One of the worst things about growing up is letting go of all of our childhood fantasies, most of which are rooted in fairytales and folklore. Well, you don’t really have to let go of your dreams of defeating dragons or becoming royalty, at least not in Europe. With a surprising amount of royal accommodation dating back centuries, consider staying in one of these castles on your next European jaunt.
#1 Roch Castle Hotel, England
This Pembrokeshire castle is a favourite for weddings and large-scale events as they offer packages in conjunction with the dining hall located on site. There are a number of different rooming options with most catering to couples or small groups. If you’re interested in treating your significant other to a royally-themed getaway, consider the year-round romantic retreat packages, which start at 250EUR per night .
#2 16th Century Summer Castle, Croatia
Located by the sea in Dubrovnik, this stunning green oasis is a pretty nice alternative to hostels and hotels in the area. Sleeping up to 14, the 16th century summer castle once belonged to Croatian nobles but now can belong – for a bit – to you and your mates. The property has a quiet atmosphere, and is surrounded by lush greenery and a moor for all of your ‘I’m on a boat’ needs. It runs at around 385EUR per night.
#3 Montalto Castle, Italy
This stunning spot is a two-story apartment comprising the south wing of the manor house of the castle, including the original watchtower. With antique furniture and original fresco walls, it’s well suited to providing a complete medieval castle experience. Located in Tuscany, this getaway sleeps up to seven people, making it a great stop-over for groups. At only 225EUR per night, between you and your mates, this would be one frugal castle.
#4 Ackergill Tower, Scotland
This 15th century castle is situated on the very edge of the sea in the near Inverness in the Scottish highlands. You can rent one of the 17 rooms on offer or take the whole tower exclusively if you have a hundred friends who are keen on a royal getaway. The venue has been described as ‘magical’, and is aimed at those looking for a secluded getaway. Double rooms start at 190EUR per night while whole cottages, which sleep 10, are around 1540EUR per night. There’s also a treehouse apartment up for grabs!
#5 Dukes Palace, Belgium
This amazing building is the former residence of the Burgundian aristocracy and located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges. With 110 rooms on offer, you can choose from elegant suites, luxury rooms and family-friendly accommodation. The owners have tried to maintain a 15th century vibe with some original fittings still remaining, but don’t worry – it has all modern amenities with an in-castle bar, a spa, sauna and gym! Prices start at 140EUR per night.
#6 Castle Schönburg, Germany
Overlooking the river Rhine, this German castle is one of the most picturesque in Europe. Come for the castle, stay for the centuries’ old gardens that are exclusive to guests. Dating back to the year 911, the very very old-school rooms are designed to allow you to live out your dragon-fighting fantasies. Prices start at around 140EUR per night.
#7 Parador de Oropesa, Spain
The hotel owners state that a stay in the Parador is a date with history, and it’s not hard to understand why. This stunner can be found in the Ventosilla mountain range. Built in the 16th century this was the first castle or palace to be turned into accommodation in Spain. Today, it features on site restaurants and bars as well as a spa, but somehow, it hasn’t lost any of it’s original charm with the grounds at large having remained rustic and genuine. A room at Parador de Oropresa will set you back around 120EUR, making it one of the most affordable royal options in Europe.