Being the king, living in a beautiful palace and having the world’s riches – doesn’t that sound like everyone’s dream? While we all might not make it there, seeing the marvelous residences of famous royalty are not out of reach! So, straighten you crown, get on your Cinderella shoes, and grab that carriage because we are going to 8 amazing palaces around the world!
Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France – The pinnacle of palaces, Versailles is a work of art around every corner! Let’s be honest, the French Revolution didn’t start because the royals were being frugal. This palace is full of opulence and beauty, and it’s not limited to the inside. Visiting Versailles on a warm Spring day is unparalleled! Take a long stroll through the gardens, visit the Queen’s Hamlet and revival in the splendor.
The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia – Covered in gilded gold, the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg is another amazing display of the immense riches of the European royal families. The Palace is now part of the Hermitage Museum, but the interior has stayed well intact and is truly gorgeous! Paintings that cover the entire ceiling, ornate carvings and statues, and the most decadent ballrooms I’ve ever seen!
Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) in Chiang Rai, Thailand – On my first trip to Thailand, we visited Wat Rong Khun and I was blown away by its beauty. What this temple lacks in color, it makes up for in magnificent carvings throughout every inch of building! From the bridges over the tranquil water, to the elaborate roofs, you can find the tiniest, most elegant details. While it is more of an artistic palace than a royal residence, I sure wish I could live there!
The Alhambra in Grenada, Spain – The Alhambra is a masterpiece of Muslim architecture set along the hillside in Grenada. Alhambra is full of stunning reflection pools lined with gardens, elaborate carvings, and varied archways. You can spend hours wandering the grounds of Generalife, lounging by the tranquil fountains and viewing the Muslim quarter of Albacin from across the valley.
Bahia Palace in Marrakech, Morocco – A stunning display of color and intricate detail is what you will find inside the Bahia Palace in Marrakech. Much of this palace is covered in ceramic tiles of greens, blues, yellows and white, and features many small gardens and fountains scattered throughout the grounds. With tiny, elaborate decorations covering every wall, ceiling and floor, you’re sure to find something beautiful around every corner.
Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand – There is something so unique and spectacular about Thai architecture, and the Grand Palace in Bangkok doesn’t fall short! This palace has been a residence for Thai Kings since 1782, and its opulence depicts the wealth of the royal family. The Grand Palace is comprised of many buildings with multi-tiered roofs, stupas and prangs (towers), all bursting with vibrant color.
Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal – have you ever pictured what Ronald McDonald would build for a palace? Pena Palace is probably the closest you’ll get! Located at the top of a hill, Pena Palace radiates in yellow and red. While it might look a bit juvenile on the outside, the inside is a stunning display of romanticist architecture. Sophisticated decorations from floor to ceiling will have all visitors engulfed in its beauty. Even if you don’t make it inside Pena Palace, the eclectic forests outside are worth exploring.
Summer Palace in Beijing, China – Sitting atop a hill, overlooking a large lake is the Summer Palace in Beijing. The Summer palace was not just a seasonal home for the royals, but more of a resting place for Empress Dowager Cixi. While it may not be as historically impactful as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is actually 3x the size and one of the most preserved palaces in China. There are many buildings in the palace complex, such as temples, residential areas, an incredible bridge and the Marble Boat. You can see the decorated pagodas dotting the Hill of Longevity, and spacious gardens to explore lining the entire lake.
Where to next?
There were a few palaces we found that look GORGEOUS, but we haven’t been able to see ourselves! To honor these incredible residences, here is our “visit next” list on some palaces we will definitely need to visit!
Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet – home to the Dalai Lamas for 300 years!
Mysore Palace in Mysore, India – the official residence of the Wadiyar dynasty and the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore.
Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey – where the Ottoman Sultans lived during the 15th and 16th centuries.