Castles of Europe
ABOVE: Leeds Castle in Kent, England.
has more historic castles than North America has White Castles or Burger Kings.
For every World's Largest Rutabaga or Paul Bunyan statue in the United States
and Canada, there are probably a dozen castles in Europe--many of which have
been standing, in one form or another, for more than a thousand years.
Some castles are ruins; others are schools, youth hostels, or government
buildings; still others are private homes; and many are open to the public as
tourist attractions or hotels. In this article, we'll point you toward Web
resources to help you plan castle visits during your next European trip.
On Page 2, you'll find background
reading and a selection of articles about specific castles.
Page 3 has links to directories
of castles throughout Europe.
Page 4 and Page
5 include links to individual castle Web sites by country.
Finally, Page 6 has resources to
help you find castle hotels or rent a castle by the week.
Tip: The biggest and most famous castles can be overrun by tourists during
the peak summer season, so don't feel guilty about skipping them and heading
for lesser-known castles that the mass-market bus tours pass up. After all, the
big-name castles will still be there on your next trip, which--with luck--you
can schedule for May, early June, or September, when most castles are open to
visitors but aren't unpleasantly crowded.
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Need a car in Europe?
If you live outside the EU,
a tax-free Renault or Peugeot tourist car lease can be cheaper than renting
for visits of 21+ days. Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age
limit, and rates include insurance.
For car rentals under 21 days:
Traveling by train?
Get free schedules, maps,
and guides for 50+ European railroads. (Residents of North and Central
America can buy tickets and rail passes online.)
From Durant and Cheryl Imboden:
About Europe for Visitors