The most visited forts in the world span many centuries and locations, from the Tower of London to the Rock of Gibraltar. If you’re a history or architecture enthusiast, you won’t want to miss these iconic forts. The most visited forts were calculated by the travel app Visited. Visited has over 2 million international users. You can map your next trip, plan your itinerary, and see more top travel lists in the Visited app.
The most popular forts, according to Visited users, are:
- The Tower of London, also known as the Fortress of London and His Majesty’s Royal Palace, was built by William the Conqueror in the 1080s and opened to the public in 1097. The famed tower symbolizes British royalty and attracts the most visitors of any fort in the world.
- Vyšehrad Fortress is a historic fort in Prague. The fortified settlement that once protected Prague Castle is located 3 km (1.86 miles) southeast of the castle. The fortress was destroyed in 1420 but was rebuilt in the 19th century.
- The Mycenaeans fortified the Acropolis of Athens in the 16th century BC, transforming it into a fortress and military base. The Acropolis was a strategic stronghold and supply depot, providing the Athenians with a safe haven in times of conflict. The ancient citadel is the third most visited fort in the world.
- Castel Sant’Angelo, the most famous fortress in Rome, was commissioned by Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family in 123 AD and completed in 135 AD. In the 4th century AD, Roman emperor Constantine converted the mausoleum into a fortress. In 590 AD, Pope Gregory the Great had a vision of the Archangel Michael appearing on top of the mausoleum, and the mausoleum was renamed Castel Sant’Angelo, or “Castle of the Holy Angel.”
- Edinburgh Castle, one of the oldest fortified structures in Europe, is still used as a military base today. It sits atop Castle Rock, an extinct volcano. The castle is over 900 years old and is the fifth most visited fort.
- Neuschwanstein Castle is perched atop a rugged hilltop in the Bavarian Alps. The neo-Gothic fortress was commissioned by King Ludwig II in 1868. The castle was opened to the public in 1892, and it quickly became the region’s most famous attraction due to its fairytale-esque architecture.
- Buda Castle Fortress is a castle and palace complex on Castle Hill in Budapest, Hungary. Built in 1265 by King Béla IV to protect his people from Mongol invaders, the fortress dominates the city skyline. It is a popular tourist destination.
- The Alhambra Palace Fortress, a stunning Moorish palace complex perched on a hilltop overlooking the city of Granada, was built between 1238 and 1358. Originally built as a fortress to protect the city from invaders, the Alhambra is now famous for its beauty and red sandstone walls.
- Mont Saint Michel in France was founded in 708 AD by Saint Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, after he had a dream of the Archangel Michael. It was built as a fortress to protect the region from Viking raids in the 8th century. It took over 1300 years to complete the majestic structure.
- The Rock of Gibraltar was constructed to protect the Moorish Castle. The historic fort features a network of underground passages and tunnels known as the Great Siege Tunnels.