A grand house with a room for every occasion, a view to behold, architecture like none other, and a garden to relax in. Sounds nothing less than a fort or castle! These are the sort of luxuries only few can avail of. So what if we can’t afford to live in one, we can definitely visit them. Here’s a list of some of the best castles and forts from around the world to get that pinch of royalty and luxury even if for a little while.
1. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
This castle stands atop the Castle Rock hill which was formed from the remains of a volcano that erupted (approximately) 340 million years ago. The history of Edinburgh Castle is extensive and often both moving and intense. It is even known as one of the most haunted places in Scotland.
2. Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland, California
We all love fantasies and fairytales and what better than witnessing and living through one of the best fairytales!
3. Hogwarts Universal Studios, Orlando
Are you a Harry Potter buff? Then this must surely be on your travel bucket list! Visit this to live the Hogwarts life. Even if you aren’t a fan, this one will enchant you for sure.
4. Prague Castle, Czech Republic
This castle is the largest complex castle in the world with an area of almost 70,000 m2. It is also the city’s most famous attraction.
5. Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
This one isn’t a castle or fort but just because of the sheer beauty it offers it’s a must visit! Perched amidst the Pichola Lake of Udaipur, this palace offers serene views and a peace and calm atmosphere like none other.
6. Castillo de Coca, Spain
Considered to be one of the best castles in Spain, this castle is an excellent example of the Gothic and Mudéjar styles.
7. Osaka Castle, Japan
One of Japan’s most famous castles, Osaka Castle played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
8. Corfe Castle, Dorset, United Kingdom
Located in the village of Dorset, this castle dates to the Norman Conquest and was one of the five royal castles. It was blown up by Cromwell’s engineers after its capture, before which it survived 2 sieges in the civil war.
9. Castle Howard, Yorkshire, England
This castle in Yorkshire is still a family home to the Howard family. It is an outstanding example of the boisterous Baroque architecture of the early 1700s.
10. Matsumoto Castle, Japan
Unusual in its location and structure, this palace in Japan is a “hirajiro”, which means a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain. The palace is a popular visiting spot during the spring season as hundreds of cherry trees along the outer castle moat provide lovely views during the full bloom season in mid April every year.
11. Durham Castle, England
The Durham Castle is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and given its rich history, the marvelous architecture and the magnificent views, this is very much justified.
12. Cardiff Castle, Wales
One can experience a 2000 year old rich history in this unique castle, which is the most loved heritage attraction of Wales.
13. Namhan Mountain Fortress, South Korea
This mountain fortress is a historical reminder of the power and solidity of Korea’s culture and the prominence of being one with nature.
14. Château et jardins de Villandry, France
Designated a monument historique in 1934, this chateau stands testimony to history having been passed on from one ruler to another each of whom added their bit of architecture to it. The Renaissance gardens surrounding the fortress include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. These gardens are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges.
15. Heidelberg Castle, Germany
This castle was home to the Prince Electors of the Palatinate for five hundred years and now attracts millions of tourists each year.
16. Himeji Castle, Japan
Also known as the White Heron Castle, this one is considered as one of the most spectacular castles in Japan. It is a world heritage site and also one of twelve original castles of the country.
17. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, India
The Mehrangarh Fort is still run by the royal family of Jodhpur and is one of the most magnificent forts in Jodhpur which is bundled with history, legends and great architecture.
18. Okayama Castle, Japan
Designated as one of Japan’s most cultural properties, Okayama Castle was built in the latter half of the 16th century, a part of which got destroyed in the air raids of WWII in 1945.
19. Malbork Castle, Poland
This castle is considered to be the largest castle, in terms of surface area, in the world. It is the most thorough and demonstrative example of the ‘Gothic’ brick work.
20. Mysore Palace, India
Surrounded on all sides by beautiful gardens, this palace is a unique blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles. The palace is lit up after sunset on every Sunday and every day during the Dusshera festival. The magnificence of the lighted castle is a feast for the eyes.
21. Kyongbok Palace in Seoul, South Korea
The name of the palace means “Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven” in English. This palace, also called Gyeongbokgung Palace, is one of the five grand palaces that were built during the Joseon Dynasty.
22. Summer Palace, China
The biggest and most well-preserved imperial garden in China, Summer Palace is literally translated as “Garden of Nurtured Harmony” in English. It is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces located in the capital city Beijing serving as a popular tourist destination and recreational park.
23. Chittorgarh Fort, India
Spread over 691.9 acres of land and sprawled over a 590.6 ft. hill, this palace is a World Heritage Site. The fort was once the capital of Mewar.
Pack you bags and go now.