Looking for the largest castles around the world? Here’s a list of massive castles that will transport you to the Middle Ages!
Of the hundreds of castles around the world, some stand out as symbols of wealth and power, not only due to their colossal size but also in their architectural design and opulent furnishings and decorations, chosen by their owners, which were primarily royal families and military leaders.
Below we have selected just some of the largest castles in the world that are certainly worth visiting.
However, they have one more thing in common: they are of huge historical significance to their countries and even to others across the world.
19 Largest Castles in the World
Here are the largest castles in the world in no particular order!
1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Situated in southwest Bavaria, a unique travel destination, this magnificent castle is testimony to the lavish tastes and lifestyles of 19th-century royalty and the tragic life and mysterious death of King Ludwig II.
Built in the 1870s by the eccentric young king, it was intended as his royal palace and to honor his idol, composer Richard Wagner, who never set foot there, and the king ended up living in the castle for only six months.
The Neuschwanstein viewpoint offers panoramic views of this magnificent castle surrounded by typical Bavarian countryside of towering mountains, lush forests, and blue lakes.
You can either walk up the steep hill to the castle or take the horse-drawn carriage.
If you thought the outside of Neuschwanstein Castle was impressive, the extravagantly-designed and furnished interior will leave you utterly astonished—no wonder the king ended up hugely in debt leading to him being declared insane and deposed.
The following day Ludwig and his doctor were found dead in Lake Starnberg.
Officially declared a suicide, rumors of murder persist to this day. One of Ludwig’s famous quotes was, “I wish to remain an eternal enigma to myself and others.” He has certainly done that.
2. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
One of the most recognizable sights of Scotland, this mighty medieval castle stands proud on Castle Rock, offering panoramic 360° views of the capital city sprawled around it.
This massive castle was besieged more than any fortress in the world since it was built during the 11th and 12th centuries, although most of what we see today was built after the 16th century.
There is so much to see in and around one of the largest castles in the world.
Various museums display thousands of historical artifacts and medieval suits of armor and weapons, including the massive 15th-century cannon known as The Mons Meg.
The lavishly decorated Royal Palace and Great Hall hold a magnificent collection of royal artifacts made of gold, silver, precious gems, and Scottish Crown Jewels.
Edinburgh Castle is riddled with memorials and historical monuments above the beautiful lush gardens surrounding Castle Rock.
This is the first place to visit whenever you’re in Edinburgh.
3. Osaka Castle, Japan
Being built in the 16th century and having undergone several restorations, Osaka Castle is one of the largest castles in the world and one of Japan’s most famous landmarks.
This colossal fortress complex, spread over 250 acres, consists of a 5-story tower with a museum, several citadels, turrets, gates, 20-meter stone walls, enormous gardens, and two moats.
The museum displays many artifacts detailing Japanese and the castle’s history, while views of the gardens and city from the top of the castle are epic.
The gardens are dotted with ornate shrines and beautiful trees and shrubs. Spring is cherry blossom time when the 600 cherry trees surrounding the castle explode in a vibrant shade of pink, making it a sight to behold.
Not only one of the biggest castles in the world but also one of the prettiest!
4. Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Founded in the 9th century and covering 17 acres, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world!
This vast coherent castle consists of military fortifications, lavish palaces, exquisite churches, and various historic buildings built in Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, dating from the 10th-17th centuries, all surrounded by expansive courtyards and gardens, housing fountains, statues and monuments,
Don’t miss the magnificent St. George Basilica and St. Vitus Cathedral’s colorful stained glass windows and historic tombs decorated in gold and silver, the grand castle halls and royal palaces, and the quaint Golden Lane, which will transport you back to medieval times.
The top of the towers offers spectacular views of the complex and the immaculately-kept grounds.
This historic castle complex is a national treasure trove, housing the Bohemian Crown Jewels and hundreds of Christian artifacts, artworks, and historical documents.
