Though vacation fantasies can be elaborate, you've likely written off the possibility of an overnight stay in a castle — after all, a night or two spent in a castle should be reserved for the likes of Meghan and Harry or Kim and Kanye, right? Actually, no: Lucky for us plebeians, the hospitality business is ever-changing, and what might have been an unoccupied or scarcely visited family castle in the past, might now be a rentable accommodation of today. No, this isn't a trick, and no, I'm not taking a creative liberty when I use the term "castle." You can rent an affordable room in a castle, or book out an entire castle, and live out your fairy tale dreams for the same price that you'd spend on an average hotel room.
In the U.S., hundreds of modern, castle-style dwellings offer rental options for non-royals. Maybe you've been to a wedding at one, seen one on Instagram, or visited a winery that was on the property. But in Europe, there are ~real~ fortified dwellings that were built mostly for royalty and nobility and for years, have sat uninhabited or as a landmark, until now.
Vacation rental sites like HomeAway and AirBnb have a variety of rental options for such castles, giving renters the ability to rent the entire castle in some listings, or rent a room in others. Both of which, you might be very surprised to see, are extremely affordable. So affordable, I'm not sure why you'd opt to stay in a hotel if you're in the area. No this is not a drill, yes we are living in a time where it's cheaper to stay in a castle than a hotel so let's just take advantage of it while we can. Here are some uber-affordable castle stay options for you to live out your best fairytale fantasy in: