners of the Miramare Castle, the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife Charlotte of Belgium, wanted to leave this place. They became the Emperors of Mexico (say what?), and the castle has become a popular place to visit in Italy.
See what the Miramare Castle looks like on the inside with this tour.
VIRTUAL CASTLE TOURS OF CENTRAL EUROPE
WARTBURG CASTLE, GERMANY
Overlooking the town of Eisenach, the 11th-century Wartburg Castle is the first German castle to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also the setting of many important events in Germany’s history (like the translation of the New Testament to German).
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this piece of history and take this virtual tour.
DRACHENBURG CASTLE, GERMANY
Sitting on a hill overlooking the Rhine Valley, this 19th-century castle-like villa is a place I wouldn’t mind living in for a little while. If you’re familiar with the German legend of Siegfried the dragon slayer, know that said slaying supposedly happened just a little farther up the mountain.
NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, GERMANY
Perhaps the most famous fairytale castle in the world (thanks to Walt Disney that was inspired by it), the 19th-century Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited attractions in Germany.
Every time I see its photo on Instagram, all I can think of is, ‘why am I not there right now?’, so in the meantime, I’m trying to cheer myself up with this tour of the castle from above.
SNEZNIK CASTLE, SLOVENIA
Though it’s not as fairytale-like or as famous as other castles in Europe, I think the 13th-century Snežnik Castle is a nice addition to this list. I love putting a spotlight on hidden gems, so I’m glad I found a virtual tour of this overlooked place in Slovenia.
PRAGUE CASTLE, CZECHIA
Like I just said, I’m a hidden gem kind of girl, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to visit and admire the major landmarks of a country.
I haven’t had the chance to visit the Prague Castle yet, but since it’s the city’s most visited attraction, I’m glad to have this virtual access to it, where I can explore it without the crowds.
I would obviously prefer seeing it in real life, but I wouldn’t say no to a glance at a 9th century UNESCO site and the world’s largest ancient castle complex (according to the Guinness Book of Records).
MALBORK CASTLE, POLAND
Built in the 13th century by the Order of the Teutonic Knights, the Malbork Castle is the largest in the world! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is still on my Poland bucket list, but at least I can admire some parts of it with this virtual tour. It doesn’t have an English version, but that doesn’t take away from the experience.
KORNIK CASTLE, POLAND
Small yet charming, the Kornik Castle was built in the 14th century by the noble Gorka family and remodeled later on by the noble Dzialynski family.
Today, it houses a museum and a library, and you can easily visit it as a day trip from the beautiful city of Poznan. But if you’re not visiting Poznan any time soon, you might want to check out this virtual castle tour.
WAWEL CASTLE, POLAND
Can you believe that this castle was one of the first UNESCO sites in the world? I was very surprised by this fact, even though I know Poland has a lot to offer and deserves more recognition as a visit-worthy destination.
The Wawel Castle dates back to the 14th century, and after hundreds of years of being the residence of the kings of Poland, today it houses an important art museum.
To explore this impressive landmark of the city of Krakow, take this virtual tour (choose ‘panoramas’ to start the 360-degrees tour).
ONLINE CASTLE TOURS OF EASTERN EUROPE
RAKVERE CASTLE, ESTONIA
Once a Danish stronghold, the Rakvere Castle is now a themed museum aiming to transport you back to medieval times. To get a better understanding of what you can expect from this place or just tour around the castle ruins, take this online tour.
BRAN CASTLE, ROMANIA
Often known as ‘Dracula’s Castle,’ the infamous Bran Castle is a must-see site in Romania. I got to visit it back in 2012, and it was fascinating and a bit creepy both at the same time.
The actual connection between Dracula’s author — Bram Stoker, his alleged inspiration — Vlad the Impaler and the castle remains unclear, but the myths about them are what attract so many visitors to this intriguing place.
TRAKOSCAN CASTLE, CROATIA
Now a museum, the Trakoscan Castle was once a fortress and the home of a Croatian aristocratic family. To make it extra scenic, it’s surrounded by big romantic gardens and an artificial lake, which are also included on the castle’s virtual tour.
MIR CASTLE, BELARUS
Dating back to the 16th century, the Mir Castle is one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus. I admit that this country was not on my bucket list (at least not in the top twenty), but this virtual tour has made me realize that I need to give it more credit.
VIRTUAL TOURS OF CASTLES IN NORTHERN EUROPE
WINDSOR CASTLE, ENGLAND
This tour will only give a sneak peek of the Windsor Castle, but who can say no to a glance at one of Queen Elizabeth’s royal residences (and the largest inhabited castle in the world)?
HEVER CASTLE, ENGLAND
Dating back to the 13th century, Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. It’s one of the best castles near London, and what attracts travelers to this place is not only the castle itself but also the lake and gardens surrounding it.
You can see it all on this virtual castle tour.
RABY CASTLE, ENGLAND
It’s not every day that you get to visit an intact 14th-century castle (that was also the birthplace of the mother of two kings of England), so why not see it in a 360-degree view via an online tour? Check it out here and use the ‘explore’ menu to move between the different parts of the castle.
WARWICK CASTLE, ENGLAND
Not too far from the Cotswolds, you’ll find the Warwick Castle, a medieval fortress turned into a country house. On an actual visit, it offers plenty of themed attractions and shows, but in the meantime, you can enjoy this lovely virtual tour.
CAERLAVEROCK CASTLE, SCOTLAND
There’s something sad yet fascinating about castles that were severely damaged and remained in ruins, and the 13th-century Caerlaverock Castle, one of Scotland’s great medieval fortresses, is one of them. Take a tour around its remains with Google Street View.
EDINBURGH CASTLE, SCOTLAND
Sitting on a volcanic rock above the city, this fortress and former Scottish royal residence is the number one place to visit in Edinburgh. This virtual tour on Google Arts & Culture only lets you explore the complex on the outside, but when we can’t travel, we should take what we can get.
BLAIR CASTLE, SCOTLAND
Nestled in the Scottish Highlands, the beautiful Blair Castle is the historical seat of the Duke of Atholl (a title granted to the chief of the Scottish Murray clan) and home to the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s only remaining private army.
It’s a total privilege to be able to wander around this place without actually traveling, so you have to check out this online castle tour.
DUNLUCE CASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND
Perched on the cliffs of the Antrim coast, not much has remained of the medieval Dunluce Castle, the historical seat of the McDonnell clan. Yet, it is still one of the most iconic castles in Northern Ireland, so you can’t miss the opportunity to see it, even if it’s just on a virtual tour.
KALMAR CASTLE, SWEDEN
Built as a fortress in the 12th century and turned into a royal residence in the 16th century, the Kalmar Castle is one of the best-preserved Nordic Renaissance castles. Explore it with this virtual tour.
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