There are few things more satisfying than taking pictures of beautiful landscapes, whether they're the azure waters of a tropical island or the snow-capped peaks of your local mountain range. It's even better when you get a unique view of a special location, capturing a scene that you will treasure for life. What could create a better memory than Europe's most photogenic castles!
There's something about castles that just screams European aristocracy. Maybe it's the turrets or the grandiose facades, but whatever the reason, these imposing structures always make for incredible photo opportunities. And luckily, there are plenty of photogenic castles spread out across Europe that are well worth a visit.
Whether you're in Scotland, Romania, France, or anywhere else on the continent, you'll be able to find a beautiful castle to explore. So if you're looking for some amazing places to take pictures, be sure to check out some of Europe's most photogenic castles. We've curated this list by challenging ourselves to pick one castle per country that represent the diversity of the continent and the best photography locations.
If you're looking for castles that are both beautiful and photogenic, you'll want to head to Southern Europe. This region is home to some of the most stunning castles in the world, from imposing fortresses to delicate and colourful palaces. Here are just a few of the most photogenic castles in Southern Europe that are worth a visit.
Alcázar of Segovia
In Spain, the Alcazar de Segovia is a must-see. This castle dates back to the 11th century and served as a royal palace for many centuries. Its unique architecture, with its soaring turrets and distinctive red roof, make it one of the most photographed castles in Spain for a reason.
Aragonese Castle of Baia
The Aragonese Castle of Baia is one of Italy's most photogenic castles. The castle sits on a hilltop overlooking the town of Baia and the Bay of Naples. The views from the castle are absolutely stunning. The castle itself is very well preserved and is definitely worth a visit. If you're looking for a beautiful castle to take pictures of, the Aragonese Castle of Baia is definitely worth checking out.
Pena Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portugal. Located in the town of Sintra, about 30 minutes from Lisbon, the palacio de pena is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. Built in the 19th century, the palace is a mix of different architectural styles, making it one of the most unique buildings in Europe. Visitors can explore pena palace inside, visiting many rooms, walking the gardens of the palace, and even take a ride on the Palace Train.
Uchisar Castle is located in Turkey and is one of the most unique castles in Europe. The Uchisar rock castle is made up of several caves that have been connected together to form a large complex. The outside of the castle is covered in beautiful carved stone work. The inside of the castle is just as breathtaking with its large open spaces and bright colors. Visitors can take pictures of the castle from many different angles, making it the perfect place to get some original compositions of Europe's landscape.
There are some absolutely stunning castles located throughout Northern Europe that are definitely worth visiting if you're looking to take some incredible photos.
No matter which castle you decide to visit, you're sure to come away with some amazing photographs that will be cherished memories for years to come. So start planning your trip today and make sure to include some of these photogenic Northern European castles on your itinerary!
Egeskov Castle is a beautiful castle located in Denmark. It was built in the 1500s and is surrounded by a moat. The castle has many photo-worthy features, including its red exterior, towers, and drawbridge. Visitors can also explore the gardens and grounds, provided they are prepared to pay the price of tickets.
Castle Gripsholm is located on the picturesque Lake Mälaren in Mariefred, outside Stockholm in Sweden. The renaissance castle was built as a palace for the Swedish royal family in the mid 1500's and was used in this function until the 18th century. Today, the castle offers plenty of exciting attractions, including interiors from four centuries, a fallow deer nature reserve, and the Swedish national Portrait collection.
Borgund Stave Church
Admittedly not a castle, this church in Norway is one of the most interesting locations we've been to. If anything still standing comes close to saying 'Viking fortress', this is it. The Borgund stave church interior is accessible to the public as a museum and gives you a sense of what i would have been like to walk in the shoes of a Norwegian in the 1200's.
Trakai Island Castle
Trakai Castle is a beautiful castle located in Lithuania. It was built in the 14th century and has been a popular tourist destination for many years. The castle is situated on an island in a lake, which makes it even more picturesque. Visitors can take a boat ride to the island, or they can walk across a bridge that leads to the castle. There are many photo opportunities at Trakai Island Castle, so be sure to bring all your camera gear, and a drone!
From the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany to the imposing Bodiam Castle in England, there are plenty of options to choose from. And, of course, let's not forget about the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland which is one of the most iconic castles in all of Europe. Western Europe provides the locations that conjure images of romance, magic, and chivalry in abundance.
Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century castle in East Sussex, England. The castle is a Grade I listed building and is an excellent example of a medieval moated castle, with an outer bailey protected by a wide artificial water-filled moat, and an inner ward protected by a substantial dry ditch. The walls are made from local sandstone and the roofs are lead-covered stone slate. The moat provides great opportunities for capturing mirror images in the still water.
