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Top 10 castles to visit around the globe in 2023 | Report

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The allure of castle life has continually fostered intrigue, from period pieces and fantasy in media or from a fascinating historical perspective. Cathedral-like halls, glittering chandeliers alight from the flame of dozens of candles, lavish parties—today’s castles are a reminder of an age gone by. To say that millions of people travel the globe each year to visit castles is an understatement, and many of them are distinguished as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But what are the most popular castles to visit in 2023? Well, Stokemont.com has the answers. After all, if you’re going abroad, you’re going to want to plan your trip to its fullest potential.

Alhambra, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sierra Nevada and la Alhambra at Dusk, Granada, Andalusia, Spain. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

1. Alhambra, Spain

Considered the most popular castle to visit in all of Europe, as per Stokemont.com, Alhambra welcomes over three million people each year. Translated from Arabic, Alhambra means “red castle,” as stated on the castle’s official website. Located in Granada, Spain, the first records of Alhambra date back to the 9th century when it served as a strategic fortress that stood over the entire city. Today, you can walk through the expansive grounds which include 35 acres of gardens and the structures that survived the ages. Stokemont.com estimates that Alhambra has 1,863,503 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Osaka Castle, Low Angle View

Osaka castle, low angle view with tree in the foreground, a traditional castle located in Osaka, Japan, 1951. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

2. Osaka Castle, Japan

Once the biggest castle in all of Japan, Osaka Castle draws thousands upon thousands of visitors each year. Built in 1583, Osaka Castle served as a hallmark of a unified Japan, as mentioned in the press release. With over 600 cherry blossom trees in the gardens, cherry blossom season in Japan is lively at this stunning castle. Stokemont.com estimates that Osaka Castle has 1,012,800 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Himeji Castle Cherry Blossoms Festival

Tourists look at illuminated cherry blossoms in full bloom during the Himeji Castle Cherry Blossoms Festival on April 4, 2015 in Himeji, Japan. Himeji Castle Park cherry blossom trees will be illuminated until April 12. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

3. Himeji Castle, Japan

Considered the best preserved and oldest castle in the entirety of Japan, Himeji Castle was first constructed in 1346, as per MasterClass. The press release details that there are brass fish on each of the roofs at Himeji Castle, which is though to protect the castle from flames. About two million travel to visit this historical marvel, which is one of 12 original castles that endured the test of time. Stokemont.com estimates that Himeji Castle has 693,899 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Pipers Commemorate 80th Anniversary Of The Battle Of St Valery-en-Caux

Members of the armed forces perform a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of St Valery at Edinburgh Castle on June 12, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

4. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Surprise! Stokemont.com’s most popular castle in all of the United Kingdom isn’t Windsor Castle—it’s the magnificent Edinburgh Castle. While visitation peaked in 2018 with over 2.1 million coming to see this Scottish staple, the Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted the amount of guests. Come 2021, about 424,000 people graced the halls of Edinburgh Castle, as per Statista. With pandemic restrictions easing and people begin to travel again, be sure to check out this castle before the masses come inching back. Stokemont.com estimates that Edinburgh Castle has 662,726 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

FRANCE-TOURISM-HERITAGE

An aerial picture taken on October 18, 2020 shows a road partially covered with water from where people look at the Mont-Saint-Michel, in Normandy, northwestern France, surrounded by the sea during high tide. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

5. Mont-Saint-Michel, France

The inspiration behind Minas Tirith in “Lord of the Rings” movies, Mont-Saint-Michel was built over 1,300 years on an island in the Couesnon River, as stated on Mont Saint Michel Billets. The idea for Mont Saint Michel actually came from a dream: The Archangel Michael called on Bishop Aubert of Avranches to build a church on the island. The bishop, funnily enough, disregarded his dream of Michael—that is, until Michael visited again. Stokemont.com estimates that Mont-Saint-Michel has 608,989 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Prague Castle

Twilight descends upon Prague Castle, also called Hradcany Castle, October 28, 2003 in Prague, Czech Republic. Prague Castle, which also contains the Czech presidential offices, is one of the city’s major landmarks and tourist attractions. Below it is the Lesser Town District and the Charles Bridge. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

6. Prague Castle, Czech Republic

Described as “the most significant Czech monument and one of the most important cultural institutions in the Czech Republic” by the official website, Prague Castle holds the Guinness world record for the biggest “coherent castle complex”—not just in Europe, but in the whole world. Though currently undergoing repairs, this castle is a site not to be missed. Plus, a ticket to the castle also gets you into the Charles Bridge Museum for free. Stokemont.com estimates that Prague Castle has 604,942 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Versailles Palace Gardens

View at Palace of Versailles with luxurious gardens, August 4, 1985 in Versailles, France. (Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)

7. Château de Versailles, France

The resounding opulence of the Château de Versailles is part of the reason why it’s such a historical site—after all, it is where Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI lived, along with generations of French royalty. The official website for France says that about 15 million come to the château each year to visiting the lavish and sprawling grounds. Fun fact: The Château de Versailles is on a property that measures up to be 1,945 acres. Stokemont.com estimates that the Château de Versailles has 536,130 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

The UK's VE Day 75 Celebrations Take Place Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

A general view of people on The Long Walk and Windsor Castle, with Queen Elizabeth II in residence, on May 08, 2020 in Windsor. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

8. Windsor Castle, England

Well, no list would be truly complete without Windsor Castle, one of the various homes of British royalty. Though the odds of seeing Prince Harry and Meghan is low these days, King Charles III, Prince William, Kate and their children may be in attendance at Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is around 1,000 years old and has homed 40 monarchs in its long history, as stated on the Royal Collection Trust website. Stokemont.com estimates that Windsor Castle has 436,178 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Red Fort

A general view shows the reflection of the Red Fort in a water puddle after an early morning rain in New Delhi on May 3, 2020. (Photo by Prakash SINGH / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

9. Red Fort, India

The Red Fort was built in 1546 by Islam Shah Suri, and has become known as the “zenith of Mughal creativity,” as stated by UNESCO. Blending Hindu, Persian and Timurid styles, the Red Fort is a stunning architectural feat. The red sandstone walls are the hallmark of the fort, the gardens are something to behold. Stokemont.com estimates that Windsor Castle has 312,047 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

Pena Palace

A picture shows the Pena Palace in Sintra on March 31, 2021, days before the reopening of museums and monuments following coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

10. Pena Palace, Portugal

Although in Sintra, Pena Palace can be seen in the distance while in Lisbon—as Pena Palace Tickets says. Despite being damaged in the great Lisbon earthquake in 1755, Pena Palace was rebuilt as a summer palace for the king of Portugal from its original use as a chapel and monastery. Stokemont.com estimates that Pena Palace has 307,104 hashtag mentions on Instagram as of Jan. 9, 2023.

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