Most of us grow up wishing to be Disney princes and princesses, or admiring the fashion choices and fascinating hats of real-life royalty. Maybe your fairytale daydreams were inspired by the latest British royal wedding earlier this year, or perhaps you rewatched your favorite Disney flick and sighed wistfully, hoping that someday, your prince or princess will come.
If you’ve ever wanted to live like royalty, here’s your chance. We scoured the globe and turned up these 20 amazing castle properties where you could actually live like a king or queen! Whether it’s for a week or a decade, you could make your dreams come true with one of these castles.
Some of the castles are fixer-uppers, while others have been lovingly restored by their current owners. Some of them are privately owned properties that have been for sale in the very recent past. Others operate as hotels and B&Bs, which may be more in line with your budget. If you can’t splash out millions of dollars to own your very own castle right now, you can rent a room and live out your fairytale fantasies for a week. In some cases, you may be able to rent the entire castle!
One thing is for sure, and it’s that you’ll certainly feel like royalty at every one of these places.
20 Katz Castle Lets You Live A German Fairy Tale
Nobody does castles quite like the Germans. The inspiration for most of our Disney-esque fantasy architecture lies in the forests and hills of Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle is sometimes cited as being the inspiration for the Beast’s castle in Beauty and the Beast (although the animators claim a French castle served as the model).
Katz Castle in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, is a little older and in a little rougher shape, but it’s still a prime location to live out your fantasy of being a fairytale prince or princess. The castle is nearly 700 years old. Its medieval architecture boasts contemporary interiors and stunning views of the Rhine River below.
19 Play King Or Queen Of Scots At Fenton Tower
Welcome to North Berwick, Scotland, where you’ll be taking up residence in the 16th-century castle known as Fenton Tower. Although the tower was last renovated in 2002, you’ll find just about everything you’d expect of a Scottish castle. Exposed beams run across the ceiling, and arched doorways ensure your entrances and exits will have dramatic flair.
Cozy up in front of one the massive fireplaces to stave off the chill of a Scottish evening, enjoy a candlelit dinner in the dining room, and sleep on a bed with a massive carved wooden headboard just 12.5 miles from Edinburgh.
It’s not for sale right now, but you can rent out the entire castle for a few days.
18 A Spanish Retreat Fit For A Prince Or Princess
Jerez de la Frontera, in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia, is no stranger to castles and palaces. Once a stronghold of Moorish Spain, you can visit the ruins of Alcazar de Jerez or the Palacio del Virrey Laserna, which operates as a museum.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, you might look to the Old Quarter, where one of the locals has made a massive 18th-century mansion available for rent. Tucked away on a quiet, cobblestoned street, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back in time. Lounge in the courtyard and enjoy the marbled columns, Moorish archways, and a private swimming pool.
17 You Don’t Even Need To Leave The US To Live In A Castle
Although the United States spurned the idea of monarchy back in 1776, many Americans have held dreams of being royalty deep in their hearts. While you can’t be king or queen in the US, there are plenty of modern-day palaces and castles where you can live like one.
Take, for example, San Francisco’s Albion Castle. It was built in 1870 and originally served as a brewery. When the brewery closed, it was converted into a livable home, inspired by the stone towers of northern France.
The Albion was most recently sold in 2012, but it might come up on the market again someday soon.
16 This Scottish Castle Is On An Isolated Island
We’ll travel back to Scotland to view this next property. Breachacha Castle is farther north than Fenton Tower, located on the Isle of Coll, just off the west coast of Scotland. Constructed in 1750, it was originally the home of a Scottish clan chief.
Today, the castle could use some TLC, which may be why it was on the market in fall 2017 at a stunningly low price of $650,000.
For that price, you’d definitely feel like king of the castle as you take in the stunning views of the island’s white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Sharks, whales, and dolphins are known to visit the area, and you might even see a mermaid or two.
15 Go Medieval And Rent A Room In Castle Schonburg
Another medieval German castle overlooking the mighty Rhine is Castle Schonburg. This castle is even older than Katz Castle, having been constructed in 911. Even today, however, the castle is still considered one of the most picturesque in all of Europe.
Castle Schonburg operates as a hotel these days. You can rent one of the medieval rooms and enjoy exclusive access to the castle’s centuries-old gardens. Or, if you’re feeling up to it, pretend you’re a medieval knight on the hunt for dragons or a king holding court in the castle.
