Visiting abandoned castles sound like fun? Then, pack your bags and gather the kids—it’s time to take a trip to ten of the best abandoned castles in the world! Make sure to grab your best suit of armor so that you can get the most out of these amazing locations. Both picturesque and steeped in history, the abandoned castles on this list make the perfect educational and recreational trip for kids of any age. You and your kids will love touring, going inside the abandoned castles, perhaps even exploring old castles and castle ruins. Nothing as fascinating as a seeing an old abandoned castle and wondering about the story behind it. Well, nothing, except perhaps learning about the history of the castle and why it was abandoned.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Make your first stop this lavish German castle that just so happens to be one of the youngest on this list. Built in the 1860s by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, this beautiful location serves as the perfect getaway vacation. You may be surprised to learn that, despite its grandeur, the castle remains mostly incomplete to this day, with only fourteen rooms total completed.
Your children will love exploring this relic, which is safe and very child-friendly. If you’re looking for the ultimate, off-the-beaten-path castle location to take your children, you can’t go wrong with Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany! It might not be the oldest castle in the world, but it certainly is one of the biggest castles in the world. And, it is one of the oldest castles in Germany.
2. Warwick Castle, United Kingdom
One of the oldest castles on this list, Warwick Castle is also one of the most important. Built over one thousand years ago in 914, this castle played a huge role in the Hundred Years War. The castle was originally constructed with wood by William the Conqueror but was rebuilt in the 1100s with the stone design seen today.
For years, the castle served as a royal court and home to some of the wealthiest families in England. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination and the perfect location to bring your kids for that out-of-the-box vacation. So, introduce the kids to one of the oldest castles in the world by taking them here. Also, apart from being a medieval European castle, this castle also has a cool castle name!
3. Alcazar de Segovia, Spain
Alcazar de Segovia was built in the twelfth century and went on to serve as a royal location and a primary training location for soldiers and the military. Originally an Arab construction, it was later redesigned into the castle seen today (with some substantial repairs made following a fire in the late 1860s). This is also one of the biggest castles in the world as well as a famous European old castle.
Today, the castle serves as a reminder of Spain’s glorious past and as the inspiration for some famous art. Your children will love visiting this castle, particularly when they know it served as the inspiration for the setting of Cinderella! For this reason, make Alcazar de Segovia your next stop on Spain vacation!
4. Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
Dunnottar Castle is a hidden gem of Scotland and the perfect abandoned castle to show your children. Built between 1400 and 1600 AD, this castle housed many of Scotland’s most important officials and families.
Many of the United Kingdom’s most important rulers and individuals are said to have visited the castle at some point during its use, but the location is perhaps most notable for being the stronghold that held off Cromwell’s forces from overrunning Scotland. Dunnottar Castle is perched on a rocky outcrop over the sea, making it one of the most scenic locations on this list. This abandoned and medieval European castle and castle ruins should be on your bucketlist!
5. Fort Ambleteuse, France
When you think of abandoned castles around the world, or castle ruins in Europe, you should have Fort Ambleteuse on your list! This amazing beach-side fort, sometimes called Fort Mahon, was built between 1682 and 1690 as a means of protecting France’s naval interests. Unfortunately, the fort was built too close to the sea and was unsuitable for use for over one hundred years, until it was repurposed by Napoleon for use in war against England.
For Ambleteuse would later be occupied by the Germans in World War II, when it would undergo further structural upgrades. Following the war, the fort would sustain damage but would be rebuilt into a seaside museum that exists until this day. Take your children to visit this amazing castle—they won’t be disappointed!
6. Pidhirtsi Castle, Poland
Take your kids to this cozy Eastern European castle built in the sixteenth century! Originally the home of Poland’s greatest military leaders, this castle served as a leisure resort for generals and other high-ranking military officers.
Since the twentieth century, the castle has had quite the interesting history. After being raided in Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921, it served as a hospital for tuberculosis patients following the Second World War. Today the castle is being rebuilt after a 1950s fire left it with extensive damage. Still, it’s worth checking out the inside of this abandoned castle and its ruins for yourself!
7. Muromtzevo Mansion, Russia
Muromtezvo Mansion in Russia is an Eastern European castle with a Western European flair. Legend has it that the castle was built as part of a challenge from a Frenchman to a Russian lord. Allegedly, the two began to quarrel over which nation was better: France or Russia.
According to the tales, the Russian nobleman exclaimed that he would make a castle in Russia of equal grandeur as the ones in France. And so Muromtzevo Mansion was built. Today, this deserted castle serves as a great location to take your children for that perfect Russian vacation!
8. Chateau de Chenonceau, France
Completed in 1522, the Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the best and most well-known castles in France. Over the years, it has served as home to some of the most distinguished individuals in French history, including the world-famous Catherine de’ Medici. The castle is home to several beautiful gardens and boasts some of the best architecture in all of France.
Since World War I, the castle has been used for a variety of purposes, including as a hospital and safe zone. Today, individuals can visit this old castle to get a feel for the amazing lavishness of France’s past.
9. Dunluce Castle, Ireland
What makes Ireland’s Dunluce Castle the perfect place to take your kids? How about this: the castle is featured extensively on the hit show Game of Thrones. You may remember it as the House of Greyjoy, but in real life, the castle has been abandoned since the 19th century, when part of it collapsed and fell into the sea. So we like to think that it’s one of the best abandoned castles in Ireland and all of Europe.
Built in medieval times, the castle is a great example of classical architecture and a look into the past. Take your children to enjoy a fantasy come true for the entire family and perhaps, see one of the coolest castles in the world.
10. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria
This amazing castle, overlooking the all-natural Salzactal Valley, is one of Austria’s top destinations. Combining the best in castle architecture and stellar scenery, this castle makes the perfect location for families of all ages and sizes. It is one of the oldest abandoned castles in Austria but also one of the coolest castles in Europe.
Historically, the building has been home to both kings and prisoners, making it one of the most interesting castles in all of Europe. If you’re ready to take your family on an adventure they won’t forget anytime soon, it’s time to book your trip to Hohenwerfen Castle!
Make your next trip special by going off the grid at one of the ten aforementioned abandoned castles of the world. You and your kids both will love the history and scenery of these amazing locations. So don’t wait! Book your trip today so that you can guarantee that ultimate vacation!