5. Malbork Castle, Poland – The Largest Castle In The World
Built during the 13th century, Malbork Castle lies alongside the scenic River Nogat in northern Poland, an hour’s drive from Gdansk.
Constructed entirely of red brick by the Teutonic Knights, a military group established to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land, it’s regarded as the largest castle in the world and one of the few big castles never to have been captured in battle. It was, however, badly damaged during WW2.
This 52-acre castle complex, which once housed crusaders, contains vast courtyards with statues of the Grand Masters, huge exhibition halls, and the Castle Museum, holding a rich collection of armor and medieval weaponry, historical artworks and artifacts, tapestries, sculptures and furnishings, and coins and items made of amber.
Exploring the exterior is free, but you’d be crazy not to tour its impressive interior. Night tours are spectacular as the walls are illuminated, and your guide is a dressed-up Teutonic Knight.
Dramatic photos from across the river can be shot with the red bricks of the castle contrasting the blue river in the foreground and the blue skies above.
6. Buda Castle, Hungary
Yet another of the world’s biggest castles, Buda Castle is one of the most famous landmarks of Hungary and a must-see for all visitors.
Situated atop Castle Hill alongside the Danube River in the heart of Budapest, it offers panoramic views of the river flowing through the city. One of the prettiest sights in Europe.
Dating back to the 14th century after the Mongol invasion, this massive fort complex has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times and is a stark reminder of Hungary’s war-ravaged past.
The latest destruction came during WW2 and was restored in the 1950s to its present state. The traces of its history is evident in the ruins and reconstructions littered across this vast complex.
Today, it houses numerous historical buildings, including the grand National Gallery, Palace Museum, Library, courtyards and gardens, and the President’s palatial government offices and home.
The easiest way of getting there is to take the cable car from the bottom opposite Chain Bridge.
Don’t miss the labyrinth tunnels running for miles beneath the castle.
These tunnels were used as a shelter, a Turkish harem, a hospital, and the prison where “Vlad the Impaler” (the inspiration for Dracula) was imprisoned and tortured. Not for the faint-hearted!
Read next: Prettiest Romanian Castles
7. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
Built on the crest of a hill in Germany some 40-odd miles south of Stuttgart, the silhouette of this gigantic castle catches your eye long before you reach it.
It was built during the mid-19th century on the ruins of previous castles that existed since the 1200s, in a neo-Gothic style with a mix of military and civil architectural features giving it a romantic, fairy-tale look.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s stunning!
Although not every room is open to the public, the rooms, chapels, and Treasure Room will make the walk up the hill worth every step. You can also take the free shuttle bus from the car park.
The interior is decadently furnished and decorated with many artifacts reflecting the lavish lifestyle of Prussian Royalty.
The views from the castle walls are breathtaking, and at night the castle is lit up, giving it an eerie look.
8. Balmoral Castle, Scotland
Prince Albert bought the 50 000 acre estate in 1852 and, within four years, built Balmoral Castle as a gift to his wife, the famous Queen Victoria.
Situated in the picturesque Scottish Highlands, 50 miles west of Aberdeen, this 52-bedroom Baronial-style castle remains privately owned by the Royal Family and does not form part of The Crown.
It had been the favorite summer home of Queen Elizabeth II since she was a little girl to the day she took her last breath.
Public tours provide access to the lush grounds, gardens, and stable exhibitions, which include several Royal carriages and cars.
Still, the ornately decorated ballroom is the only room accessible to the public. It is, however, the largest room in the castle.
Balmoral remains one of the most visited of the world’s biggest castles.
9. Spiš Castle, Slovakia
Standing proud high on a hill in eastern Slovakia, this 12th-century fortress is one of the world’s biggest castles and a must-see attraction for any visitor. The castle is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Originally built in a Romanesque style, Spiš Castle has been damaged and rebuilt over the centuries in Gothic, then Renaissance styles.
