European Airbnb Castles
Airbnb is known for its diverse array of accommodations. But did you know you could use the home-rental service to stay in an authentic historic castle?
From the rugged coast of Wales to the scenic hills of Italy’s Piedmont region, we’ve tracked down 15 extraordinary castles you can book during your next European vacation. Some invite you to rent out a room or a wing, while others let you have the run of the whole place.
And sure, you’ll need a royal’s budget to afford some of these castles, but others cost less than a standard hotel room. Want to live like royalty? Read on.
Melville Castle, Scotland
$114 per night for a guest room
Situated on the tranquil banks of the North Esk River just outside of Edinburgh, Melville Castle first opened its doors in 1791 — but the estate’s history dates back to 1155, when records indicate that it was owned by an Anglo-Norman baron who was the sheriff of Edinburgh.
Centuries later, Mary Queen of Scots was known to frequent the castle. In its “modern” iteration, Melville Castle has 32 classically furnished guest rooms, all with views of the park-like grounds and 50 acres of surrounding woodlands. Guests also have access to the castle’s grand common spaces, including a cozy library bar and the Brasserie restaurant and bar, located in the cellar.
A stay in one of the private rooms includes a Scottish or Continental breakfast.
Chateau Couffins, France
$1,038 per night for the entire castle
About 20 minutes from Bordeaux, on the right bank of the Dordogne River, Chateau Couffins has nine bedrooms with room for over 16 guests. The 18th-century house also includes a spacious living room, two dining rooms, six bathrooms and three kitchens. (Though you won’t have to use the kitchens if you make use of the chateau’s private chef, for an extra fee.) There’s even a massive space in the basement that’s ideal for hosting events.
The host, Nathalie, offers guests an oenological visit and wine tasting at her vineyard property, 22 kilometers away from Couffins. For non-alcoholic fun, try the chateau’s private pool, ping-pong table or pétanque court.
The central position of Couffins makes it ideal for exploring the Gironde region, known for its unspoiled coastlines, bustling markets and vineyards.
Dairsie Castle, Scotland
$836 per night for the entire castle
With roots dating back to the 12th century, Dairsie Castle was in ruins until its current owner bought and restored the place in 1992. Located near St. Andrew’s and about an hour from Edinburgh, the historic site has served as the location of secret Scottish parliaments and military sieges, and as a safe haven for escaped monarchs including James VI.
You’ll have access to six bedrooms spread throughout the castle, including “The Dungeon” — boasting impressive vaulted ceilings — and “The Spottiswoode (Upper Tower Room)”, named after a long-term resident of the castle, the 17th-century Archbishop of St. Andrews. The Family Bedroom is a massive master with three four-poster beds.
Besides the bedrooms, the Great Hall lies at the hub of the castle, with a dining table that seats 12 and a Minstrel’s Gallery, a balcony overlooking the space where musicians once performed. There’s also a large kitchen, laundry room, living room, gallery and toy room for younger guests.
Outside, Dairsie boasts six acres of grounds with an herb garden, an orchard and a charming woodland walk down to the River Eden.
Flocelliere Castle, France
$346 per night for a medieval tower
Airbnb Superhost and vicomtesse Erika Vignial welcomes guests to Flocelliere Castle in France’s western Vendée region. She and her family live in the keep, while visitors can stay in the medieval tower, which has five double bedrooms, three bathrooms, a dining room with a huge fireplace, and magnificent views over the surrounding countryside.
Historical records on Flocelliere date back to the 11th century. The castle is walking distance to a charming market town named for the estate, and just a few miles from a high-speed rail station and Puy du Fou theme park, the second most popular in France (after Disneyland, of course). There’s also a bakery and market a two-minute drive away.
Nicco’s Tuscan Castle, Italy
$1,742 per night for the entire castle
One of the pricier rentals on our list, Nicco’s Tuscan castle is popular for weddings and special events. Dating back to the 16th century, the castle was once the home of Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Guests have access to the entire property, which includes 10 bedroom suites, multiple living rooms, a huge dining room with frescoes, a professional kitchen and a rooftop terrace. There’s also a pool overlooking the surrounding vineyards and olive groves.
The rental fee includes a daily continental breakfast, daily cleaning of bedrooms and lounges, and Wi-Fi, and there’s a concierge available six days a week. There’s a little village within walking distance, and beaches, Etruscan tombs and historical sites are a quick drive away.
Castello Dal Pozzo, Italy
$4,000 per night for the entire castle
Perched atop a hill overlooking Lake Maggiore in Italy’s Piedmont region, Castello Dal Pozzo can be all yours...so long as you have thousands of dollars on hand. The full castle experience comes with access to the entire ground floor as well as the surrounding grounds.
Luckily, single rooms are also available at a much more affordable rate on Castello Dal Pozzo’s official website. The 45 guest rooms feature marble bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs, well-stocked mini bars, lake views, and original art and antiques from the Dal Pozzo family’s private collection. There are also two high-end restaurants on site, plus a pool and offerings like cooking classes taught by the resident chef.
Individual rooms start at just 183 euros, which is quite affordable for a 5-star boutique hotel that just so happens to also be a castle.
Manor by the Moated Castle, Germany
$69 per night for a private apartment
This Bavarian castle is straight out of a German fairy tale, complete with a moat surrounding its medieval walls.
