Travel opens your eyes to a completely different world. From ancient architecture to modern marvels, the world is full of beautiful structures that will leave you in awe. These incredible feats of architecture will leave any traveler in awe. In our quest to find must-visit places for those who love a good mix of good architecture and history, we collaborated with other travel bloggers to come up with a list of some of the world’s most beautiful forts.
This post was originally posted in March 2017 and was updated in December 2019.
Here are some of the most beautiful forts from around the world:
Mehrangarh Fort, India
This hilltop fort, built in the 15th century, keeps watch over the blue city of Jodhpur and contains some of India’s most elaborate palaces. The giant walls can be seen from many parts of the city below and there are numerous rooftop restaurants which take advantage of the incredible views. You can also visit the nearby Thar desert and continue on to Jaisalmer, which is home to a huge sand-coloured fort.
Bhainsrorgarh Fort, India
Bhainsrorgarh is a living fort with close to 5000 inhabitants within the fort walls. The fort is small and still has the royal family living within the palace. Part of the palace has now been converted into a luxury heritage hotel but given the proximity of the royal family and their love for a good conversation, it makes for a palace like none other. The fort stands at the intersection of two rivers, Chambal and Brahmini which provides some very enchanting views when the rivers are full just after the monsoon.
The fort has an interesting history as it was the chosen seat for Rao Chunda who forsake the throne of the Kingdom of Mewar for his yet to be born younger brother. The seat passed through the hands of many clans before it was awarded to the present Royal family. The fort is said to be 270 years old with the fort built around 1740’s.
To know more, check out Rishabh and Nirali’s post about Bhainsrorgarh Fort, India.
Rishabh and Nirali – Gypsycouple
Gingee Fort, India
Gingee Fort, also known as Senji Fort or Chenji Fort, is one of the beautiful surviving forts in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The fort was said to be built during the 15th – 16th century by the Nayaks from the Vijayanagara Empire. Shivaji, the Maratha king, ranked the fort as the most impregnable fortress in India and was called the Troy of the East by the British. Gingee Fort lies on three hillocks: Krishnagiri to the north, Rajagiri to the west and Chandrayandurg to the southeast.
Gingee fort was declared a National monument in 1921 and is under the Archaeological department. Gingee Fort with its ruined forts, temples and granaries portrays a beautiful history of the past. It shows the numerous invasions, battles and acts of bravery it witnessed.
Raksha – Solo Passport
Amber Fort, India
Amber Fort rises out of the arid countryside like a mirage, the giant walls and towers concealing some of the most intricately beautiful architecture in India. You can also walk above the palace to see defensive walls winding their way through the barren hills. Amber Fort was built in the late 1500s and has been immaculately preserved. There are heaps of other amazing places to visit in and around Jaipur, putting it high on most people’s India itinerary. We went there in the summer and it was scorching, the crowds were thin though which made up for it.
Al Zubarah Fort, Qatar
Al Zubarah Fort is found a little over an hour north-west of Qatar’s capital city, Doha. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, the town of Al Zubarah was once a bustling pearling and fishing hub. After being abandoned in the early 1900’s, the town had been largely covered in sand until archaeologists began excavating the area in the 1980’s. Al Zubarah Fort was built in 1938, using traditional Qatari materials of coral stone, limestone and compacted mud. It was once used as a military and police base, but today houses a visitor centre with exhibitions showcasing the history of both the fort and surrounding areas. It’s a fascinating place to visit, and after you’re done with the fort you can take a tour of the fortified Al Zubarah town.
Nadine – Le Long Weekend
Belogradchik Fortress, Bulgaria
The Belogradchik Fortress is among the renowned Belogradchik Rocks. The Fortress dates back to Roman times, and along with the Belogradchik Rocks, is a major tourist attraction today. The Fortress is located in the northwest part of Bulgaria, near the town of Belogradchik. Both the Fortress and the Rocks are impressive and have great views of the surrounding area. The Belogradchik Fortress is a great idea for a day trip from Sofia — the most convenient way to get there is to travel by car. Buses don’t run often, so you might need to spend a night in Belogradchik. Well, this is not a bad idea since there other great places to visit in the area, like the Magurata cave which is one of the largest caves in the country.
Bilyana – Owl Over the World
Dubrovnik is a medieval fort city that was made famous by being one of the filming location of Game of Thrones. Surrounded by almost 1.2 km of walls, this ancient city used to be a maritime superpower. With no army to protect it, the walls were their only means of defense.
The city is now a pedestrian only zone and a beautiful limestone maze. It’s almost like time stood still for Dubrovnik with all its palaces, churches and monasteries. For the best view of the city, head up its walls and walk around the perimeter and soak in the glory that is the Pearl of Adriatic.
To know more, check out Nam’s post about Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Nam – Laugh, Travel, Eat.
Masada Fort, Jerusalem
I recently visited the Masada Fort in Israel and it was an incredible experience. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located at the top of a rock plateau, similar to a mesa, on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. It was built by Herod the Great between 37 and 31 BCE and according to history, the families and the soldiers residing there committed mass suicide when it was clear they could not resist the Roman Empire’s siege.
The fort can be reached by cable car or via a one hour uphill hike. I hiked it as I went there before sunrise, in order to view the sun rise over the Dead Sea. It was a great experience and the sights were absolutely stunning!
Claudia – My Adventures Across the World
This 14th century Saxon fortress is a lot of fun to explore. We visited in autumn when colourful leaves covered the ground. There are lots of small buildings to explore inside the fortress and the views over the Transylvanian countryside are awesome.
RELATED POST: Exploring Transylania: A Week in Romania
Nizwa Fort, Oman
Nizwa Fort is a castle and a fort Tower. Located in the geographical heart of Oman, under 2 hours inland from the capital city Muscat, the current structure dates back to the early 17th century.
There are many rooms to explore and to learn about life back then. No heavy decor or sculpted architecture — the beauty is in the simplicity and layering of walls. And it is possible to climb to the top of the 34 meters high tower to appreciate the views of the surrounding oasis and mountains. Today it is still the center of the town of Nizwa with the Souq (market) and the weekly animal market.
To know more, check out Claire’s post about Nizwa Fort, Oman.
Claire – Zigzag on Earth
El Morro Fort, Puerto Rico
Castillo San Felipe del Morro Fort in Old San Juan was build in the 16th Century at the tip of (what is now) Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. El Morro fort was declared a World Heritage site in 1983 and continues to be a top attraction in Puerto Rico for history buffs and architecture lovers. The dome shaped sentry boxes at each corner of the fort can be seen on car license plates and are recognizable symbols for the island. The interior is converted into a museum with exhibits in both English and Spanish. As beautiful and impressive as the architecture is, the real jewel is the views from the fort out over San Juan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
To know more, check out Jen’s post about El Moro Fort, Puerto Rico.
Jen – Jen There Done That
Ollantaytambo, the 15th century Inca fortress towering above a small town of the same name, was the scene of a famous battle. It was the only battle the Inca won against the invading Spanish, and it’s easy to see why when you visit. The hilltop location was perfect for repelling attacks. It now attracts lots of tourists, so try to get there as soon as it opens like we did. Ollantaytambo is close to Machu Picchu and is part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas — if you’re into ruins (that have stunning views) you won’t want to miss it.
Have you been to any of the world’s most beautiful forts? Have you been to any forts that you’ve visited which should be included in this list? Let us know.