It will cost you around $200 per night, which makes this a very reasonable royal fantasy.
14 Check Out One Of Japan’s Few Privately Owned Castles
Japan is another country that has a long history of castle-building. Unfortunately, many historic castles were destroyed in 1867. Ownership of the remaining castles was transferred to the government. Today, most Japanese castles are publicly owned and many operate as visitor attractions, such as museums.
Nakatsu Castle, located in Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture, is one of the few privately owned Japanese castles. It was originally owned by members of the Okudaira clan, and then later corporately owned. The current castle dates to the 1960s and is a replica of Hagi Castle. The last time it was put up for sale, the price tag was just under $2.5 million, making this a relatively affordable castle property.
13 This Historic Castle Is A Fixer-Upper Project
Maybe you’re more of a hands-on monarch. If so, Knockhall Castle is the perfect piece of property for you. This historic Scottish property doesn’t have a roof, and it’s not currently in livable condition, but with a can-do attitude and the right team, you could turn it into a fantastic royal abode.
Located in Newburgh village, about half-an-hour from Aberdeen, the castle is believed to have been built in 1565 and even once played host to King James I. It was later overtaken by an earl. Its current state was brought about by a fire, but the foundation is a solid one upon which to build your royal retreat.
12 Rent Lisheen Castle For A Fantastical Irish Escape
Lisheen Castle, situated among the rolling green hills near Munster, looks a bit like a medieval structure. It’s actually much more modern, having been built in the 19th century. It’s surrounded by immaculately kept grounds, and it offers space for you and 15 of your closest friends and family. It even has an optional catering service, if you really want to pamper yourself and play at being king or queen.
Lisheen Castle’s location makes it easy to explore many of the attractions of south and central Ireland. You can visit Holy Cross Abbey and the Rock of Cashel. You can even visit neighboring Kilkenny Castle.
11 The Historic Duns Castle Could Be Yours For A Week
Duns Castle is a 12-bedroom home situated about an hour south of the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The castle was originally constructed in 1320. Throughout its history, it played a part in various important events, such as the movement to protect freedom of worship in 1639.
You can rent the entire castle and get a taste of history here by participating in activities such as falconry, archery, and clay-pigeon shooting. If that’s not your speed, nature tours, and wine and whisky tastings are also available. A croquet lawn, tennis court, and billiards table rounds out your upper-class itinerary at this historic getaway.
10 This Indian Hotel Is A Revamped Fortress
Dig deep into the mists of time by booking a stay at the RAAS Devigarh in Delwara, India. This enormous palace was once an 18th-century fortress overlooking the small town, and the seat of royal rulers. Today, it operates as a hotel, and is frequently named as one of India’s very best.
A stay here will awe you with the intricacy of the architecture, from the ornate carvings of the archways to the stunning facade on the front of the building. Your spacious suite will be furnished with traditional pieces, adding to the authenticity of your Indian fairy tale. Sit back, relax, and take in the magnificent backdrop of the Aravalli hills.
9 An Irish Manor Evokes Memories Of A French Court
A stay at the Adare Manor, situated along the River Maigue in Adare Village, Ireland, may make you think you’ve been transported back in time to 19th-century France. The fairytale castle sits on 840 acres and includes formal French gardens. The 100-foot long gallery was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
With a golf course, spa, restaurants, a movie theater, and plenty of activity options, you’ll feel right at home here. Go fishing for trout in the nearby river, or practice your archery skills. You can even take lessons in falconry. Afterwards, take a stroll through the surrounding parklands for the true royal treatment.
8 Stay In The Home of Indian Rulers
Travel to the ancient town of Neemrana, nestled in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, and you’ll have the opportunity to stay in the home of the area’s historic rulers. Neemrana Fort Palace was originally built sometime between the 1400s and 1500s. It was the home of the Rajput Chauhan ruling family until 1947.
Today, the palace operates as a hotel, where rooms start around $100 per night.
There are 72 suites, a pool, hanging gardens, an amphitheater, and plenty of history for you to take in here. The Neemrana Fort Palace bills itself as a non-hotel, and it’s easy to see why any stay here would be nothing short of magical.