The private apartment in the manor house has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room that opens into a fully equipped kitchen. The light-filled living space boasts a fireplace, comfortable seating, and a library of games and books. Nearby, shop at a bakery and market in the village of Unsleben, or drive 10 minutes to Bad Neustadt, a small walled city.
Past guests praise the hostess, the down-to-earth Countess of Waldburg Wolfegg, for being helpful and accessible, and call the accommodations romantic, rustic and secluded.
Montalto Castle, Italy
$433 per night for a private apartment
Nestled within a 700-acre estate in the Chianti area of Tuscany, Montalto Castle is an ideal home base for exploring the hill towns and vineyards of one of Italy’s most scenic regions. Guests stay in Torre del Vescovo, a two-story, three-bedroom apartment in the castle’s manor house, which includes the original watchtower. A separate facing tower called San Martino can also be booked to accommodate two extra guests.
Relax in the swimming pool, play some tennis or bocce on the private courts, and stroll through the private gardens. If you need anything, simply contact the castle’s part-time, on-site concierge or, in a pinch, the owners, who also live in the castle. They try to invite all guests over for tea in the Great Hall, to show off the frescoed hall of arms and educate about the history of Montalto.
Cooking lessons, Italian lessons and guided tours can also be arranged by the concierge.
Wilton Castle, Ireland
$1,200 per night for the entire castle
Wilton Castle is a 19th-century stunner on the banks of the meandering Boro River in Southeast Ireland. The interior is fully renovated and elegantly decorated, with rooms including a grand dining room warmed by a fireplace, a massive gourmet kitchen and cozy sitting rooms. There are seven bedroom suites, each with a private living room and bathroom. The suites can be rented individually, or you can make use of the entire castle.
Every one of the castle’s past guests have given it a five-star rating, praising not only its surrounding hikes through the Irish countryside, but the babbling brook, ruins and dungeons on its spectacular grounds.
Bernstein Castle, Austria
$288 per night for an apartment
Bernstein Castle’s foundation dates all the way back to the 12th century, but the space has been completely renovated in cooperation with the National Bureau for Historic Preservation in Austria.
Overlooking the Hungarian lowlands and southern Styria, the castle has been owned by the Almásy family for around 200 years. Guests can stay in an apartment located above the outer gate, or in the summer, opt for one of 11 rooms in the main structure, which was built in the 16th and 17th centuries, during the Austro-Turkish wars.
Accommodations are comfortable but simple, with no TVs, phones or internet in the rooms, part of an effort to preserve the authenticity of the castle. The apartment includes a bedroom, bathroom, cloakroom, kitchen and living room. Guests can also use the shared baroque dining hall, tea saloon, chimney room and gardens.
Cottage Abbey Champagne, France
$241 per night for a cottage
Technically an abbey in France’s Champagne region, Superhost Didier’s historic home has six bedrooms with room for a dozen guests. You’re invited to stay in the “cottage” on the ground floor of the building, which once housed Cistercian monks.
Didier offers guests a tour of the historically significant abbey, which features a large corridor with monastic cells. Guests have full access to the building, including a private entrance and an enclosed garden. Besides the beautifully appointed bedrooms, there’s a living room, sitting room, kitchen and two bathrooms.
Past guests describe the space as exquisite, secluded, and ideal for larger groups and families who want to spend their time exploring the surrounding vineyards, some of which are located within walking distance.
Caher Castle, Ireland
$173 per night for a master suite
Don’t expect luxurious accommodations at Caher Castle outside of Galway, Ireland. Host Peter Hayes wants to set guests’ expectations before they arrive: This castle was built in the 1400s, and it’s got the cobwebs and quirks to prove it.
Case in point: The bathtub is in the living room, the homemade toilet is carved out of limestone, and the whole place is heated with fireplaces. The castle had been abandoned for a few centuries when Peter purchased it, and he’s spent the last 20 years restoring it to its original state (with some modern upgrades) using mostly traditional techniques.
Still, more than 900 Airbnb guests have raved about the once-in-a-lifetime experience of staying at Caher Castle, noting its quirky charm, historic vibe and friendly host. Guests have full access to the master suite, including a living room, kitchen and bathroom.
Manorbier Castle, Wales
$771 per night for the entire property
Combine a beach vacation with a medieval getaway at Manorbier Castle, set on the rugged Pembrokeshire coastline. With room for 12 guests between a modern house and annex within the castle walls, this Norman castle is privately owned by Dame Emily Naper.
The castle entrance and garden are both open to the public in the warmer months, but guests have the run of the place after 5 p.m. You’ll also have access to a private courtyard and entrance.
There’s a café on site and a pub in nearby Manorbier Village, and private dining prepared by the castle’s staff can be arranged. The beach is just a five-minute walk away, while the Victorian fishing village of Tenby is a 10-minute drive.
16th Century Medieval Towerhouse, Ireland
$1,038 per night for the entire towerhouse
The host’s father spent 25 years restoring this medieval towerhouse from ruins into the homey, welcoming spot it is today.
Situated a few minutes outside of the vibrant city of Kilkenny, the castle has four bedrooms. The hosts invite visitors to “return to medieval times” — i.e. forget about TV and Wi-Fi (the walls are too thick), and get used to seeing the occasional cobwebs and spiders. And recognize that it may be chilly at times, as central heat wasn’t around in the 1500s.
Still, expansive fireplaces, sleeping nooks and four-poster beds, iron chandeliers, and rustic wood furniture give the towerhouse a cozy feel year-round. And past guests praise host Mhairi for offering a knowledgeable tour of the property.