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There’s nothing quite like a castle to spark the imagination. Looming walls and magnificent towers, labyrinthine networks of rooms and tunnels contained within.

A good castle seems to hold countless stories in its ancient stonework. There are countless incredible castles to explore the world over, but here are just five of our absolute favourites.

Best Castles across the Globe

Bran Castle

Bran Castle, TransylvaniaBran Castle, Transylvania

Standing high and proud amidst Transylvania’s undulating forested hills, standing sentry over the nearby town of the same name, Bran Castle was the legendary home of Count Dracula, the greatest of all the mythological undead.

It’s not hard to see why Bram Stoker chose this fortress as the roost of his archetypal vampire – its grandiose structure dominates the Romanian landscape, towering spires and colossal walls immediately evoking the mythic and mystic.

Take me there: Bran trips

The Black Castle

The Black CastleThe Black Castle Japan

Matsumoto’s huge castle is an elegant construct of layers and wing-like rooftops, with an imposing outer wall of jet-black stone; this distinctive appearance, at once flamboyant and imposing, earned it the name “Crow Castle”.

The Black Castle is considered one of Japan’s national treasures, having stood its menacing watch for over five hundred years, and undergone several careful restorations.

Take me there: Tours of Japan

Trakai Castle

Neuschweinstein Castle

Neuschweinstein Castle

This icon of design is younger than the other castles listed here, but all the more impressive for it. It stands on a high hill, overlooking a land of Alpine foothills that can only be described as fairytale.

Walls of glittering white stone ascend from the tops of sheer cliffs, surrounded by tapered turrets in a gorgeous Disney-esque array – after seeing this masterpiece, you won’t be surprised to learn that it was, in fact, the inspiration behind several Disney castles.

Take me there: Bavaria trip

Find out more about our trips that let you discover these magnificent castles below.