Sippy cups and dirty dishes may be your reality now, but it doesn’t have to be. Plan your escape to a real-life castle to experience the royal treatment (at least for a few nights). From Italy to California, scroll through the photo gallery to discover the world’s coolest castles that you can rent for as little as $20 per person, per night. Move over Belle, there’s a new queen in town.
Sankt Pölten, Austria
This Austrian haven is the perfect place to pretend you’re royalty, with gorgeously decorated rooms, a huge swimming pool and lots of green space outside. In case that’s not luxurious enough, you can also hire a private chef to do all the cooking! What a dream.
Okay, this one is definitely heavy on the kitsch factor, but it’s also pretty awesome (and it’s the kind of cheesy that kids will adore). You can sleep in Rapunzel’s tower, enjoy a meal on the private sun deck and even pay a visit to the dungeon.
Bagno a Ripoli, Italy
With a view this good, you’ll never want to leave! This villa is tucked in the hills and was part of a medieval fortified residential complex. Nowadays you can stay there for around $227 per night.
This 11,000 square foot castle might not be as old as its European counterparts (it was completed in 1995), but it’s still got plenty of charm. You’ll find secret staircases, gothic arches and tapestries around every corner. There’s even a playroom and a basement game room for the little ones.
We wouldn’t mind spending a few days relaxing in this stately German castle. Explore the gorgeous grounds, ride bikes to the town of Gotha and relax in the cozy bedrooms. At $108 a night, it’s got way more charm than a hotel you might find at the same rate!
Château de Tocqueville, France
Become Cinderella for the week at The Pavillon du Chateau de Tocqueville in France. With five double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, this estate is everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. Bonus: the property is near the Normandy landings beach and other historical sites.
Located in the Scottish Borders one hour south of Edinburgh, this castle epitomizes true opulence. The estate spans 1,200 acres and has its own nature preserve. This means forest trails, archery and more are literally right outside your bedroom window.
Ah, now we're talking. This Sicilian castle near the sea comes with its own private luxury pool. Don't forget the floaties and sunscreen!
La Flocellière, France
Get the royal treatment at this French castle that is both modern and historic at the same time. Bonus: it rents starting at $575/night and can accommodate up to 10 people.
Don't have 25 of your closest friends and family along for the ride? Opt for an apartment inside this medieval castle that starts renting for $112/night. Don't forget to recreate the Rapunzel scene in this tower.
Thurles Townparks, Ireland
For those who revel in the details, the Castle of Lisheen is for you. According to HomeAway, "Every piece of furniture, light fitting, window and floor covering has been sourced, selected or specially manufactured for Lisheen Castle." Want to explore beyond the castle walls? The folks at Lisheen Castle offer week-long customized itineraries for their guests.
If you're looking for a gargantuan castle with 23 bedrooms, then we've found your next vacation spot. This massive château will take your breath away. The entire castle is available for rent April to October and in the offseason, it converts to a bed & breakfast.
With views like these, you may never leave the castle walls. And why should you? The mansion (which is a restored 13th-century castle olive mill) comes fully equipped with satellite TV, high-speed internet, maid service and a private cook.
Antique furniture combined with modern convenience makes this 16th-century French chateau worth renting. With eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms, nobody has to share!
At 453 years old, this house is just as stunning during summer as it is in winter. Fun fact: it rents starting at just $63/night!
If the oldest thing your kid has experienced is his older sib's hand-me-downs, visit this castle for some true old-school fun. Built in 1571, everything on this property is historic with modern updates and amenities, including the heated pool.
Located close to Bordeaux, this enchanting 19th-century castle has something for everyone, including a foosball table in the game room and a sauna. Everyone wins here!
No need to hop across the pond to experience the good life. Simply head to this Victorian estate located about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. The castle sleeps up to 20 guests and is available for weddings and reunions (or you know, just lounging, because busy parents deserve a break once in a while).
Tuscany is calling! Make this castle your home away from home. Fun fact: it can sleep up to 120 people!
— Erin Lem