8 Palaces & Castles To Visit Around The World That'll Give You Major Princess Vibes
So many of us are looking for that happily ever after. All of those fairy tales we read growing up have given us some serious expectations when it comes to life. Your first true love might have been Prince Charming (quickly followed by Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid, because let's be honest, he's so much better), and we all wanted an animal sidekick or glass slipper to start our own story. Traveling gives us a chance to totally escape reality as we know it. These palaces and castles to visit around the world will not only give you some serious princess vibes, but they'll let you live out all your wildest dreams, too.
Living life like a princess in one of those fairy tales sounds so ideal. Between the crowns, beautiful gowns, attending balls, and being called "royalty," it seems like a dream. I think we all sort of wish Genovia from The Princess Diaries was real. Personally, I would love to live in a land ruled by Julie Andrews, where mattress surfing and waving your hand just right was something that would happen on the reg. We've learned a thing or two from all of our favorite princess movies, and know that leading a country comes with the package deal.
If you have a bit of the travel bug, these eight castles will elevate your bucket list, and will be a dose of magic while you're wandering the world. Can I get a "yas queen?"
1. Prague Castle In Prague, Czech Republic
When I studied abroad, one of our last weekend trips was to the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. We went when winter was just around the corner, so we had to bundle up in all the scarves. But, it was worth it because it also meant we could indulge in all the goulash and mulled wine.
Christmas markets were scattered around the squares, and it felt like we were living in one of those villages families set up as part of their holiday decorations. To say the least, it was effortlessly magical.
Prague Castle was a must-see while we were there, and the perfect addition to an already fairy tale-like find. This castle is absolutely massive, and also the perfect spot if you're trying to get a beautiful view of the city.
2. Bran Castle In Brasov, Romania
Bran Castle, popularly known as Dracula's Castle, is the perfect spot for those looking for something magical with also a lot of myth and mystery surrounding it. According to bran-castle.com, the fictional story goes that Dracula, a Transylvanian Count and the OG vampire (you know before Twilight hit the teen reading scene), has a castle located way up high in the mountains.
Although the myth is totally just something from the depths of our human imaginations, it's fun to think about when taking a trip to this vision in the valley. During your visit, you might want to grab a bite at the tea house. Transylvania isn't on everyone's bucket list, but now you have a beautiful reason to go.
3. Cinderella's Castle In Walt Disney World, Florida
If you're really looking for all of the princess vibes, you should head straight to where the weather's warm and the people are undeniably happy. Cinderella's Castle is every glass slipper dream we've ever had totally come to life. Maybe it's the magic of Disney World, or just the little kid in us totally coming out to play, but it's hard to walk down Main Street and not feel totally overwhelmed by joy and awe.
At night you'll want to see the iconic firework show in Magic Kingdom, and watch the whole castle be totally illuminated. And during the day, you'll want to grab brunch with the whole royal squad and get a total princess makeover. Dreams really do come true, and that carriage isn't always a pumpkin.
4. Neuschwanstein Castle In Schwangau, Germany
Living the royal life can come with a lot of time in the spotlight. And sometimes, it's necessary to build a castle far away from it all just to get some solid peace and quiet.
According to Neuschwanstein.de, the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited castles in Europe. It stands as the scene of many intense puzzles I did growing up and is a spot for wannabe princesses and adventurous travelers alike to find their own fairy tale.
While you're there, you'll want to roam through all of the rooms, and take a bit of time to soak up the outdoors to get an even better view of the lovely landscape that this castle surrounds itself with.
5. Windsor Castle In Berkshire, England
Find yourself in the company of a gorgeous castle in Berkshire, England. Sure, you could stop by Buckingham Palace and see all of the sights of London — but don't forget to add this gem to your bucket list as well. According to RoyalCollection.org, this "Home to The Queen" is filled with so much history that transcends 900 years.
Watch a changing of the guards, and cross your fingers that the queen is spending a weekend on the grounds. Can you imagine having a lazy Sunday or doing some self-care in a castle? We would seriously be cured of all of our worries.
6. Palace Of Versailles In Versailles, France
Paris is the City of Love, but it's also home to one of the most beautiful palaces this world has to offer, in my opinion. Just a train ride away is a gorgeous palace with long hallways decorated with detailed chandeliers.
Where the inside is incredibly intricate and could easily take up your entire afternoon, the palace's gardens are where you really want to spend the most time. They span way beyond what the naked eye can see, and are filled with sculptures and wonderful water fountains alike. When the sightseeing gets the best of your stomach, stop for a savory or sweet crepe a short walk from the palace.
7. Hearst Castle In San Simeon, California
Between all of those cool walls in Los Angeles and the dreamy beaches of Big Sur, it's pretty easy to see why California is such a gem. But who knew California could have such cool castles? You might be jet setting to this state for the golden state of mind, or to see the Hollywood sign. But, if you find yourself in San Simeon, you'll surely want to see Hearst Castle.
Settled into Central California is the grand Hearst Castle. You'll love seeing the Neptune Pool and all of the extravagant rooms on the Grand Rooms tour. Seriously, it all feels so Great Gatsby-esque, and will give you a different kind of fairy tale to hope for.
8. Pena Palace In Sintra, Portugal
All palaces seem picturesque, but when you find one with a spectrum of color you just want to call it home. Pena Palace in Portugal is lovely to look at and oh-so-lively, and not just because of the tourists that visit it every year. On a beautiful weather day, you can see it standing tall in the mountains from the capital of the country, Lisbon, bringing bright pops of color to the nearby coastline.
If you're looking for a colorful spot for social media, this is definitely the place for a photo shoot. With tropical and romantic vibes, you'll not only feel like the a princess, but your fun and flirty side will come out, too. Castles should probably be considered wonders of the world, but for now, they'll just be a beautiful spot for your bucket list.