It was partially burned down in the 18th century, some say due to a lightning strike, while others say it was either a “tax dodge” or from a fire started by soldiers brewing moonshine. (Boys will be boys)
Today, a tour through this imposing fortress will give you a good idea of medieval life as you walk through the rooms, kitchens, halls, armory, chapel, and torture chambers. Views of the surrounding countryside are absolutely magnificent.
10. Mehrangarh Fort, India
Built upon a gigantic cliff by Rao Jodha, soaring vertically 400 feet above Jodhpur in northwest India, this 15th-century fortress, spread over a staggering 1200 acres, takes its rightful place amongst the biggest castles in the world.
You can either walk up to the fort or take the lift, from where you can enjoy 360° views of the ‘Blue City”.
The complex includes several lavish palaces with beautiful architecture, carvings and decorations, expansive courtyards, and a monstrous museum housing thousands of historical artifacts and furnishings, swords, daggers, and elaborate palanquins, all covered in gold, silver, emeralds, rubies, and pearls, to boggle your mind.
If you have space for a bit of adventure, take the zip-line down for breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience.
11. Sforzesco Castle, Italy
Built in the heart of Milan during the 14th century, this is one of those large castles that has been damaged and rebuilt over centuries of conflict, the last one being World War 2.
Inside the castle walls, you’ll find vast courtyards jam-packed with historical buildings and museums of every type, from ancient Egyptian, antique furniture, sculptures, pottery, and curious musical instruments to thousands of artworks from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including masterpieces from Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
You can explore the inner courtyards for free, but you must pay to enter the museums. One ticket, however, gives access to all the museums.
12. Windsor Castle, England
Built by William the Conqueror around 1070, this massive 1000-room complex, spread over 13 acres, is the biggest castle in the UK and one of the largest castles in the world.
Windsor Castle has been the official residence of 39 monarchs over its 1000-year history, making it the oldest inhabited castle in the world during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
A guided tour through this palace will reveal ornately decorated apartments, halls, and ceremonial rooms brimming with exquisite furnishings, royal artifacts, and priceless paintings by world-renowned artists like Ruben and Van Dyck.
The Grand Staircase, Queen Mary’s Doll House, and the Waterloo Chamber are must-sees, and so is the Changing of the Guard at 11 am sharp.
St George’s Chapel is a treasure all on its own. It is of substantial historical value, having hosted numerous Royal weddings, funerals, and special events.
Who can forget the splendor we all recently witnessed during the highly emotional funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II?
When in London, you gotta see this place!
13. Cite de Carcassonne, France
Situated in southern France on the outskirts of Carcassonne, this massive 12th-century fortress city has a history dating back to Roman times.
On the castle grounds, two miles of double stonewalls and 52 watchtowers encompass hundreds of historical structures, including the Carcassonne Castle, the Château Comtal, the towering Gothic-style St. Nazaire Basilica with its stunning stained glass windows, two museums, and numerous monuments and graves.
A beautiful place to stroll through its narrow cobblestone streets, surrounded by charming squares, stone-carved fountains, and medieval architecture. The complex also has plenty of hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
Entry to the inside of the town is free, but you have to pay to enter the castle museums and climb to the towers, from where the views of the fortress, the city, and the surrounding countryside are absolutely magnificent.
Be prepared to spend the day here – it is, after all, one of the largest castles in the world.
14. Himeji Castle, Japan
Built during the 15th and early 17th centuries, Himeji Castle is one of three main and large castles in Japan. This impressive castle is also a Unesco World Heritage Site.
A massive structure consisting of 83 buildings, constructed into the slopes of a 150-foot hill with its walls rising another 85 feet and spread over 576 acres, also makes Himeji one of the largest castles in the world!
Due to Its brilliant white exterior and typical Japanese winged design, it’s often referred to as the “White Heron.”
To access the central tower, you must walk up a steep winding path through several gates, with beautiful views of the castle and the city spread below, around each bend.
