Worldwide icon-chevron-right 12 dreamy castles and palaces you can tour remotely
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Photograph: Ververidis Vasilis/Shutterstock.com Windsor Castle

12 dreamy castles and palaces you can tour remotely

Brighten up your lockdown view with these castles you can explore from home

By Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Unless you’re lucky enough to actually own a castle, chances are your lockdown situation is a little cramped. Millions of people around the world, including us, are stuck inside tiny apartments and flats. But that doesn’t mean we can’t daydream about grander abodes – and why not try one of these grand castles around the world on for size? They’re all closed to the public now, but, thanks to the magic of virtual tours, you can explore them from your very own living room/home office/fitness studio. (We shotgun a few of Versailles’ 2,300 rooms – that’s more than enough to go around.)

RECOMMENDED: The best castles in the UK

Virtual tours of castles and palaces

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Photograph: Shutterstock

Windsor Castle, England

The oldest occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle is where Queen Elizabeth II is spending lockdown, and it’s where she recently recorded a message for the UK and the Commonwealth from the White Drawing Room. Have a poke around the place yourself with this virtual tour

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Photograph: Royal Collection Trust - © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020

Buckingham Palace, England

A grand palace in the middle of the British capital’s (usually buzzing) centre, Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official London residence. It’s usually open for a few weeks each summer when her Maj goes on her summer holidays, but you can also have a sneak peek inside with this virtual tour, which takes you from the grand staircase to the actual throne room. 

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Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace
Photograph: Shutterstock

Holyroodhouse Palace, Scotland

Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh is in the shadow of the city’s famous peak Arthur’s Seat. Both are closed for the time being, but you can take a look inside the Queen’s official Scottish residence on this online tour of the sixteenth-century palace. 

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Photograph: Alessandro Storniolo/Shutterstock.com

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh’s ancient castle dominates the skyline in the city centre, looming over Grassmarket and the cobbled streets below. While you can’t visit right now you can take a virtual trip to the grand palace to have a wander around. 

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Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle
Photograph: Shutterstock

Blarney Castle, Ireland

Okay, so you can’t virtually kiss the Blarney Stone, a legendary stone found at the top of Blarney Castle’s tower which promises to impart life-long eloquence on whoever touches it. But – good news – you can still explore the gardens and ruins on this virtual tour

Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles
Photograph: Mister_Knight/Shutterstock.com

Palace of Versailles, France

One of the world’s most impressive buildings, Versailles is an enormous (2,300 rooms!) former royal palace and World Heritage Site. It’s out of bounds for visits IRL, but thanks to extensive documentation from Google you can still explore its grand interiors

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Prague Castle
Prague Castle
Photograph: Shutterstock

Prague Castle, Czech Republic

Built in the ninth century, the grand castle on the west bank of River Vltava is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. Thanks to this detailed online tour, you can have a nosey inside the walls, from the Cathedral of St Vitus to the castle’s sunny terraces and the petite homes along sixteenth-century Golden Lane. 

Schonbrunn Palace
Schonbrunn Palace
Photograph: Shutterstock

Schönbrunn Palace, Austria

An enormous Rococco palace once home to the Austrian royal family, the Schönbrunn is one of the most visited attractions in the country. Just not right now, obviously. You can still check out this sizeable castle’s gilded rooms and prized artworks though on this virtual tour

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Sintra National Palace
Sintra National Palace
Photograph: Shutterstock

National Palace of Sintra, Portugal

High in the hills above the city of Lisbon, Sintra is one stunning spot. It was once a royal retreat and is studded with elaborate and beautiful buildings as a result. You can get a taste of one of the loveliest, the National Palace of Sintra, with this online tour. Just look at that tiling. 

 

Akasaka Palace
Akasaka Palace
Photograph: Shutterstock

Akasaka Palace, Japan

This grand palace in Tokoyo was built in 1909 as the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince. Today, Akasaka Palace, or The State Guest House, is both a tourist attraction and accommodation for visiting state dignitaries. Take a look inside with this virtual tour

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Palace of Vira Harihara
Palace of Vira Harihara
Photograph: Shutterstock

Palace of Vira Harihara, India

Thought to date back to the fourteenth-century, this ancient palace no longer stands. You can usually explore the ruins of the ruined royal abode, but we’ll have to make do with visiting virtually. This online tour takes you around the ruins and the ornate base of the former palace. 

The White House
The White House
Photograph: Shutterstock

The White House, USA

This one technically isn’t a castle. But it is pretty much the closest you can get to an ancient royal palace in the US. You can walk around the exterior and interior of The White House, the official residence of the president of the United States, online thanks to this extensive virtual tour

Keep exploring

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