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9 European Castles You Can Actually Stay In

Love ornate rooms and awe-inspiring scenery? Check into these fairy-tale escapes across the pond.

U.S. News & World Report

9 European Castles You Can Actually Stay In

Quaint river through the medieval town of Semur en Auxois, Burgundy, France

Staying in a centuries-old European castle doesn't have to cost a fortune. (Getty Images).

Exploring storybook European settings can often feel like taking a journey back in time. And aside from modern hotels filled with tech-savvy amenities, many charming European villages and towns offer a wealth of tucked-away ruins, antiquities and cultural sights. Depending on where your European trip takes you, you may even encounter enchanting castles. And happily, you don't have to drive by and wonder what's inside; you can rent a room inside a castle – and likely for a much lower price tag than you think. If you're dreaming of an overnight stay in a castle steeped with Old World charm and history, here are some top options to consider.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
Galway, Ireland

As one of the finest four-star luxury castle hotels in Ireland, Ballyhahinch offers a unique culture paired with a beautiful mountain backdrop. The property sits on 450 acres of lush woodland with rivers and walks perfect for families who crave the outdoors. Book a private room or a suite ideal for a longer stay with rates starting at $230 per night.

Crossbasket Castle
Glasgow, Scotland

As a Small Luxury Hotels of the World member, Crossbasket Castle offers opulent surroundings and first-rate service. The castle dates back to the 15th century and was used as the dower house of John Lindsay of Dunrod granted by King Robert the Bruce. After sitting empty, Crossbasket Castle was brought back to life as a luxury resort in 2011. Book any one of the nine suites, and enjoy meals created by legendary French chef Albert Roux and son Michel Roux Jr. or take a leisurely nature walk along the property's lush grounds. Rooms start at around $260 per night.

Kokkedal Castle
Copenhagen

As one of Denmark's most exclusive hotels, Kokkedal Castle offers an array of upscale amenities for its guests. Enjoy its unique spa, on-site gourmet restaurant, one-of-a-kind library bar and 18th-century charm. And the castle's surroundings are equally impressive with enchanting open meadows, as well as a beach and forest. Rooms start at around $240.

Hotel Burg Wernberg
Wernberg-Köblitz, Germany

This 13th-century castle has been transformed into a five-star Relais & Châteaux
hotel with delicious regional cuisine and accessibility to many of Germany's top leisure destinations, including Nuremberg. Set above the charming town of Wernberg-Köblitz, the Hotel Burg Wernberg serves as the perfect starting point for a journey to Munich or through Bavaria. Nightly rates start at around $215.

Markree Castle
Sligo, Ireland

This 14th-century castle sits on 500 lush acres in the Irish countryside. Perfect for large family get-togethers or a fairy-tale wedding, Markree Castle's entire grounds can be rented. Currently closed for a detailed refurbishment, the castle home will reopen in spring 2017.

Hotel Burg Abenberg
Abenberg, Germany

Hotel Burg Abenberg provides a romantic setting high above the sleepy German town of Abenberg. Whether your ideal trip includes hiking, water sports at the nearby Franconian Lake or golf at the 27-hole golf course just minutes from castle grounds, the castle hotel appeals to diverse interests. Double rooms start at $115 per night and can be booked through Booking.com.

Château de Chailly
Burgandy, France

Château de Chailly is an authentic medieval castle that sits on its own golf course in the heart of Burgundy. Choose from 45 elegant guest rooms and enjoy the 165 acres of parkland with a heated outdoor pool, tennis courts, a hot tub and a wine cellar for tastings. And you can't miss indulging in decadent meals at the property's two restaurants or leisurely sipping top-notch Burgundy wines. Rooms start at around $160 per night.

Ashford Castle
Mayo, Ireland

A highly acclaimed retreat, Ashford Castle offers superlative amenities and a romantic atmosphere set among 350 acres along the shores of Lough Corrib Lake in Ireland. Once owned by the Guinness family, this larger-than-life castle is home to an award-winning spa, the elegant George V Restaurant and on-site entertainment in both drawing and billiards rooms. With a history that extends back to 1228, the castle features a mix of Old World charm and modern amenities, with guest rooms appointed with original castle features along with high-end Egyptian cotton linens and antique furnishings. A nightly stay starts at around $300.

Château de Berne
Lorgues, France

Located in the idyllic Southeast quarter of France in Provence, Chateau de Berne offers five-star service in a historic setting. Enjoy rejuvenating treatments at an on-site spa, gourmet meals at Le Jardin de Benjamin and sipping aged rosé varieties on more than 1,000 acres of untouched nature surrounded by vineyards, forest and a serene garden. Nightly rates start at around $500.

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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