Castles aren’t just something you read about in fairytales. There are a number of ancient castles still standing all around the world. Some of the most stunning castles can be found in Europe. These castles create an enchanting sense of mystery, sometimes appearing eery and other times appearing romantic. If you’re traveling through Europe, you will definitely want to see some of these astounding castles.

1) Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

The Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most iconic castles in Europe, and once you’re struck by its historical beauty, you’ll see why. If you’re a movie buff, you’ll recognize this castle from its numerous appearances in movies, such as the original Highlander. If you’re a history buff, you’re more likely to be interested in Eilean Donan’s fascinating past. This castle was the key site during the 1719 Jacobite Rising. Regardless of what it is that catches your eye about this castle, you are sure to be in awe. The castle is surrounded by a mountain range filled with greenery.

2) Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

With more than 1.3 million people visiting annually in recent years, Neuschwanstein Castle is Europe’s most visited castle. If you’re on a day trip to nearby Munich, it is convenient to swing by this castle, and you certainly won’t regret it. The castle is absolutely breathtaking, as are the natural surroundings. Make sure that while you visit, you take time to take an off-site walk on the nearby trails in order to see some incredible views. For bike-riding travelers, there is also the option to take bike tours.

3) Chateau de Versailles, France

Brimming with beauty, history and greenery, the Chateau de Versailles is a must-see. From its beginnings as a hunting lodge to its peak as a royal court of France under Louis XIV, the Chateau de Versailles is truly awe-inspiring. This is one of the grandest royal residences in the world and cannot be overlooked. If you’re in Paris, you absolutely need to take a day trip to Versailles so that you can explore the lush gardens and gilded halls.

4) Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle is an example of a fully restored medieval fortress. This beautiful castle sits atop an extinct volcano called Castle Rock, towering over Scotland’s capital city. The architecture of the building itself is just as spellbinding as the structure that it is sitting upon. Built in the 12th century, Edinburgh Castle has passed hands between the Scots and the English a number of times. Now, it is open to the public for tours and events throughout the entire year.

5) Hunyad Castle, Romania

The Hunyad Castle, also known as the Corvin Castle, is a Gothic-Renaissance building that was fully restored after decades of being neglected. This castle once imprisoned Vlad the Impaler, and this historical event would later be Bram Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula. While the castle may have a somewhat grim history, it has a vibrant appearance, with multi-colored roofs, towers, and stone carvings. Some argue that the building is not entirely authentic, since modern architects may have projected their own interpretation onto the reconstruction of the castle. However, the end result is a truly spectacular castle that is worth the visit.

Europe is filled with a rich and fascinating history. The proof is in the historical, awe-inspiring castles found throughout several European cities.