5 of the best family travel Castles in Europe

Neuschwanstein, Tower of London, Schonbrunn, Wawel and Haut Koenigsbourg make up our list. Have you been to any of these sites?

 

We love castles in Europe, it is that simple. We love family travel day trips to castles. Maybe it’s because we are Australian and no such buildings exist here. We can blame the Poms (British) for this. The least they could have done is built a castle when they arrived not just to use our country as a penal colony. I visited my first castle back in the summer of 1999 when I went to Conwy. Since then I gained a wife and 2 daughters along the way. My wife Bec was introduced to castle’s when we visited Neuschwanstein in September of 2003. Since this time we have visited many castles including Hohenschwangau in Germany, Castelo St George in Portugal and Caernarfon in Wales just to name a few. The last few years we have started visiting castles with our kids. The girls seem to have developed the same fascination as their parents when it comes to castles. Maybe it’s the whole Disney thing you know Princesses, Princess, and their castles. Maybe it’s Barbie who knows. The Castle’s I have listed below are amazing for family travel visits. All these castles have amazing designs, features, and history that the whole family will all love. These are 5 of the best family travel castles in Europe!

Neuschwanstein – Hohenschwangau Village Germany

5 of the best family travel castles in Europe

“…the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world.”
– King Ludwig II of Bavaria

 

castles in europe

I would say that Neuschwanstein Castle is the most famous castle in the world. It is located in Bavaria, Germany. Walt Disney designed his castle on the inspiration he received from the design of Neuschwanstein. This makes the castle recognisable to most people. Neuschwanstein is very young castle compared to some we have visited. Neuschwanstein was designed and built in the 1880’s by the swan King Ludwig. King Ludwig is responsible for and associated with over half a dozen castles in Bavaria. On your visit to Neuschwanstein, you can choose to ride a horse and cart up to or down from the castle. This was a big winner for my kids, They loved the horse and cart ride. The Marienbrucke bridge that looks down over the castle runs across a deep gorge. and provides great views of the castle. The day we visited the was very crowded. Our youngest daughter was scared to go out on the bridge as it is extremely high and the bridge tended to sway. The colours and design of the castle are attractive for kids especially mixed in with some talk of Disney, and stories of Kings and Queens.

The Tower Of London – London, England

5 of the best family travel castles in Europe

castles in europe

The Tower of London was amazing. So much history involved with this location from the Crown Jewels through to the spot where Queen Anne Boleyn lost her head. The Tower of London was built by William the Conquerer in 1078. If you are a fan of English history you will get so much out of a visit to The Tower of London. The Tower offers free tours by the official beefeaters. These tours are amazing and provide a great insight into the history of the tower. The beefeaters make the tour fun and at times, it is like a comedy act. They were happy to pose for pictures with the kids when the tour is finished. You will also find others walking around in costume dressed as kings, queens, jester and all things English. The Crown Jewels is a highlight of your time at the Tower with displays of jewels from mid-1600’s onwards shown. The White Tower houses an extensive armoury museum containing weapons and displays dating back to the time of William the Conquerer and the most famous King Henry the 8th’s armour that he wore jousting is on display. This is a must visit in London, England for the whole family. If you would like to read about our time at The Tower of London click here.

Schonbrunn Palace – Vienna Austria.

5 of the best family travel castles in Europe

castles in europe

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria is massive. That’s the first thing, you notice as you walk through the gates to enter. The sheer size is amazing. The palace has 1441 rooms inside. Schonbrunn was mainly built in the 1700’s. A castle had been on the site since the mid-1500’s. You can choose a number of different tours of the palace to participate in lasting around 45 minutes to 1 hours. This palace is just so regal in design and interior. Empress Maria Theresa had the castle designed and furnished to look how you see it today. Schonbrunn offers tours for kids where they can dress up in period costume and experience what it was like for kids who lived in the palace. One could easily spend all day at Schonbrunn with its huge gardens to explore. The Schonbrunn/Vienna zoo is also located on the grounds. This zoo has the giant panda on display. Schonbrunn zoo has the most successful panda breeding program outside of china. At the zoo, you will find all the usual animals, elephants, lions, seals, polar bears etc. Our girls really enjoyed their day here it was a real highlight for the kids and adults. Plan a whole day at Schonbrunn you will need it or if you need some other ideas for Vienna here are our top 5 things not to miss in Vienna.

Wawel Castle – Krakow Poland

5 of the best family travel castles in Europe

castles in europe

Wawel Castle in Kraków in Poland was built by Casimir III the Great, who reigned from 1333 to 1370. Wawel Castle and Wawel Hill are one of thewawel dragon most important sites in Poland. This castle was home to the Polish royalty, the kings and queens of Poland lived here for hundreds of years when Krakow reigned as the Capital of Poland. Wawel is more of a complex of building housing a church, art museum, crown treasury, and armoury. The armoury houses some important objects from wars that Poland fought in the middle ages. What will get your kids fascinated is the legend of the Wawel Dragon. It’s told that a dragon lived in a cave below where Wawel Castle is no located. In front of the entrance to the cathedral in Wawel Castle, there are bones of so-called dragons hanging on a chain. The bones were found in the cave below and carried to the cathedral in medieval times as the remains of a dragon. The tale of the Wawel Dragon says the world will come to its end when the bones will fall on the ground. The cathedral pays homage to the dragon with a statue of the Wawel dragon and a plaque celebrating his defeat by Krakus. Krakus was a Polish prince who, according to the plaque and legend constructed palace over the slain dragon’s lair. You can now visit the dragon’s lair below the castle. The kids will love this. You enter down a stairwell into a dimly lite cave. Outside the cave is a statue of the dragon that breathes fire amazing. 

Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg – Alsace Region France

5 of the best family travel castles in Europe

castles in europe

Haut Koenigsbourg sits way high up on a hill near Colmar in France. Haut Koenigsbourg overlooks the fertile lands of the Rhine basin in France. Abundant with grapes, fruits, and wineries. Haut Koenigsbourg was first mentioned in the 13th century. Haut Keonigsbourg has been occupied over the centuries by Kings, Emperors, and bandits. The drive to Haut Keonigsbourg is an adventure in itself as you wind up through the forest to reach Koenigsbourg. If your kids suffer car sickness be wary. Our oldest daughter let fly with vomit YUK!. Exploring Haut Koenigsbourg is like climbing a ladder one inside. You keep getting higher and higher up in the castle. The castle is built on the incline of a hill. There are some amazing painted rooms and an armoury at the castle that our kids really enjoyed. The views from the very highest point of the castle are amazing. I really included this site as it makes up part of an amazing day trip you can take in this area. After leaving Haut Koenigsbourg, you should head 20 minutes up the road to La Montagne De Singes. La Montage De Singes is a reserve for around 200 free roaming Barbary macaques monkeys. These animals will come right up to you and eat out of your hand. It was an amazing day trip experience and a real highlight for us all.


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