A trip to Europe is a wonderful opportunity to explore the best medieval castles, which are unique to this region. Built by the Normans during the 8th and 10th centuries, Motte and Bailey castles could be constructed quickly and cheaply and were excellent defensive structures.
The Normans were a powerful group of warriors who were very good at capturing new territories and needed to be able to defend their new territories quickly.
Surviving Motte and Bailey castles can be seen particularly in Northern France, Wales, and other parts of Northern Europe.
10. Hohenwerfen Castle
The Hohenwerfen Castle in Austria overlooks the Salzach valley from its view 623m up on a cliff flanked by the Tennen Mountains and the Berchtesgaden Alps.
Open from April to November, the castle has an amazing itinerary of activities to do including guided tours of the castle and its collection of ancient weapons, theatrical productions, a tour of the Salzburg falconry, fairy tale walks and much more, which all help to make it a magnet for visitors. The Hohenwerfen Castle is one of the best medieval destinations in Europe.
Visitors can take the elevator up to the castle or those who are a bit more adventurous and keen for some outdoor exercise can walk up to the castle. The walk goes around the cliff that the castle is situated on and is largely shaded by the surrounding forest. On the way down, visitors can also stop by the medieval city of Werfen for refreshments and trinkets.
9. The Alcazar Castle
Shaped like a ship sailing the winds of Spain the Alcazar Castle was first built as a fortress, but has been used for many different things including a royal palace, state prison and Royal Artillery College. This World Heritage Site is presently being used as a military achieves building, a museum and a venue for weddings and concerts.
This is the castle that Walt Disney used as an inspiration for his film Cinderella.
Only an hour and a bit drive from Madrid, the Alcazar Castle is one of Spain’s most visited locations. Your ticket allows you to visit the Artillery Muesum, the Palace rooms and to climb the Torre de Juan (Tower of Juan) and enjoy the rewarding breathtaking view of Segovia.
8. Bran Castle, Romania
The Bran Castle is best know as Dracula Castle because of its similarities to the castle mentioned in Bram Stokers book, Dracula. It is found near the border of Wallachia and Transylvania in Romania, just 30km from the medieval city of Brașov.
Visitors worldwide visit Bran Castle 365 days a year to learn about its rich history while others come to visit the castle of the Dracula, making this one of the best medieval destinations in Europe worth adding to your list.
They can view the inside of the castle independently or on a guided tour. The castle sports some spectacular views from the upper balcony, the courtyard and the gardens. There is also an exhibit of traditional Romanian peasant buildings like barns, cottages etc. from all over the country.
7. The Palace of Pena, Portugal
Located near the medieval city of Sintra, the Palace of Pena sits on top of a hill surrounded by lush forest. Visitors will see a castle that looks like it its made of lots of different styled and coloured castles.
Visitors can view inside the castle that has been restored to its original décor from the 19th century when Portugal royals fled to Brazil to escape the revolution, visit the convent, take hikes through the Pena forest and lush gardens, and view architectural references of Moorish and Manueline influence.
There are many fascinating guided tours and exhibitions, making this one of Portugal’s finest tourist attractions and one of the best medieval destinations in Europe.
6. PREDJAMA CASTLE, SLOVENIA
Just 10km from the small medieval city of Postojna the Predjama castle is one of the most famous in Slovania, attracting thousands of tourist a year due to its odd shape.
Predjama in Slovaninan literally means ‘the castle in front of the cave’. It was strategically built into the side of a cave 123m above the ground to make it difficult to penetrate.
Despite not having the usual towers or fancy interior, this castle has lots of great features for childrens of all ages like holes in the ceiling for throwing down boiling oil on enemies, a 16th century treasure chest full of treasure, and much more.