Indulge in the allure of royalty, from the ancient castles of Ireland to the fortresses of France. These european castles you can stay in offer a seductive glimpse into centuries of history and heritage. Relax in lavishly adorned rooms, stroll through manicured gardens, and dine like nobility in elegant banquet halls.  To sleep in a castle and wake up on a site that’s witnessed the greatest European empires come and go is an incredible feeling.

Whether you seek a romantic getaway, a family retreat, or a fairytale celebration venue, spoil yourself with fine dining, spa treatments and lavish amenities that even the former royal residents would even blush at.  So why not upgrade your vacation from ordinary to extraordinary with a castle stay on your next visit to Europe? To help you out, we’ve selected some of our favorite European castles you can stay in, sone of which are included on our Luxury Gold journeys.

Discover more about the exceptional hotels that bookend each day with Luxury Gold: Magnificent Stays

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Aerial view of Ashford Castle. whopping the grey stone ramparts set in lush green manicures grounds with woodland on the edges

Over 800 years of magnificence rests along the shores of Lough Corrib at Ashford Castle. The estate was once owned by the Guinness family and carries over the intimate yet unashamed luxury for its hotel guests to enjoy. The historic boathouse is an especially peaceful stay, located on the waterside as a stand-alone residence for guests who desire 24-hour butler service and total privacy.

Travel to Ireland with Luxury Gold and enjoy more centuries-old estates of Ireland and the United Kingdom, with the opportunity to call Ashford Castle home for two nights. Here, you’ll dine in the George V Dining Room, take a guided tour of the estate, and meet the birds of prey at Ireland’s oldest established falconry school.

Enjoy a decadent stay at Ashford Castle on: Ultimate Ireland and Castles & Kingdoms

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Locanda Don Ferrante, Italy

A view out over the see from this European castle stay in Portugal, showing an infinity pool, and ancient walls.

Photo credit: @donferrante on Instagram

In Monopoli’s old town, a small fortress sits on the south side of the town’s defensive walls. History knows it as Charles V Castle, but locals and visitors alike only know the name Don Ferrante. One of the most fascinating European castles you can stay in, when you start your morning with breakfast in a 16th-century gunpowder store, you won’t help but wonder what stores these walls heard when the Viceroy of Bari called this luxurious seaside abode home. Wonder not when you hop in the hotel’s tuk tuk for a sightseeing tour of the old town, followed by a wine tasting, cooking class, and full immersion into the history of Bari written long before the castle walls were built.

Experience the best of Italy on: Ultimate Italy

Bookmark for later: The Luxury Gold Guide to Private Wine Tasting in Italy

Hotel de la Cité Carcassonne, France

Hotel de la Cité Carcassonne at dusk

Photo credit: @hoteldelacite on Instagram

The discerning traveler who wants to sleep in a castle yet desires doing so surrounded by refined French aesthetics will simply love Hotel de la Cité in medieval Carcassonne. There are fewer than 60 rooms in this 19th-century neo-Gothic luxury castle hotel in Europe, which means the garden terraces, outdoor pool and Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant are anything but crowded. Gaze at the ramparts from a superior suite and take in the medieval scenery. During the Luxury Gold Ultimate Southern France tour, you’ll stay in this castle when you’ve finished drinking in the Languedoc wine region’s vineyards and partaking in a traditional French cooking class with a Michelin-starred chef.

Stay here on : Ultimate France and Ultimate Southern France 

Meet the Travel Concierge who makes your journey exceptional: Sophisticated and Stylish: why Southern France is Unmissable

Glenapp Castle, Scotland

Interior of hotel room at Glenapp Castle, Scotland

Photo credit: @glenappcastle on Instagram

When it comes to European castles you can stay in, Scotland is a treasure trove of once royal residences. Glenapp Castle is an exceptional example of the standard the castle hotels of Europe should aspire to achieve. Located in Ayrshire, the expansive castle penthouse suite spoils you with a personal butler, a private chef and a private rooftop terrace with 360° views of the coastline. Should you choose to live like a humble lord, you’ll be pleased to discover grand sea view suites that are just as comfortable, an award-winning restaurant with plates sourced only from the Ayrshire, and a host of lavish activities like falconry, croquet, trout fishing and a Hebridean sea safari.

Discover the highlights of Scotland on: British Royale

You may also be interested to read: The Ultimate Luxury Shopping Guide to Edinburgh

Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg, Germany

Striking white and grey facade of European castle Schloss Bensberg with a green lawn and grey

Photo credit: @schlossbensberg on Instagram

A Baroque castle in Cologne’s countryside, Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg was once known as the “Rhenish Versailles”. It was built as a hunting lodge for Prince-Elector Johann Wilhelm II of Dusseldorf as a hunting lodge and designed to resemble France’s Versailles. Today, this castle hotel in Europe is open to you, granting you exceptional views of Cologne Cathedral and the Rhine Valley. The 2-starred Michelin Vendôme serves a delectable dinner that is complimented by a nightcap of tea in the 4 Elements Spa’s sauna.

Take in more delights of Europe on: Harmony of Central Europe

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Palácio Estoi, Portugal

Two people stand on ornate blue and white tiled stairs leading up to the red and white castle facade, all bathed in sunlight.

Photo credit: @pousadapalaciodeestoi on Instagram

Queens and kings have stayed at the only 18th-century palace hotel in the Algarve, and now you can sleep in this castle all the same. Pousada Palácio Estoi welcomes you to rest your feet in Faro at one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Make a note to visit the reception areas, both the old and new. The old Chapel hosts the new reception area, reminiscent of Spain’s Sagrada Familia design. The former reception area rivals its beauty with its own classic decor: Roman and Islamic exhibits curated in part by the Faro Municipal Museum. European castles you can stay in.

Enjoy the delights of Iberia on: Spain & Portugal in Style

Tantalize your tastebuds with this read: The Luxury Gold Guide to Portugal’s Fine Dining Seafood Restaurants