Europe is the quintessential place to see castles and palaces — they are everywhere, most of them throw-backs to earlier times when wealth was flaunted and when there were dangers all around. A list of the major and/or best of either of these categories would take up much too much room, so I will try to concentrate on the very best of each.
Castles are truly fun to visit, since they typically have very unusual architecture, are almost always high on hills, and just look formidable. Palaces traditionally overwhelm the visitor with frescoes, fancy furninture, and gold everywhere.
Chambord* — Loire Valley, France
Chenonceau* — Loire Valley, France
El Alcazar* — Segovia, Spain
Forbidden City* — Beijing, China
Grand Palace* — Bangkok, Thailand
Hofburg* — Vienna, Austria
Linderhof* — Near Mittenwald, Germany
Neuschwanstein* — Near Fussen, Germany
Nymphenburg* — Munich, Germany
Palacio Real* — Madrid, Spain
Potala Palace — Lhasa, Tibet
Reggia di Caserta* — Caserta, Italy
Residenz — Wurzburg, Germany
Schonbrunn* — Vienna, Austria
Summer Palace* — Beijing, China
Versailles* — Versailles, France
Wawel Castle* — Krakow, Poland
Total = 17 (We have toured 16 of them).