7 This Russian Castle Has Changed Names, But It’s Still The Same
The Lobanov-Rostovsky Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, is no more. Yet the palace itself still stands and has been painstakingly restored to its pre-1917 glory. Now known as the Four Seasons Lion Palace Hotel, this magnificent building oozes the kind of opulence you’d expect from 19th-century Russian nobility.
Originally constructed between 1817 and 1820, the palace was intended as a residence for Prince Alexander Lobanov-Rostovsky. It was purchased by the Russian government in 1828, and for much of its history, it has housed various schools and government departments. The new name refers to the 2 Medici lion statues situated near the door.
6 Rule Over Vineyards From This Imposing Medieval Castle
Castello della Quattro Torra’s name is quite accurate. This piece of medieval architecture has 4 towers, or “quattro torra” in Italian.
Located near the Tuscan town of Siena, the property operates as a bed and breakfast for those who want to a historic retreat while exploring the Italian countryside.
The castle is situated in Chianti wine country, and the renowned Tuscan scenery makes the Castello della Quattro Torra a great pick for any future king or queen touring Italy. For an uninterrupted, 360-degree views of the world around you, including the medieval courtyard below, we recommend the stunning Tower Room.
5 This Magnificent Castle Has Been Lost To The Russian Countryside
Travel 220 kilometers from Moscow, and you’ll find Muromtsevo Castle. The castle was allegedly constructed because of a bet between 2 noblemen in the 19th century. The Russian lord said he could build a castle as fine as any French one, while the French noble wagered he couldn’t. And so, Muromtsevo was built.
In 1917, the Russian noble was forced to flee. Muromtsevo was occupied as a school for some time, but eventually abandoned.
Today, you can visit on a guided tour, but you’ll only get to see the grounds. It’s under 24-hour surveillance, and the interior has been completely closed off. The right buyer, however, could see Muromtsevo restored to its former glory as a residence fit for noble blood.
4 Eastern Germany Is A Hot Spot For Castles
If you want to pick up a castle on the cheap, look no farther than Eastern Germany. Many of the historic castles built here prior to the 1940s have long been hidden behind the Iron Curtain. Ownership had been transferred to the state, and now, many of these properties are up for sale again.
Take the Schloss Baerenklau as an example. Built in the 1920s, this chateau sits on 4 hectares of land. It boasts marble floors, a pool, and its own service wing. Better yet, it’s just outside of Berlin.
The prices in the area are steadily rising, with a property like Schloss Baerenklau now selling for around 4 million euros.
3 Italy Might Give You A Castle For Free
In 2017, a spectacular story made the rounds. Italy was giving away historic properties, including several castles, villas, and monasteries, for free. The best part? It wasn’t a viral hoax; it was 100% true.
The Italian government designated 150 properties to give away in 2017, with plans to add 200 more sites in 2018 and 2019.
There was a catch to getting a free castle, though. Would-be owners had to submit a document outlining their plans for renovation, restoration, and eventually turning the property into a tourist attraction. Nonetheless, you could pick up an impressive property like the Castello di Montefiore for next to nothing.
2 Chateau de Chabenet Is Now A Hotel
You might be surprised at how easy it is to buy a castle property. The story of Chateau de Chabenet demonstrates. Some years ago, a couple visited Indre, France, and were told the castle owner was hoping to sell. The couple purchased the castle for around $1 million.
Today, they’ve turned the Chateau de Chabenet into a luxury hotel with a fine-dining restaurant. Dating to about 1470, the chateau originally served as a fortress. It boasts 14 towers and 2 drawbridges, all of which have been restored. You can book a stay here for now, and maybe someday the Chateau de Chabenet will come up for sale again.
1 You Could Stay In Dracula’s Castle
It’s no secret Dracula was inspired by legends about Vlad Tepes, a Translyvanian noble known to be quite cruel to his enemies. Bran Castle in Translyvania was once Vlad the Impaler’s stronghold, and it’s sometimes referred to as “Dracula’s Castle.”
From time to time, the castle has been rumored to be up on the real estate market, with list prices anywhere from $66 to $80 million. The current owners say they have no plans to sell, but keep an eye out. There may come a point in time when Bran Castle could be yours. For now, book a tour and enjoy the creepy tales of this famous piece of Transylvanian history.
Sources: Vogue, Domain.com.au, HomeAway.com, Nine.com.au, HelloTravel, Japanpropertycentral, CNBC