If you enjoy touring ancient citadels, try spending the night in one! Feel like royalty even just for one night. It's the ultimate fairy-tale experience and a dream come true for all romantics. Europe is filled with lavish castles from all epochs that have been transformed into modern hotels, perfect for your next weekend getaway. From Austria to Portugal, we've rounded up the best castles in Europe where you can feel like a royal without the budget of a king!
Schloss Leopoldskron, Austria
This 18th century rococo castle is perfect for the ultimate royal experience you've always dreamed of. Salzburg's famous palace was used as the main film location in 1965 movie "The Sound of Music", and the palace is majestic and glorious, both inside and out.
Each suite is equipped with antique furniture and features stunning views over the idyllic lake and Untersberg Mountain. The massive library is ideal for reading in the evening and in the morning you get to enjoy breakfast like a real royal, served in the impressive ballroom.
The gardens around the hotel won't leave you disappointed either. With seven hectares of lakeside gardens, the area is perfect for taking long relaxing strolls. Also the hotel offers three movie-themed suites for die-hard fans of the famous musical!
Ashford Castle, Ireland
Ireland is home to many magnificent castles, but perhaps the most iconic one is the Ashford Castle, once the mansion of the Guinness family. The 13th century castle was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1939 and has enjoyed a world famous reputation since then. Numerous celebrities have stayed here such as Brad Pitt, John Lennon and Pierce Brosnan.
The massive 350-acre waterfront estate is just astonishing, and sure to leave you speechless with its glorious beauty. Besides royal accommodation, it offers endless activities including horse riding, shooting, and fishing. There's even a falconry range, a boutique cinema, a cigar terrace, a library and a billiards room. It's impossible to be bored here! Also, some of Ireland's best national dishes can be savored in the impressive dining area, which was once a dungeon.
Czocha Castle, Poland
This monumental castle located above the valley of the Kwisa River Dam will win over all history buffs. It was designed as a fortress in the 13th century, but today it houses an elegant hotel. From time to time, concerts, dance shows and various performances are also organized here. The site was also used as the set for many films and documentaries.
The castle boasts a rich history, so besides royal accommodation, you can book a guided tour of the site and find out more about this historic landmark. Foodies will enjoy the restaurant specializing in Polish cuisine, and the castle's wine cellar.
Castelo de Obidos, Portugal
Ever wondered how it feels to spend the night in a 700-year-old castle tower? Well if you have, satisfy your curiosity at Castelo de Obidos. The luxury hotel is housed within a 12th century medieval castle, in the fortified town of Obidos in western Portugal. The castle is known as one of the seven wonders of Portugal, and the hotel has only 14 rooms, so privacy and a more personal experience is guaranteed. Also, there are three rooms located in the castle's tower, providing a whole different experience. All the rooms are named after Portuguese kings and queens who've stayed in the town. If you love peculiar hotels in historic buildings, this is the ideal place to stay!
Adare Manor Hotel, Ireland
Set on 840 acres of estate in Limerick, this Irish castle hotel is stunning and luxurious in every way. The 19the century Victorian mansion got its latest renovation two years ago, making it even more impressive than it was before. The hotel features an 18-hole championship golf course, which hosted the Irish Gold Championship in 2007 and 2008. An architectural masterpiece, consisting of stunning towers, turrets and surrounded by beautiful gardens, it's perfect for the ultimate vacation. Feel like an elegant queen or king waking up in one of these lavish, antique-adorned rooms! Also, the adventurous can rent a bike or a motorcycle and explore Ireland's countryside.