The best time to visit would be during April, when hundreds of cherry trees bloom, transforming the gardens into a pink wonderland.
15. Aleppo Citadel, Syria
Standing on a high hill in the middle of Aleppo, in northwest Syria, Aleppo Citadel is not only one of the largest castles in the world but one of the most historically significant structures found anywhere.
Rising 100 feet above the hilltop, its mighty walls, towers, and massive gateway dominate the city’s skyline.
Remnants of virtually every major civilization from the Bronze Age to medieval times are carved into the stone walls of this fortress, making it a must-see for anyone interested in history, archaeology, and architecture.
This is despite the ravages of war, earthquakes, and natural decay over the millennia.
As recently as 2012, the citadel’s massive 12th-century gate was destroyed by a missile during Syria’s ongoing civil war.
16. Burghausen Castle, Germany
Built on a high rocky outcrop alongside the Salzach River on the German-Austria border west of Munich, the Burghausen Castle complex stretches for over a mile, making it the longest castle in the world.
First established in the 11th century, it underwent several rebuilds as it changed hands between the various Bavarian dukes.
Having served as a residence and military stronghold during the Ottoman wars and the Thirty Year War between Protestants and Catholics, this Gothic castle complex comprises the main castle, several courtyards and chapels, and two museums housing Gothic paintings, weapons, sculptures and historical artifacts reflecting the castle’s tumultuous history.
Stunning views of the town, lake, and river flowing through the picturesque countryside can be enjoyed from the castle.
17. Hohensalzburg Castle, Austria
Built on a hilltop in the heart of Salzburg, this magnificent 900-year-old castle offers spectacular views of the city and panoramic views of the Alps.
It’s no wonder it is the symbol of this romantic city in Austria. You can walk up the hill or take the funicular to this fortress in the sky, where an exceptional experience awaits you.
We recommend taking the Panorama Tour, which takes you from the deepest dungeons through numerous rooms, chambers, and halls in their original furnishings and decor, as they were in the 1500s, the armory exhibiting suits of armor and medieval weaponry and to the top of the towers to look down onto the city below.
Not only one of the largest castles in the world but one of the most scenic.
18. Chambord Castle, France
Nothing is ordinary about this majestic castle set in the tiny French commune of Chambord, about 100 miles southwest of Paris.
Built in the 16th century, with a rich Renaissance architectural style and lavishly furnished, it symbolizes power and wealth.
The origin of its architect may be unknown, but it’s no secret that much of it was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci. The double helix staircase is one such example.
Consisting of over 400 rooms and 83 staircases, lavishly decorated to reflect the opulent lifestyles of French Royalty, the castle itself, with its multiple towers, is over 500 feet long and 183 feet high.
The castle is surrounded by an immaculate garden filled with trees, shrubs, and flowers, which are entirely surrounded by a moat, giving it a surreal, mythical look.
19. Alcázar of Segovia, Spain
Situated in Segovia, about 60 miles northwest of Madrid, it is one of the largest castles in the world that could also pass as a fairytale castle. This impressive castle is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Built during the 12th century, it has evolved from an early defensive structure to a medieval fortress, prison, royal residence holding rare royal treasures, and military college, and today is a museum and major tourist attraction.
Sitting high on a giant rock resembling a ship, overlooking the city, its architecture is a mix of Gothic, Moorish and Romanesque, with steep roofs and conical towers and the gigantic turreted Tower of John II, from which stunning views of the charming town and the scenic countryside can be enjoyed.
The interior is filled with more architectural wonders, décor, and furnishings to reveal the rich tastes of the royals who lived here.
Twelve rooms are open to the public, all luxuriously furnished from floor to ceiling. Do not miss the Hall of Kings at the front of this enormous castle.
Final Words On The Largest Castles In The World
It is highly recommended that you do some research before visiting any of these beautiful castles.
We hope some of these large castles mentioned will inspire you to see them and spend a day or two immersed in beauty, history, and culture.
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