The Best European Castles: Romania to the Czech Republic & More!

One of the most popular Eastern European castles, known around the world, is Bran Castle in Romania. As legend states, it was once home to Count Dracula. The Romanian castle isn’t the only interesting fortress to visit on an active holiday in Europe. Especially in Eastern Europe, and largely in Bohemia, you can find some stunning remains of important defence structures and residences of ancient medieval times. At UTracks, we love this kind of historical sights, if you do too, we have compiled this list of some of the best European castles for you.

Mikulov Castle, Czech Republic

Mikulov, Czech Republican castle - UTracks TravelSurrounded by medieval towns lies the Czech Mikulov Castle In an area of the Czech Republic where medieval towns, castles and impressive squares dominate, you can find the Mikulov Castle. In the historical town with the same name, this beautiful South Moravia castle is located on the same spot where in the 13th century the original castle stood. The current structure dates back to the early 18th century and was renovated extensively in the 1950s after it was set on fire at the end of WWII. Today it houses a museum that partly talks about the rich wine-making history of the regions around this Czech Republican castle. Visit the Czech Mikulov Castle with UTracks:

:: Cycle Prague to Vienna self guided cycling holiday

Bishop’s Castle, Estonia

Bishop's Castle on Saaremaa Island, EstoniaEpiscopal Bishop's Castle on Saaremaa Island ©Vonsoeckchen You may have heard of Saaremaa Island in Estonia because of its Bishop’s Castle in the island’s capital Kuressaare. The castle is one of the finest preserved medieval Episcopal Castles in the Baltics and dates from the 13th century. It is also the oldest (since 1865) and biggest museum in Estonia and helps to preserve Saaremaa’s nature, history and culture. This unique example of the Eastern European castles is easy to access by bicycle. Visit the Estonian Bishop’s Castle with UTracks:

:: Treasures of the Baltic by Bike self guided cycling holiday

:: Latvia and Estonia Guided Cycling holiday

Bran Castle, Romania

Views of Bran Castle when walking in RomaniaThe most famous of all Romanian castles must be Bran Castle The Bucegi Mountains are home to the famous Bran Castle in Romania. The castle is best known through folklore of the character of Dracula, who was, it’s widely thought, based on the prince Vlad Tepes of Walachia. The real castle was built in the 14th century as a gift from Ludovic d’Anjou to the people of the Bucegi Mountains to first defend them from migratory people. Later the Romanian castle protected Transylvania from Ottoman invasions. Visit the Romanian castle of Bran with UTracks:

:: Transylvania Castles & Mountains self guided walking holiday

Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania

Trakai Castle with UTracks TravelExplore Trakai Castle on a day of cycling with UTracks In Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, visit the island castle of Trakai. Trakai was the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and is an interesting place to visit on a cycling holiday in Lithuania. The Castle of Trakai is located on a small island in Lake Galve and was reconstructed in the 19th century. Restoration works to the castle were undertaken by various European countries like Germany, in WWI, Poland and Lithuania itself. The style of the reconstruction of the castle is 15th century and this is what you can still see today when you visit the popular European castle. Visit the Lithuania castle of Trakai with UTracks:

:: Treasures of the Baltic by Bike cycling holiday

Prague Castle, Czech Republic

One of the best European Castles: Prague Castle, Czech RepublicOne of the best European castles is impressive Prague Castle At night, when you get out for a walk and cross Prague’s famous Charles Bridge, you will be impressed by the stunning view of the illuminated Prague Castle. It is the largest ancient castle in the world, making it one of the best Czech Republic castles to visit. In a fortress setting that includes the old town of Prague, the castle grounds house a Golden Lane, Powder Tower and lively narrow streets with charming cafes for your morning coffee or late afternoon break. Visit the Czech Prague Castle with UTracks:

:: Prague and the Elbe River Bike and Barge guided bike & boat holiday

Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic

Find Karlstejn Castle in the Czech Republic with UTracksStay in the pretty village of Karlstejn and visit the castle with the same name When you stay in the pretty village of Karlstejn, you’ll surely be visiting the Karlstejn Castle. It is a world-renowned Czech Republican castle in Gothic style. It was built by the Holy Roman Emperor-elect and King of Bohemia, Charles IV, in 1348 as a secure place to store the riches fo the Czech lands. Take a guided tour of this impressive European castle to take in the private and representative halls of emperor Charles IV and even the sacred area that includes the stunningly golden decorated Chapel of the Holy Cross. Visit the Czech Republic castle of Karlstejn with UTracks:

:: Bohemian Rhapsody self guided cycling holiday

Turaida Castle, Latvia

Turaida Castle of Latvia in Gauja National Park, UTracksLatvian Castle of Turaida lies in Gauja National Park ©Berlinrider Cycle through Latvia’s Gauja National Park and soon you will witness the ruins of the 13th century Crusader castles in Sigulda. One of these is Turaida Castle that is reconstructed from medieval times. The name translates from Livonian to Thor’s Garden and it’s an impressive structure that rises above the trees when you witness it from the other side of the bank of the River Gauja. Besides serving a defensive purpose, this European castle also comprises of living accommodation in the inner yard. The castle museum was the best European ‘Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism 2016’ in the category Preservation of Intangible Heritage and received an award from ECTN. Visit the castle in Latvia with UTracks:

:: Latvia and Estonia Guided Cycling holiday

Burg Clam Castle, Austria

Best European Castles: Burg Clam Castle in Austria, UTracks TravelDiscover what life was like at the Austrian Castle of Burg Clam in Grein On the site where the original Clam Castle was built by seigneur Otto von Machland in 1149, today stands the mid-18th century Austrian castle of Burg Clam in the town of Grein. On a visit you can get an idea of what life was like in a medieval castle. Walk around in the 3-storied inner courtyard, take a peak of the pharmacy and gothic chapel and of course see the apartments where the counts of Clam used to live. The premises also include a riding school, farmland with farmhouses, and a 20th century nuclear shelter. Today, you can visit the castle or join one of the concerts that are being held at Burg Clam Castle. When you set out for a cycling trip, nearby you will find the castles of Orth and Eckartsau as well. Visit the Austrian Burg Clam Castle with UTracks:

:: Danube Cycle self guided cycling holiday

Schreckenstein or Strekov Castle, Czech Republic

Schreckenstein or Strekov Castle in the Czech RepublicStrekov Castle lies on the bank of the River Elbe ©ProfessorX This old fortress along the bank of the River Elbe is one of the Czech Republic castles perched on top of a rock. The name, Schreckenstein (in German) or Strekov (in Czech) literally means ‘horror castle’. It has an incredible history and served as a fort during the Seven Years’ War in the mid 1700s and was the base for Soviet troops until 1991. Strekov Castle also inspired Chopin when he wrote his Valse in A flat major at the fortress. Schreckenstein castle was fully restored in 2005 when also a museum opened. The Czech castle, near Decin, is now back to its former glory and makes for a great stop on our cycling holidays in the Czech Republic. This year there a German language children’s movie came out about an all-boys boarding school in Schreckenstein Castle, called Burg Schreckenstein. Visit the Czech Strekov Castle with UTracks:

:: Prague to Dresden guided cycling holiday

:: Prague to Dresden self guided cycling holiday 

These are just some of the best European castles that you can visit on an active holiday with UTracks. If you like to know more about Romanian castles, the Czech Republic’s castles or other castles on the above-mentioned trips, you can download the trip notes or get in touch with our team of travel experts around the world. If you like to see castles elsewhere in Europe, have a look at our complete overview of all our European holidays that include castle visits.
Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania

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