Neuschwanstein Castle is possibly the most photogenic castles in all of Europe, so much so that it is the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle and featured in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It's located in Germany and was built in the late 19th century as a retreat for King Ludwig II and has become known as Ludwigs Castle. Neuschwanstein is now open to the public and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. The castle has many features that make it perfect for taking pictures, including an intricate exterior, beautiful gardens, and a stunning setting among the Bavarian Alps which is especially photogenic is winter.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is a popular tourist attraction and wedding location in Scotland. You may recognise it as a popular backdrop for film and TV shows like Highlander, Outlander, and Game of Thrones. The castle itself is one of the most photographed castles in Europe and its location on Loch Duich means that it also surrounded by natural beauty and striking views.
Castle Gravensteen has a unique architecture that makes it stand out from other castles in Europe. Built in 1180, it'ss surrounded by a moat, which makes it even more picturesque. If you're looking for a unique castle to take some beautiful pictures of, Gravensteen Castle is definitely worth a visit to Ghent in Belgium.
Château de Chenonceau
Le Château de Chenonceau is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and a classic example of French architecture. It is located in the Loire Valley in France and was built in the 16th century. The castle is made of white limestone and has five arches that span the River Cher. It is a popular tourist destination and is known for its picturesque gardens.
Hohenwerfen fortress is a perfect example of a beautiful alpine castle. The castle is located in Austria and dates back to the 11th century. It's perched on a hilltop overlooking the town of Werfen, and has has been used in many films and TV shows, including The Sound of Music. Visitors can take the Hohenwerfen cable car up to the castle or hike up the hill. There are also falconry shows and a museum inside the castle to keep you entertained after a hard day of capturing frames.
Château de Chillon
The Château de Chillon is a beautiful castle located on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and is known for its picturesque setting. Chateau chillon has featured in many films and TV shows, and is a popular spot for photographers. Visitors can explore the castle's many rooms and courtyards, and take in the stunning views of the lake and mountains.
Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel is a castle atop a large limestone outcrop in County Tipperary, Ireland. This prominent perch which is raised above the surrounding landscape provides a dramatic backdrop to the town from which it takes its name, Cashel town. The site has been used as a stronghold since the Iron Age and was the sea of the last High King of Ireland Brian Boru, who has been popularised in Morgan Llewelyn's novel Lion of Ireland.
Castle De Haar
Castle Haar is located in the Netherlands and was built in the 14th century. It is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture with its many turrets and towers. The castle has a beautiful setting with a moat, drawbridge, and towers. It's surrounded by a park with gardens, ponds, and sculptures so visitors can explore the grounds and take pictures of the castle from different angles. De Haar has been well-preserved and is now open to the public.
Central & Eastern Europe
If you're looking for castles that are both photogenic and steeped in history, then Central Europe is the place to go. From Czech Republic's Karlštejn Castle to the belgrade fortress, there are plenty of breathtaking castles to explore in this region. And with so many different styles of castles dotting the landscape, you're sure to find one that suits your taste. So whether you're a budding photographer or just looking for a new place to explore, be sure to add these European castles to your list.
Belgrade castle located in the kalemegdan park in Serbia. What's unique about this location is that it's right in the middle of the capital city and juxtaposed by all of the urban life that of modern Serbia. As the historical heart of Belgrade, this gives creative photographers a lot of inspiration to tell the story of the city.
In 1446, construction began by order of Voivode of Transylvania at Hunyadi Castle in Romania. While the original intention for Corvin palace was to serve as a fortress, the current castle was the result of a restoration campaign, with many designers trying to make it look like their idealistic vision. It has been noted that modern architects projected their own thoughts on what a good Gothic castle looked like on the older one. This castle is a hidden gem in the Transylvanian countryside.
Lake Bled Castle is located in the town of Bled, Slovenia. The castle was built on a hilltop overlooking a small picturesque island in the middle of Lake Bled. The castle is among the most popular tourist attractions in Slovenia, with over 500,000 visitors annually. The views from the castle are some of the most beautiful in Slovenia as the castle is surrounded by the Julian alps and is one of the most popular locations captured by photographers.
Karlštejn Castle is a castle in the Czech Republic. It was built in 1348 by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor to house royal treasures. The castle has been used as a royal residence and fortress since the 14th century and has been restored to it's former glory having fallen into disrepair. Although the castle can only be entered by guided tour, there are plenty of opportunities to capture stunning compositions from the outside.
Ksiaz or Książ in Polish, is one of the largest castles in Poland and unique in that it's architectural influences are gothic, baroque, and rococo. It's a truly stunning building located in a national park and overlooking a river. What more could a photographer ask for.
Spis castle in Slovakia is an imposing complex overlooking the village of Zehra. Built in the 12th century by the Kingdom of Hungary, this is one of the biggest fortifications in central Europe. Bring you drone for this one!
If you're looking for a breathtaking European vacation, look no further than these gorgeous castles. From Slovakia to Scotland, these photogenic locations are sure to take your breath away. So pack your camera and a drone to get ready for an unforgettable trip!